Wedding Series: How Long of an Engagement Should You Have

When Andrew and I got engaged we set the wedding date for 8 months later and people looked at us like we were crazy. They kept asking why the rush as if there was more to it than my dream of a December wedding.

Not only did I want a December wedding but my husband was in his first year of medical school so we were limited to do the wedding over either winter break or summer break and I did not want a summer wedding at all. So really December was our best option.

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In my opinion there is no right or wrong for the length of an engagement. It truly depends on the couple and their vision for their wedding day.

I think for most people choosing a date for the wedding often comes down to what season they prefer to get married and when the venue of their choice is available. I have friends who have been engaged for a year or longer before getting married and friends who planned their weddings in 6 months or less. What works for some doesn’t always work for others so know that everyone is different.

To help decide on how long of an engagement is right for you I am sharing some insight from the wedding series contributors and a few things to consider.

Melissa (Every Good Thing): “Dave and I were engaged for about four weeks. We were dating for three years before we decided to get married. We actually got legally married in a court house but knew we wanted to do an actual wedding ceremony as well. We debated between waiting until the following year to do a large wedding at the venue we wanted, but when it came down to it, we just wanted to be married already and start our lives as husband and wife. To us that seemed more important. While we were back home in Connecticut for Thanksgiving, we decided to do a last minute wedding ceremony at the church where my parents got married at in New York.” 

Anna (Simply Anna Butler | HVFH): “Our engagement was just over a year long. My husband proposed on our fifth dating anniversary right after I returned from studying abroad. My parents only had one stipulation about our marriage – that we both have our degrees first. We married exactly three weeks after his graduation and commissioning in to the Air Force.”

Katherine (One Swainky Couple): “Brandon and I were formally engaged from August to December, although we began planning the wedding in June!”

Courtney (Life of a Med School Wife): “We got engaged in May and got married the following June, so we had a little over a year.  I highly recommend having at least a year engagement. It makes everything less stressful and enjoyable in my opinion.”

Bowyn (Bo Knows Health): “An 8 month engagement…We did not have a professional planner/coordinator. I kept everything organized and my husband and our families helped a lot. I have no regrets taking charge because I had a blast doing it! What made it easy to do this was the people who were helping us.”

Engagements are clearly different for everyone and different factors play a roll. Each contributor had different experiences from finishing school, putting aside tradition for love, planning before the proposal and taking things slow. For us it came down to my preference of month and Andrew’s school schedule.

A few things to consider when choosing the length of engagement:

  • Preference of season/location: Certain locations may not be an option during different seasons. And like me, I had a preference on time of year for a wedding.
  • Size of wedding: If you are planning on a larger wedding it might be better to have a longer engagement to allow more time for planning.
  • Guest attendance: Even though we were going to have a small wedding we wanted to make sure that those close to us would be able to attend.
  • Commitments/Obligations: We had to plan based on Andrew’s med school schedule and like Anna said, they were going to finish school first.

There are so many things to consider when setting a date. Do what is best for you and your fiance as it is truly different for everyone.

What were some factors in setting a date for your wedding?

Have fun planning and look for another Wedding Series Post next month!

Featured Photo by Emily Kowalski Photography

 

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