Couples share the benefits and challenges of planning a ceremony while being in college

When some college students find love, they find it for life. On top of the regular responsibilities of being a Trinity student, those who are engaged to be married are planning their weddings and futures together, as well as explaining their decision to those around them.

“We easily clicked; I guess that is the best way to describe it. It just felt natural, like we had already known each other for years,” said Presciliana Gomez, a senior business administration major.

Gomez got engaged to her boyfriend Ryan Bernal, a senior business administration and mathematical finance double major, last May. They have a two-year-long engagement arranged, so that they won’t get married until 2018, a year after they have graduated and will have time to plan without the stress of college.

Other engaged students have found that it is easier for them to take at least a year to plan their wedding as well. Because Christian Citta, a junior business and German studies double major, is planning to marry his high school sweetheart in Italy, their wedding requires extensive planning and preparation.

The couple chose the romantic destination to get away from their hometown of San Antonio and have a deeper connection to the Catholic church. Citta explained his engagement as a next step that felt right.

“It’s different for every person. I think some people just feel ready at different times. I felt like when I did it, it was a good time, and I felt like I was ready for this step. It didn’t really matter about the logistics of getting married. It was more about making a promise than anything,” Citta said.

Despite all of the joy and celebration that these students get from planning their special ceremonies, they occasionally must deal with some opposition or negativity from their peers who think that they’re too young to be engaged to their partner.

“Sometimes our peers will ask us why we decided to get married when we’re so young or if we are worried. It is not difficult to deal with those questions. I understand why they are asking “” I definitely did not expect myself to be in this situation at my age. I am just honest with them. A few peers did ask if I am pregnant. The answer is no, I just like to eat,” said Dakota Frederick, a junior Spanish, political science and international studies triple major.

Frederick is engaged to her boyfriend Tanner Kohlfield and will get married this July. She is currently studying abroad in Ecuador, so the couple planned most of their wedding before Frederick left.

Students who are engaged urge their fellow Trinity peers to get to know them and their unique, individual situations before casting any judgment.

“You really have to get to know the people. You can’t really judge from the outside. We do work really well together, but our relationship is different from other people’s because I wasn’t able to live with my parents. I would live with friends [during school breaks], so when I got together with my fiancee, his parents didn’t want me house-jumping anymore. They asked me to live with them, so our relationship grew a lot quicker for that reason. So for us it made a lot more sense because we had been living together a little over a year when we got engaged. We knew how each other worked, all the little tid bits,” Gomez said.

Frederick also found her situation to be different than what she had always imagined, but is happy with the way things have happened nonetheless.

“I want people to know that sometimes these things just can’t be planned. I am very much a planner, and I still never envisioned being married in my twenties. But I believe that when you know, you just know. I have absolutely zero doubts that I want to spend the rest of my life with Tanner, and the fact that I discovered that at age 18 instead of 28 doesn’t make our relationship any less valid. Don’t force a relationship, nor get discouraged when one ends. When you are with the right person, you will just know,” Frederick said.

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