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A Wedding to Remember

November 15, 2013 - Heather Ziegler
Over the years, we have reported on military services that are more often sad events including military funerals.

Well, on Saturday, Nov. 2, another military service held in Wheeling was filled with joy.

On that day, Ensign Mark Wroblewski of Leonardtown, Md., and Ashley Dolan of Wheeling, were married at St.

Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Elm Grove.

Following the ceremony the newlyweds were greeted with an Arch of Swords as they exited the church. The Arch of

Swords is a Navy wedding tradition to salute the new couple and to welcome the new bride to the Navy. An arch of

swords is formed as the couple exits the church.

Only the newlywed couple can walk through the arch. The passage under the swords is meant to ensure the couple's

safe transition into their new life together.

As they reach the end of the arch, the last two sword bearers lower their swords to block the couple's way. The

couple is announced by the senior sword bearer and he or she can demand that they kiss. Before releasing the new

couple, the sword bearer to the couples left gently swats the bride on the back side and says, "Welcome to the Navy,


The six sword bearers performing this ceremony were volunteers from the Steel City NROTC Program in

Pittsburgh, PA. The sword bearers were MIDN 1/C Aaron Kovalchick , MIDN 2/C Joseph Leitner, MIDN 3/C Albert

Peters, MIDN 3/C Michael Schafer, MIDN 4/C Anastasia Nabatov, and MIDN 4/C Adam Pressel.

Parents of the couple are Steve and Mary Dolan of Wheeling and Mike and Beth Wroblewski, of Leonardtown, MD.


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