Down on one knee, they asked you to be their "forever." Your best friends went screaming with excitement and everyone around you cheered this monumental moment. Getting engaged is awesome for so many reasons. From getting all the time in the world to plan your wedding to find ideas on how to announce your engagement on social media and make everyone jealous, a whole new world awaits a just engaged couple. This is the time for the newly engaged couples to set a foundation for the newly formed family, and instead of freewheeling on the road of wedding planning, many couples choose to have an extended engagement for various reasons. From planning the arrival of a baby and working on building a blended family to exploring and traveling the world before making a huge financial commitment of a wedding or simply enjoying the new fiancé status, couples from all walks of life are opting for a longer engagement for so many beautiful reasons.
Nothing will ever prepare you for the feeling of getting asked by someone to marry you and being on the side to say the big "yes"! Probably you have never felt the adrenaline rush quite like it until this moment, whether it's a surprise proposal over the holiday or a proposal you have seen a long time coming. However nerve-wracking and exciting and thrilling it might seem, it is important to press the pause button for many couples right after they get engaged, even though their loved ones bombard them with a zillion questions. Every couples' time frame is different and while many couples want a short engagement because they can't wait to be married, there are many who take their own sweet time and decide a longer route to get married for various reasons like saving money for the wedding or to focus on building a rock-solid foundation before tying the knot.
Here are some reasons and tips revolving around long engagements:
Embrace this precious time
A lot of people have a lot of opinions about how long an engagement should last. But your engagement is only yours and just like so many major things in life, deciding on ‘when’ to marry shouldn't be a cookie-cutter decision for you and your sweetheart. If you have decided on having a long engagement before you deep dive into the sea of post-wedding responsibilities, it is time for you to embrace this joyous transition of you and your partner from 'dating' to 'engaged' in the best ways possible. According to many popular wedding advice websites and blogs, it is always nice to wait for a few months or years after engagement before moving on to wedding planning. You may have just met and decided to get engaged or spent decades, but an extended engagement will enable you to enjoy your time as fiancés! Your engagement is a personal relationship milestone that the two of you should celebrate without jumping into the bandwagon of the wedding planning timeline. There are no rules or average length of engagements, but this time should be all about spending your precious moments with the people who matter the most– you and your fiancé.
Plan about your engagement announcement
The most exciting pre-wedding moment- announcing the brand new relationship status is a super exciting moment for every couple! Now that you have exchanged your engagement rings, it is time to put all your butterflies and giddy feelings to rest and announce your engagement to everyone who will be happy to hear how happy you are at the moment. But if you have decided to keep the lid on making the announcement, take this time to enjoy each other's company and “just engaged” glow. And if you want to make a small engagement announcement plan while basking in the radiance of just engaged feeling, you can tell your most loved people about your plans for a long engagement to prevent the ongoing barrage of questions. Since you have already decided as a couple that your engagement will be a longer one than an 'average length engagement', compared to what your friends and relatives would be expecting, keeping it under the wraps even if it's just for a little bit, will make the surprise sweeter.
Plan your marriage not just the wedding
The precious time right after your engagement will give you and your partner a lot of time to pause and reflect as a couple which can be beneficial for your upcoming future. While we advocate open discussions about marriage and long-term life goals and plans, a long engagement can be the perfect time to start honing your communication skills and test your barriers as a couple - talk openly about your life goals and expectations, discuss your fears and hopes, and all the life choices you plan to embark together that is going to affect your marriage down the line. Planning an unforgettable bridal shower or plans of hosting the party after your engagement ceremony can wait, but actively planning your future together instead of jumping straight into wedding planning can give you certain insights and acumens about your relationship and its nuances. For instance, if you plan to introduce family traditions to your future generation, your long engagement timeline can be the perfect opportunity to start discussing. Even if you and your fiancé have made the decision to wait for more than 18 months before you tie the knot, do not get tempted to get a head start on wedding planning as a lot can change in that amount of time. From small decisions like reselling your wedding decor post reception as a nod to eco-friendly wedding planning to opting for an intimate courthouse wedding instead of your original big fat wedding plans, you do not need to plan everything in advance unless you need to due to one of your vendors being in high demand.
Not everything can be planned in advance
If you have always enjoyed staying ahead of the game, and you want to ace the game of wedding planning by having a long engagement, book all your wedding vendors early, and plan to relax while everything is done, the following news might disappoint you. Most couples actively plan their wedding for almost a year post engagement, meaning that you may have trouble while booking your preferred wedding venue or securing cheap tickets to the favorite honeymoon destination, which are essentially the same difficulties you are going to face if you get married in 3 years. Additionally, you may even have to face vendor issues like closing businesses or claiming refund problems or your choice of bridal outfit getting eliminated from the list of trendy wedding dresses with all the fresh new updates. However, don't put off your wedding planning into your extended engagement as planning a wedding last minute requires quick decision-making capabilities as you need to navigate through slimmer options. Talk to your partner and browse through the long engagement tips by experts and find your fit while enjoying your engagement season!
Understand your timeline
As we discussed, no two relationships are the same and different timelines work for different couples. We have seen couples marrying within a week of knowing each other and also couples who took their time to figure out everything before tying the knot. There is no right or wrong here, as there are many people who have engagements that last for longer than their original dating period, and then there are people who date for years and then elope to Vegas for a little chapel wedding. And now that you are engaged, it is time to find your own engagement timeline- whether you want to have a long engagement and focus on building your relationship or you want to play it candidly and let your life take its course. Whatever be your decision, it is important for you to embrace this. And plan the next stage in your life together without worrying about engagement length etiquettes or other trivial matters.
Plan your wedding details
While big wedding decisions like deciding on the wedding venue or picking a wedding date can wait, some of the decisions like having a long or small guest list or browsing through long engagement dresses can be really nice to discuss with your fiancé(e). These precious moments can also be utilized for deciding on setting your wedding budget and looking out for subtle things that can inspire your wedding- like hosting a lavender themed wedding in springtime or opting for a small guestlist for a garden-themed wedding or looking for DIY-heavy details for styling your reception in a budget. Without obsessing or going overboard with details, inspirational wedding-related things that resonate with the kind of wedding you want for yourself can be noted down so that when the time for your wedding planning comes, you will have a better idea of what you want your wedding day to look and feel like. You can look out for inspirational Instagram wedding handles and endless Pinterest board ideas revolving around weddings of all styles and themes. Your long engagement period is going to give you enough time to save up for the big honeymoon that you have always dreamt of or splurge on a big fat wedding that you always wanted. A longer engagement will mean a low-budget wedding, as apart from the small guest list, there are several impulsive and emotional decisions that a couple makes while having the "wedding fever" and will eventually subside and fizzle out over time.
You can always change your mind about the little things that matter to you right now and might not in the next few days, months, or even years. Keeping your lines of communication always open and being flexible about your wedding can open up the gates for immeasurable opportunities for both you and your partner. From pushing and planning a wedding date further down the track to establishing a three-year financial goal with your partner, it is important to be open to new ideas and a world full of possibilities while keeping an open mind when it comes to planning your future together after your engagement. Your engagement is the celebration of the two of you and what you bring to the table together. From setting your wedding resolutions as a bride-to-be to re-deciding on the length of your engagement- you might like to shorten or lengthen your engagement, staying flexible and open to changes will help you to grow as a couple, as a team who will bring a trophy at the end of every single day. People grow, evolve, and change every day. You can change your mind about the little things you have always wanted- like going from a formal black tie wedding setting to hosting a wedding in the backyard while wearing a sundress, and surviving and winning a long engagement can be the ultimate test of your adaptability and flexibility.
Make sure to have fun
You may have already moved in together or planning to do so, but apart from focusing on your latter life, now is the time to have fun. Hold your "save the date'' ideas and stop browsing your favorite wedding venue, as those things can wait. Let yourself just be engaged! Focus on spending time with each other and say YOAFO (you're only a fiancée once). Basking in the glow of the "just engaged" period is a fleeting feeling and enjoying the best of it while you have it will create memories forever.
Weddings are expensive and time is money. Wedding budgeting is a real thing, whether it is for a fun idea for guest wedding favors or for scoring the dream designer wedding gown that you have always dreamt of wearing down the aisle. A long engagement will give you all the time to deep dive into all the wedding vendor options and achieve all your pre-wedding goals like visiting the Bahamas with your gang of best friends from school. From searching for a perfect wedding hashtag that will resonate and promote how cute you and your partner are to indulging in hundreds of mini-moons before the big honeymoon, no one is here to stop you from having all the fun you want while basking in your newly engaged status.
We will be in touch soon.