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