The first moments are so exciting when your significant other has popped the question. You are in bliss and enjoy knowing that you are about to spend the rest of your life with your partner. But not before long, the dreadful question of, “How long should our engagement be?” comes up, and you start asking how long is too long.
So, how long is too long to be engaged? There is no such thing as being engaged for too long; it comes down to personal preference and circumstance. Although, any engagement longer than 2 years is considered a long engagement. Couples typically get married within 15 months of being engaged.
What may be a long time for one couple or person may be considered short for another?
A lot has to do with expectations.
And then there are commitments to consider.
Some couples prefer to get financially stable during the engagement period, saving up a nest egg for their wedding, honeymoon or dream house.
For others, it’s all about the wedding day and it can’t come soon enough! Engagement is simply a means of the time required to plan the wedding.
So, there is no exact number here.
But there are commonalities, and engagements never tend to last more than a few years.
This is something you, as a couple, need to decide.
Let us now explore this topic further so that you can, effectively, do so.
How Long Should You Be Engaged Before Getting Married?
There is no exact or specified time-frame that you should be engaged for or how quickly you should get married. However, there is something to be said for taking in the moment and enjoying this period.
Generally, many people would recommend waiting about three weeks before even thinking about planning your wedding – it allows you to soak at the moment.
In some cases, it also lets the person who was being asked the question make sure that they were answering correctly with a clear head.
While most of the time, the person does say the right answer, it can be an overwhelming moment.
It allows the engaged couple to logistically process the wonderful moment as well.
The better question is what should you do during that period!
What Should I Do During My Engagement Period?
The engagement period is a time to celebrate, plan and get thinking! Besides, you have a lot coming up that needs to be arranged and coordinated, and thought-through.
At the same time, this will help you determine how long you want to be engaged.
A big wedding will need more time and money, so that might alter what you do.
Having said that, here are the things you should do when you are engaged!
- Ask Yourselves About The Wedding
- Detox Dates
- See Your Immediately Families
- Have The Marriage Talk
Asking yourselves what you want in a wedding is the easiest way to determine how long you will be engaged.
If you plan on having a 500-person wedding or a destination wedding, you’ll need significant time to book venues, trips, and many more of the fine details.
If you have specific “dream wedding” venues and ideals, this can take a while because of how advanced these places are booked out.
We all know the term Bridezilla.
But what we don’t know is Bridezilla develops from the stresses of planning a wedding while she’s engaged.
Let’s call it Frantic Fiancé.
Unfortunately, this even leads to engagements being called off because planning a wedding can be all-consuming.
This is why it is imperative to continue making time for your relationship.
The engagement process is supposed to be fun and a memorable experience.
Try something new with your partner, like a cooking class, or stay in for your favorite date nights.
This keeps the emphasis on the relationship.
Time With Family
There is something both exciting and scary about starting a new family with someone while breaking free of the yours.
With all the stresses of planning a wedding, it can be equally as important to spend time with your immediate family because there will be a change of dynamics in the future.
They can give you good advice and be a wonderful support system for you throughout the process.
Have The Marriage Talk
Often couples will be so caught up in the excitement of the engagement (rightfully so) that they may have forgotten to talk about the important stuff.
Hopefully, you did this before getting engaged, but if you haven’t, at some point, it is good to talk about logistical things like where you want to live?
How many kids if any? Etc.
You would be surprised at how many people don’t know the answers to these questions from their partner’s perspective.
How Can I Enjoy My Engagement?
Enjoying your engagement is all about balancing the stressors with the joyful moments an engagement should bring.
The truth is, there will be times when you do feel overwhelmed. But this will pass.
At the same time, there are some things you can do to ensure that this period, with significant decisions, is a positive one.
Why wait to start your honeymoon?
Getting engaged is an exciting moment and the mark of a new chapter.
Taking a vacation right off the bad with your soon-to-be is not only romantic but very rewarding.
It gives you a little R&R but also some time to just focus on the two of you. Sometimes a couple can feel obligated to start the parade tour right away by seeing friends and family talk about how it happened, show the ring, and all that fun.
But this can be a draining way of starting out an engagement. Opt for a weekend away instead.
Spend Time With Family
Let’s talk a little more about this one in specific.
While exciting, sometimes it can be overwhelming for people to think about leaving their immediate family in exchange for a new one.
This is how cold feet normally come about.
However, spending some time with family can reassure you that you are still an essential part of your family even when you are engaged.
Take out your fiancé from the detox date and add in your mom, dad, or siblings.
It can be great to do small things like paint and wine night to get your mind off logistics and just to have some good old fashion quality time with the ones you love.
Don’t forget your friends!
It can be easy to be sucked up into everything and forget your main squeezes.
Enjoying a friend’s night is so important not only by yourself but also sometimes as a group with your fiancé.
Doing couples/game nights is a great way to have fun and bond with other couples. They may even be able to give you friendly advice if they have already been through the process.
When Should You Start Planning Your Wedding?
It would be best if you started to plan your wedding in relation to the wedding date and the amount of planning/preparation required.
Minus the briefly mentioned three-week rule, planning for your wedding is going to be complicated – no matter how long or short your engagement is.
The question becomes a little less about when to start planning for your wedding and more about when to plan what for your wedding.
Let’s talk about when you need to plan things such as venues that you want to host the wedding at, looking into the tasting of the food, saying yes to the dress, and more.
Here is a loose timeline of how to plan properly.
Of course, remember it’s dependent on the type of wedding you are having.
Where your wedding is being held is usually the first thing that gets planned.
This will determine a number of the other things that will happen down the road, so finding the venue and securing it should be your first step.
The usual timeline for finding a desirable venue is nine months to a year with the exception of some brides dinging a venue in six months.
This will depend on the popularity of the caterer you wish to go to.
You can’t contact caterers until you have a rough idea of party size, venue, and date.
Having said that it’s not a bad idea to start as early as eight months when getting into this process because the good ones go fast!
Oh, the dress! This can be a lot of fun and sometimes a headache.
How jealous are we when a bride gets it done on the first try?
All kidding aside dress shopping is one of the best times with your girlfriends.
The more specific you want a dress and the more unique it is, the more advanced you need to plan.
Some brides will recommend starting out as early as one year before the date.
This is especially true if you plan on shipping the dress in from anywhere. S’il vous plait Paris?.
Make It Yours
The reality is no one should be telling you how short or long to have your engagement be.
It is always up to the couple and what they are ready for.
However, for those who don’t know what reasonable time frames are when it comes to planning the wedding and being engaged, you may range from a few months to a few years.
Ideally, you will want to center your engagement around how long it will take you to plan your wedding.
However, as we know, this is not a one-size-fits-all situation.
This is because you could have your wedding be super small and casual and want a longer engagement.
The only thing you need to consider is having enough time for your ideal wedding.
Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!