How long should an engagement be?

posted 6 months ago in Engagement
Post # 31
203 posts
Helper bee

Our engagement is 16 months. We just hit “one year until our wedding” this week! I think there are pros and cons:

pros: plenty of time to save, less stress because I feel like I have time to work everything out, plenty of bridal showers/couple showers/hype over the engagement


cons: even though our venue is booked and the wedding is being actively planned, I feel like when I talk to coworkers about my wedding (we are all engaged and planning a wedding) mine is not taken seriously because it is “so far away”. I often get comments about why my engagement is so “long”. Even my own wedding planner acts as though my wedding and my plans are not a priority because it’s so “far away”.


I did not think that my engagement was that long until I got a lot of negative reactions. But do what is best for you! I still do not regret it. 

Post # 32
2524 posts
Sugar bee

My mom and dad were grown ups when they met, so from their first meeting until their wedding day was 6 weeks.

She was engaged for 12 1/2 years when she met him, so she’d done both a longy and a shorty.

My dad gave her a plain gold band and a birthstone ring,  because she’d had 2 engagement rings from the long time Fiance. I still have (and wear) both rings.

They were married 39 years, until he died.

SO, by my observation, it takes kids A LOT longer to be engaged than grownups.

Post # 33
130 posts
Blushing bee

I’ve been twice. Each engagement was 1 year. 

That being said, the first time I got married, I was very young. It was not a happy marriage. 

I got married again in my mid thirties and I have an amazing husband. 

Dont rush unnessarily. You have a lot of time. 

Post # 34
3093 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

I think what constitutes “too long” really depends on the particular situation.

I personally don’t feel it makes sense to become engaged if you don’t have any intention to actually start planning a wedding in the forseeable future. To me, an engagement means “we are ready to get married and are taking steps to do so”. 

We are having a long engagement (2.5 years when all is said and done), but it’s because we have other people to consider and other weddings going on in our circles in the meantime with largely overlapping guest lists. We are having a Destination Wedding in January 2021. We chose that far out because we have one set of friends geting married this summer in a Destination Wedding with many of the same friends attending, plus my brother is getting married this summer as well and my entire family has to travel for that wedding as well (we both live on the other side of the country from the rest of the fam). So we wanted to be courteous and give some space in between all these weddings to let everyone recouperate.

On the other hand, I know a couple who has been “engaged” for 5 years with absolutely no plans in motion for the actual wedding… I really don’t get that. Are you getting married or not? I think people like that see engagement as another “level” of relationship rather than a stepping stone into marriage, which I think is kind of weird. I don’t see the point in getting “engaged” if you’re not actually going to get married… 

Post # 35
641 posts
Busy bee

I dont think there is such a thing as “too long”, it’s all personal opinion. I dated my now husband for 10 years before we got engaged, so everyone thought we would have a quick engagement. Nope, I think it was over 2 years. I work A LOT and wanted to take my time and have the wedding I wanted (aka not pass it off to a planner and let them take the reins). I would reseach one topic each month for the wedding, took my sweet time, and had the most amazing wedding planning experience! A lot of my friends complained that wedding planning was SO stressful, but for me it was an absolute dream because I did what worked best for me and refused to let other’s opinions influence me.

All that matters is that you and your fiance are on the same page!  

Post # 36
395 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

I’m another one who thinks it’s pointless to get engaged if you’re not ready to start actively planning a wedding and fully combine your lives. Up to 2 or 2.5 years is typical and reasonable, but I kind of side-eye couples who are engaged for years with no wedding plans in place (unless I know there are some kind of extenuating circumstances). The goal of engagement is marriage, so if someone isn’t ready for marriage, then they also aren’t ready for engagement, in my opinion. That said, it’s not my business and doesn’t affect me, so it’s up to each couple to decide what works for them.

My own engagement will be longer, at 20 months, but we’ve been actively planning for most of that time. We got engaged in the fall of 2017, I wanted at least a year to plan, and we didn’t want to get married in winter, so spring of 2019 was the first timeframe that really worked for us, so that’s what we went with! 

Post # 37
271 posts
Helper bee

In your case… I would say 8 years at least.  But that is because I can’t fathom me having been married that young. I was also in college and barely had funds to live. Plus 19 year old me was in lala land about relationships and marriage. But that was ME. So. I don’t know. 

I just got engaged at 30. We will be getting married after only 6 months of engagement. I don’t even care if I have a wedding anyone remembers for OUR wedding and even though I am financially established now… not spending that much. 

So if you want a big wedding. Just wait. 

Post # 38
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I just don’t see the point of getting engaged if you aren’t planning a wedding. Granted, you can take your time to plan the wedding, so I don’t think there really needs to be a specific amount of time, but if you are intentionally waiting years to plan the wedding then I don’t really see the point of calling yourselves engaged. Engaged doesn’t mean extra committed dating couple. You aren’t doing what engaged couples do (plan a wedding). You are young and intentionally waiting to get married. Wait to get engaged, too. 

Post # 39
1891 posts
Buzzing bee

I agree. You get engaged to then plan your wedding. Longer than a year is a bit odd. Being engaged for years before doing it will get you lots of annoying questions from people about it which for me would ruin it. How is it exciting if by the time you get to planning it you are already sick to death of people asking when? 

I’m 34 and I don’t plan on being engaged longer than 3-4 months after by boyfriend proposes. We want kids soon. 


missviolet92 :  

Post # 40
1585 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

I don’t see a point in being engaged if you’re no where near ready financially or educationally to actually plan a wedding and get married. You’re just dating with a promise ring. 

I think if you’re already living together and sharing finances  then you might as well get married now if that’s really your intent and throw an amazing 5 year anniversary party. 

If you aren’t ready for that then why be engaged? 

Most of the young or super long engagements ( over 3 years ) never seem to actually result in a marriage. 

Post # 41
6 posts

Just wanted to throw in here that I’m sorry some people think they get to define your relationship and what an engagement means to you. (You asked how long, not IF you’re engaged.) Your engagement can be as long as you need it to be as long as it’s for the right reasons. I think if you really want a nice wedding it’s smart to wait and save. Good luck!

Post # 42
427 posts
Helper bee

There is no right answer– Ours was 2 years and we were in our mid-30s. I have friends who got married three months later, and friends who were engaged for 5 years. Who cares what the average is– do what works for you! 

Post # 43
953 posts
Busy bee

I struggle with this myself. My last long relationship we got engaged within 6 months but I could never get him to set a date. He left me for another woman in year 7.

Current fiancé and I got engaged on our 2 year dating anniversary. I was adamant that a relationship needed to move in a normal timeline. I wanted to avoid a repeat. He has since put the brakes on any marriage talk. April we will be engaged for a year. In previous talks he wanted to get married in april. Considering this is mid January and we will be on vacation most of April, marriage is not happening this year. 

How do you get them to actually want to plan the marriage part? I already know I want a simple elegant dinner in a nearby town, probably following a courthouse ceremony or having a friend marry us. So not talking significant planning, he just does not want to commit to a date. I don’t want to go through planning and the expense of he is not in agreement. My luck I would be the only one to show up…and I don’t want to be that person. I am thinking my timeline will be April 2020. That would be four years. If he is not ready than I am just not the woman for him.

Post # 45
953 posts
Busy bee

I am not, but he is not staying here if he doesn’t. I don’t see a point if he is not interested in forever. cherryberrypie :  

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