College is a busy time filled with classes, homework, meetings, clubs, internships, work and much more. But throwing a wedding into the mix makes it even more difficult. This article is about three current Katies who experienced it all. One that has already gotten married, and two that are currently planning their weddings.
“Planning a wedding while in college is ridiculously stressful since I am the chair for St. Catherine University’s Student Senate, a member of Lambda Sigma Tau and a part of MAPCS [MN Association of Private Colleges],” said Juliana Hillstrom ’17. “I wouldn’t be able to do this without my good friend and bridesmaid Danielle. She sends me wedding ideas on Pinterest and has been supportive throughout this process.”
Trying to plan a wedding on top of a crazy college schedule is not the only stressful component. Not having people behind you 100 percent with support also brings challenges.
“It’s really difficult to get married at this age,” said Hillstrom. “You would think that everyone in your life would support you, but not everyone supports a college wedding. It sounds cliché but those who don’t support you do not matter.”
Hillstrom and her fiancé have been together for a total of three years and at one point in their relationship they decided to take a three month break. “After that break, nothing in my life has ever been clearer,” Hillstrom said.
“Although getting married at this age has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, it has also been the most rewarding. If you ask me five years from now what I did my first sophomore year of college, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell you,” said Hillstrom. “But what I can tell you is that I fell in love and got married.”
Hillstrom and her fiancé had previously discussed and agreed that marriage was something that they both wanted. One day while playing board games with her boyfriend, Todd, and his parents, Hillstrom knew something big was going to happen since he was acting nervous.
Todd asked if he could hug her and she replied, “Nope, not until you ask me to marry you.” He then got down on one knee, pulled out a ring, and proposed.
Hillstrom and her fiancé will be having a summer wedding on July 11th at her fiancé’s church.
Christine McKenna ’15 is another current Katie that will be getting married this year. McKenna was proposed to by her fiancé, Austin, on January 31st behind the frozen Minnehaha Falls. McKenna was told that they were going on a special date and when she heard the word “special” she was expecting ice cream.
“We were exploring behind the falls for about 20 minutes when Austin unexpectedly got down on one knee, reached into his coat pocked, and pulled out a ring box,” said McKenna. “He said, ‘I know I have a lot of plans for my life, but nothing would make me happier than you being my wife.”
After having one of the biggest surprises of her life, McKenna whipped out a quick “Yes!” The happy couple then hugged and decided to leave the freezing falls and go out for a warm dinner and, of course, ice cream.
“We think our wedding will take place either in January or May 2016 in Iowa since it is the place where I grew up,” said McKenna. “Following the wedding will be breakfast and brunch foods since we love breakfast foods.”
McKenna’s fiancé currently suffers from Ulcerative Colitis and is undergoing expensive treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “Instead of having a wedding registry, we will be starting a fundraising page to help cover those medical expenses,” said McKenna.
These two Katies may still be in the process of planning their weddings, but last summer current Katie Lily Jacobson, previously Lily Stone, married the love of her life. Lily had not seen her boyfriend, Taylor, for almost a year since he was serving in Afghanistan, so not only the proposal, but also seeing Taylor, was a huge surprise.
It was an average day in Texas when Lily went on a hike with Taylor’s parents on June 2, 2013. “I was drawing a picture of the rocks for Taylor’s mother not knowing that she had asked me to do that to distract me,” said Jacobson. “Then unexpectedly Taylor snuck up behind me and surprised me.”
As happy tears filled Jacobson’s eyes, she had to ask herself, “Am I dreaming?” With both hands behind his back, Taylor got down on one knee and told her to pick a hand. Taylor ended up holding the box behind his back with both hands as a trick. He then proceeded his proposal, in which Jacobson responded with a quick, “Yes!”
“Planning a wedding was not as difficult for me during college because I had the support of my mother-in-law who already had experience since she had planned her daughter’s wedding,” said Jacobson. “It wasn’t difficult planning since we both love to plan and organize details”
On Aug. 2, 2014, Lily and Taylor Jacobson said their “I do’s” surrounded by their loved ones at the beautiful Mystical Rose Gardens in Baldwin, Wisconsin. It was a day that she will never forget.
“The advice I have for future bridesmaids is to have fun with it,” said Jacobson. “And to also be open-minded and use your resources and connections to build lasting memories. For example, at my wedding I had friends of mine sing, play the harp and piano, which in return created special memories for me.”
“Remember it is your special wedding day. Do not let drama or change of plans ruin it for you,” said Jacobson. “During the wedding day, enjoy loved ones around you and savor each moment as much as you can!”
Congratulations to current Katies Juliana Hillstrom and Christine McKenna on their engagements, and also Lily Jacobson on her wedding last summer. We hope that each of these three Katies creates wonderful memories as they embark on a new and exciting chapter in their lives with their special someone.