deployment. But sometimes we get to do fun stuff, too, like the military ball we went to not long ago. If I hadn't married a military man, I probably would not have attended a formal event (other than weddings) since my high school prom. And it's kinda fun! Actually, I'd say I have more fun at military balls than I did at prom. :P
So the military ball has all sorts of formalities and etiquette rules, but I have learned that for the most part, nobody really cares much if you follow the rules or not. Here's the basic format:
1. First there's a social hour, which is just mingling time. I love to "people watch" and take a look at all the gorgeous gowns! A ball is technically a black tie event, so if you follow the rules, you are supposed to wear a full length dress, but every ball I have been to, there have been women who wear "cocktail" style dresses, and they look amazing, too, in my own opinion.
2. Then you go through the receiving line, in which you are introduced to and greet the "hosts" of the event. There are all sorts of rules for the receiving line, like don't carry a drink. I stand in front of Scott as we proceed through the line (the woman always goes first). He introduces me to the first person in line (that person is supposed to already know his name and rank by checking out his uniform), but you don't shake that person's hand. That person introduces you to the next "receiver," whose hand you do shake. Then your names get passed down the line until you have shaken every one's hand in line. All these guidelines, but it usually turns into a disorganized mess as hundreds of people go through the line. :P
3. After the receiving line, you can enter the ballroom and find your table and place card, but you aren't supposed to sit down until instructed to do so.
5. When all the ceremonies are over, it's time for dinner and dancing. When you leave, don't forget to bid your hosts, who generally post themselves near the exit, farewell.
Yes, this ball was MUCH more fun than high school prom. I especially enjoyed this one because Scott was so involved in the program. It was so cool to see his soldiers cheer for him when he received his award and during his part of the grog bowl ceremony. And as always, it's just fun to get dressed up every now and then!