3 Reasons to Have a Long Engagement


brooke images rachel ritlop eric dresdale
Photo cred: BrookeImages.com

I had a long engagement…

I got engaged on (November 9, 2014) and we tied the knot in mid-October 2016.

E and I know a long engagement was in our future, even before putting a ring on. 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 common stereotype a couple is having “issues” when engaged longer than a year (year and a half max). Throughout our long engagement, countless people asked, “are you guys still even getting married?” or “is everything okay with you two?”

[RELATED] 5 Conversations To Have Before Getting Engaged

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 long, not because my fiance and I were having issues, but because my mother and I were. We'd been on rocky terrain for years. 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: It was relatively stress-free!

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

[RELATED] 5 Ways My Wedding Was Different Than I Imagined

3 Reasons to Have a Long Engagement

Benefit of a long engagement #1: Narrows your guest list

Seriously, having a longer engagement narrows your guest list! So many people came out of the woodwork trying to reconnect after we got engaged; I was shocked. They 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 the confused mom

Before inviting all my long lost girlfriends to be bridesmaids, I decided to wait. I wanted to see if we stayed re-connected. I saw this story on the Today Show about a study which found most couples were no longer in contact with their wedding party 15-20 years later. All of the anchors said they do not talk to almost anyone who was in their wedding party anymore either. I held onto that segment.

Maybe I'm idealistic, but I want to stay life long friends with my wedding party. I didn't want to pay a ton of money to have people at my wedding who I don't think will be there for the long haul.

[RELATED] How To Stay Besties With Your Bridesmaids After The Wedding

Sure enough, the people I lost touch with were only interested in wedding conversations and not actual rekindling a friendship. I started to feel like people were only interested in coming to the wedding rather than being a dependable friend. Needless to say, when we first got engaged we thought our wedding would be around 150 people… and by the time we got married it was less than 65 people.

brooke images rachel ritlop eric dresdale the confused mom

Benefit of a long engagement #2: Less money

That's right, a longer engagement has meant a lower cost wedding! Aside from the smaller guest list, it really allowed us to not make impulsive or emotional decisions. We've had time to let “wedding fever” pass. Thereby letting go of trends or what other people are doing. We've really had the chance to decide, “Is this adding to our guests experience and representing us as a couple?” If the answer isn't “HELL YES!” to both questions, it's cut from the budget. This includes spending $200 on my wedding dress instead of $5,000!

[RELATED] The Ultimate List Of 57 Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding


Benefit of a long engagement #3: No expectations

With longer engagements, family and friends begin to lose excitement. For so long we had “nothing to report.” When there was something to report, it's so small and spread out from the next small thing, that it's created a lot of space and distance from opinions and emotions (thankfully!). This has given space for the process to be about my fiance and I and our wants, wishes, and needs as a couple.

What do you think? Are you planning on a long engagement?



7 Things No One Tells You About Choosing A Wedding Venue

Patience & Stalking: A Millennial Love Story!

How He Asked: A Millennial Engagement Story

5 Ways My Wedding Was Different Than I Imagined

9 Fears About Pregnancy [+ Why It’s Okay]

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


This post was originally published on 5/31/16 and last updated on 2/12/2020

71 thoughts on “3 Reasons to Have a Long Engagement”

  1. I love your perspective on this! Our engagement was a little over a year. We tried to keep our guest list as small as we could (it was still pretty big due to my husband’s huge family). I could not agree more with not wanting to spend that much money on people who won’t be in your life for a long time!

  2. Allison Lancaster

    I love this! We were engaged over a year and it took so much pressure off of us

  3. I can see a lot of benefits to a long engagement. I think the point about saving money is spot on-I think the wedding industry counts on people making impulsive emotional decisions that cost a lot of money. When you have a lot of time you can pay along the way and save a bit of money too!

  4. My husband and I had a two year engagement! I wanted to graduate from college first, before tying the knot! i totally agree with the saving money thing. We tons of time to plan and it allowed us to do more DIY stuff to make the wedding cheaper. I did origami flowers for our wedding! Making all those flowers took a lot of time, but paper is way cheaper than real flowers!

  5. I think the right engagement period time is different for everyone! I’m so glad your long engagement worked out for you – you guys are so cute!

  6. This is so true! (Side note, your engagement photos were gorgeous!!) My husband and I were engaged for about two weeks lol but that’s a whole different story! You make very valid points though!! I love what you said about having fewer guests. You definitely find out who your true friends are!

  7. These all sound like smart tips for y’all! I think honestly engagement length just depends on the couple, their relationship and the circumstances in life at the time. Some are great with a short engagement and some need a long one. Neither are right and neither are wrong!! So glad your engagement was a wonderful experience though!

    xoxo A

  8. I had a shorter engagement (11 months) and wish at times we had a longer one. I cannot believe people shammed you for a long engagement, that is ridiculous. I had a ton of friends with long engagements and I never questioned their devotion to each other. PS LOVE your pics!

  9. Congrats to the happy bride. I’m so sorry if your mother didn’t come – and beyond foolish of her. (I had a mom like that and get it.) But as a mother-of-the-bride myself, I encouraged my daughter to have as short an engagement as possible for just one reason – she and her pastor husband wanted to remain sexually pure until their wedding night. Short engagements are the ticket to that! 😉

  10. I think this is a great post. There are so many great things that can come from having a longer engagement. I think everyone should do what’s right for them, and I don’t question people’s choices. I am super jealous of your $200 wedding dress, though!

  11. Great insight! I can definitely see the benefits of a long engagement. I can’t believe people gave you such a hard time about it! But then again people don’t have filters most of the time, lol.

  12. Love this outlook on having a long engagement. I feel that I would prefer to have a longer one because that gives me more time to save, plan,etc. Great tips girl!

  13. Elizabeth Johnson

    I’m sorry to hear about you and your mom. This is really great insight into a long engagement. My husband and I had a 7 month engagemen. You have really great points though. Great post!

  14. These are such great tips! I’m not engaged yet but I’ve always wanted to have a longer engagement than most and by that I mean longer than 6-12 months lol.

  15. Jennifer Schmidt

    These are great! I am one who hate spending money on things. I have always thought that quick wedding cost way too much for me.

  16. In the grand scheme of things our engagement wasn’t long, but I come from a small and very conservative community/family. Most people don’t have engagements longer than 6-8 months, and a lot are even shorter than that. So a whole year was a LOT, but it’s what needed to happen for us logistically. We had some people tell us we needed to get married as quickly as possible (to “reduce temptation” since we are Christians, but my thinking is that if you have to get married asap then you aren’t committed to sexual purity anyway… but I’ll not rant), we had a lot of people that were “confused” as to why we were waiting so long, or who told us we should get married at the courthouse etc. And of all things his parents wanted us to wait LONGER (I think because they weren’t ready to let go… he’s a 27 yo Marine Vet…. it was time lol). I was surprised that people had more issues with how long our engagement was then that I was “too young” (21 engaged, 22 married) or that we hadn’t been together “that long” (10 mos when engaged), though both came up. I loved having a “long” engagement. I struggle with enjoying the stage I’m in rather than worrying or waiting for what’s coming, so having a whole year to really settle in and enjoy the planning process and being engaged in general was really nice. It also definitely solidified in our minds that we were ready for marriage and everything it entails.

  17. Totally agree! Isn’t it amazing how many “friends” pop back into your life when you get engaged? Our engagement was ten months, but looking back, I wish we waited a little longer to get married because there were just so many dang details! Not only that but I graduated college a week and a half before I got married and was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding the week before my wedding. Everyone told me I was crazy…and looking back…yes. I was crazy! Haha!

Comments are closed.