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The MBA Bride | October 24, 2021

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A Military Wedding by the Beach

When Gail Cervantes and Rod Kurtz began planning their wedding in January 2000, they had no preconceived vision of what they wanted for their wedding. “What we did know was that we wanted to somehow incorporate military touches because Rod is in the Navy, and that we wanted to have our wedding in San Diego preferably by the beach,” says 26-year-old Gail, a kindergarten teacher. “Although we’re both originally from Orange County, we have always loved San Diego with its beautiful beaches and great weather. It’s a very sentimental location for us.”

The couple’s wedding ceremony on June 30, 2001 for 220 guests was held at the Chapel from the Sea on the Naval Amphibious Base on Coronado Island. The wedding reception was held nearby at the Island Club at the North Island Air Station. “We wanted to create a casual, relaxed and fun feeling,” Gail remarks. In addition, since the military is so much a part of our lives, we wanted to celebrate military traditions, and I wanted to show my support for Rod’s participation in the military.”

Swordsmen in Military Uniforms

“Our guests said that our 4 p.m. wedding ceremony was very “Top Gun”,” says 29-year-old Rod, an F-18 fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy. “My squadron of eight pilots and I were all dressed in uniform. The squadron acted as the swordsmen, holding up their swords as Gail and I exited the chapel. Our guests really loved this Navy tradition. The swordsmen also participated in another military wedding tradition during the reception when they drank champagne out of Gail’s shoe,” he recalls.

Gail adds that the swordsmen added a romantic, elegant touch for the guests most of whom were not in the military “Plus, the quaint Naval chapel served our purposes very well for our wedding ceremony,” she states. “The chapel offered beautiful stained glass windows and was very close to the beach.”

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