Post # 1
Hi everyone! I’m new to the board, just got engaged in June, and very excited to be marrying an amazing man! I’m hoping that I can use your collective wisdom in helping me decide when to have our wedding.
The story is that I’m currently between my 5th and 6th year in a science PhD program, and will be graduating (and defending my dissertation) next April-May. In my field, jobs are pretty limited, so if I want to keep doing the science I’m doing we’ll be moving wherever I get a job next year (fiance works in a field where he can most likely get a job just about anywhere, so we will move with my career).
We really want to be married in about a year. But here’s the thing: I’m not sure how I’m going to get all this done — I will be simultaneously writing my dissertation, teaching, applying for jobs, and planning the wedding! It seems like so much. My family is willing to help, but live 1200 miles away, so I’m not sure how much they’ll be able to do.
But if we wait and have the wedding in two years, who knows where we’ll be living? We already have a complicated situation with guests as my entire family lives 1200 miles away from his (who live here) and many of our close friends are in my program (graduating at the same time as me, and thus also moving away from our current city next August).
I don’t know what to do, and am facing a lot of pressure from family and friends to set a date… help! Any advice? Should we have a two-year engagement and just deal with all our friends and family being dispersed everywhere? Or do we try to plan the wedding for our current location within the next year, concurrently with writing a dissertation and applying for jobs?
Post # 2
Just do it! Maybe plan it for after your dissertation though, so you’re not a total stress case.
I’m in school, and planning a wedding for next summer. It is totally do-able if you are decent with time management. I work as well, and am planning from a distance, though not as far as you. 3 hours drive and one hour ferry ride.
The thing that saved my sanity is that we hired a wedding planner. She charges either 350$ or 10% of your vendor costs, and she and her team will set up and take down the day off. She is amazing and I couldn’t do it without her. Only my Grandma and Uncle live where we are getting married, and I can’t really depend on them to scout vendors etc.
I also have an involved FH so that helps. We’re getting married by an officiant based here, so our pre-marital counselling is happening here and I’m wedding dress shopping here, both these things make it easier.
It’ll be busy, but weddings are only as stressful as you make them. I took two weeks this summer, and just hammered out the big details, and am slowly making the smaller decisions as needed. I’m basically letting my wedding planner pick my photographer. Figure out what is really important to you and your Fh, and then delegate the rest! Figure out what you are good at, what overwhelms you, and what you have time for. That will really help. I don’t have time to go through 100s of photographers blogs to figure out what I like and can afford. She knows my budget, and she brought me 3 potentials. We’re doing a skype meeting with one next week, hoping it goes well! Also I care about florals, therefore I’m handling the meetings with florists, though my guy came to the first one. I don’t much care about cake, but he does, so he’s in charge of picking the bakery, the cake flavour and the decoration of the cake.
Good luck and happy planning!
Post # 3
How big of a wedding do you want? How traditional?
I planned my wedding in the middle of a work phase that is right up there wwith dissertation stress and moved 3 months later. It was doable because I’m really good and planning and I knew when I had to stop caring. I paid more to hire good people.
A year later I am happily married with a less stressful job. I am so happy I got married last year–it was the right thing for us. However, there’s a lot of wedding planning I missed out on. I had no time for bridal shows, multiple tastings and trials, or any DIY. I did the bare minimum to have a nice enough wedding and waa super stteased out.
If I were you, I’d do February or June so you have a little separation of the two events or postpone until the fall. People will make an effort to be there for you
Post # 4
sydney.chamberlin: I’m also in a phd program, but not in the dissertation stage. I am getting married in 3 months and planned my wedding from across the country with my moms help (i am getting married an hour away from my hometown). I did what I could over the internet/phone, over christmas break, and then came home last month for a week and a half. I’ve gotten a lot done in the little time I’ve had, but I really am not going over the top and spending it’s definitely not my priority.
I saw go for it! You can do the typical evening wedding, or may it even more low key and have a morning wedding with a brunch! Good luck with the wedding and with defending!
Post # 5
It is do-able. If it makes you feel any better, I take two attorney bar exams in t-minus 90 hours-ish (YES – FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW) and my wedding is in 3 months and it will be amazing 🙂 be prepared for stress though!
Post # 6
I am in the exact same position — going into the 6th year, finishing the diss for May, then moving wherever I get a job. Honestly, I can only recommend planning at the same time as finishing if you have truly realistic expectations for the wedding and either have friends to help you or the ability to hire a planner or very involved vendors. We tried and sort of failed, ha ha. We are holding off for now because the end of the dissertation is boom and bust for me. I write, I get comments back, then suddenly I disappear into the lab for a month and can’t deal with anything else. My SO has his heart set on a fairly big wedding, so he’s going to have to wait until I am Dr. FossilLady or else take the backyard BBQ wedding that I could pull off in between research and writing!
Post # 7
Totally doable! I’m also doing a science PhD and am trying to defend this fall, getting married this August. Here are some I think helpful tips that made it easier for us:
1. Make sure you have a supportive fiance who is willing to help shoulder the burden of wedding planning, we are pretty much split 50-50 on tasks. I would also plan the wedding local to where you are located so you don’t have to fly back and forth between your hometown and your current location.
2. I forgo the bridal shower and the bach. parties, but that’s only because my bridesmaids are so far away, but if they wanted to plan something it won’t be difficult for me to attend.
3. We hired professionals for most things, and only DIY the invitation and will DIY the flowers. We also wrote our own ceremony programs/vows. Anything we DIY I know to expect that it won’t be perfect. I’m also not really that into decorations so I’m not bogged down by crafts and projects which can be a huge time sink.
Wedding planning doesn’t have to be that hard. We are having an 100 people wedding so I can’t speak for large weddings like 250-300. People just need to be comfortable, fed and entertained by some good music.
Post # 8
I was in nearly an identical situation planning my wedding, and while it was stressful, I just planned it while working on my dissertation and it was so perfect and special. Like you, I don’t know where I’m going to be after the dissertation, so I wanted to get married when I knew where I would be- plus we just wanted to get married. I got married in my hometown 600 miles away. My parents helped do some things locally, and my fiance was a HUGE help because he knew how much I had on my plate. Because I couldn’t dedicate my life to wedding planning, I tried to keep it simple by choosing an all-in-one venue, and only choosing vendors that had some basic pricing/ work samples online (so I could narrow it down without much effort and only have to meet with 1 or 2 vendors in person while I was in town). We did some DIY projects to save money- invitations, streamer wands, card box, cake stand, but we started all those early and I did them with my fiance (it ended up being like a date night for us). The wedding turned out absolutely perfect and I’m just so happy to be married
Post # 9
Having done both, it’s really not a big deal. Go for it. Don’t delay your life because of your career – in this line of work, you would never have a life if you do.
Post # 10
Go for it. Get your mom and fiance to help as much as possible, manage your time wisely, and you’ll be just fine.
Post # 11
Don’t do it! Reconsider!
I got married during the school year, in undergraduate, and it was not fun, even though “most” of the planning was done the summer before. I have a lot of experience with the Ph.D. process. Please give yourself a break. This sounds like a shitstorm of stress. There’s no hurry.
And, just for giggles, my favorite family pressure story, which my mom now denies: I got married in November of my senior year. My mom was trying to convince me to get pregnant in August and September of that year. “No one cares if you get pregnant before the wedding these days!”
“Mom, if I get pregnant now, I’ll have a due date right around finals.”
And no, I did not get pregnant. Thank goodness.
Post # 12
franklyn: Dude, you’re planning a wedding for a YEAR FROM NOW. A YEAR. GTFO. You haven’t even met wedding stress yet.
Post # 13
paxie: While based on my comment above, you are right, this is actually the second wedding I’ve planned. The first was postponed at short notice because my fiancé was diagnosed with a serious illness, he was in the hospital, and the doctors couldn’t tell me whether he would love or not. We wanted him to stabilize before getting married, so I cancelled the first one, and now we are starting from scratch. Both weddings are planned while I am in school.
Post # 14
Just do it, you’ll be fine. I defended my PhD last June, we packed up and moved across the country a week later, and our wedding was less than two months later back on the opposite side of the country. My mom helped a lot, and we hired a DOC who took over about 6 weeks before the wedding. I’m not a super emotional, dramatic person, and I’m very organized and efficient, so it really wasn’t that bad for me. I thought wedding planning was fun, and it was a really great time in our lives with all the big changes. I guess it depends on your personality, but I would just get married when you want to get married.