Wedding during Grad School...Help!

edited May 2015 in Students
Okay last night my mind was racing and I started to have a bit of a freak out. Fellow bride advice is much needed! 
I got engaged on December 28, 2014 to the most wonderful man! I graduated on December 14th and have been accepted to start my Masters in July. FI, on the other hand, will be graduation at the beginning of May this year and then is planning to attend Medical School starting next summer, 2016. SO, there isn't much wiggle room between now and five years from now. Ha! 
So, we've chosen a wedding date that is smack-dab in the middle of my first semester of grad school. We chose October 17, 2015 as our wedding date for several reasons. His grandpa recently passed and that was his birthday. We both really love fall and thought that would be the perfect season for our wedding. Several people have suggested I have the wedding during my Christmas break, but there are so many of our relatives that will be out of town we didn't want that many of our loved ones to miss our big day. 
Therefore, my question to all you is if there is anyone who is experiencing the same sort of predicament (planning/having a wedding during grad school)? We realize this means a postponed honeymoon and we're okay with that, but is there anything else you all think I should keep in mind/do you have any advice for me? I think I just need someone to relate to or someone to tell me its all going to be okay. 

edited to remove personal information
[Deleted User]

Re: Wedding during Grad School...Help!

  • @katienchristian, I strongly suggest you edit this to remove personally identifying details, like your FI's full name.
  • I planned a wedding during the summer while I was in grad school. My summer class started two days later. As a result, my husband and I pushed our honeymoon back, and we will be leaving for a cruise in May. It was not easy to plan it all, but it was doable. I took advantage of summers and school holidays for planning. I'm a teacher, so even with summer classes, most of my summer days were free.

    How it went for me:
    June 2013 (I was in a summer course) - Got engaged, immediately booked a venue within that week, started looking at dresses, made first draft of the guest list, brain stormed details (food, flowers, music, etc)

    July 2013 - Bought wedding dress, met with florist, decided florist was too expensive and to make my own arrangements with flowers from Sam's, started DIY projects, narrowed guest list, started putting additional money aside for the wedding, printed invitations based on the number my venue could hold

    August 2013 - continued working on DIY projects, picked out shoes

    September 2013 to December 2013 (from mid-August to December, I was teaching and in grad school) - narrowed guest list, ordered drink machine, attended bridal show

    December 2013 - made decisions on who to ask to be in bridal party (pretty much already knew), took advantage of the winter break for guest list decisions, DIY, planned with my husband what songs to dance and walk down the aisle to

    January 2014 to May 2014 - mostly focused on school, mailed invitations, ordered food, had bridal shower

    May 2014 - June 2014 - finalized last details, hair plans, makeup plans, jewelry, ordered flowers and Confirmed food, final walk through at the venue, drink machine and bartender paid for, tested fake tan, tested makeup and hair, whatever other last minute things I'm forgetting now 

    June 28, 2014 - grab all my crap, get dressed, get married

    June 29, 2014 - write a million thank you cards

    June 30, 2014 - start grad school class, continue thank you notes

    I know I left somethings out, but basically, use breaks to your advantage. 
  • JBee85JBee85 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited April 2015
    I got married while I was in graduate school and full time teaching (unexpected temp offer). it was right before Thanksgiving. It was a a stressful nightmare. I had to drop a course because wedding planning, school, and teaching got out of control. I was even on medication and still struggled to concentrate on everything. I was extremely fortunate that I had the support of my parents who took care of most of the planning, but it was crazy.

    After the wedding, I had some difficulty focusing on graduate school as a newlywed. I dated for 10 year and just being a newlywed... I had to fight the urges to concentrate on school than spend more time with him.

    I seriously recommend you wait until you are finished or nearly finished with school.
  • I got engaged when I was in my undergraduate degree and we waited 2 years to plan our wedding, which is this summer. I just started my master's in January - however, it is not in teaching, it is in psychology. My placement doesnt' start until the year after my wedding. I didn't know I was going to be in my master's when we planned our wedding 2 years ago, but its all working out great. I get my coursework done and on my breaks from school I pack a ton of wedding stuff in. Planning all of it over 2 years has been an immense stress-reliever and we feel minimal stress and more excitement for our wedding day which has been 2 years in the making!! Don't rush things - I highly suggest not giving yourself the classic 1 year (or less) time-limit that a lot of brides put on themselves.

    We thoroughly enjoyed our engagement and we are thrilled to be Mr and Mrs. My wedding incidentally falls at the end of the spring/summer trimester where I have 2 weeks between the end of that and the start of the fall trimester. We are going on our honeymoon 3 weeks after the wedding in mid-Sept. I will be in my first week of the third trimester at that point but I plan to do my work ahead of time and enjoy the honeymoon without books and computers.

    It's totally do-able! Don't put your life on hold because of courses. If you need to, I'm sure you could always take a leave of absence if necessary. That's my two cents on the matter!!

    Congrats on getting accepted for your master's!
  • I Just got engaged last month. Me and my fiance plan on getting married after I finish my nursing degree. (2 years: August 22 2017) In Scotland (Where he is from) Is it too long of an engagment? 

  • csocso member
    Second Anniversary First Comment
    I am in grad school, working full time and planning a wedding at the same time. I just got as much done as I could between semesters. Also i did as much homework as I could after work during the week, this game me some free time on weekends to plan somethings. I find it is actually working out really well because you know you won't have much free time so you get your homework done without procrastinating. Good Luck! 
  • Silverelf2015Silverelf2015 member
    10 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited July 2015
    I am getting married next month and am a graduate student (between 1st and 2nd year). I actually cut the number of classes I was taking during Spring semester so that I could have more time for work (we've been paying for everything ourselves) and wedding planning. However, if I had it to do over again, I would have had a smaller wedding (it's small, 50 ppl but I mean like 20!) and continued with my regular course schedule. Doing things as I did only made it necessary to take an online summer class, which now, one month out, I'm still finishing final projects out to two weeks before the wedding. Small as it is, the wedding I've planned was simply, as a grad student, biting off more than I could chew. It's been terribly stressful and both of us are going to be glad when all the planning is over and we can just enjoy our day, and our life together! 

    Depending on your beliefs and/or worldviews, a long engagement may or may not be acceptible, as for us it was not. Also, we knew for a long time already that we were meant-to-be, so why put off what we knew was the inevitable with a long, agonizing engagement and too much fancy planning? We didn't even know 100 ppl, and all the big venues around here book 1.5 years in advance, so we knew a big wedding was not for us, and that was ok. 

    But may I also advise you with a caveat - keeping a wedding small does NOT necessarily mean stress free! You still have to do all the same things that one who is planning a big wedding has to do! You still need to schedule dress fittings, pick out table cloths, agonize over seating charts, etc, etc, etc around your terribly busy life. So you will still have all the same stress. One thing I wish with all my heart that I would have done was hire a full-service planner. Everyone around me told me "You don't need a planner, it's such a small wedding!", but I wish I hadn't listened to them. I wish I had a person I could have delegated ALL the stress to! 

    And something my pastor told me a few weeks ago still resonates in my ears at those stressful moments: "Don't be afraid to ask for help". Thankfully my fiance has been more helpful than most guys, and this is a good thing, as we're both rather geeky quiet types and don't have a huge network of people in our lives. But if you do have that network, do ask for help, do delegate. If you're that bride who is lucky enough to have ten bridesmaids at your disposal to help you out, then you're already ahead. 

    Bottom line: Don't do what I did. Don't rearrange your school life around your wedding. Do get a planner. Do delegate. Do keep things simple. Don't stress out (easier said than done). And do enjoy this time, because as I keep reminding myself, this is a time that, in a few weeks now for me, will be all gone forever. Don't sweat the small stuff, and do smell the roses. Best of luck to you! 
  • Congratulations on both your acceptance into a masters program, graduation, engagement, and his acceptance to medical school!!! Huge changes in both your lives. Here is my advice.

    Talk with your major adviser!!! Let him or her know the weekend that you definitely need off and that you may need some additional time to do dress fittings, make up etc. Ideally, I would even get this in writing and remind them that you will be gone as the time approaches and what could you do to make sure you keep on track to graduate and have/keep a good relationship with your adviser.  

    Do not procrastinate your graduate school stuff! It will come back and bite you in the rear. I know wedding stuff is fun to look at.

    Can your fiance help with some of the wedding planning?

    Good luck!!!!! 
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