Created By: Goldfritha on April 8, 2012 Last Edited By: Goldfritha on February 11, 2013

First Comes School Then Comes Marriage

A couple defer marriage until one or both completes school.

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Trope
No matter how madly in love the characters are, they may defer marriage until one, or both, finish up the school they are attending. This is usually college, but may be high school.

May be required to establish the man financially so he can support them. High school may be required to establish that they are old enough, or even to evade a Parental Marriage Veto because of their youth. Can also be used to show that even though it was Love at First Sight, it was not a shallow infautation.


Examples

Film
  • Idiocracy began by showing present-day intellectual types talking about further defering marriage and procreation until after college, then Master's degrees, then Doctorates, etc., and ending up getting too old to have children; while more impulsive and foolish young teens/adults were having one "accidental" pregnancy after another. This established how the world ended up as it did in the movie, a few centuries later.
  • The film The Five-Year Engagement.

Literature
  • Anne of Green Gables accepts Gilbert's proposal despite his warning that his attending medical school means he can't marry until it's done.
  • In the Back Story of The Girl Who Chased the Moon, Vincent meet his wife Lily while he was thirty and she was attending college. They married as soon as they graduated.
  • In Jane Yolen's Snow In Summer, the heroine marries in the epilogue five years after the main events, when Willy graduates.

Theater
  • In Our Town, people in Grover's Corners typically get married when they finish high school.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • April 10, 2012
    ThePuppyTurtle
    Chairs
  • April 10, 2012
    nman
    ^Perhaps making it about characters who are of the legal marrying age deciding to finish college before getting married would make this non-chairsitty?
  • April 10, 2012
    Nocturna
    I don't see how this is chairs. Choosing to delay marriage is always going to have plot and/or characterization significance.

    That said, I think this needs to focus more on why the couple delays marriage (i.e. the aforementioned plot or characterization significance), rather than just on the fact that they delay marriage.
  • February 10, 2013
    Prfnoff
    In Our Town, people in Grover's Corners typically get married when they finish high school.

    (Now that I look over it, this is different from what the OP says: "defer marriage until," not "marry as soon as.")
  • February 10, 2013
    StarSword
    It's not chairs. It is, however, very similar to Jailbait Wait.
  • February 11, 2013
    Frank75
    The film The Five-Year Engagement.
  • February 11, 2013
    nitrokitty
    Not Chairs. Case in point, one reason for this trope is to characterize the lovers as pragmatic people who want to complete their education and become financially secure before settling down.
  • February 11, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Film

    Idiocracy began by showing present-day intellectual types talking about further defering marriage and procreation until after college, then Master's degrees, then Doctorates, etc., and ending up getting too old to have children; while more impulsive and foolish young teens/adults were having one "accidental" pregnancy after another. This established how the world ended up as it did in the movie, a few centuries later.
  • February 11, 2013
    Nocturna
    Re: Star Sword: This has very different implications and connotations than Jailbait Wait. Yes, they both involve waiting for some romantic/sexual milestone, but that's about it.
  • February 11, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Which would be why I didn't say it was the same thing. If that's the way it came across, my bad. It's a Compare thing, not a Yes We Do Have This One thing.
  • February 11, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Web Comics
    • Kevin And Kell: When Lindesfarne finally accepted one of Fenton's repeated proposals (she didn't feel ready) it was on the condition that they finish college first, despite her future in-laws trying to speed things up.
  • February 11, 2013
    MrRuano
    Clannad: Tomoya and Nagisa have been in a relationship for a while, but they decide to get married only once Nagisa finally graduates, actually combining their marriage with her graduating ceremony.
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