Engaged at 21, what were the reactions?

posted 2 years ago in 20 Something
Post # 2
Member
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

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jazzyb123 :  Hi bee! Congratulations on your upcoming engagement! My now husband and I got engaged at 21 as well, though we’d been dating over 3 years at that point and everyone knew it was just a matter of time until we made it official. My parents, although happy for us, were a bit taken aback at first, as we hadn’t discussed our exact timeline with them. But after a really good heart to heart between the four of us, they were completely on board and wanted to start touring venues with us! We got married exactly 13 months after he proposed. 

My advice is to make sure you don’t get defensive, be sure you know why you’re getting engaged now as opposed to a year or two down the road, have a viable plan for moving forward with wedding expenses, living expenses etc. and really listen to the concerns your parents will most likely have.

Some people aren’t ready or don’t find their person until later in life and some are lucky enough like you and I to have found our person earlier. For my husband and I, getting married didn’t mean we wanted to give up things a stereotypical 20-something does, it just means we get to do those things together. We are lucky enough to have more years than some to spend happily married and we have more time to travel and do other young adult DINK (double income no kids) things before settling down. 

GL and post pictures of your ring when you get it! 

Post # 3
Member
28 posts
Newbee

It’s less about age than it is about maturity. I got engaged at 21, married 9 months later (still at 21). But I had already graduated from college and was halfway through my graduate school program. My fiancee was 23 (24 when we wed), had his professional licensure, and had just purchased his first home. We financed the majority of the wedding ourselves.

I can’t recall any blowback from friends about how young we were, and with both sets of parents having married at the same age (or younger in my in-laws’ case), they had no leg to stand on anyway!

We celebrated our 25th anniversary last year, so thing obviously worked out okay.

Post # 4
Member
3395 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Slightly older, but we got engaged when DH and I were both 23 (after dating for 2.5 years, living together for 1), and married at 24. And we come from areas where most people get engaged in their late 20’s or early 30’s. But everyone was very happy for us, especially our families. The only slighlty off comments I can remember were “so I guess you are going to have a really long engagement then?” (once from a friend, once from a co-worker). I just set them straight right away and said “nope, our wedding date is set for next summer”, and didn’t engage any further. If you don’t make a big deal about your ages, and don’t care what other people think because you are mature and self-sufficient adults, then your age doesn’t really matter anyways.

Post # 5
Member
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

I was engaged at 21, and my family was nothing but happy for us. His family were a little shocked, but also happy for us. 

We did get some “subtle judgment” from a few friends and a lot of aquaintances. Comments like “why the rush?” or “you’re both so young!”. But most people were happy for us once they realised our parents weren’t concerned.

Like pp said it’s important not to get defensive, just let people see how happy you already are, and if people make comments don’t engage (although I sometimes point out – why not? we’re already living together?)

Post # 6
Member
7550 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2019

We were engaged at 21. At first my father was concerned and didn’t give his blessing because he thought of engagements always being 6-18 months long. We were each living at home still and I wasn’t finished uni, plus I was only working on a casual basis.

Once he understood that we wanted a long engagement (3 years) and wouldn’t marry until I finished my degree and we moved out, he readily gave his blessing. Mum said yes straight away.

Everyone was happy for us, even more so when we finally got married last month!

Post # 7
Member
1478 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

Ok not quite what you’re looking for but my nephew just got engaged at 21 and they are having a beyond short engagement. I’m in my early 30s and got married a year and a half ago and I’m the exremely judgey one. Mind you, I have struggled with my in-laws so I have been very cautious in what I say / how I act  

 

I talked to my nephew tonight (he called me) and he was an absolute darling. And while I’m still judgey with a lot of concerns, I think the fact that he was open to listening to advice was a huge relief for me. The judgment and comments you are preparing yourself for are rooted in the fact that people likely do not believe you are mature enough to handle marriage. Whether that’s because of your actual age or potentially life stage / relationship experience. Show maturity in your responses (you do not have to take their advice), and that will go far. 

 

Since I’m in the mood to impart advice tonight – I recommend premarital counseling :). And unrelated to your age, I will also tell you the best advice I received – always, always be kind to each other.

 

Congrats on your impending engagement! 

Post # 8
Member
1478 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

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newbeegirl :  this is excellent advice. At 21 there are stability challenges (career and financial mostly) that can really make marriage very very challenging. 

Post # 9
Member
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

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libellules :  Thank you! I hope it helps OP and others who are considering a young engagement. 

Post # 10
Member
1637 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - City, State

21 is so young.  I got engaged at 20, married at 22, and I’m now divorced.  My ex hadn’t turned into the adult he would become yet.  It’s so young you’re still growing into your adult self.  So much growing left to do! You have to hope that you will grow into each other rather than away from each other.

Post # 11
Member
340 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969 - Montsalvat, Victoria

Hey bee, congratulations on your upcoming engagement! You must be so excited. My fiancé and I got engaged at 23 and at the time a lot of relatives were surprised and made comments about how young we were to be engaged (lol I had one aunt ask me if it’s because I was pregnant 🤦🏻‍♀️😂). After the shock, everyone got over it and got on board with wedding planning. We’ve had a relatively long engagement of almost 2yrs because of the venue we chose, but the pros is that it’s given us more time to grow together as a couple, fiancé is now finished with law school and I’ve just about finished my masters in finance and we’ve both got secure full time jobs. I think overall it was/is the right time for us. Also we’d been together since we were 17 so it wasn’t like it was a surprise! I think ultimately you just need to weather the surprise/comments (if any). Only you know when the right time is and everyone else’s comments are more a reflection on them than you! 

Post # 12
Member
1510 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I think this depends so much on the individual couple! My college roommate got engaged right before our senior year. She was 21 at the time. They got married a year later when they were both 22. Those of us who knew her were not surprised or upset at all. They had been dating since they were 16, and seemed to be a very stable happy couple. Both of their families seemed very happy and supportive too. They are still married now 10 years later 🙂

Post # 13
Member
12 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2020 - Lake Tahoe

My family was extremely judgmental about it unfortunately, they also refused to give us their ‘blessing’ – as if we need it!

We were engaged young, I want to say 22-23 years old and I’m 25 now and have plans to get married in 2020. So far I want to say my mother’s fav line to use on us whenever we just *talk* about the wedding- ‘But you need at least 20k to have a wedding!’ 

Can’t discuss it with family at all because they think we need x amount of money to do so! Ugh!

Post # 14
Member
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2021 - Iowa

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jazzyb123 :  I’m 20 and my fiancé is 21 and everyone has been super supportive family wise! A couple of girls I know have said some backhanded comments but nothing major, like many other have said I really think it depends on The individual relationship and maturity level others hold you at. My fiance and I have been together for 3+ years, live together 2+ hours away from our family, and are financially independent so I think our families weren’t very surprised/didn’t see it that different from our current lives. It is kind of odd when it’s random younger people I meet though, one girl couldn’t get over the fact that I was engaged and kept asking about it a lot like it was the weirdest thing ever which was kind of odd/funny. 

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