I’ve been engaged for 8 years! (I know, reallyy long engagement). We got engaged in 2009 while we were in university. We agreed to wait because we wanted to focus on our education first. Also, we didn’t feel the need to rush into marriage right away. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of people ask me, why aren’t we married yet and what are we waiting for. Although initially, we did want to wait a few years, we didn’t anticipate being engaged for this many years. Today, I’m sharing my list of reasons why we chose a long engagement.
Reason #1 – Establish a wedding fund
The biggest benefit of having a long engagement was having time to save. We started saving about a year before we began planning. We started planning our wedding about a year ago and we’re getting married next Fall. By the time we booked vendors, we had already saved up over 65% of our budget. At this point, we’ve finished saving up for the wedding and have planned out our payment schedules for all our vendors. It’s been such a relief to not have to stress about upcoming payments.
Reason #2 – Time to figure out my dream wedding
I wasn’t the type of girl to dream about my wedding or my wedding dress. So I had no idea what kind of wedding I wanted. I spent quite a lot of time on Pinterest and flipping through wedding magazines for ideas. But it alleviated a lot of stress knowing that I had time to plan and research wedding vendors. I found that many wedding vendors were getting booked up 18 months to 24 months in advance. We started booking vendors early this year and had time for consultations. Thankfully, we were able to book all the wedding vendors we wanted. We also have the luxury of taking breaks from wedding planning to enjoy our engagement.
Reason #3 – Develop a stronger bond
Since we got engaged at a young age, a long engagement gave us time to grow up and get to know each other more. It meant more time understanding each other’s values, priorities and views on marriage. We’ve had discussions on children, finances, intimacy, love languages, fidelity, conflict resolution etc. I believe it’s crucial to have these discussions prior to marriage to truly understand your partner. For example, for me, I had to discuss my parents’ divorce as it changed how I viewed marriage. As much as I tried not to let that affect my views on marriage, I couldn’t help it. I became a bit fearful of the idea of marriage as I didn’t want to get a divorce. I had to learn to separate my views of my parents’ relationship from my own and reframe my thinking. But it was certainly valuable to have these type of conversations.
Reason #4 – Start our careers
When we got engaged, we hadn’t finished university or started our careers yet. We knew we wanted to spend time building our careers before we got married. As a result, we have lived apart for the past several years as I have found job opportunities in other cities. He’s been supportive of me pursuing those opportunities which has made the transition to being a long-distance couple much easier. Also, I knew that if I didn’t take opportunities that I was passionate about then I could end up regretting it. In addition, our careers are our own and we don’t feel that we should prevent one another from advancing our careers.
Ultimately, you have to do what’s best for you, your fiancé and your relationship. Once you get engaged, it seems like everyone has an opinion on your engagement and wedding and possibly, your marriage. I think the only downside to a long engagement is the eagerness to be married especially when more people around us are getting married and having children. But we’ll have our whole lives to be married and a long engagement was the right decision for us.
Are you currently engaged? How did you determine the length of your engagement?