You’ve said yes! Congratulations! Now that you’re officially engaged, you might be wondering how long you want to spend on the road to the altar. Read on for tips on how long an engagement should last and what to take into account when deciding your timeline.
How long should an engagement last?
The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. In short, it all depends on the couple. The average length of an engagement tends to last between 15 months and 18 months. This makes sense if you consider that wedding venues often book about a year in advance, or sometimes even longer. But couples may wait as long as two or three years or as short as a few months.
Instead of asking exactly how long your engagement should last, ask what length of time fits best with your needs. Have a conversation with your partner about what you need to accomplish during your engagement period and enjoy this magical time in your lives.
4 questions to consider when setting your wedding timeline
As you sit down with your fiance to work out how long you should be engaged, there are a few foundational questions to ask each other. Here are a few ideas of what you should prioritize when figuring out the length of an engagement.
1.) How detailed is your wedding vision?
You deserve the wedding your heart desires! If you have dreams of grand decor or a specific entertainer, you may want to take some extra time to plan all of the intricate details. If it takes an extra couple of months to realize your fairytale wedding, take that into account.
2.) Is your heart set on a specific venue?
Before you can get the ball rolling on most aspects of wedding planning, you need to book the venue. If you don’t have a specific venue in mind, you may have some more flexibility with the length of your engagement. If there’s a venue where you’ve always wanted to walk down the aisle, though, you may need additional lead time to get on their calendar.
3.) When do you want to say “I do?”
Are you dreaming of a summer wedding or do you want to make your vows in a winter wonderland? Take your ideal season into account when setting the date. If you got engaged in spring and want to tie the knot in December, are you willing to wait more than a year? If not, a shorter engagement could be the right fit for you.
4.) Do you need time to save?
Some couples choose to wait so they can save up for their dream wedding. A longer engagement may be the right choice if you need some extra time to put funds away. It’s worth the wait if you don’t have to compromise on your ideal plans.
The wedding planning process: a step-by-step guide
Step 1: choose your location
Before even booking the venue, decide if you want to wed locally or travel to a far off land. Although they may take extra time to plan, destination weddings can be magical. Set out on your wedding journey by choosing a location that’s perfect for you.
Step 2: plan your budget
Decide early on how much you’re comfortable spending, and how much money you’re willing to allocate to each portion of your wedding. You may want to research how much an average wedding costs in a particular city once you’ve picked a location, as well as what to expect to spend on catering, venue, entertainment, and other wedding day must-haves. This will help give you an idea of whether or not you should extend your engagement to save up.
Step 3: find a venue and book your wedding date
Now it’s time to start making reservations, and the wedding venue is likely at the top of that list.
Research which wedding venues best fit your style and creative concepts. After touring your top venues, discuss the pros and cons and then make a decision. And after you’ve gotten on the venue’s calendar, take a moment to celebrate officially setting your wedding date!
Step 4: Pick your theme
As you start turning your dreams into reality, tie your celebration together with a central theme. Do you want a rustic, pastoral wedding or are you leaning toward something more modern? You can decide before or after scheduling your venue, though it may be helpful to have a general idea in mind. Every venue has their own unique style and you do want to make sure it fits with the wedding you’re imagining, so you may even want to put some thought into the theme before you commit to a venue.
Step 5: Decide who you want to invite
As you start your new life together, you may want a room full of loved ones to witness this next chapter of your lives. First, you’ll want to finalize the members of your wedding party. Ask your nearest and dearest if they want to be part of the wedding party. Once you’ve set a date, start narrowing down your total guest list so you can get those Save the Dates in the mail! The sooner your friends and family can get your big day on their calendar, the more likely everyone will be able to attend.
Step 6: Finalize the rest of your arrangements
Now you’re ready to nail down all the little details. Book any additional vendors you’ll need as soon as possible. If you’ve got ideas for any DIY projects, you’ll also want to start plotting those now. The more you plan ahead, the easier things will be closer to your wedding day.
Tips for deciding the right timeline for you
There may not be a right or wrong amount of time to be engaged, but there are reasons the length of an engagement is right for you. Here are just a few things to consider as you figure out which time frame suits your needs best.
Is a shorter engagement right for you?
If you’re aiming for a smaller, more intimate ceremony, you may not need to wait a full year for a large venue to be available. Some couples may also be eager to start married life for a number of reasons. A short engagement may work well if you’re ready to begin married life right away. If these factors resonate for you, a shorter timeline could be the right choice.
Is a longer engagement right for you?
There’s nothing wrong with taking your time if you’re set on a wedding that takes longer planning. A longer engagement will give you plenty of space to plan, as well as save money for your special day. Waiting to make the switch from fiance to spouse could also depend on other major life events. If you’re also planning to move in together during the engagement, or one of you has just changed jobs, you may want to wait. It’s OK to let your calendar settle a bit before you officially settle down.
Set an engagement length that works for you
Your love story is one of a kind and your wedding journey should be no different. Your engagement should last as long or short as you need it to be. Once you’ve determined the ideal length of your engagement, you can start to work on everything else. Trademark Venues is here to help with all of your wedding needs. With a range of gorgeous venues to choose from, as well as in-house wedding planners, caterers, and more, we’ve got you covered. Reach out to Trademark today to start planning a day you’ll never forget.