Post # 1
Just from my experience here on Weddingbee and from couples I’ve known in real life, I’ve been under the impression that the average length of engagements has been increasing over time. (My parents were engaged for about 6 months before getting married, and they seem to think that was pretty typical for their time- and of course my grandparents had an even shorter engagement than that!)
I always knew that for me, I’d want an engagement at least 6 months long, but not longer than a year.
According to a study done by The Wedding Report, the average engagement length seems to be decreasing slightly every year, from 18 months in ’05/’06 to 15 months in ’09/’10.
The report can be seen here: http://www.theweddingreport.com/bz/index.php/average-length-of-engagement-time-and-engagement-months-2005-to-2010/
Additionally, the average age at first marriage seems to be going up according to an article by the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/28/study-college-debt-marriage-loans-rates-rising_n_1385548.html). Which didn’t really come as a surprise to me.
The average age for a man to get married for the first time is 28, and the average age for a woman is 26.
So just out of curiosity, are/were you bees older or younger than the average age? And Is your engagement longer or shorter than the average?
I’ll share first- I’m 21, and our engagement will have been about 11 months.
Post # 3
I don’t believe those numbers from theweddingreport.com . They sound like an industry group, so I’m guessing their data is based on their clients, i.e. people with big weddings.
Hardly anyone I know has had an engagement more than 12 months. Mine was 10 months.
Post # 4
I’m 22 now, FH is 23. Will be 23 and 24 at the time of the wedding. Our engagement will be 3 years long, give or take a month, but not by my choice. I would have much rather had an engagement longer than six month but shorter than 1.5 years but life didn’t work out that way.
Post # 5
@paula1248: It may have something to do with the fact that you’re from Australia. 🙂 I’ve never seen any worldwide statistics, so I was going based off of the U.S.
Here’s another report (for the U.S.) from the Knot that says the average engagement length in 2010 was 14 months, which seems pretty consistent with the other report.
Post # 6
@rachelmichelle: I’d guess the US numbers are even lower than Australia. As a general rule, Christians who don’t believe in living together before marriage tend to have shorter engagements; and I’m guessing that’s more prevalent in the USA than Australia.
Your link says, “respondents were recruited throughout the year from TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com membership”. I contend that they are not representative samples of the general population. People doing a short engagement and simple wedding are less likely to use theknot (or weddingbee for that matter), than are people doing a long engagement and elaborate wedding.
Post # 7
I’m 20, fh is 23. Our engagement will be 19 months =D
We both wanted a semi-long engagement, that we’d have plenty of time to plan and it was just luck that our 6 year anniversary wad 19 months away (we’d always wanted to get married on our anniversary).
Post # 8
SO and I are both 25. We will be married via civil ceremony in December, our formal wedding will be in June and we’ll both be 26. We’ve been engaged since October, so technically a one month engagement before marriage.
Post # 9
I’m 20, fh is 23. Our engagement will be 19 months =D
We both wanted a semi-long engagement, that way we’d have plenty of time to plan and it was just luck that our 6 year anniversary was 19 months away and fell on a saturday (we’d always wanted to get married on our anniversary).
Post # 10
@paula1248: It’s possible. Another study from ‘Brides’ (the magazine) says that average engagement length in 2011 was 15.5 months.
Generally most statistics come with a margin of error, but that doesn’t seem to be published.
I looked for some other outside studies, but I haven’t seen anything. In any case, I think it’s just fun to get to know the other bees and to see how our weddings/lives/etc compare. 🙂
Post # 11
It could also be said that the length of engagements are increasing due to the fact that it is becoming common for couples to pay for their own weddings or contributing more to the cost of the wedding. In order to do that and with the ever increasing costs of a traditional wedding the couple needs a longer engagement in order to save/afford their dream wedding.
I am guessing that the huge increase in destination weddings may have also been a contributing factor to the longer engagement statistics.
But I do agree with you @paula1248: that source of the research leaves a lot to be desired. It kind of makes me think of the results for research on the cost of the average wedding. It is in the industries best interest that a high $$ is the outcome because there are people that read statistics and think they need to meet them!
Post # 12
@j_jaye: Totally- I would have thought that the average engagement length was increasing, too! I was pretty surprised when a few reports I had looked at showed a slight decrease.
Only thing I could figure for the other side is that maybe with the economy being tougher, maybe people are getting married sooner for tax/insurance benefits and to combine finances.
I know finances played (a small) part in my Fiance and I deciding to get engaged/married sooner rather than later.
Post # 13
@j_jaye: I agree, there is an increasing number of couples paying for their own weddings nowadays.
I am very lucky that my parents want to pay for the wedding, and my Future In-Laws want to pay for half, Fiance and I will want to pay for at least our honeymoon though.
We are both 22, and will have a 3.5 year engagement, so much much longer than average. But we both want to at least be almost done with university, and live together first. We hope to move out by Christmas next year so will have lived together for at least a year and a half before getting married.
Post # 14
Brides in the UK seem to be older on average (29 vs 26) and an engagement isn’t usually considered long until it’s over 2 years.
Post # 16
My husband and I were engaged for just over 6 months when we got married, and on our wedding day we had only been together 10 months and a day!!!