The Pros and Cons of Having a Long Engagement

It took me forever to figure out what to write for this week’s post. At first, I started a wedding dress shopping post which became so long that I’ve had to break it into a series coming in October (get hyped!). Everything I started writing after that kind of seemed to flop. I’ve been writing about wedding’s on the blog since it launched back in June so coming up with fresh ideas can be a hassle. There’s a whole section below where you can find my most popular Wedding Planning posts if you’re interested! Anyways, I took to some of my favorite blogs for inspiration. Shout out to my girl Rachel at The Confused Millennial for inspiring this post with her very own reasons to have a long engagement.

Before Justin and I even got engaged, I knew that our engagement would be long. At West Point, cadets aren’t allowed to get married while they’re there so we would inevitably be waiting for graduation in order to get married. I think I had always pictured myself having a long engagement, around a year long, anyways but we will actually have been engaged over a year and a half by the time our wedding rolls around!

When you get engaged to someone in the military, people are very quick to judge. We had people who didn’t know anything about West Point asking if we were getting married in 6 months (shout out to the women before me who have done that, y’all are champs). What I didn’t expect, are the people who judged us for waiting so long to actually have our wedding. Granted, these people aren’t familiar with how West Point works, but still… why is it such a big deal to have a quick engagement? Anyways, I came up with a list of the pros and cons of having a long engagement to share with y’all today!

Pros of a Long Engagement:

  • It takes (some) of the stress off of wedding planning

Wedding planning is seriously stressful. First off, it costs a decent amount of money even for the most budget conscious couples. When you’re spending even $1,000 on something the stress reaches a whole new level. One of the things that I’ve loved most about having a long engagement is that Justin and I don’t have to really stress about making quick decisions. The other side of that is that I’ve been able to work ahead for a while giving me what I hope will be some wiggle room for downtime as our wedding gets closer.

  • You have more time to grow as a couple

I’m going to be completely honest with y’all here: Justin and I weren’t ready to get married when we got engaged. We were ready to get engaged but had we had a wedding anytime in the 6 months following, I think it would have been a disaster. Now that we’re engaged, we take everything about our relationship a little more seriously and I think that has been good for us. Having a long engagement allows you to grow more as a couple before saying your vows and I think you can never have too much of that in this day and age. It also gives you more times for things like professional couples counseling through a psychologist or religious person which is never something you want to rush!

  • There is more time for saving

I wish I had started a wedding budget when I was in college, seriously. I had no idea that weddings were truly this expensive. The nice thing about having a long engagement is that you can book vendors ahead of time and still have plenty of time to save up for them. For example, there’s no way with our current budget that we would be able to have a videographer and I made that happen by pledging my tax refund check to our wedding budget. You’ll also be able to book vendors way in advance which means you’ll most likely be getting their best rates!

  • You know you can get the vendors you want

Not only can a long engagement save you money with vendors but it can also be critical for getting your dream vendors. Good vendors tend to book up super quickly during wedding season. I know our wedding photographer is already SUPER booked for May/June, including our own wedding. Had we waited much longer to book her due to a shorter engagement, we might have missed out on having an amazing friend and photographer shoot our big day. Thankfully we have not yet run into any vendor who wasn’t available for our day which has been a huge relief.  

Cons of a Long Engagement:

  • More people can get engaged… and married

I think one of the worst parts about having a long engagement is watching people around you get engaged after you but have their weddings before you. I know I have had a hard time with this myself watching a few cousins and friends get engaged and married before us. While I’m genuinely happy for all of them, there is a part of me that is screaming “Why isn’t it our turn yet?” on the inside.

  • Wedding trends change

If you’re the type of person who loves everything to be on trend, then a long engagement might not be the best for your wedding. If you know anything about trends, you know that they’re fleeting and the trends you love during your engagement might be out by the time your wedding rolls around. Weddings should be a representation of you as a couple and what you love so honestly, who cares about what’s on trend anyways.

  • Family circumstances change

Of course, I hate to be a debbie downer but a lot can happen over the course of your engagement. Your grandparents might joke, “I hope I’m still around then” and it may be funny in the moment but the truth of it is, you never know what’s going to happen. Death isn’t the only thing that can put a damper on a long engagement. Family fall-outs happen all the time. If you’re preparing for a long engagement, just be prepared for things to shift over time. Time doesn’t stop passing for everyone else just because you got engaged!

  • You have to wait

Naturally, the worst part of a long engagement is obviously the wait. I am already dying to have it be our wedding day (254 days but who’s counting, right). While waiting is definitely a con, Justin and I have been able to soak up the end of this season of our lives and I think that’s pretty important for building a strong foundation for our marriage.

How long was your engagement?

I know that all engagements are different so I want to know: how long were you engaged? I have mad respect for couples who plan engagements in less than one year because y’all, this stuff can be stressful! If you had a short engagement, would you change that? Leave us the details below! As I mentioned, in October I’m going to be kicking off a Wedding Wednesday series all about finding the perfect wedding dress so leave me any wedding dress shopping questions below! You might just inspire one of the posts next month!