Post # 1
This is my first post on Weddingbee, because, well … I am recently engaged! We are both so, so excited. Now, we are trying to decide when to get married, and for this I would love your friendly bee advice!
Here is our situation: I’m 24, he’s 25. We met in college back in 2004, and we’ve been together for 6.5 years. We moved in together after college, and lived together for a few years while I was in grad school and he was working … but this fall, he moved a thousand miles away to attend law school. I’m still in grad school (three years into my PhD program) so sadly I couldn’t move with him. Fiance will graduate in May 2013. I should (hopefully) be done around then, too. So we’ll be long distance for about 2 more years. We do get to see each other about once a month and we chat everyday, and although long-distance is tough because we miss each other terribly, everything is otherwise going great. And earlier this month, we got engaged!!
We are thinking about getting married in either Summer 2012 or Summer 2013. We’d be happy to get married sooner, so we were originally leaning towards 2012, but if we choose Summer 2012 we’ll still have 9 months of long distance left once we are married while we finish grad school. If we choose Summer 2013, our engagement will be very long (over 2 years) but we’d be able to start our lives as newlyweds in the same city. It would be nearly a decade together before getting married, though! Our families have been waiting for this for years and are SO excited that we are engaged, so I think they would push for a shorter engagement as well. But, of course they will support us with whatever we decide.
Any advice for me about long vs. short engagements, or long distance engagements? When should our wedding be?
Post # 3
Congratulations on your engagement! 🙂
My Fiance and I got engaged on January 2nd and we’re getting married on September 2, 2011… yup, we’re having an 8-month engagement (quite short for some people). We’ve also been doing the long distance thing since we work in different cities (when we started dating in our last year of law school, we had already accepted jobs in San Francisco and Los Angeles). So, like you we see each other at least once a month, talk everyday, etc.
I don’t really have any sage advice except to do what ultimately feels right (obvious, right? :)). When we started looking at wedding dates, I thought September was too soon and wouldn’t give us enough time to plan or save. We were choosing between September 2011, March 2012, and May 2012 because those dates worked best for some family members coming from abroad and we wanted to make sure they could attend. Fiance thought March and May 2012 were too far out. In the end, we chose September 2011 because our church was available on that date and more family and friends from Europe and Asia could come. I’m glad we picked September; I realize now that I have more than enough time to do everything, and would probably have gone crazy if we had a longer engagement.
The first month and a half of our engagement was a flurry of activity because I wanted to book vendors as soon as possible. We lucked out because we were able to our major vendors within a few short weeks. Now that all that’s done, I’m starting to relax and enjoy planning the details of our wedding. I’m also in the middle of looking for a job and moving my life to where he is once we get married, so that and work have kept me very busy, which helps because i don’t have time to miss him too much. 🙂
Your situation is obviously different because of the prospect of living away from each other after getting married. I could totally see the benefits of getting married in 2013 — you’ll start your married life together, you’ll be done with school and embarking on your careers, you’ll have tons of time to pick the vendors you like the most, you could save more for the future, etc. However, I also understand the draw of getting married earlier! 🙂 For me though, it would suck too much to live separately after getting married…. I would probably go with a wedding date in the summer of 2013 just because I wouldn’t want to put a hold on beginning our life together as a married couple by having to go back to school alone.
Good luck with whatever date you choose!
Post # 4
@kayceeg: Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply! Congrats on YOUR engagement too, and best of luck with all your wedding planning! (I agree it’s nice to be busy during a long-distance relationship. I swear I’ve picked up 100 hobbies since my fiance moved to law school … and now I have wedding planning too, yay!)
We’re kind of leaning towards summer 2013 now, which seems very far away to me right now. But it will be wonderful to be able to embark on the next phase of our lives – in the same city – after the wedding, so I think it will be worth it!
Since you are a lawyer though – and if you have time for one more question! – do you think one would have time for a wedding right after law school graduation (if we postponed the honeymoon till after he takes the bar)? How about before/after the 2L internship? I know these things are very important for my fiance’s career, obviously, but I just have no frame of reference schedule-wise to know when a wedding would be feasible!
Post # 5
@scienceandcupcakes: I am in a similar situation! I’m a 1L with your future hubby! I know ALL his pain, so girl, come to me with questions, frustrations, etc! haha but onto the engagement thing– I have talked to MANY people who advise not getting married right after graduation. Strictly because bar exam prep classes usually start the Monday after graduation, and you won’t have time to spend as the cutesy newlyweds 🙂 What we are planning is: get engaged by the end of the year (most likely late summer early fall) and get married during spring break of my third year. Granted, I am hoping and planning for us to be in the same city for my last year, or at least the last semester. Ugh, I hate LDR!
Post # 6
Hi! My Fiance and I are both in graduate school, too, so I understand your struggle. I graduate in 2012. He graduates in 2013. We’re about 3.5 hours apart at this point and planning to get married next summer.
We’ll be engaged for two years before we get married. And it’s even possible that we may be apart for another year (possible post-graduate fellowships, job, etc.)
I don’t have much advice, for one, because I know how hard it can be to make these decisions. But I would ask that you look at your finances and determine what’s realistic based on that. What can you afford? Are your parents or families willing to contribute? Could you realistically be married without being together for a while. This is a big issue that I’ve been considering lately myself. I couldn’t see myself married and apart for an additional year, but if circumstances make it that way, we’ll have to make it work.
Anyway, best of luck with your decision! 🙂
Post # 7
@scienceandcupcakes: Offhand I’d probably agree with LaviniaRose2013 that getting married right after graduation is not ideal. However, given that he’s the one in law school and you’re the one doing most of the planning, I don’t think it would be as stressful as if you were both law school students, or you were the one about to take the bar. I know a few people who did it (one couple — both were law students about to take the bar — and the other, the bride was a law student and the groom wasn’t) who managed. Depending on where you take them, some barbri classes (the bar review course) may actually start a week after you graduate. If that’s the case, then you’ll have a few days at the most to decompress before he starts his bar review. Also (and I don’t mean to sound dismissive here or anything, just being realistic), most people I know (including myself) didn’t really get into full-on study mode until after the 4th of July weekend… we still did fun things during those first few weeks of Barbri. I guess it depends on whether you both think you can handle the added stress and if you’ll be ready to be the extremely patient, understanding, non-demanding wife he needs during review time (law students are horrible to be around with when they’re studying for the bar). Anyway, if you go this route, doing your honeymoon after the bar would be an excellent idea! 🙂
Coming from a pure law school schedule perspective, I would say getting married after his 2L internship (summer before his third year) would be the least stressful. Right before his internship would work too — probably check with the firm if they’re flexible with starting/ending dates.
Again, best of luck with your wedding planning! 🙂
Post # 8
Congrats on your engagement! I’m also doing the long distance, long engagement thing. Me and my fiance are 25 and 26. I have a year and a half left of school, then we will live together. We are planning on a december 2014 wedding, because i’ll be done school in 2012, and my parents would prefer that i wait till im done school to plan our wedding. So we have another 3 years of being engaged to go…it gets annoying at times when im itching to plan, but im so thankful i dont have to plan during school and exams, as those are stressful enough. personally i think that being married and long distance would be hard, for us atleast the distance seemed to get harder after we got engaged versus just dating, mabey because your more emotionally invested? we could get married now, but then same thing, we would be married and still long distance which is deffinately not ideal. I’d say have a longer engagement, so you guys can enjoy being newlyweds together 🙂 if you ever need someone to talk to about long distance relationships, long engagements or both, feel free to pm me 🙂
Post # 9
Congrats on your engagement! I am a SUPER long engagement bride: 3 and a half years! He just couldn’t wait to propose, which is incredibly sweet, but as we both go to different colleges, it was the most practical for us to wait until I’m done with school. However, considering that I am pursuing a doule undergrad major and plan on being out of state (if not out of the country the country) for about 6 months of those years, I’m glad I have all this time to plan ahead! I know that I am NOT going to be interested in all of my major wedding planning in the year leading up to the wedding- I’ll have TWO simultaneous year-long independant research projects to b doing. I’d rather have all of the major things done by then!
For your situation, I think it would be best to wait until you can start off your married life together. Being long distance is hard enough with a boyfriend or a fiance, but I can’t imagine what it would be like for a newly married couple! Maybe wait a few months after he graduates from law school? It would give both of you a little time to cool down, and maybe he’d even have a chance to take the bar exam (although I have no idea how long the prep classes are for that).
I know it seems like forever away, but 2013 will be here before you know it, especially since both of you will be so busy with graduate work. Plus, the longer the engagement, the better opportunity to find great deals, which I expect will be important to a couple just finishing many years of (very expensive) education, lol!
Post # 10
@scienceandcupcakes: Congrats on your engagement!!
My FH and I have been engaged for a year and almost four months, and aren’t getting married until next Aug!!! (FH is in Vet tech school in PA until June 2012)
I have to say, I have a friend who got engaged in Jan and is planning her wedding for later this year, and I am so happy I have the extra time to plan. I have changed my mind a million times over about a lot of things, but I feel like this extra time helps me get my dream wedding together without being overly-stressed.
I am sure there are pros and cons to both worlds, my advice? do what is best for YOU and your FH!!!
Post # 11
@Miss Fish: yay for another 2014 bride 🙂
Post # 12
We’re long distance and are going to end up with a two-year engagement, but FH should be moving here next month–yay! We really wanted to have a little time living together before we get married, as we’re older than the rest of the folks posting on this thread (early 40s) and have both never lived with anyone, so we know there will be lots to work through. We’re also planning to have our wedding where he lives now (I know, odd but there are reasons) so with the long-distance planning it is nice to have some extra time. We are not regretting the long engagement at all, it feels really nice and relaxed.
Post # 13
While we weren’t long distance, we’ve been engaged for 3 years now – finally getting married this year (total of 3.5 years engaged). We wanted to finish school, then we wanted to buy a house. After that, we wanted to get a dog, then another dog, and now we are finally planning the wedding.
I wish I had 1 – 2 years to plan, so I could get the actual date I wanted, and the place I wanted… We started planning in November (tryingn to find a place), but the real planning (any booking) didn’t start until Feb this year.
Post # 14
@scienceandcupcakes: This is exactly the same thing that happened with my fiance and I. I was away at university in one country and he was just starting a new job about a 5.5 hour plane ride away! We’ve spent the last 3 years long distance and have been engaged for 2 of those years.
In hindsight, I wish we would have waited to get engaged until a year before we could actually get married. I feel as though I didn’t get to experience the rush and excitement of getting engaged and planning the wedding because it was so far off. It’s finally here though, 2 years later, and we’re getting married on July 2nd. It does feel as though it was a long time ago that we got engaged though. On the plus side, we’ve had lots of time to think about what we want and book things little by little, so it’s been relatively stress free.
As for whether you should have the wedding sooner, and have to live apart afterwards, or wait until you can truly begin your life together, in the same place…that is up to you. For us, we really didn’t want to have the excitement of getting married and starting a new chapter of our lives to be then dampened by living apart again. Although I have struggled with having such a long engagement, having people constantly ask when the date is, and feeling like I was missing out on the whirlwind excitement of it all, I am very VERY glad that we waited. I’ll be graduating next week, moving to another country, and then it will be 2.5 months until our wedding. I’m excited that we’re putting the long distance behind us and from now on we’ll always be together.
Post # 15
My fiance and I have been doing long distance since I moved away for law school. We ended up deciding to wait until graduation to marry. I graduate on a Monday, get married the next Saturday in a different state, have a week’s honeymoon and then start BARBRI right after getting back.
We decided to wait because we wanted our wedding to really kick off our day-to-day life together. It’s been a lot of work and sacrifice to get through the distance, and having the wedding at the end feels like a celebratory bon voyage party as we set off on this new chapter. We wanted to nest and enjoy regular dinners and weekends and the like once married, rather than the constant countdown and phone/skype dates that characterize long distance.
Obviously, planning a wedding, graduation and move at once is stressful and likely not for everyone. This is one case where I think you have to go with your gut. A couple of my LDR school friends went ahead and married during 2L, but most were a close enough drive to spend weekends together. After talking together about what we were most looking forward to in marriage, we felt those things would come more easily when we could finally be together for real (geographically). Congrats on your engagement and don’t stress – your day to day of long distance is unlikely to change too terribly no matter what you decide!
Post # 16
My husband and I had a long engagement (3 years). What I would consider is how busy you are going to be during the end of your graduate program. It could be pretty stressful trying to wrap up the program and planning a wedding and a move together at the same time.