Congratulations on your new engagement! So many thoughts are racing through your mind as you begin to think about your future wedding. One of the first things people will ask you when you announce your engagement is, “When’s the big day?!” Coincidentally, that’s probably one of your own first thoughts. While everyone’s relationship and engagement is different, it’s sometimes helpful to know how others handle common wedding decisions. So, how long should your engagement actually last?!
There are many average engagement lengths floating around on the Internet. The Knot conducted a survey in 2015 which found the average engagement to be 14.5 months. Wedding Paper Divas says 40% of couples wait 13-18 months until they get married. As Brides.com cites, the average engagement in the US is 1-1.5 years. At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong length–you have to decide what’s right for you as a couple. Some engagements are as short as a month, while others are years long!
Long engagements can be particularly nice for couples who aren’t at a particularly stable point in their lives. For example, if you’re finishing school, living abroad, or just getting your career started, you may want to hold off on tying the knot until your lives settle down a bit. Some other benefits of a long engagement are that it gives couples a chance to fully prepare themselves for marriage, and it can give you more time to save up money for the wedding of your dreams! Longer engagements allow you more time to plan your wedding, so you’ll have time to pick the perfect vendors and not be rushed or stressed.
Short engagements are perfect for couples who are eager to get started on their lives together and want to wait until they’re married to take those next steps. For example, if you’re excited about having kids or moving in together, but you want to be married first, it might make you happier to get married sooner! Another side benefit of a short engagement is that the excitement for your wedding is still fresh–for both you and your guests! While a shorter engagement can apply some time pressure to your wedding plans, it can also provide a necessary push to make decisions and not second guess your choices.
Know yourself and your stress levels. If a tight timeline freaks you out, feel free to stretch out your engagement a bit. If you know you’ll reconsider every decision if given the chance, maybe a shorter engagement would help you out.
If you have plenty of money saved up, this may not be a concern! However, if you need some time to prepare your finances, a longer engagement could be more practical.
If you or your fiancé really wants to hold off until a different life stage, give yourself time! If you both are way too eager to be married, then why wait?! As always, this is your relationship, your engagement, and your wedding. Consider what’s right for you and your fiancé, and you’ll be just fine.
Newly engaged and unsure of what to do next? We’ve got you covered!