Saturday, November 10, 2012

Every Girl Deserves to go to a Ball

The happiest of birthdays to the Marine Corps!

Going to my first birthday ball, right before I married Ryan, was an amazing experience.
It surpassed any and all expectations of how I pictured a military ball to be like.
It was in Las Vegas and everyone looked so gorgeous.

I would lying if I said I wasn't jealous of all the ladies and gentlemen going to their respective birthday balls.  Ryan and I decided to opt out- more like he decided.
Let's be real, when do I pass on an opportunity to dress up like a Filipino Cinderella...never.
Of course life has a sense of humor and Ryan has to go to his ball and I'm stuck at home for this extended weekend.

If you're like me and don't have the opportunity to go to a ball, don't fret. I will gladly walk you through a visual of what it is like.

Marines wear dress blues (blue dress uniforms).  Some key differences include that enlisted members have the midnight blue coat with red trim and officers have a solid midnight blue coat.  The officers' coat looks like almost like a shade of black.  On the sky-blue pants, officers and non-commissioned officers and senior non-commissioned officers (starting at E-4 and above) wear the "blood stripe."  This honors the Marines who died in the Battle of Chapultepec.  Officers wear their rank insignia on their collars, while enlisted wear theirs on their sleeves.  
The Marine Corps symbol is the EGA- Eagle, Globe, Anchor.


I chose a Navy blue, mermaid style gown.  The celebration is for the Marines and the traditions that are a part of that military branch.  I wanted to look nice, professional and classic.  I especially wanted to be a great date for (my boyfriend-then) my husband.  When selecting your dress (or your suit), I would definitely recommend keeping that in mind.  Some ladies have chosen questionable dresses.  You're there to look classy, not trashy.

If you're going to a ball, you're going to need a venue.
Ryan has never been stationed on the east coast, so it might be a little bit different there but fun, entertaining venues are usually where they are hosted.



Some folks have families with kids or some are young guys with girlfriends.
Either way, plans still need to be made.  Sometimes babysitters need to be scheduled, child care at the hotel/resort needs to be planned and at a very basic level, accommodations need to be made.

We stayed at the MGM and it was spectacular.
Vegas in itself is a giant production and so much fun.

and here's a glance at one of the rooms

The room was fabulous. This picture doesn't do it justice.  It must have been a suite. It was gi-normous!

Once you get to the ball, it's gorgeous.

Depending on the size of the unit and who is hosting, 
there are a ton of people and lots of traditions as part of the ceremony.

There's the cake cutting done with a sword.  The cake is even carried in by Marines.

It's usually celebrated/cut with the youngest and oldest Marine there as witnesses.
Here General Amos cut the cake.

I loved the tradition pictured above.  The Marines create live scenes of the history of the Marine Corps.  I found it to be so interesting to see the variations in uniforms over time.

There's food, music, dancing and it's all a lot of fun.

And there you have it folks. Here is me and my husband before we were even married.  Just two lil' cuties ;)


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