Post # 1
So I’ve shared a couple of times that we (well I) are struggling with deciding whether to move forward with having a traditional wedding in 2012 versus doing a planned elopement in 2011 (FI’s preference). 2012 is for a number of reasons, including family preference and because we would be planning on sinking a significant chunk of money into a wedding, we aren’t sure if the wedding is even worth it emotionally and financially. I was perusing the boards trying to see if any other bees were/are struggling with the same thing and I always come across one sentiment “enjoy your engagement period, you will never get that time back”
I dont really get this sentiment. Isn’t the point of being engaged just to plan for a wedding? I dont know what is particularly special about an engagement period in and of itself; I would say it brings no specific, particular benefit to the couple’s lives.
Is this something people just say to make people with long engagements feel better?
What are your thoughts on what makes the engagement period something to particularly cherish?
Post # 3
Haha, great question 🙂 A lot of people told me to “enjoy the engagement” as a way to say “enjoy the first few weeks after getting engaged because once you start planning, it’s the worst experience of your life”.
That was great advice!
I personally think waiting was lovely, we could just enjoy and be happy without any drama or anything. Once we started planning, I wanted to make the engagement period as short as possible to just get it over with – I see no need to be engaged for engagement’s sake. Just my two cents!
Post # 4
Huh. I never really stopped to consider what makes the engagement period special. For right now, it’s fun to say “my fiance” and I obviously enjoy the ring, but I’m not sure what really is special about it except for planning a wedding together and getting to know his family better (which wouldn’t end once we’re married!).
I can’t really think of anything that makes it any different than any other time.
Post # 5
I liked being engaged! Planning for your life together is special. I get it can be really stressful, though.
Post # 6
I am one of those people who believes in enjoying the engagement hahaha 🙂 And it’s definitely not something I would say to make people with long engagements feel better. I personally would like to be engaged for at least a year in order to “enjoy being engaged”. Reasons why:
1. I personally feel that being engaged is a special time in a woman’s life where she is somewhat in the spotlight and has the opportunity to be treated extra special by friends and family. Everyone is so excited for you and you have parties thrown in your honor and people always want to know how the wedding planning is going and all that. Think about it, if you see someone with an engagement ring that you don’t know, you may say “Oh wow, you’re engaged! Congratulations!” and ask about the details etc. If you see someone with a wedding ring you aren’t like “Oh you’re married! How cool!”
2. I personally love planning. I think planning my special day will be so exciting and it’s something I do want to be able to enjoy and not stress about. I want to be able to find all the right things for the right prices and all that.
3. There is all this anticipation leading up to the marriage. You are excited, Fiance is excited, your friends and family are excited. Then you get married and you don’t have that super exciting life changing event to look forward to anymore.
Post # 7
Engaged means planning to get married, it is special because you’ve moved up a step from “just” being in a relationship to actively planning a wedding and future together. I love saying this is fiance rather than boyfriend and think its very exciting to get to make all the wedding planning decisions. Sometimes it does get stressful but its a stress that I actually enjoy.
Post # 8
Yeah, after the initial shock and excitement over being engaged, I don’t really get it either. We haven’t gotten into the full ‘stress’ of wedding planning yet, so I’m not to the point of reminiscing on our engagement ‘beginnings’ when it was simple happiness and excitement and I wasn’t freaking out about floral arrangements.
One thing I think an engagement period is good for though is that you and your Fiance can now have some serious conversations about what you both want in your life together. It’s not just the theoretical talk that you had when you were just dating, this is the real deal now. We’ve definitely taken it up a level to talk about where we’ll move next to accomodate the family we want, when we want to start having kids, etc. I think it’s a good time to sketch out your life plan together, all the way to retirement and old age, so you can be clear in communication and not just ‘assume’ it will all work out without talking about it.
Post # 9
Ugh people kept saying this to me as my wedding got closer. Oh you are only engaged once and you should enjoy this time because it will be over soon. Yeah such BS. I’m sorry but being married is a million times better than being engaged. We fought a lot through our engagement and literally right after we got married we have barely fought in the past 3 months. I have also been a lot less stressed. I really have no clue what people mean when they say this to you!
Post # 10
I think people just say it because getting engaged is exciting. I don’t think they really think about the time of engagement itself. Although it is a unique and (relatively, compared with how long you were singe, and how long you will be married) short time, so perhaps just enjoy it for that?
Post # 11
I guess for us it’s something more sound and real than just dating, but it’s not yet a “legal obligation.”
Post # 12
@ejs4y8: I agree. I like being in the “engagement period.” For me it’s like a prelude to the rest of our lives together…things are more relaxed (despite the wedding planning), the seriousness of marriage hasn’t set it, and we really are just enjoying our time together.
It feels almost like we’re teenagers and everything is really giddy and exciting. I can imagine that although the wedding will be exciting being married probably won’t feel the same. We’ll still be mad for each other, but we have set a lot of serious life goals for ourselves after the wedding and it will be more of a time for us to put our noses to the grind as partners.
I’m loving the engagement, it’s a great build-up to the wedding 🙂
Post # 13
@jenter: We’ve definitely taken it up a level to talk about where we’ll move next to accomodate the family we want, when we want to start having kids, etc. I think it’s a good time to sketch out your life plan together, all the way to retirement and old age, so you can be clear in communication and not just ‘assume’ it will all work out without talking about it.
This, right here. There is some excitement to being engaged (people asking you about the wedding, the planning, ect) but outside of discussing the future in real vs. abstract terms and actually planning the wedding, I don’t see the big deal either.
Unless you’re actively planning your wedding, I think just being engaged would be frustrating. You’ve got the ring, you’re going to get married (at some point), but thats it. You’re kind of in this place of limbo, you’re more than dating but you’re not married yet. Some people really enjoy this “limbo” period, other people (myself included) just want to get to the next stage, already!
Post # 14
I’m in a long engagement and no one needs to tell me something to make me “feel better” becaue I LOVE my engagement. Not to say everyone has to, but don’t assume gals who are in long engagements are unhappy. 🙂 We dated for almost four years before getting engaged so a 2.5 year engagement really doesn’t seem that long. It’s been amazing. Of course I’m ready for the wedding to be here, but I still love that we no longer have to be discreet about our level of commitment and head-over-heels love for each other. 🙂
Post # 15
i think it’s a reminder not to rush things. being engaged is different from being married, and it’s nice to stop and smell the roses once in awhile an enjoy planning for your life together, instead of obsessing over the wedding.
Post # 16
The engagement period is just full of stressful planning. Fiance and I got engaged in February and will be married in December. I’m glad that we will soon be able just to move on with the normal stressers of life and cut out this big shin-dig planning.
With that said I wish we would have eloped or had a small destination honey-moon. I am excited for it don’t get me wrong, but the amount of money, relationship stress, financial stress, family stress, it’s all too much for just one day.