N is for Newlywed: Full-time student plans for marital bliss

Trey Crumbie

Last semester, Bethany Randall’s life went into hyper drive as she juggled the challenging tasks of planning a wedding on a budget, working at the School of Journalism and Broadcasting office and handling the pressure of a college schedule.

“Planning a low budget is challenging,” Bethany said. “I went back home every weekend to plan for it. I made the invitations, ordered the bridal cake, and picked out the colors.”

The 20-year-old Owensboro senior did most of the wedding planning herself, as her husband, Spc. Steven Randall, 22, is in the Army and was stationed in Germany.

With Bethany graduating in May, she will be able to live with her husband when he returns from Germany in late August or early September. The couple will be able to relocate together when Steven receives a Permanent Change of Station.

“It takes six months for the Army to recognize your marriage,” she said. “Once the marriage is recognized, I will be able to move with Steven to his next post, wherever that is.”

Bethany was not the only one juggling more than one life. Her husband also had to come to terms with the fact that he would soon be married despite having no idea when and where he would be stationed next.

“I was nervous,” Steven said via text message. “Most of the pressure was on Bethany. Considering she planned the whole wedding.”

Steven is currently stationed in Germany and was unable to be reached by phone.

With many conflicts of interest, Bethany had to make a choice of which part of her life would come first — particularly her part-time job.

“I scheduled my appointments around the wedding,” Bethany said. “I would tell the office that I wouldn’t be there in advance. I missed work more than I missed class.”

Last semester, Bethany was enrolled in 18 hours of classes. She said she did this so she could graduate earlier. She is currently pursuing degrees in mass communication and Spanish.

Scheduling conflicts were not the only setback Bethany experienced.

When ordering paper for the invitations, Bethany received the wrong color. She said the color fit into her scheme anyway and decided to go along with the invitations she was sent.

Bethany said although she did most of the wedding planning on her own there were other people who helped her along the way.

“They threw me a bridal shower in the SJ&B office,” Bethany said. “It was the only bridal shower I had. I didn’t have time to plan one at home.”

Bethany’s mother, Cathy Mullins, also helped make her daughter’s wedding experience a smooth ride.

“She did most of the planning, I just did most of the leg work,” Mullins said. “She’s an amazing young woman…we’re proud of her.”

Bethany and Steven were officially married on Jan. 3. Looking back, Bethany said that she knew it was all worth it in the end.

“The wedding turned out really good,” Bethany said. “Everything we worked for turned out awesome.”

Her husband agreed.

“Once I got home, it all fell into place and went smooth,” Steven said.

The couple enjoyed a three-day trip to Gatlinburg for their honeymoon. Steven left for Germany on January 10.

Bethany said her unique semester of balancing work, school and wedding planning gave her a glimpse of her future to come.

“The whole experience prepared me for being a military wife,” she said.