3 Reasons to Have a Long Engagement

 Is having a long engagement okay? Why should you have a long engagement? What are the pros and cons of a long engagement? The Confused Millennial, Rachel Ritlop, shares three reasons to have a long engagement.

brooke images rachel ritlop eric dresdale

Photo cred: Brooke Images.com

How awesome are our wedding photographers? Thanks Brooke Images for the awesome photos!

In case you didn’t know…

I’m getting married!

Haha I’ve actually been engaged for a really long time (November 9, 2014) and we are tying the knot in mid-October 2016…

When we got engaged we always knew we were going to have a long engagement… but what I didn’t know was how much society judged others for having a long engagement. Seriously, I turned on the TV one day and Wendy Williams was talking so much trash about people with two-year engagements!

Apparently, it’s a pretty common stereotype that there are “issues” or something when a couple is engaged longer than a year (year and a half max.). We have had many people ask us “are you guys still even getting married?” or “is everything okay with you two?”


I think it’s so wrong to judge and assume that you know what’s going on in a persons life based on their wedding timeline.

The truth is, our engagement was so long, not because my fiancee and I were having issues, but because my mother and I have been on rocky terrain for years and I spent the first year of my engagement emotionally preparing myself that she wouldn’t come to my wedding. While all of the juicy details of that is probably an entirely different post… a blessing actually came from drawing out the wedding planning process: I have been relatively stress-free!

That’s right! I have found wedding planning overall to be totally stress free.

Why do I love the two-year engagement?

1. Narrows your guest list. Seriously, having a longer engagement narrows your guest list! You would be SHOCKED by how many people came out of the woodwork trying to re-connect after we got engaged and wanted to “hear all about wedding planning” — only there was nothing to report other than we had no idea what was happening and we’re enjoying being engaged. I started hanging out with old friends who I had lost touch with and found myself thinking, “well we used to be great friends, maybe she will be in my wedding party!”.

brooke images rachel ritlop eric dresdale

Before inviting all my long lost girlfriends to be bridesmaids, I decided to wait and if we stayed re-connected  after I saw this story on the Today show about a study which found that most couples were no longer in contact with their wedding party 15-20 years later — and all of the anchors said they do not talk to almost anyone who was in their wedding party anymore. This segment from the Today show always stood out to me… Maybe I am being idealistic, but I want to stay life long friends with my wedding party, I don’t want to pay a buttload of money to have people at my wedding who I don’t think will be there for the long haul.

And sure enough, the people who I lost touch with were only interested in wedding conversations and not actual re-kindled friendship. I started to feel like people were only interested in coming to the wedding than being a dependable friend. Needless to say, when we first got engaged we thought our wedding would be around 150 people… and now that we are 5 months away it’s about 65 people.


brooke images rachel ritlop eric dresdale

Photo cred: www.brookeimages.com

2. Less money. That’s right, a longer engagement has meant a lower cost wedding! Aside from the smaller guest list, it’s really allowed us to not make impulsive or emotional decisions. We’ve had time to research, We’ve had time to not get caught up in trends or what other people are doing. We’ve really had the chance to decide, “Is this adding to our guests experience and to representing us as a couple?” – if the answer isn’t “HELL YES!” to both questions, then we are cutting it from the budget. This includes spending $200 on my wedding dress instead of $5,000!

brooke images rachel ritlop eric dresdale

Photo Cred: Brooke Images


3. No expectations. Because the engagement has been so long, family and friends don’t have that same wedding excitement and momentum that I hear/see in other couples. For so long there’s been “nothing to report” and when there is something to report, it’s usually small and spread out from the next small “something to report” that it’s created a lot of space and distance from opinions and emotions (thankfully!) – which has really allowed the process to be about my fiancee and I and our wants, wishes, and needs as a couple.

brooke images rachel ritlop eric dresdale

Photo cred: Brooke Images


 Are you planning a wedding or trying to save some $$$? Download our checklist for saving on a tight budget!


Are you married or engaged? What tips do you have for planning a wedding and marriage? I would love to hear in the comments!

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  • I love what you wrote about bridal parties, and I COMPLETELY agree. They are standing up with you, witnessing, and agreeing to hold you accountable to your vows, so why would you choose people who you won’t truly know in the future?!?

    My engagement was only 3 months due to Sean starting his 6 year PhD program, and I definitely envy you! Way to go Rachel!

    • Haha thanks Harvey! I feel like I would either want it to be really short or nice and long. Like get it done in 3 months or take 2 years. Like in 3 months you dont really have time to waffle, you just get it done.

  • Kayla Blogs

    This is such an interesting perspective! I never really "looked down" on anyone who had a long engagement but I always wondered what the point was of waiting so long. But now that I’ve read this, I’m thinking that a long engagement is something I want, too! I’m starting grad school next year and I definitely want to be finished with that before I get married, but I’ve told my boyfriend that I wouldn’t mind being engaged while still in grad school. I think having some time before the wedding is definitely a good thing, I’d feel way less stressed than if I had to plan a wedding in, say, 6 months! Great post!

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

    • Thanks Kayla! Totally! I knew I wanted to be engaged, because my fiancee (then boyfriend) meant so much more to me than the word "boyfriend" – but I knew we both wanted sometime before the wedding bells and questions about kids! haha

      Good luck with grad school!

  • Kate Steadman

    Girl, I am all for this! I am no where near engaged, but whenever it happens I want it to be quite a while. Not only does this give a ton of time to get things done, but it gives you time to enjoy "being engaged" without spending all of your engagement simply planning a wedding.

    <a href="http://www.sarakatestyling.blogspot.com">Sara Kate Styling</a>

    • Totally! We decided right away to not even think about wedding stuff for the first 6 months of being engaged and just wanted to enjoy that time before thinking about venues and dates and everything!

  • Kayleigh Adam

    I definitely want along engagement when I get to that point in my life!

    • YAY! Long engagement lovers unite! Haha thanks for stopping by and reading Kayleigh 🙂

  • Kait Hanson

    We had an 18 month engagement and I always tell people it was the best decision the Army ever made for us. When we began wedding planning, we set a date and then my now-husband deployed to Afghanistan. I was SUPER PISSED, but in the end, it all worked out! I loved your take (and honesty) on this 🙂

    • Haha I love that Kait! Congratulations on your marriage! 🙂

  • Petite Heartbeat

    A long engagement is a great idea. My husband and I were engaged for 2 years before we were married and we are going on 15 years married and over 17 together in January. I think a long engagement really helped with this. Great post.

  • Stephanie Boyd

    These are really good points! I’ve known people who have had like 3-month engagements and I just cannot even imagine trying to plan a wedding in that short of a time! There seem to be a lot of benefits to having a longer engagement!

    • Haha I would definitely be stressed! There are benefits to both I think… either really quick or nice and long would suit me best I think.

  • Ashley

    I always thought I wanted a long engagement, but when it came down to it, having a shorter engagement just worked better for us! We got engaged in late December and married August 1st, so it was a pretty quick turn around and a crazy blur of planning. As a teacher, getting married in the summer made the most sense, and our choices were to either wait until August 2016 or just go for it in 2015. I’m so glad we got married when we did! It really just depends on the couple and what makes the most sense to them!

    xo Ashley

    • Haha yeah totally! The above isn’t saying that one is better than the other, it’s more of an "in defense of the long engagement" since it seems to just get crapped on all the time. Most people I know had a quick engagement and loved it! Congratulations on getting married! 🙂

  • Savannah Ward

    I’ve never considered how long engagements impact the guest list! Such a big thing to consider. CONGRATS on your engagement. And I love your blog! <3


    • Thank you Savannah! Yeah I was shocked when we revisited the list at how many people we cut off.

  • Bella Bucchiotti

    It sounds like a great plan. I am never one to be comfortable with just jumping at things. I love to plan and overplan! Congratulations!

  • Amanda Kushner

    Oh love this! Definitely sending this to my friend who still hasn’t set a date haha. Thanks for sharing 🙂
    XO Amanda | http://www.glitterandspice.com

  • Kristin Thompson

    I think having a long engagement is a great idea! I love all of your tips and it sounds like waiting has been the best thing for you, which is all that matters! Good luck with the rest of your planning – I can’t wait to see pictures from it!

    <a href="http://www.theblushblonde.com">The Blush Blonde</a>

    • Totally! I think every couple has different needs and wants and this just suited us best. I think as long as you are a match and doing it together no length of engagement is necessarily better than the other. Thanks Kristin!

  • Elana Lyn Gross

    Your engagement photos are so gorgeous!

    • Awe thanks girl! Ashley and Greg (photographers) are awesome!

  • Jordyn Sifferman

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with a long engagement. I think it is pretty strange when people have super short engagements because a rushed wedding seems weird to me but honestly to each their own! Your engagement photos are lovely and I am sure your wedding will be wonderful too <3

    • Totally! I think whatever suits you best is all good with me! And thank you so much!

  • Adriana Nudo

    I LOVE this!!! Your wedding photographer is amazing btw! There is so nothing wrong with long engagements – I think it’s definitely worth while! Congrats on your upcoming marriage!! xoxo

  • Taylor Anne Mobley

    I had a 6-month engagement so I had the opposite situation. My husband and I were still hardcore judged (we got a lot of questions asking if we were rushing because we were pregnant…we were NOT pregnant!!!). I think it really depends on the couple. Once we decided to get married, we didn’t see the point in waiting. We just wanted to be married! Moral of the story? Everyone is different.

    • OMG I can only imagine! Totally agree that everyone is different and there is no one size fits all answer.

  • Leah

    Such beautiful photos! Congrats, babe! This is a great post too, made me really think about what I’ll want when (if?!?!) I get engaged :). Great post for 20 somethings.

  • Jae

    We had a long engagement, too! My husband proposed to me in October 2011, and we didn’t get married until December 2013! He was still serving the US Army at the time, hence we had to wait a little longer. I don’t know about you, but two years of wedding preparations actually went by so fast!

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 Tayo Rockson is the founder of UYD Media and founding editor of BrandEdu. Tayo is a media personality and third culture kid whose mission in life is to inspire the next set of global leaders to use their difference to make a difference. Tayo shares about how a near death experience redefined his career and purpose in life.  Watch the full vlog interview on The Confused Millennial.
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