The dress and stress: getting married in college

Katelyn Latture and her fiancé are getting married in November, during Latture’s last year at WKU. 

Katelyn Latture

A warm glow filled the towering ceilings, their windows revealing the night sky. It was just two days before Christmas, and Gaylord Opryland Resort hotel in Nashville bustled with people drawn to more than 3 million lights.

Lights wrapped around a number of trees big and small throughout the hotel, hung from the ceilings and seemed to cover everything else. As a native Middle Tennessean, they weren’t new to me, but there’s just something about Christmas time that always tugs on my heart strings.

It was past dinner time, and I was worn out from an evening party with family and sharing a room with my two-year-old niece for the past few days. No matter, my boyfriend, Taylor, and I found time to see the lights.

With my eyelids growing heavier, my stomach growling as if content to soon eat itself, Taylor persisted we venture to one of the hotel’s upper balconies. From there, we had a perfect view of the hotel’s most special tree, a 48-foot tree consistently designated the perfect backdrop for family photos.

Though I don’t remember everything Taylor said as we reached the balcony and stopped to admire the tree, I do remember him bending down on one knee to ask me to be his wife.

As expected, I burst into tears of joy. There were so many tears he had to ask me twice, because he couldn’t understand me the first time I said yes.

This was last Christmas during my junior year. I never expected to get married in college, but after dating Taylor for four years, it was hard to wait any longer.

Now just a month out from our wedding date, I find it funny how time flies.

Are we crazy?

People often say those getting married in college or shortly after are too young. In fact, one of my professors recently told me the same.

Though I agree that some people are too young or immature for such a decision, in our case, I think it makes total sense. Taylor and I started dating after he graduated high school, and it just doesn’t make sense to us to wait until a “more reasonable” age to tie the knot.

As of 2018, the median age Americans are getting married is between 27 and 29 years old, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As Taylor and I are 22 and 21 years old, respectively, to us, another five years of waiting doesn’t seem worth the delay.

I’ve also been told marriage isn’t easy, and people never fail to ask, “Do you really want to do that now?”

In my eyes, marriage is always challenging — getting married 15 years from now wouldn’t change that. To learn to occasionally put your spouse’s interests before your own and seek compromise when possible seems as good a way as any to avoid excessive complication.

San Francisco-based therapy group Well Clinic listed a few common arguments against marriage in a July 2019 article on its website. One of these included unrealistic expectations such as never feeling lonely again after getting married.

Obviously, marriage won’t fix your problems. You’ll feel lonely and misunderstood sometimes, and your spouse won’t always have an answer.

Though the decision to get married wasn’t a difficult one for me even when considering all potential pitfalls, the decision of when to get married was a different story.

Now in my senior year and set to be wed in the middle of the fall semester (Nov. 2, to be exact), the timing certainly wasn’t ideal. But after considering the costs, I’ve decided, as Rascal Flatts sings, “Why wait another minute?”

My own experience so far

I’ve already proposed to bridesmaids, researched venues, looked for a dress and done everything else one might expect planning a wedding entails.

But oh, yes — the dress. Everyone always wants to know about the dress. The search wasn’t quite as dramatic or glamorous as the television show “Say Yes to the Dress” makes it seem, but if you know me well, you’ll say the dress looks exactly like me. I’d give you details, but Taylor reads my articles … We don’t want to give him any spoilers.

Though planning the wedding has been fun, it’s hard when you’re a full-time student. With homework, extracurricular activities and a social life constantly vying for my utmost attention, I promise there’s hardly any time for planning details.

On top of that, I’m grasping for time with my parents and dogs and the bedroom I grew up in. I didn’t expect to leave home before graduating, so adjusting to not seeing them as frequently is probably more challenging than anything else.

Why it’s worth it

Despite the nonstop juggling of school work, transitional adjustments, time made for extracurriculars and church, premarital counseling and time spent with family and friends, everything’s worth it when I look at Taylor.

Every time I see him, I’m reminded why I’m planning this wedding. The party isn’t the purpose — the purpose is to be married to Taylor before God and all our loved ones.

In just one month, I know I’ll be walking down the aisle in the perfect dress (call me biased) to my future. And if you haven’t met Taylor, he’s one great, worth-the-wait future.

Features reporter Katelyn Latture can be reached at [email protected]