Planning a wedding while consumed with graduate school can be a difficult task. Wedding planning requires incredible organization, attention to detail and patience. In a similar fashion, graduate school requires many of the same qualities. Planning a wedding can be thought of as a similar task as preparing for the GMAT. For this event, you carve out different times to study, create a plan of attack regarding sections, and choose schools to send scores to. Planning a wedding may be tackled in the same way. Ensure you have time to plan the big stuff, don’t prolong the planning for longer than you need, and utilize your scheduling flexibility to your advantage.
Although planning a wedding can be stressful, creating a timeline can help alleviate a lot of the potential worry. As a graduate student, scheduling is something that the majority of people are used to. Using a schedule or a planner to outline the important milestones that need to be completed will help break the work down into smaller pieces. Inside Higher Ed suggests making your budget and your timeline work together by choosing a date that is realistic to save money and complete any necessary plans that you might desire. Because you control the deadline, you can utilize it to your advantage in your planning. When choosing this date, be sure to give yourself enough time, but not such an amount that would prolong the stress and hardships of planning a wedding while in graduate school.
For scheduling purposes, being a graduate student can sometimes have its perks. Many times, students choose to take classes during the school year semesters and take the summers off. At the very least, many graduate programs offer vacations throughout the year. When thinking about a time to plan your wedding, factoring in your off time can alleviate any possible conflicts with coursework and classes. In addition to planning the dates for the wedding events, utilizing the potential flexibility in your graduate school schedule can be an important piece of the planning puzzle. Choosing planning goals for vacation times, weekends off, or summers would be a nice way to take some of the stress off of planning and completing graduate work at the same time.
Frontloading planning can be a great strategy to help a couple successfully keep up with graduate work and plan their wedding. Some of the biggest pieces of planning a wedding are the venue, the dress, and the food. These aspects are the largest part of the wedding planning process and often take the most time. With that being said, it is important to utilize the time at the beginning of the planning period to check the big items off your list. With getting the largest areas of planning out of the way, the couple could have the majority of the time left over to finalize the smaller details and enjoy engagement together.
Ensuring that your professors are aware of the fact that you’re wedding planning while in grad school is a great way to keep the communication lines open, and potentially save yourselves from scheduling mishaps and other struggles. Because weddings are an important part of personal lives, professors understand that their graduate students may be taking these steps in conjunction with their coursework. Letting professors know ahead of time that you’re planning your wedding, along with your expected timeline, might allow for avoiding a potential awkward conversation about missing a class or having a busy schedule. Because of scheduling restrictions for some programs, many people choose to get married and hold off on a honeymoon until a later date that works better for their schedules. This is true, especially for those students who may not have vacations, or that might already be missing classes or other events for wedding related reasons.
Overall, it is possible to plan a wedding and attend graduate school without compromising one of the two. Staying organized is the biggest factor that will increase the likelihood that stress doesn’t take over. Wedding planning books, spreadsheets, and general planners can help couples map out their “To-Do’s” before their “I Do’s” very successfully. The best piece of advice, no matter when you’re planning a wedding, is to try and enjoy engagement as much as possible. Because it is a time of pure excitement, it deserves to be cherished just as much as the wedding itself. Depending on budget, scheduling restrictions and other factors, many couples might find themselves at different points regarding planning. It is important to determine what is best for you and your partner, and to make the best out of every second leading up to the big day!