Updated: Oct 30, 2018
Congratulations! You’re engaged to be married! It’s one of the most exciting feelings because it comes with the promise of a lifetime together.
This first step to being married comes with so much emotion. Some of us probably learned from When Harry Met Sally that “...when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
So it’s definitely understandable if you want to hurry up the process and quickly go from engaged to married. But I’m here to weigh in on the benefits of a long engagement. You Get to Enjoy Being Engaged
Even though it’s tempting to pull up Pinterest the second you’re engaged, stop yourself and experience the moment!
My husband Cameron and I got engaged in December of 2015, and everyone anticipated we would have our wedding the following summer. While we could have pulled that off, we would have spent our entire engagement planning. It was important to us to enjoy being engaged. So we told our inquiring family and friends that we were going to do just that, and look forward to our wedding in 2017. Having an engagement of nearly two years allowed us that space in the beginning to enjoy being engaged. We weren’t worried about finding a venue or booking vendors right away because we had time! It gave us peace of mind.
You Set the Timeline for Planning
With a short engagement, there are a lot of choices that have to be made within specific time constraints. Often, this can lead to rushed decisions happening all at once. This is not just overwhelming; it can make you feel like you chose something because it felt like you had to make a snap decision, or because it felt like the only option.
Stretching the timeframe out will give you more breathing room when planning your wedding. Instead of juggling multiple decisions at once or hoping what you want is still available to you, you have time to start with the decisions that are most important to you and work from there.
Since Cameron and I got engaged in the winter, we waited until the following spring to start looking for venues. Knowing that we wanted to get married outside meant that we wanted a chance to see what those venues looked like! When planning, picking a venue that fit our vision was the most important to us.
You Have Time to Research
Planning a wedding is unlike any other event planning experience. It’s more than just finding a place and a time - it’s also finding the right people to bring your vision to life. Building a dream team of vendors takes time, and I recommend really doing your research.
Once we found our venue, we started researching the other vendors we knew we would need to make our wedding a reality.
You’ll Have Your Choice of Vendors
Researching vendors lets you take time to get to know what you are looking for and who may be a good fit. But keep in mind that some of the best vendors can book quickly, and far in advance. If you have more time during your engagement, chances are you will have your choice of vendors since you’re booking them ahead of time.
This is especially important when it comes to your venue and your photographer! If you have a specific date in mind for your wedding, it’s important to book your venue first. That will confirm your date, and you can then reach out to your preferred vendors for their availability.
You Can Take (and Use!) Your Engagement Photos
This was one of the best decisions Cameron and I made during our engagement. We did our engagement photos with our wedding photographer, Tonie Christine. Not only did this give us an idea of what it would be like having her shoot our wedding, it also gave us beautiful photographs to use for our Save the Date postcards. Since we booked her early and had the shoot in the fall before our wedding, we had enough turnaround time to view our photo gallery and select photos to use. Not only did this come in handy for our Save the Dates, but also for our wedding guestbook and decor.
You Can be Flexible if Changes are Needed
We booked our hotel block at a hotel that was undergoing remodeling (planning tip: construction always takes longer than they say it will). So when it became apparent that the hotel remodel would take longer than expected, we had enough of a buffer built in to research other hotels and notify our friends and family. It was not an ideal situation, but we still had enough time to make changes as needed.
There are bound to be issues that come up and adjustments that need to be made. A wedding is filled with moving parts. Giving yourself extra time during the planning process allows for flexibility when the unexpected occurs.
You’ll be Ready for Your Wedding Day!
When your wedding day (finally) rolls around, you’ll be truly ready to tie the knot! All the time you’ve spent being engaged and carefully planning will show through brightly on your wedding day.
So if you just got engaged, take a breath and enjoy the moment! You’ll be glad that you and your fiancé took the time to experience this unique point in your lives before all the wedding planning begins. And when you’re ready to start planning, do your research, put together your team of vendors and make your wedding day vision a reality!