Now, you might be thinking “It doesn’t seem that long ago that we last caught up with Belle Bride Stephanie...” – and you’d be right to think that!
It was just last week that Stephanie shared the start of her wedding planning journey, and the more eagle-eyed of you will have noticed that in reference to getting engaged to her fiancé Greg in 2016, Stephanie posed her own question “Why such a long engagement, you might have asked yourself?”
Well, here is Stephanie to explain all, but let’s start with another question…:
How long should an engagement be?
Good question! We actually find “Why such a long engagement?” to be a very popular question that we get asked as a couple; probably since Greg and I have been in a long distance relationship for so long. However, let’s focus on the “How long should an engagement be?” for today’s post. An engagement, after all, is a very exciting time!
Yay! You’re engaged! Congratulations! You get to share the news of you engagement with those close to you, sometimes in a very special way (Greg and I shared our engagement with my immediate family over a nice bottle of French wine he brought from France to Chicago; there may have also been our favorite Chicago pizza involved. Now I am hungry *sigh*).
You may schedule an engagement photo session or send announcements out (We combined our engagement announcement with our annual Christmas cards; it was subtle (see photo below) and not everyone got it when we said, “Ring in the New Year” – do you get it? “RING in the New Year,” haha)
Photograph taken on SkyDeck Chicago’s “Ledge” at the Willis Tower in Chicago, IL USA on our Engagement Day: November 21st, 2016.
Of course your family and friends are over the moon. Strangers offer their congratulations. Some individuals may even offer to throw you an engagement party or you throw one yourself (We didn’t have one, but a lot of people do). Then, of course, there is the ring that everyone wants to see and the story behind it, i.e. how did it happen and where? (We decided to keep the details of our engagement story private; which you CAN absolutely choose to do or not).
So in lieu of all this excitement, let’s get back to the question, what amount of time should an engagement be? In my opinion, it is completely up to the couple involved. Some couples prefer to keep their engagement short and sweet. Others decide they need it to be a bit longer to really plan everything out and save some money. Other couples prefer the timeframe be determined for them, whether it be by their culture, their parents, a bridal magazine they bought, etc.
For us, friends, it was rather simple… Yes, we wanted to save some money for one of our impending future moves, but mainly, we decided we wanted to enjoy our engagement. *Let that soak in for a second.*
Honestly, you don’t hear the above phrase too often – or, at least, not on my side of the pond (American readers can back me up on that one perhaps). Over here it seems like once a person is engaged EVERYONE! …And I mean EVERYONE… from the people you know, to the random person you just met at the store … will ask you (and by you, I mean the person wearing the “physical symbol of commitment” on your finger) the same question: “When’s the wedding?” And they are expecting a solid answer.
I know what you could be thinking, “And why shouldn’t that question be asked? It’s a friendly conversation starter after-all.” Well, it’s not that I don’t think it should be asked… I just think that sometimes people are just so focused on the future event that they miss out on enjoying the moment right there in front of them! That couple is engaged! They are celebrating! Look at them, they are glowing and in love!
When I think back to the time immediately following our engagement, I know we both felt like we were on cloud nine. As a couple we really wanted the time to enjoy it, and then start our intricate international planning process.
However, once our engagement happened we immediately started getting the same question: WHEN? And that’s when we developed our response, and started saying it proudly and loudly to bring the focus back to the fact that we had just decided to spend the rest of our lives together, and let’s just enjoy that part first, huh?
Maybe you’ve been bombarded with this question? Maybe you haven’t. Maybe you’re guilty of asking it to someone without completely thinking it through? All I know is that the question is something to reflect on, and by all means, if you need an answer to that question you are more than welcome to use ours. It’s something we’re really happy we used after our engagement and it really worked for us.
However, a word of warning: don’t get too comfortable with the phrase. After a while it can be very easy to fall into the trap of procrastination by using it too much. And honestly, if you are like me, it may be also be rooted in your not knowing where to start with your wedding planning!
Thank you Stephanie! You can follow all of her journey here as she shares her wedding planning adventures.
Check out Stephanie’s previous post on where to start with wedding planning here!