Monday, May 20, 2013

Being a Bar Bride

Something that a lot of commenters on Weddingbee have asked me about is what it was like to plan a wedding while also studying for the bar exam. It's that time of year again, so I figured I'd address that now.

Studying for the bar exam was, without a doubt, one of the hardest things I have ever done. Maybe THE hardest thing I've ever done. It was time-consuming, intellectually challenging, and physically and emotionally exhausting. You know what else is all of those things? Wedding planning. So here are my tips on how to combine the two without going insane.

Choose your date wisely
The busiest time of studying for the bar exam is the last month before the wedding. The busiest time of wedding planning is the last six-eight weeks before the wedding. Unless you have a lot of help, I would recommend picking a wedding date that's at least two months after the bar exam. We got married exactly two months and four days after I finished the bar exam, and I'm happy that we had that much time in between the two.

Triage your to-do list early
Decide what needs to be done and when to do it. It will be unavoidable to send out invitations in the middle of July if your wedding is Labor Day weekend, but that doesn't mean you have to wait until the middle of July to address envelopes or put everything together. Take advantage of the time you have at the beginning of the studying process and the time you have after the exam is done. The month of the exam is not the time to tackle major DIY projects or schedule a bunch of fittings. If at all possible, put things off until after the bar exam is over.

Delegate, delegate, delegate
You're marrying your fiancé(e) because he/she is a great teammate, right? Well, it's time to pass the ball to him/her for a little while. Adam designed our invitations, figured out tuxedo rentals for the guys, put together our shower invitation list, and corresponded with vendors while I was deep in study mode.

Don't forget about your relationship
Studying is incredibly stressful. If you're anything like me, you will have multiple breakdowns. Especially after you bomb your first practice test. (Don't worry; everyone fails it and you still have plenty of time.) It's so easy to lash out at your partner in times of stress, but try to remember they're on your team. It's also easy to study 24/7 and never let yourself have any fun. Give yourself a couple of nights off from studying and crack open a bottle of wine or go out to dinner. These date nights are also opportune times to do wedding-related tasks like choosing readings, music, or cake flavors. Yay for multitasking!

I promise that you will survive this stressful summer (or winter, if you're a February bar taker) and survive the wedding planning process. Just keep you eye on the prize. You can do it!

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