I have recently found myself among the relatively small number of young women who end up a bride and a college student simultaneously. It's not an easy combo.
My wedding day is coming up soon, and seeing how tough this process has been, I figured I'd let some of you ladies in on a few tips that will make your wedding day a stress-free, manageable and memorable occasion:
Fix your expectations.
Not "lower", just fix. Growing up, I pictured my wedding day as a lavish ceremony with hundreds of guests and a lush venue, decorated to perfection... until I realized that all I wanted was to be married to the man I love. The ceremony is, at the end of the day, a formality. So, I picked a different set of things I love. A simple ring, a cheap dress and tons of things to make me feel pretty, but I let the excess go.
Everywhere is a venue.
Do your parents or your best friend have a pretty backyard? Bribe them with cookies. Or, call your local judge executive and ask if the courthouse does weddings. That's how my man and I did it, and the judge executive has a lovely little chapel for ceremonies like these.
Don't invite the whole world.
You're working on a budget, so look through your life and pick five or fewer people to be there on your special day (for you and your boo each). Technology is a miracle, and Facebook Live will let all the rest of your loved ones be there in sight and in spirit.
Marry first, party after.
Because you can't have the whole world with you on your special day, treat yourself to a celebration or two with your people. For example, my fianc? and I are from different towns in the same state. We'll have a small ceremony with our friends there to witness, then we'll roadtrip to both our hometowns and party it up with our friends and family.
Let your inner fashion diva shine.
I can't afford a "real" wedding dress, so I went with a whole bride-chic aesthetic instead. I went to Forever 21 and bought a dress that's on trend and that sort of resembles a wedding dress. To add to that, I had a friend help me accessorize with things that fit the "something old, something new" tradition. It ended up better than I could have hoped for, and I spent about $20 on all of it.
Weddings are unspeakably exciting, but also stressful--especially for college students who can barely afford ramen. Never fear, though, it can be done. All it takes is a little creativity and flexibility.