Being a full-time student can take a lot of time and energy out of person. But add the stressful task of planning a wedding to it?

Now that’s just cruel.

When I said yes to my fiance Robert, the stress of juggling wedding planning, studying, and group projects definitely didn’t cross my mind. I was excited to embark on this new journey of my life. I was getting to plan my dream wedding, but moreover, I was getting to become Mrs. Robert Clary. Everything was absolutely perfect . . . until the stress slipped in.

I was transferring to a private university two hours away from my partner-in-crime, and having to plan this huge wedding with no help. Oh crap, how am I going to do this?, I thought. Well, I’m doing it, and here’s what I’ve learned along the way.

First, you have to prioritize everything – from spending time with your significant other to visiting wedding venues to studying for midterms. In my case, my fiance lives in Malakoff, Texas, a two-hour drive from my new home in Fort Worth. We have to plan in advance which weekends we will visit each other, and communicate constantly through phone calls and texts.

You also have to prioritize your wedding date and graduation date. Do you want to graduate first or get married first? If you’re okay with having a lengthy engagement, I suggest the former. It gives you more time to plan your school schedule and wedding ahead of time. Either way, be sure to give yourself enough time to educate yourself and to explore wedding ideas you may be interested in.

Find sources to help you with ideas and planning. Whether it be Pinterest, wedding bloggers, Youtubers, wedding fairs or wedding magazines, just search for anything that has to do with ideas you’re considering. Talk to people who are also planning a wedding or who have planned a wedding for ideas. People that work in the wedding industry can also be great sources. Wedding planners, past brides and wedding venue owners love to assist young brides with ideas or resources.

Have fun and make memorable moments. It’s not your parents’ or your partner’s best friend’s wedding, it’s yours – so make your dreams happen. In my case, mine and my fiance’s dogs are super important – so important that they’ll be joining the flower girl and ring bearer in the walk down the aisle. Don’t be afraid to have your wedding be a bit quirky – that’s what makes it your wedding. Don’t want cake at your wedding? Cut it out of your plans. I am. I’m serving cupcakes instead. Want to make your wedding into a huge carnival? Don’t clown around, just do it!

Take any critical comment with a grain of salt. If you’re a younger bride-to-be, you’ll likely be the talk of the town. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing, whether it be wait to wed after graduation, postpone college until after the wedding or just elope. Don’t let other people’s comments upset you or discourage you in your decisions.

Don’t feel like postponing isn’t an option. If the process of wedding planning and studying for college gets overwhelming, don’t be afraid to postpone. Sometimes, it’s just the most practical choice for you and your partner. The love you share won’t diminish before you receive your diploma. And if it does, thank the Lord you dodged that bullet!

No matter how much you stress about your education or wedding planning, remember this is both your wedding day and your degree. Do what you need to make sure you’re happy with whatever plan you choose to follow.