Wedding planning: the processes of engaged couples

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College students juggle school work, jobs, clubs and organizations on a daily basis. Toward the end of the semester, many find themselves starting to prepare for the future through internships and job interviews.

Some students, however, are also preparing for marriage.

It isn’t uncommon for couples to become engaged while still attending school. In fact, many students begin to think seriously about the future of their college relationships. For Julie Yankey, senior in marketing, and Corey Kingsland, senior in civil engineering, the thought of marriage is no longer just an idea but a reality. Kingsland proposed to Yankey last summer, before their senior year began.

Kingsland and Yankey plan to wed on May 29, 2015, right after they both graduate. Having just an eight-month-long engagement, the couple has been using monthly schedules and deadlines to help them stay on track with their planning process.

“The process of planning has been good,” Yankey said. “I got a lot done right before I moved back here to Manhattan, because we’re getting married back in Kansas City. It’s definitely difficult to balance studies, work, sorority and planning a wedding because I’m not in the same town as the location.”

Also newly engaged Jill Kuckelman, ’11 alumna and fiance Justin Miller have been using a set timeline from TheKnot.com, a wedding planning website, to help with the planning process.

“For me, the easiest way to begin planning was to get the three big things out of the way: the venue, the dress and the photographer,” Kuckelman said.

Kuckelman suggested students who are balancing many different projects try to find a venue that is already partially decorated. She said this is a helpful way to save time and money on “do it yourself” projects.

Kuckelman also said couples trying to budget their wedding should consider finding unique ways to cut back on cost.

“There’s always ways to cut budget down,” Kuckelman said. “For example, you can get flowers from Costco in bulk or have a florist compare more expensive flowers to similar looking ones of a less expensive price.”

Marin Willis, senior in public relations, who plans on marrying ’13 alumnus Drew Davis, is asking her family to help her decorate in place of buying a wedding gift. Willis admits, however, that with asking for help does come some challenges that have to be overcome.

“I think mainly the challenge with asking for help is having to accept that things won’t get done exactly how you want them to,” Willis said.

Like Willis, Kingsland and Yankey said they agreed that setting priorities are important.

“Sometimes I think it just comes down to what you value most,” Yankey said. “So we value the amount of guests that we can have and the things that will last the longest. We are finding a value in things like our photography and the people who are there because that will last, whereas the colors I choose wont. It’s about the marriage and not the wedding.”

Kuckelman said she would advise couples to not become too consumed with the idea of a perfect wedding, but to rather enjoy the small things.

“We look at it like it’s just one day,” Kuckelman said. “It’s not as important as it comes out to be.”

Creating a realistic timeline, deciding what is valued most and keeping a positive attitude throughout the process seems to be what all three couples are working on in their individual processes. Though weddings can be stressful, Kuckelman urges students to continue to have fun with their engagements.

“Treasure the moment and don’t get too stressed out,” Kuckelman said. “If you (don’t) have a budget, find out what that budget is and then start looking. Don’t go looking without knowing your budget because you will be disappointed. Remember that everything happens for a reason and don’t sweat the small stuff. Enjoy the moment, you only get to live this once.”

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