- Q. How is getting married at the Naval Academy Chapel different from other churches?
- A. Most churches only schedule one to two weddings a day; however the Naval Academy Chapel averages four to six weddings in a single day. Weddings are scheduled between 12:00 noon and 5:00 pm and, with the exception of a Nuptial Mass, are limited to 25 minutes. As soon as one wedding departs the Chapel steps, the next wedding enters the Chapel and begins seating their guests. Commissioning Week weddings are scheduled on the Friday and Saturday immediately following commissioning and graduation.
- Q. How are the services provided by Going to the Chapel... different from a civilian Wedding Planner or Coordinator?
- A. Couples planning a Naval Academy wedding encounter a unique set of challenges specific to a military venue, often complicated by deployment or geographic separation. As a Navy protocol officer, Navy wife and Marine Corps mother, CDR Jane Richman has the access, knowledge and skill to address those challenges and offers services developed specifically for couples planning a destination military wedding. In person meetings include a driving tour of the wedding party and guest shuttle routes, the Naval Academy Yard and a walk through of the Naval Academy Chapel. If available, clients may also see a real wedding.
- Q. On the "Day Of" the wedding what happens at the Chapel?
- A. The USNA Chaplain's Center provides several key people to ensure that weddings adhere to the time schedule and run smoothly. The Hostesses are the "Timekeepers" and prior to the ceremony they instruct the ushers and line up the bridal party for the processional. After the recessional, they prepare the Chapel for the next wedding and the process begins again.
- Q. What is the Military Wedding Consultant's role at the Chapel on the "Day Of"?
- A. The Military Wedding Consultant is on-site at the Chapel and serves as the point of contact for the wedding party and guests. Her responsibilities include training the Arch of Swords detail, coordinating transportation logistics, trouble shooting and assisting the wedding party and guests. Following the recessional, she takes custody of the signed marriage license, and anything left behind from the wedding. She remains on-site until the last guest leaves the Chapel and then delivers the items in her custody to the wedding reception venue.
- Q. Can my guests park at the Naval Academy Chapel?
- A. The United States Naval Academy is a military base and visitors without a DoD issued ID card or vehicle sticker are not permitted to drive onto the Academy Yard. Each wedding can request up to ten (10) vehicle passes for their wedding party and guests. Everyone else must park outside the Naval Academy Yard and walk in through the pedestrian gates.
- Q. Where can guests park outside the Academy Yard?
- A. Street parking in Annapolis is extremely restricted and guests who drive are advised to park in a downtown parking garage. Depending on the garage location and parking availability, guests could have a lengthy walk to the Chapel. As a courtesy to their guests, many couples provide shuttle service from hotels or garage locations directly to the Chapel.
- Q. How can my fiancé and I plan a Naval Academy wedding when we don't live in Maryland?
- A. Couples working with Going to the Chapel... find that most, if not all, of the planning can be done by email or phone. Clients visiting Annapolis are provided with a printed itinerary, and a guided driving and walking tour of the Naval Academy Yard, the historic district, and reception venues.
- Q. How do I find reputable wedding vendors and venues that meet my needs and budget?
- A. Going to the Chapel... has an established network of the top vendors and venues in Annapolis. All of our referrals are based on first-hand experience and we don't recommend anyone we would not use ourselves. In addition, we fully support veteran and USNA Alumni owned businesses.
- Q. Where can I find information on uniforms, invitation wording, military titles and drawings of the Chapel?
- A. Going to the Chapel... provides all of their clients with written guidelines on wearing the correct uniform, invitation wording, military etiquette and service titles. Clients can submit their text for review and will receive an edited copy back with recommended wording. For drawings of the Chapel, Naval Academy, Annapolis or the Navy and Marine Corps insignia we are linked-in to the designer who holds the copyrights to those images.