How long your engagement will last will depend on a variety of factors. While research shows the average length of engagement for most couples in the United States is between 12-18 months, you shouldn’t let this influence your decision.
Some couples have shorter engagements and others wait closer to two years before tying the knot. There’s no “wrong” or “right” length of time to be engaged, what matters is finding what’s right for your relationship decide what’s best for the two of you.
There are many factors that contribute to deciding on how long of engagement is right for you. If you’re having a hard time deciding some things to consider is the length of time you have dated, your financial situation, whether you plan to purchase a house at the same time, the availability at your desired church and venue.
The bottom line is how long you decide to be engaged is completely up to you and your new fiance. But if you’re still on the fence about how long you should wait before exchanging “I Do’s,” here are a few pros and cons about engagement lengths to consider:
Pros of a Long Engagement
A long engagement is typically thought of as two plus years. Even though this isn’t the trend anymore, there are plenty of benefits to choosing to have a longer engagement.
One reason couples elect for a long engagement is that they are involved in a long-distance relationship and need more time to work out details like where to have the wedding and where to live. Those that are still in college may want to wait until they have graduated before walking down the aisle. Long engagements are also ideal for couples that are at different places in their lives. For example, one person may be beginning their career, while the other is already established in their career, or have children from a previous marriage. In these instances, longer engagements may be more suitable.
One of the most common reasons couples choose to have a longer engagement is to have more time to save for the wedding and their future. Couples also will have more time to do research on vendors and get the best rates possible.
Since most couples today pay for their weddings themselves, the ability to have more time to save money can be a very important deciding factor.
A longer engagement also provides couples with more time to plan and organize all of their wedding details. This can be especially important if you’re planning an out of state wedding, or are managing all of the wedding details yourself without the assistance of a wedding planner.
Finally, another pro of a long engagement is having more time to work on personalized details for their wedding. This is especially the case for those who want to take on DIY projects pertaining to their wedding decor and other special touches. Having more than a year to plan a wedding will give you time to plan out special details like personalized menus, placement cards, unique favors and more without feeling pressured to do them in a short period of time.
Pros of a Short Engagement
If a long engagement isn’t right for you, or even the average length of an engagement seems too long you might be considering a short one. Like a long engagement, there are just as many valid reasons to consider having a short engagement.
One reason to have a short engagement is you and your fiance feel ready to take steps like beginning a family or buying a house (if you don’t already live together). For those who already have children or live together, a long engagement may feel unnecessary since you are already living a life similar to those who are married.
The desire to have a small wedding may also drive the decision to have a short engagement since there are fewer details to worry about and plan.
Short engagements will also force you to worry less about the small details of the wedding and focus on the big picture – which is your impending marriage. For many couples, this is ideal since it allows them to get caught up in the excitement of their engagement, wedding planning, wedding and then marriage making the whole process one big adventure!
Deciding On the Length of Your Engagement
Ultimately the right length of your engagement is the length of time that is the most comfortable for you and your soon-to-be-spouse. Do what makes the most sense for you and your fiance regardless of whether you decide on 4 months or 30 months. Rather than worrying about doing what’s “right” focus on enjoying this special time in your lives whether that’s a three-month or a three-year engagement.