Kodie Stanley and Josh Ramsey are odd ducks among their college peers: they’re engaged. However, both agree they’ve noticed a rise among college students getting engaged while attending school and some of those students even get married before they graduate.
“It’s a cultural shift, I think,” Stanley, senior communication major, said. “My grandparents got married when they were sixteen and that wasn’t uncommon. To think about that now, it’s really weird. I talk to a lot of people (who) don’t want to get married until later in age and they’re established in a job.”
Despite the suggestion of waiting until they graduated and had jobs, Ramsey and Stanley decided it was the right time for their engagement. After dating for three years, they agreed there was no need to wait any longer. Ramsey asked, why wait?
“I’m happy with it,” Ramsey, junior computer science major, said. “I don’t mind that I’m still in school and working while trying to do this (plan a wedding). It’s worth it to me.”
Stanley said when students date someone they are most likely going to marry, it is logical to get engaged before making other serious life choices, such as employment location. It is important to ensure the goals of each partner support the other. In Ramsey and Stanley’s case, school serves as an equalizer for where they are in their lives.
“I want to work in professional baseball and I don’t know where I’m going to be working. I could be working here in Boise for the Hawks or I could be working in Detroit for the Tigers or something,” Stanley said. “Being able to have that discussion, now that we’re engaged, it’s like if we’re able to look towards a future of where we can do things for one another and it not be a deal breaker because we’re just dating and having a long distance dating relationship.”
Stanley’s number one piece of advice for college students planning a wedding is to consider budget. Wedding costs on top of academic debt is not uncommon for students getting married while in school. Stanley said the wedding costs (on top of school and other expenses) are a little daunting.
“I think the biggest thing about planning a wedding while you’re in college is money is a really big issue,” Stanley said. “It’s different than if we were out of school and working for a couple years because we’re working on a college budget and it’s not really customary anymore for my parents to pay for everything.”
Ramsey and Stanley recommend students should strive for a balance with schoolwork and wedding planning. Ramsey said he finds himself thinking about it while in class and Stanley has to put her homework first despite wanting to plan the wedding instead.
“I would say just don’t forget about school. Planning the wedding thing, it’s all fun and it’s more work than I ever would have ever imagined but it feels like it’s worth it,” Ramsey said. “If you’re doing it right then you’ll find time for both, have a lot of fun doing both.”
Quick tips for planning a wedding on a budget
Guest List:The easiest way to save money on your wedding is not to invite too many people. Close friends and family only.
The Dress: eBay, Craigslist and secondhand stores have designer dresses at significantly cheaper prices than those at a bridal salon.
Reception: Serve something other than dinner. Having a wedding lunch is a cheap alternative.
Recycle: Utilize “recycled” wedding sites such as wedding-recycle.com. You can find gently used wedding decorations, dresses and more for much cheaper than new.