On The Yard


    What It's Like to Wed on the Yard

    By Bill the Goat on June 17, 2022

    What It's Like to Wed on the Yard

    Everyone is saying “I do!” across the Yard and around the country. After a hiatus during the pandemic, traditional weddings are roaring back. Due to pent up demand, they’re projected to hit an all-time high since 1984, with more than 2.6 million weddings anticipated across the U.S. this year. How do you properly celebrate such a momentous occasion? Come to the Yard, of course—and make this one of the most memorable times yet. Let's walk down the aisle of possibilities for our couples to be!

    For generations, The United States Naval Academy has been top on the list for many couples connected to the Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and USNA. Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful, but the Main Chapel and St. Andrews Chapel with their iconic dome and the Miller Chapel at the stunning Levy Center also carry tremendous history and tradition, setting wedding ceremonies on a new level by giving them a regal and elegant feel. At the Chapel, the ceremony is made even more powerful by 15,688 pipes swelling with the exit march, which sends the exuberant couple out into the world. They start their new lives together under a ceremonial Arch of Swords that symbolically and spectacularly pledges the military’s fidelity to their protection, making it an ideal intimate wedding location. The couple is immediately welcomed to the Navy and Marine Corps family along with their rich traditions and history.


    With such a magical start for a newly married couple, it’s no wonder that the Yard plays host to around 85 - 90 weddings throughout the year. The summer can be especially busy as the USNA Main Chapel welcomes up to seven weddings a day from 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., every hour on the hour, with the expected military precision. Then it’s off to the reception to celebrate with the guests.

    Just a Short Walk from the Chapel


    After a ceremony like that, it’s hard to top the excitement. But just down the lane, the Naval Academy Club continues the magic. With a history stretching back more than a century, it brings even more meaning to the day. Elegantly adorned in maritime art with space to spare, the club is gorgeous. Naval Academy Catering provides the mouth-watering food and refreshments, and they’re known for their generously sized filet mignon and local Maryland crab cake dish, among other delicious local and beyond local inspired dishes. Couples and their guests can choose from a wide array of catering offerings for hors d'oeuvres, main dishes and desserts. 


    Exploring for the Weekend


    For most couples, the ceremony and reception are part of a larger and popular destination wedding, with so many guests eager to visit and explore the Yard. It is captivating. So it’s no wonder that many couples choose to spend their whole wedding weekend here, starting with rehearsal dinners, culminating with the reception and then ending with our legendary brunch at the Naval Academy Club. All are fittingly set against one of the most striking backdrops in Annapolis and feature the excellent food and service proffered by Naval Academy Catering. When they marry here, couples become part of the history of the Yard.


    The guests can too. They can enjoy customized walking or riding tours covering all types of fascinating history, architecture and traditions, along with the USNA Museum, sporting venues and other places special to the couple. Many couples also enjoy gifting their guests with a memorable USNA item to celebrate this special time. There are a wealth of fun ideas at the USNA Gift Shop or Navyonline, from glasses with Navy crest to jewelry to silicon straw sets, to everything in between. Whether curated as welcome bags or given as gifts during the various parties and celebrations, these tokens are always well received.

    Are You Planning a Wedding?


    We’d be thrilled to help you host your dream wedding. Eligible couples (which includes a U.S. Naval Academy alumnus, a member of the military staff, faculty member or local active duty military member), can email bstone@usna.edu to connect with Brenda Stone, the Senior Catering, Events and Weddings Manager for the Naval Academy Business Services Division (NABSD). Whether you’re hosting a smaller intimate gathering or a large wedding, we have the local wedding venues and the services that will make your wedding unforgettable. 


    A wedding on the Yard is like no other. You can feel even more excited about your new life together knowing that it’s providing the supplies, uniforms, activities and more that build the Brigade. Come experience the magic of marrying on the Yard. You’ll be giving your guests the weekend of a lifetime, and the Brigade your full support. Check out our free wedding guide and start planning your dream Naval Academy wedding now!

    Download the Wedding Guide


    Bill the Goat
    Written by Bill the Goat | June 17, 2022


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