When Shaun and I first got engaged last January, we made a really big decision right off the bat. After a lot of back-and-forth and weighing the pros and cons on either side, we decided that it would be best for us if we chose to get married in summer 2012 (after my first year of law school, with 2 left to go) instead of fall 2014 (i.e., a few months after I would graduate from law school). We decided we didn’t want to be this couple:
(5 Year Engagement) By the way, I really want to see that movie.
Now, I feel the effects of that decision every single day. Don’t get me wrong – I am 100% committed to the fact that we made the right choice for us as a couple. But planning a wedding while in school (law school, no less) is not an easy thing. It certainly may not be for everyone, and judging by the looks and remarks that I get from a lot of people when I say I’m doing both at the same time, it may not be for most people. But here are some of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far:
- Time: This one is pretty obvious, but it takes time to plan a wedding. It also takes a lot of time and dedication to be a good student. If you’re not diligent about managing your time, it can be really easy to procrastinate on projects you don’t want to do…which never turns out well in the end.
- Focus: For me, at least, the wedding has provided a perfect excuse to get distracted constantly from my school work. Luckily, I got that out of the way kind of early and it’s more under control now.
- Being broke: I’m not lucky enough to be attending school on a full scholarship, so I have student loans and I live on a limited budget. This doesn’t exactly work well with trying to fund a wedding, which by definition is a party that costs way too much. I’m fortunate enough to have parents and a fiance who are willing to pick up my slack here…but it’s entirely possible that had we waited until I graduated, I would have been able to contribute more towards the cause as well.
- Living long distance: This one is by far the worst. When we chose 2012 as our wedding date, Shaun promised me that he would move to the city where I attend school to live with me for my remaining two years of law school. After that, we’ll relocate based on where I can get a position and where Shaun wants to work. Most likely, this will mean moving back to Northeast Wisconsin, maybe in the Green Bay or Appleton area. But all in good time. Those latter decisions don’t need to be made any time soon. Shaun still has to make the big move in spring, and I can’t wait to finally live together. I know he’s nervous, but I’m positive that it will all work out in the end.
It’s wonderful to be home on break, especially because that means that I get to see Shaun almost every day. But it’s still strange, because we don’t have our “own” place. When I’m here, I live with my parents. Shaun still lives with his parents for now to save some money for the wedding and the big move. I can’t wait until the time comes and we’re finally together every day. I can’t wait to go from being a weird, long-distance engaged couple to being a regular married couple.
In short, I can’t wait for the juggling act to be over.