Home Marriage & Family How to Make the Most of Your Marine Corps Ball

How to Make the Most of Your Marine Corps Ball


How to Make the Most of Your Marine Corps Ball

Most of us worry about getting ready for the ball: choosing our gown, deciding on a hair style and makeup.  But what happens after that?  What happens when the only person you know at the Ball is your significant other?

It’s always more fun when you get to know other military spouses and girlfriends out there, so here are a few tips with how to have the best time at the Ball.

We’ve been lucky to have our 1st Tanks Ball in Las Vegas, Nevada the last few years. It’s definitely on the top of my list for best places to celebrate.

My husband recently got assigned to recruiting duty, so this year will be a much smaller event for us and it may be very different from what we’re used to. But one thing is certain: wherever you go, the night is always about your husband and all the Marines, so enjoy!

  1. how to make the most of your marine corps ball marine photos
    Be proud of your Marine and all they’ve done. Photo courtesy of Ashley Strehl

    Mingle around the room during cocktail hour. I usually try to stick close to my husband during this time. It’s a great way to finally meet those special Marines your spouse talks about so much and put a face to a name.

  2. Smile! You always look more approachable when you have a smile on your face.  Some of us do have “bitchy resting face”.  Oh yes, I said it.
  3. Chat it up. Make friends with the other couples at your table. Usually they sit the Marines who work together in the same area. Start up the conversation with the whole table – find out where they are from, chat about your kids, ask about their pets, or where they’ve traveled in the Corps.  Remember to reciprocate: some of us get really chatty when we’re nervous, but if we’re not responding with questions; chances are we may turn off a new friend or come off as a know it all.  If you’re not connecting with someone, move on and strike up a conversation with someone else.
  4. Let the night be about your Marine. I love listening to stories about my husband. Be proud of how hard he or she works and let this night be about that. I bet at some point you will hear a funny story or see an embarrassing photo from their last deployment or training exercise.
  5. Enjoy the tradition of the night. Before dinner is served, the ceremony will begin.  Included in the ceremony are speeches from the guest of honor, the Unit Commanding Officer, the cake cutting with the youngest and oldest Marine, and the message. Take in all that the Marine Corps Ball is about.
  6. Be a Friend: If you notice a couple trying to take a selfie, ask if you can take their photo for them.  Chances are they’d be grateful and can reciprocate if you’d like a photo snapped as well.
  7. How to make the most of your marine corps ball
    Photo Courtesy of Ashley Strehl

    Send a compliment to a fellow spouse! If you see a woman in a gorgeous gown, let her know. It will open up conversation – and if anything she will appreciate you noticing.

  8. Share the Love. If you have some extra pocket change and you’re feeling generous, buy a couple rounds for the guests behind you in line, or for the Marines you hear your spouse talking about.  It’s a great way to pass kindness along throughout the night.
  9. Get out on the dance floor. So many times people just go for the dinner and drinks, but get your guy out on the dance floor. Enjoy everything that the unit has put on for you and your Marine.
  10. Don’t drink too much. The night is all about having a good time, but no one wants to be around the girl who is hiking her skirt up and showing her goods on the dance floor or repeating herself over and over again.  Try drinking a glass of water between drinks and eat something, even if the food leaves a lot to be desired.

If you’re worried about what to wear to the ball, check out my article from last year on how to look your best. Keep an eye out next week for my top picks for this years gowns. I may need your helping picking one!


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  1. Thank you for posting this. I’m lucky enough to love a Marine and this year is my first ball. I’m nervous about not knowing anyone but this article helps me know what to anticipate!


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