Being a Bar Bride

A lot of commenters have asked me about 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 to 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!

BLOGGER

Mrs. Treasure

Location:
Chicago
Wedding Date:
September 2012

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comments

  1. Member
    panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:17 pm

    I can’t believe you were studying for the bar at the same time as you were planning a wedding! I think you have some great tips here!

  2. Member
    xoxolaura 20 posts, Newbee @ 1:37 pm

    Good tips :)
    My fiancé is taking the bar next July/August and the wedding is mid September so this is helpful.

  3. Member
    ladymegbeth 227 posts, Helper bee @ 3:24 pm

    I….I can’t even IMAGINE. You are amazing. O.o

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    koalawalla, Guest @ 3:58 pm

    I put off our wedding for a whole year to avoid the planning and studying collide (it was very important to me to be married in August). Passed the bar, moved on to wedding planning, and now due to a surprise job offer I’m taking the bar in another state… 3 weeks before the wedding. I guess even with the best planning, sometimes life just happens!

  5. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:58 pm

    @koalawalla: Good luck!

  6. Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 6:27 pm

    My MOH got married a week and a half after the bar. Cray. Also, if your partner is also studying for the exam, try not to kill each other…not that I would know anything about that…
    Great tips!

  7. Member
    adventurer 209 posts, Helper bee @ 6:31 pm

    Love this post. I have taken the bar and am planning my wedding now and if I had to do them both at the same time I might have a breakdown! :) Congrats on all accounts :)

  8. Member
    Miss ABC 208 posts, Helper bee @ 7:44 pm

    Wow, I still don’t know how you did both!

  9. Member
    msnashvillelawyers 31 posts, Newbee @ 7:54 am

    Thank goodness I got the bar over with about a year before the wedding, but my fiancé was studying for his bar while we were planning the wedding. It was actually nice because when I was busy planning the out of town wedding, he could have some quiet time to study.
    Another tip: One of our law school buddies got married the day after the results of the bar came out, and he didn’t pass. Needlesstosay, I cannot imagine the emotions of studying and not passing and then getting married the next day! So, if possible, find out around the time of the results so you can also plan around that.

  10. Member
    mstreasure 1655 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:57 am

    @msnashvillelawyers: Oh, yikes. I actually found out that I passed on our honeymoon 2 days after our wedding. I told myself that if I passed, it would be awesome, but if I failed, at least I was on my honeymoon. Wedding planning was the perfect distraction from the waiting game.

  11. Member
    mswallaby 2039 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:25 am

    I can’t imagine juggling wedding planning with studying for the bar – I would probably get stressed and run off with Mr. W to the courthouse. Great tips – and congrats again for passing the bar!

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    Talia Tieman, Guest @ 1:27 pm

    I just want to say THANK YOU for posting this! I have told my boyfriend, time and time again, that proposing while either of us are studying for the bar exam is a bad idea. ESPECIALLY for when I study. But, you have actually given me the sense that it can work. I don’t handle stress well, and I feel like my world would collide into a black hole if I attempted to plan any ounce of a wedding while studying for the bar. Not to mention wanting to look at “all the pretty things” instead of study. Congrats on making it through both of those amazing things in your life!

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Talia Tieman, Guest @ 1:29 pm

    @msnashvillelawyers: I CANNOT IMAGINE finding out that i didnt pass the day before the wedding. That is an excellent tip! Thank you!

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