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Graduation Year and Wedding Year all in one

So did not plan this, but literally three months before my wedding I will be graduating from college.  While I've already started planning my wedding, which isn't until Sept 4th of 2015, I am anxious and worried about dealing with the preparation required for this.  I am really uncertain of how the undertaking is going to be because we cannot afford an consultant for this and I am trying to save in the next two years to cover cost of the wedding, which I've estimated at 12,000 and that's going small and pinching pennies because I have no other financial contributors to the wedding except myself and my fiancee Jess. 

How do you recommend balancing everything? Is it bad to start now?   What things should I make sure to do to secure things so that there isn't a fall out if I book and reserve a venue, florist, band/dj, etc  earlier than the year of the wedding? 

Also any suggestions on managing the stress of school/graduation/wedding? 

Re: Graduation Year and Wedding Year all in one

  • Elbecko gave some great advice!  

    I agree with her that it is too early to start planning.  I planned my wedding in 8 months and I know of brides who did it in 3.  There is no harm in looking around a bit to get a feel for things but for the overall planning does not need to be done until about a year to a year and a half out for big things.  About a year to a year and a half before you wedding I would book important things like your venue, photographer and caterer.  Remember your tastes in things can change a lot in 2 years.  

    Another helpful bit of advice I received on here,  Don't ask your bridal party until 8-6 months out.  Even someone who is your best friend now, may not be your best friend in 2 years.  This helps avoid wanting to kick out bridal party members because you aren't good friends with them anymore (which is highly frowned upon here).  

    I promise you that 3 months after your graduate is plenty of time for your wedding and everything will work out fine.  When it is time to plan your wedding, mange wedding planning around school.  Plan certain weekends to do things and you will be fine.  It will be a little stressful but if you ever feel overwhelmed your FI is there to help you so don't be afraid to lean on him.  Also feel free to vent here about your troubles, be they work or school related.  

    And congratulation on your engagement. 

    "Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained"-C.S. Lewis

    Married! May 27th, 2012

  • I'm getting married a month after graduation. I took the 1 1/2-1 year before to book all the big vendors (ceremony and reception site, caterer, photographer). I will spend all this summer planning out other things: stationary, wedding dress, registry, website, honeymoon, tastings and menus with the caterer, pre-marriage counseling, etc. Then I will have the 9 months of the school to iron out details and slowly work on projects. Then the last month before the wedding, I'll be out of school and will have the time to hunker down and finalize everything, work on seating charts and favors, etc.

    So far I've found it incredibly doable, with the main restriction being getting FI and I to the vendor at the same time. Luckily we'll actually be in the same city this summer! One thing that I've found to be really important is to look over wedding timelines to get ideas, then drawn up your own customized one based on your school schedule.
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  • I will still have just under 3 months left of school when we get married Sept. 20, 2014. I am not worried about it. We have our ceremony (my church) and reception venue already booked with down payments on each to secure our day. My father is a chef and he is catering our wedding. I have a photographer in mind who I plan on getting in touch with in the next month. I am not looking for my dress until this fall (1 year out) and we have not asked our bridal party yet. Though we are keeping it a small wedding party, family only with the exception of my best friend so I am not concerned about that either. It will all come together! :)
  • I am graduating May 24th, 2014 and getting married June 7th, 2014. That's two weeks apart! The way I look at it all of the new bits of my life are happening at once. My goal is to have all of my assignments done early so that I can spend all of May focusing on the wedding. Good luck to you!
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  • I relaized the other day, with this Spring semester ending, that next Spring (2014) when I would be finishing my thesis & graduating is around the same time as my wedding (May 2, 2014).  I'm going to try and get as much done with my thesis this Fall and the see then if I want to either just go ahead & get it all done with the wedding or to take that Spring semester off so I can focus on one thing at a time & not be so stressed.  I'm not stressed about the wedding, as I've been engaged & planning since 8/2011 and most of our major vendors are already booked.  It's the thesis that I'm more worried about lol!  I agree with all the PP that it is doable, you just gotta pace yourself and use all of your "resources" - FI, family, friends, etc.
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  • While I understand 3 months is normally feasible for most. With both full time school and work. I don't see how there is much time. Weekends would seem feasible however, I work on the weekends. During the school year, for the degree program I'm in I have to manage a grade of no lower then a b- which means any free time during the school year to be used for the wedding planning is out.

    I have managed to book a venue as both ceremony and reception site as well as a DJ, whom also can be the officiant for the wedding if I cannot find one that works for me. 

    My only resources right now and will continue to be myself a few close friends and my fiancee as my relationship with my family is very distant. I probably should of explained that.  I've got a lot done already comparatively and I still have two years till the wedding. 
  • I assure you, I went to school full time, planned for moving to another country, and worked while planning my wedding and I got straight A's.  I know it seems like a lot right now but if you tackle your wedding a little bit at a time, it will be much more manageable.  Weekends are a great time to plan!  With your FI and your friends to help you, you should be fine.  For the last two months before my wedding, I had a spread sheet that informed me of what needed to be done that weekend/week, that way everything was done in a timely manner.  There isn't a whole lot to do at 4 months.  By 2 months, the little things start needing finishing and invites go out.  You will be fine, I promise, especially if you are this worried about it now when your wedding is over two years away.  Two years is plenty of time.  You can do it!  And hang out here!  We will help you stay sane and keep on top of things.  :)
    "Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained"-C.S. Lewis

    Married! May 27th, 2012

  • I'm graduating April '14 and getting married in August. 

    We have our church, caterer, photographer and reception venue booked. I'm going to start looking for dresses when I'm home for the summer and me and my fiance are going to start to think about designing STDs and invites after our engagement photoshooting in August. Finding a DJ that shares our taste in music is going to be a difficult task.  I'm not going to stress about cocktail hour drinks or outdoor decorations until I'm finished with my thesis.
  • I am graduating May and getting married in July. We also may be moving to another stay in between or after! so many exciting things happening at once.
    Don't worry you can do it ! Start planning asap.first set an agreeable budget and start from there. Remember, it;s a celebration not a show. I stopped my planning so far which is bad on my part because all i care about is getting married i haven't gotten a move on too many of the details yet.
  • I graduate May 18th, my wedding is May 31st, and I will (hopefuly) be starting grad school June 2nd! Im just doing A LOT of planning ahead so that come wedding/graduation time its easier!
  • So I'm a little late getting to this, but I'd love to help with the balancing question. Last semester I went to school full-time, had three jobs and planned the wedding within four months. It was a pretty intense semester, but I managed to make it through it. The biggest thing is to try to fit in time to relax with your fiance.

    I found the biggest problem to be the short time span and money. Every day when I got out of class I went straight to work and then I went to work, by the time I got home I was exhausted I went straight to sleep most days. I took care of wedding stuff on my way to and from classes, work and home. And on the weekends that everyone else was so looking forward to, I worked from sun up to sun down. I got so tangled up in things that I stressed all the time, and I would be grouchy with DH. I followed some wonderful advise to have wedding-free days, those days were spectacular and it was great to relax.

    You have a lot of time between now and your wedding so just relax and plan at a comfortable pace. If anything goes wrong at this point you have lots of time to fix it.
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  • I'm going to be in the same boat - except I think my wedding will be a month after graduation in June 2015!! I've started planning now as well. I think it's great to start early - I mean the less I have to do while I'm trying to finish my senior thesis, dealing with 400 level philosophy classes, and applying to law school the better, right? I would recommend starting to think about a theme and style, a guest list, a budget (which you've already done - great!), and vendors now but don't start booking until the wedding is about a year away. Your tastes could change a lot in two years.

    As for the stress...I don't know. I'm pretty worried about it myself. I'll let you know if I develop any good strategies! :D
  • Lol, I got married 2 weeks after graduation. 3 months is a cakewalk - no stress.

    Do what you can now and be efficient with your time management. Everything will fall into place.

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    I am in the same boat as a lot of you gals. I get married 5/31/14 and graduate just 2 weeks on the dot before that. I really care about my studies, so graduation is my first priority. :-)

    We have been able to get over 1/3 of the wedding plans done in less than 4 months, so we're right on track. I've been trying to get as many "little" things planned beforehand so that when school starts, I can focus on school again.

    My challenge is I'll sit down on the computer and plan this wedding instead of focusing on school. I'm getting really stressed because I want to have a beautiful wedding on an $8500 budget for 88-133 people. I know that I am soo close to graduating that I need to get schoolwork done. :-)

    I really like the idea of only planning on weekends. :-) It, I hope, will help me focus on my studies while still in school.

    Anyone else have this going on?

  • I will be tying the knot less than two months after I graduate from college this upcoming year. Balancing school and a relationship is my priority. We are both on our own as well for finances and it takes a lot of decision making early on  and financial discipline to make it happen. Try setting up an account where you both can contribute money as you are able. Being on the same page about the money is crucial. With school, it can be an outlet to burn off wedding planning anxieties. You are with the person that you want to spend your life with. Congrats, but it is several hours out of your life. Hopefully that will offer some perspective and peace :)  
  • I graduated in May with my B.S and started Grad school in August with a wedding in October all this year. It can be done. Very stressful, but possible
  • I graduated in May with my B.S and started Grad school in August with a wedding in October all this year. It can be done. Very stressful, but possible
  • lauracutterlauracutter member
    Second Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited September 2013
    I'm graduating May of next year and getting married in July.  I booked the venue before school started and hired a wedding planner.  I also have all of January off to focus on the wedding.  I'm a little nervous too, but I think it can be done.
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  • Currently resigning myself to the idea that the only date that will work no matter what happens after graduation for both of us is one week after graduation.
  • I will be graduation 3 weeks to they day before my wedding! I'll walk Dec. 3014 and my wedding is Jan. 3rd. I know it will be a crazy time but we didn't want to get married before i graduate college and I didn't want to put our wedding off another year ( I only want a winter wedding). So were going for it. I know it will be stressful, but I think we can make it work. Good Luck to you!
  • I'm graduating this coming May and getting married in August. Didn't get engaged until early October so this left me with 10 months to plan but we really wanted to get married next year. All I can say is don't worry! Yes the earlier you start planning the better but I realized really quickly that unless you are extremely picky or have a very specific plan in mind for venue, caterer, etc. there are many options. If you plan on having your wedding in a different location than where you are in school use your vacation time wisely. Taste cakes, visit venues etc. during the holidays when you are home. This saves the stress of trying to make decisions from a distance.
  • BelthilBelthil member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    edited November 2013

    I graduated in May and got married in September. It was a little stressful but very doable, about 15 people I graduated with got married over the summer. I believe two got married within the week after graduation.

    If you're not getting married until 2015 that means that you have a good amount of time to plan. We were engaged for 2.5 years and I milked that for all it was worth. We enjoyed just being engaged and not worrying about planning for a few months. Then we started looking at a budget and our guest list. Once we had a good idea about that we found a venue that fit both and booked it. Since we booked it almost 2 years in advance we had a pick of dates.

    Once we had the venue booked we took our time getting everything else figured out. It is so easy to get into the mindset that you need to have everything planned and booked right away but since you're in school that just adds to your stress level.

    I would use wedding planning as a study break. Once I had reached a designated point I would give myself 15 minutes to work on the wedding, but never anything stressful - so more like looking for ideas for inspiration.

    Just remember to breathe, relax and enjoy! And don't feel guilty or panic if you don't work on wedding planning for a while (days/weeks/months).

     

    ETA: I didn't use a consultant either

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  • Don't worry, I graduated in late July 2011, and got married early October 2011. It can be done. Most of the planning normally doesn't happen until 1-2 months before. Trust me, in a years time, you'll look back and wonder why you worried so much. So much other crap to worry about int he future..like kids! lol 
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  • I'm graduating May 23 and getting married May 25, 2014. I did that for traveling convenience for my family. I am from NY and go to school in MD. For ease of travel for all my family I am having it all the same weekend (which is also Memorial Day). We have been engaged for a while so I have had some basics planned. I made sure to get all my vendors booked during the fall 2013 semester. And that leaves all the decoration and other little things that you have to buy for the ceremony and reception. I haven't felt stressed out once! It is just very important to stay on top of your emails especially when communicating with vendors. My fiancé and I have also found it very helpful to have a weekend or two to just get away....where we don't talk about the wedding, work or school. We were able to do that this semester and I know we will do that once or twice next semester. It can be a busy time and spending quality time with your fiancé is also important. Plus you feel so relieved and refreshed after a we Betsy of luck to everyone!
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    I chose to space out my wedding a little more, but this was for mostly financial reasons.  Here's my timeline: 

    May 2014 graduate from law school -- July 2014 take the bar -- October 2014 start dream job/ hopefully find out I passed the bar -- May 2015 get married!

    So I have a few months in between major life events.  But it's going to be a big year...
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  • I am graduating the first weekend of May, getting married the second weekend of June (2015). And starting a DPT program in either May, June, or August depending on where I choose to go. We've gotten a lot of the big stuff done early and plan to try to stay on top of things as much as possible. 
  • Just wanted to say, Riss2893 good luck on starting your DPT!  I am finishing mine May 2014, taking boards in July, and getting married Sept 2014! 2014 is an exciting year.
  • I've planned almost my entire wedding already while in nursing school, working full time, and being a mommy (which btw is much work than the normal college classes!). It is totally doable taking it small pieces at a time. I graduate next May and our wedding is next August and I don't have much left at all to plan and it is very formal with quite a bit of penny pinching myself. You can do it.... just one task at a time!
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