Before Jacob and I started chiropractic college, we were told that we would see more engagements, break ups, marriages, and divorces than ever before. Chiropractic college is hard. As with other graduate programs, it demands long days, early mornings, and complete dedication. That can make it extremely taxing on relationships, especially long distance.
Jacob and I had been dating for almost 5 years by the time we started school. We knew early on that we wanted to make this a forever commitment, but also knew we needed to wait until we were ready to say “I do”. Jacob proposed in Kauaii during our winter break before our 5th quarter (out of 14), a year into school. It was everything and more that I could have ever hoped or dreamed for. We had waited so long and finally it was our turn to start this new journey in our lives together.
When the next quarter started, I was still on cloud 9 showing all our friends my new sparkly accessory. It was really tough to get back into the groove of studying, researching, and paying attention in class. All I wanted to do was wedding plan. After all, we only had 9 short months to plan!
It’s so hard to even find the time to plan when you’re not in school full time, so squeezing in time between class and studying is tricky. So here are my top wedding planning tips when you’re hard on time:
- Schedule your week ahead with time to plan – This is huge. I call this making your “war plan”. Even when you’re not planning a wedding it’s so important to plan out your week ahead. This will allow you to do things like call caterers, dress boutiques, and photographers without feeling guilty like you’re wasting time you should spend studying.
- Hire a wedding planner – Before you disregard this one because it might be out of your budget, I want you to know it’s more than possible to find a planner for under $500. I found mine for $300 and she worked with me for 6 months answering any questions and most importantly keeping me sane throughout the process. She was there the day of from start to finish coordinating everyone (vendors to crazy family members) and made our day seamlessly perfect.
- Get ultra organized – If you’re not the type of person to own a 3 ring hole punch or a hard drive that could hold 10 years of data, the time is now. I cannot express enough how important it is to be organized when you’re wedding planning. I started an Excel spreadsheet that charted type of vendor, their name, number, email, price, and what they were supplying. Another tip is to use Google Drive so it can be easily accessed from any device and shared with parents and/or wedding planners. It’s so easy to skip this and try to keep track in your head, but expenses add up SO QUICK, so this way you can stay on top of budget. So get organized, I promise you won’t regret it. Because when your friends get engaged and they’re asking you what vendors you used, just send them this one document and BOOM done.
I finished all of my planning in 7 months of being engaged. I forced myself to do so because 2 weeks before our wedding date we took our part one national boards exam, a 10 hour day made up of 6 90 question exams to test your knowledge of physiology, general anatomy, spinal anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, and pathology. Basically all the -ologies. I know, we’re completely insane to plan the date so close to something so stressful, but we did it!! And we both passed all 6 exams!! (Hallelujah!!)
I’m not going to sugar coat it – planning a wedding in grad school is hard. It’s stressful and sometimes really overwhelming. But now being 10 months into marriage, I wouldn’t change any of it. I love never having to say goodbye to my best friend, I love waking up next to him, I love sharing in struggles and successes of grad school together. We got married at the perfect time for us. Each relationship is different, and after 6 and a half years of dating, it was our time.