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Students juggle class work and wedding planning

BY KELSIE O’KEEFE
okeeke@mnstate.edu

Graduation is just around the corner, although some students are ready to trade their graduation cap for a wedding veil.

Danelle Blotter is in love and isn’t waiting to finish school before showing the world.

Danelle Blotter and Luke Schlichenmayer SUBMITTED PHOTOS

She and her fiancé Luke Schlichenmayer will be married August 6, before Blotter starts her last semester of classes in mass communications and Schlichenmayer moves to Fargo to begin fieldwork for his occupational therapy license.

“We decided that we really didn’t want to wait until I was graduated from college,” Blotter, 21, said, “and it worked out well … I will graduate this fall and so it worked out well that Luke would move to Fargo after we are married and then I will graduate. So we’re only having one semester of me in college while we are married.”

Blotter has found there are difficulties in planning a wedding between going to school, working and doing homework.

“Motivation,” Blotter said. “I have no motivation. Some days are good, some days are bad. One of the biggest difficulties is the stress, worrying if I’ll meet my time lines, not only for school but also for wedding plans and details.”

Before going on their honeymoon in Colorado, Blotter and her fiancé will be married in a casual, country summer ceremony in her small, hometown church in Turtle Lake, Minn.
Their reception will be held on her family farm with mason jars, milk bottles, lights in the trees and lawn games like croquet and ladder ball.

While Blotter will be spending a week outdoors in the mountains, Anne Voeller, a 21-year-old human development and family science major at NDSU, isn’t sure she can fit a honeymoon into her school schedule.

“I will be in the middle of graduate school and we are unsure what Brayden (fiancé) will be doing,” Voeller said. “We thought of maybe taking a long weekend up north and renting a cabin right after the wedding and then going on a more traditional honeymoon the following year (2013) when I finish graduate school.”

Anne Voeller and Brayden Witt


Just days ago Voeller and her fiancé, NDSU student Brayden Witt, had to change their wedding date in Woodland Hill Winery vineyard in Delano, Minn., after receiving Voeller’s graduate school schedule from Augsburg College.

“I would have class on June 23, 2012, our wedding date,” Voeller said. “So, we decided to move the wedding back three weeks until July 14. There’s an example of an obstacle with planning a wedding as a student.”

Voeller wasn’t expecting to plan a wedding while still in school.

“I’m actually surprised that he asked me already,” Voeller said. “I thought we would wait until after finishing school, but I couldn’t be happier. The biggest struggle for me is to actually work on homework instead of browsing the Internet for wedding stuff.”

Although they’ve been dating for five years and talked a lot about marriage, Voeller got engaged in October and wanted a summer wedding with more than eight months to plan so they set the date for 2012.

“We didn’t want to rush into planning everything while finishing up our senior year,” Voeller said.

The Advocate’s own features editor Erica Anderson, 21, has loved the rush of planning a wedding with a short engagement.

After dating for just 10 months, Anderson and her fiancé, Scott Kingston, were engaged in September. With less than seven months of planning, they’re getting married this Saturday in a small church in Park Rapids, Minn.

“We decided to have a shorter engagement,” Anderson said. “I’m so glad we did, I highly recommend having a short one. It’s more exciting … it was challenging but the stress kind of made it fun.”

Anderson hand-made all her decorations, invitations and programs with some help from her sister and friends. So when their plans changed from a large wedding in September to a small, personal ceremony in March and back to a large wedding, like every other student on campus, Anderson and her fiancé were thinking about spring break and decided to keep the March date so Anderson could have week to finally relax.

“All my flowers are fabric or paper,” Anderson said. “Going to school I was able to be around computers with InDesign and a printing shop so I could design the programs and invites and get them printed in the same location.

Scott Kingston and Erica Anderson

Anderson has always wanted a long honeymoon right after her wedding, but with the expense of a large ceremony, school, and her fiancé’s new job, their honeymoon plans have been put on hold. But Anderson isn’t disappointed.

“The big picture is that you’re going to be married on that day and that’s incredibly powerful and exciting,” Anderson said. “It really doesn’t matter how it turns out, I get Scott as my husband out of the whole deal and if everything else flops that’s OK. I get the best part.”

Although she wouldn’t change a thing, Anderson admits her coursework has suffered slightly in the shadow of planning a wedding.

“I had to learn to balance it all,” Anderson said. “I’ve been in school for four years, I only get one wedding. So the wedding trumped school stuff at times. I had to skip a class for dress alterations, I’m fine with that. Even just understanding that maybe not putting 100 percent into a class is OK. I told Danelle Blotter that you’ve just got to let some things go. If having the wedding you want means getting a C in a class, then that’s a small price to pay. You’ll soon forget the C you got but you’re not going to forget your wedding.”

Through all the classes, homework, planning and multitasking, all three brides said they wouldn’t change a thing.

To read more from this writer, view her blog at kelsieokeefe.blogspot.com

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