(Closed) Any grad students planning weddings?

posted 8 years ago in College
Post # 3
274 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Stand your ground to finish!  Would it be possible for your supervisor to help you find a post-doc?  Maybe you can say that since you are getting married, thus starting a new life, it would be great to start with a new job too, to move forward in a few areas of your life.

I’m a grad student too, but only a second year.  I have a great relationship with my PI.  I was a bit nervous telling her, but I kind of sprung it on her before a seminar started πŸ˜›  She is real happy for me and I don’t think she is worried about me getting distracted.  She knows I work hard.

So my plan is to work and study my butt off, pass my qualifying exam, have the wedding, then three more years of research.  I’m lucky my Fiance is understanding.  He already has a PhD and did a post-doc.  He is taking care of the major things for the wedding, and I am saving as much as I can each month.  We have a small budget.

What is your research area?

Post # 5
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’m in grad school too but I don’t think I can be much help as it seems many of your questions don’t really apply to me.  I worked for about 5 years after college before deciding I really wanted to go to grad school, so I already had a somewhat established career and savings.  Most people in my program are a bit older (or not fresh out of college) so getting engaged while in school wasn’t a big deal at all.  I will have finished my degree by the time we get married, but the excitement of being engaged/planning a wedding has definitely been VERY distracting to me, and I’m not nearly as studious as I should be because of it.  As far as planning our budget, well, my fiance has been the main provider for us since I went back to school, so since we have been able to manage fairly well on one income, we figure that any income I have once I start working full time again will be better than what we have managed for the last year.  I’m really fortunate for that.

You have plenty of time to save and figure things out, so I think the key is to call around, find out what you want, what you can afford, and then prioritize for it. My old boss said to me once “don’t let a short term situation affect a long term decision,” and everytime I get stressed out about my situation I think of that.

ETA: I just reread what I wrote and realized all I did was write about myself and that I really had nothing helpful to say! My apologies, and good luck with school and planning.  It will all work out πŸ™‚ 

Post # 6
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

if you’re thinking about doing a postdoc, I would just plan your budget based on your current finances =P Your salary might be higher as a postdoc, but it often pushes people into the next federal tax bracket – so then sadly you’re not really making much more money than you were as a graduate student.

Post # 7
426 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I was in a specialist level program and worked full time throughout so I had a steady income.  I knew my salary would increase after graduation, so budgeted with the lower salary, just in case I had to stay in that position.  We were engaged August ’09.  I wanted to be completely done with grad school before I even began to plan the wedding, hence our date of 7/12.  I couldn’t concentrate on a degree, applying for jobs, etc. and plan a wedding, but that’s just me! πŸ™‚  I can imagine that it’s difficult, so good luck!

Post # 8
1326 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Tre Bella, Mesa, AZ

@SerenaSF: I’m in the same boat. I worked in my field while I was doing my undergrad, worked 5 more years after, and now I’m doing my masters, so it’s really just another thing to prioritize. For a year prior to deciding I researched not only which school but also how I could afford a giant student loan after graduating.

We have savings for the wedding + a bit extra (we plan to move states this year or next). I also don’t have a super great relationship with my manager or coworkers, so I didn’t actually “announce” anything (some of them know, some of them don’t). πŸ˜› So to answer your questions

How did you tell your supervisor you were engaged?

I think I just mentioned the wedding planning at some point. It wasn’t a big deal since we don’t have a great relationship. A few people noticed the ring and commented.

How did you time your wedding with finishing your degree?

I haven’t really planned that. I’ve taken a lot of business trips and things around school though, so it will just be another thing to prioritize, along with the honeymoon, which we may do in December. I won’t graduate for a few more years since I’m going part time.

How did you plan your budget not knowing what kind of work you’ll have after finishing school?

I already know the minimum salary I can make and what types of jobs I can take after my degree. I budgeted based on a current minimum salary (or even salary decrease). I actually started paying my loan off monthly the moment I started grad school so that I can pay on the principle until I graduate and cut the loan in half.

Post # 9
137 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011 - The Royal Park Hotel

Congratulations on your engagement! πŸ™‚ We got engaged in May of 2009, I finished my Ph.D. (in Neuroscience, holla!) in September of 2010, and our wedding date is May of 2011.

How did you tell your supervisor you were engaged? My PI actually asked me (lol). I had taken a week off to go on vacation with Mr. Tartlet, and the first thing he said when I came back to lab was “so, did he propose?” I was with Mr. Tartlet when I started grad school, though, so my PI was aware that the engagement clock was ticking. Had he not asked, though, I would have brought it up at our weekly meetings where he checks up on my experiment progress. If you don’t often have face-to-face meetings, you could mention it in the next e-mail you send as an FYI.

How did you time your wedding with finishing your degree? I knew I didn’t want to get married in the thick of writing my thesis and defending, so we set the absolute latest date we could (which ended up being when Mr. Tartlet finished med school). I was close to the end of my 4th year when we got engaged, so I drafted up a timeline proposal for my PI that had me graduating before May of 2011. Ideally I wanted to finish the Summer of 2010, but as science goes I didn’t end up defending until Fall. I think it’s good to give yourself a little bit of a cushion, but not so much that you rely on it to finish on time.

How did you plan your budget not knowing what kind of work you’ll have after finishing school? I had a good idea of how much I spent/saved in a year at this point on my stipend, so I projected that over the remaining time I would be a grad student, but I didn’t count on having a post-doc salary. I don’t like relying on theoretical money (if that makes any sense), so I did my best to calculate how much I would be able to contribute to the wedding. Mr. Tartlet also had savings from the couple of years he worked before going to med school, so we took that into account as well.

In my personal experience, I had to take the initiative to get the ball rolling on submitting papers, scheduling committee meetings, and applying for graduation. Grad students are cheap labor–and we’re pretty much at the mercy of our PIs–so naturally they want to keep us as long as their/our funding will allow. Be assertive but polite and respectful, and hopefully your PI will be receptive to this special time in your life! Good luck!

Post # 10
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Congrats on your engagement!

I told my supervisor right away but it was a long time coming and he new it.

I started my PhD in Sept 2008, got engaged in Aug 2009 and married in Aug 2010. I will be attempting to defend in Summer 2012 as well!

Obviously we didn’t wait till I was done! So we made a budget on what we currently can afford. 

Post # 11
43 posts
  • Wedding: July 2011

I didn’t tell my supervisor about my wedding plans. Honestly I’m rarely in touch with my supervisor. I’m doing an MED in Counselling Psych. so I do alot of course work and research papers vs. an actual supervised thesis/study. My boyfriend has been taking money out of his paycheque to pay for the wedding since we got engaged last May so that will cover the wedding costs (we share accounts so it’s our money, lol).

I will nearly be finished my grad program when the wedding comes around this summer, so I’m not really in the same situation as you. But I’m sure your supervisor will understand that you have a life outside of being a grad student, even if he isn’t family oriented. Tell him and make a joke that you won’t be taking over the grad office with your wedding plans πŸ™‚

Post # 12
5095 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Congrats and welcome!

– how did you time your wedding with finishing your degree? 

I’m finishing my PhD in history. I had hoped and planned on being done before the wedding, but it’s just not going to happen – I’m teaching class of my own (as opposed to TAing) this semester for the first time, at a school two hours away, as well as TAing another class. I just didn’t anticipate how much time and energy that would take up. Sigh. So I’m now hoping and planning to finish by the end of the summer.  We’re going to postpone the real honeymoon for a year, both because we have no money and so that I can finish. 

– how did you plan your budget not knowing what kind of work you’ll have after finishing school?

I have no postdoc/job lined up (not for lack of trying). So I’m applying now to everything I can find, but I still don’t know what I’ll be doing for money next year. SO scary. And my fiance actually left grad school without finishing the degree and is trying to find a job now. Our entire budget is coming from our families – bless them. If they weren’t paying for it, we would just have gone to the courthouse and had a nice lunch after or something. And again, we won’t be taking a honeymoon this year.

– how did you tell your supervisor you were engaged?

I casually mentioned it to her in a meeting. Her only concern is that she knows Fiance had a hard time in grad school and left, and she didn’t want me to undermine myself for fear of succeeding where he hadn’t.  (This is based on how slow I’ve been in working on the diss – sigh.) 

Post # 13
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’m not a grad student any more.  I officially finished December 2009, but I started my postdoc in August 2009.  While there is a slight increase in income, it’s not much, so I recommend you make your budget based on your income now.  We got engaged right after starting my postdoc, so it wasn’t really that hard to tell my supervisor.  He’s not family-oriented either.  He wasn’t really that phased.  My wedding is July 2011 and I’m nearing the end of my postdoc, though my advisor has offered to extend me through 3 years.  You should also plan to start hunting for a postdoc at least a year out.  I didn’t do this and I highly regretted this.  I’ve begun my search for the next step.  These things take time to plan and arrange moving and such.  The students that had a postdoc lined up had a firm deadline to keep them on track while writing.  It was one less stressor when they went for their defense. 

@tartlet: Holla!!  I got my PhD in Neuroscience too!!  I am excited because my diploma finally came in this week.  I didn’t walk and then my original got lost in the oblivion.  Urgh!!  Well at least it’s finallly here and it’s official!!!

Post # 14
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Hi! I am also planning my wedding while in a PhD program (humanities). I was ABD when we got engaged so I was through the coursework/qualifying exams but was still struggling with how to time everything given the amount of research and writing I still needed to do to finish the diss.

 how did you tell your supervisor you were engaged? 

CAREFULLY! I have a great relationship with my advisor however I was still wary of tellng hiim for fear that he would think I wouldn’t finish my diss. When I told him, I was clear about my timeline for finishing and my commitment to pursuing an academic profession afterwards. Its helpful that my fiance has a job that allows him to live wherever so he can be a trailing spouse.

how did you time your wedding with finishing your degree? 

We will have been engaged for almost 2 years by the time we get married which was on purpose–allowing me time to get a head start on the research I needed to complete as well as line up grants for the year after the wedding.

We are getting married over labor day weekend and taking our honeymoon over the winter holiday. I tried to plan it being conscious of the academic calendar and where I was with my work. The current timeline is defending the spring of 2012. I knew that I am a procrastinator so the lure of wedding planning would distract me. I mean, Hello…its 11 AM and I’m on weddingbee–obviously not writing my chapter like a good little student.


Good luck!

Post # 15
274 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

@LizTheProcrastinator: That sounds like a great plan.  I’m studying genetics in a mosquito/malaria lab.  One of my labmates is staying an extra year to do more experiments, and she wants to GET OUT.  Her boyfriend already moved to San Diego where she hopes to find a post-doc, so that puts another sense of urgency on both her and our PI.

It’s not fun disappointing anybody, but nobody will blame you for wanting to move on.  I wish you the best of luck!

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