(Closed) Extremely long engagement… when to do engagement party/pictures?

posted 7 years ago in Parties
Post # 3
758 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

if i were you, I would wait a little while to start doing any planning, pics, etc. 3 years is such a long ways off that you will get burnt out or your ideas will change completely by then. I would really start planning it all about 1-1.5 years out.

Post # 4
18645 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

My husband and I had an engagement that was 3 years long.  We didn’t have an engagement party but we took the pictures in October 2008 before our June 2009 wedding.

Post # 5
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Hmm, that’s a tough one.  I’m not sure about the engagement party, since that’s usually a time for everyone to start talking about the details and stuff you know?  I think you can do pictures anytime, though.

Post # 6
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We are having a long engagement (28 months) and we had an engagement party about 2 months after we got engaged. From everything I read, the party is supposed to be close to the engagement. Traditionally, the party was where the engagement was actually announced. If you want to wait until the weather warms up, I think it would be ok to wait until this summer. However once you start getting into the year plus range, it doesn’t look very timely.

As far as pictures, we are doing our’s in February..which is still over a year and a half from the wedding. We’re having a destination wedding so I’m already building a website and want to use them on there. I guess it depends on how you’re using the pictures. You could even wait until less than a year out if you wanted.

Post # 8
18645 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

@Miss Fish: I think no matter what people are going to ask the details about you wedding even if the atmosphere is informal.  I would just tell everyone that you are waiting until after you graduate.  I assume that both your families live near eachother?

Post # 9
137 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011 - The Royal Park Hotel

Congrats on your engagement, Miss Fish! I love that you have a good relationship with your in-laws. If a laid-back get together is what you and your Fiance want, word of mouth can do wonders with family in setting the tone for the gathering!

We had a longer engagement (24 months), and were also peppered with questions about details right off the bat. Eventually our responses were honed to: “We’re just enjoying the moment! I’m sure it’ll all come together. How is <insert redirect question towards them>?”

That usually got people distracted from the engagement/wedding because it turns the center of the conversation to them. 😉

Post # 11
27 posts
  • Wedding: September 2013

I, too, got engaged Christmas Eve, and have been very surprised that people were already asking me about a date when I went to church on Sunday! We’re having a 3 year engagement. I don’t even know if we’ll have an engagement party, but I’m not going to do pictures or an announcement in the paper until much later.

Congratulations, MIss Fish!

Post # 12
2889 posts
Sugar bee

We were engaged for just over 3 years. We had a pretty casual party right at the beginnning with his family and friends as my parents happened to be visiting and our families live too far apart to imagine getting them in one place so this was kind of our way of including his family and friends who would not be able to travel to the wedding in my homestate. At the party, we announced our planned date so people would be able to plan the travel and it stopped anyone from hasseling us as they knew we had 3 years.

As far as photos, we did those pretty early on and I’m glad we did. Doing them early on gave us the chance to use them along the way on our website but also for our Christmas cards and in a frame, etc. Also, my family really wanted engagement photos so it kept them happy.

The only thing we really did very early on was look at venues and reserve our date. Since we were having the wedding far from where we live, we had to look at venues when we were visiting my parents. We were really happy we started this early as our ultimate venue hosts limited weddings and books out in a particular way that caused all good dates to be booked over a year out. We found our venue in Oct. 2008 and booked on the first day they were excepting 2010 bookings in Jan. 2009 for our Sept. 2010 wedding. This is a unique situation but had we waited until 2009 to look for a venue we never would have been able to get a date so you may want to consider where you want to have your reception and get an idea of a normal booking time frame for your venue. Most venues won’t let you book now for 2014 but as it gets closer, be aware that a lot of caterers/venues will honor current prices for future events so booking 18-12 months in advance could be beneficial.

Post # 14
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

My engagement will have been a year and a half. quite a bit shorter than 3 and a half…but here is what I have done so far.

Engaged Christmas 2009

Engagment Pictures September 2010

Engagement Party November 2010

Engagement Announcement in Newspaper November 2010 (Day after engagement party)

First Wedding Shower (holiday themed) 2 nights ago–December 2010. 


If I were you I would wait at least a year before you do anything. For all the “question askers” tell them you are so excited but you have a lot on your plates with school and are going to have a long engagement. During this time really start looking at what you like (in every aspect of wedding planning). Don’r worry about the engagement losing steam–you will very excited for quite a while. Once you get to the 2 year mark I would start looking into photographers to take engagement photos–it takes a while to get scheduled and to get prints–not too long but its definitely not an over night thing. (side note–engagement pics 5×7 in frames are great holiday gifts for family and close friends). During the 2nd year I would do some planning –book major things–photographer, band/DJ, venue, food, drink, car service. Around the 1 and a half year mark i would have the engagement party. at the 1 year mark i would do the announcement in the paper if you are going to do one. At that point you should be registered for gifts. I would not have any showers or send out any kind of save the date before the one year mark. Because it is such a long engagement I would really work on creating a timeline so it is stretched out. You don’t want to do everything too early but you also don’t want everyone to forget you are engaged! 

Post # 15
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

One thing you will run into that has happened to me….

On calling/booking places so far in advance–sometimes it is too early for them to meet with you to decide which flowers you want, or what food you want, or what songs you want played…so there is A LOT of follow up calling and confirming. CONFIRM CONFIRM CONFIRM! Also, because it is such a long time…really get to know the people you are working with. Be super friendly and try to form some relationships! It will help so much! STAY IN CONTACT with band, venue, food, drink, etc. 

Post # 16
91 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Miss Fish ..my fiance and I are until June 2013 for our wedding due to graduate school. Even though our wedding is some ways away we have already looked at venues and photographers and actually will be making our deposit on our venue of choice in June of this year. Photographer has already been booked. This is giving us a “locked in 2011” pricing for both our venue and photographer. Not something you need to do if you don’t want to but it is a pretty good suggestion to start looking at venues next year.

Some people have said “Well you have some time.” true, but the venue and date that we wanted–we wanted to confirm that it will be booked for us.

It’s not a bad idea just to start browsing through inspiration boards to get a general idea of what you want for a wedding or to estimate your wedding budget, either.

As for us with engagement photos, we are having destination e-shoot in vegas when we go on vacation in May, but we can use them for a ton of different things such as I just created our wedding website. It honestly is up to you. But if you don’t want to plan 2 years ahead, I’d def do it 18 months or so before because venues do book quickly!!!

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