Long engagements- thoughts?

posted 1 year ago in Engagement
Post # 2
503 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2018

I am of a completely different opinion that you, but that’s okay, it’s whatever makes you guys happy! We were engaged for 6 months before we got married, because I didn’t see getting engaged as a stage or step in our relationship I guess; I saw an engagment as the time to plan our wedding to get married. In terms of anything legality wise, a fiance would be no different than a girlfriend, this could differ from place to place, and where you are may recognize common law anyways… but to me an engagement for this long is just a girlfriend with a ring!

Post # 3
10459 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

There’s nothing wrong with a long engagement if that’s what you want. You’ll constantly get questions about when the wedding is going to happen and people will expect that you got engaged because you are ready to get married. But it’s your life and you can do what makes you and your SO happy.

Just for another perspective though- I started dating my husband at 18. Got engaged at 25 and married at 26. There’s no perfect time and there will always be other priorities. We were lucky and our parents paid for our wedding but if they hadn’t we were fully prepared to do something very small/inexpensive because we were done waiting and knew there could always be reasons to put getting married lower on our priority list. 

Post # 4
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2020 - City, State

View original reply
aleycat65 :  Hello! Congratulations. My fiance & I also choose a long engagement. We have been together almost 3 years, engaged for 2 of them & getting married next year. Part of the reason we choose to do this was because of money. Weddings are expensive & we knew our families would want more of a traditional wedding (personally I debated going to the courthouse). BUT I am very excited to expierence this side of things. A couple of things to note though, it’s not fun to watch other people get engaged, married, and sometimes have kids before you move into your next stage of life. We are also both ready for kids but we are waiting tell we have a marriage license for a few reasons but it has halted our future plans. I guess what I am trying to say is long engagements are great but don’t make it too long because you sometimes regreat the time you put on it. For us we are doing everything a married couple does without having the actual license. Good luck!

Post # 5
5909 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

In my mind being ready for engagement but not for marriage isn’t logical and I don’t really understand it.  I personally don’t see how it shows anyone your commitment when all it says is we might get married in the next half decade. 

But to each his own, that is just my view and people are entitled to do whatever works in their relationships. 

Post # 6
1161 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State

My experience: we got engaged 06/03/18 and settled on a 2-year engagement to be married 05/30/20. We wanted to pay for it all in cash. Then, we went on a sweet anniversary getaway on 02/09/19. While at a romantic dinner, my Fiance said “What are we waiting for? Let’s just do it.” We looked into eloping on that vacation, but the Town Hall was only open M-F and it was a weekend trip. So, when we got back, we moved the date up to 08/03/19 and decided we’d rather put a balance on some credit cards than be chomping at the bit. We were just so excited, and the thought of still having another year to wait makes me cringe now. 

That being said, many Bees have had successful long engagements. We just have no patience when it comes to fun! 🙂 Best of luck! 

Post # 7
2670 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

View original reply
aleycat65 :  I wonder if you might change your mind about the long engagement once you’re actually engaged? Once everyone starts asking questions, and you might find yourself googling wedding stuff and getting excited, you might not be interested in waiting 5 years. 

Or, you might be fine with it, who knows. I personally would not be interested in being engaged that long and just waiting to start planning everything. When we got engaged we intitally though a year engagement, then decided not to wait and got married after being engaged for four months, but everyone is different.

I will say, that every couple I know that’s had a longer engagement (over 2 years), have never actually gone through with a wedding…

Post # 8
2179 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I also don’t see engagement as a separate committment status somewhere between dating and married. For me, engagement is period in which you are actively planning a wedding. It sounds like you are happy and committed the way you are right now, which is fine. I wouldn’t feel the need to signal to anyone else that I am “more committed” than a couple who is dating without engagement. Honestly, to me you are dating each other, not engaged, if you are not planning a wedding in the near future.

Post # 10
725 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: London, UK

I don’t think the length of the engagement is what is relevant; I think it is what that engagement is spent doing. I don’t personally see the point in being engaged if you’re not planning a wedding. I’m not saying long engagements are intrinsically wrong, or that you shouldn’t do it, but for me I believe that the meaning of engagement is to imminently get married, or at the very least to imminently plan a wedding. 

This is why my partner and I waited nearly 8 years to get engaged; we already owned a house together and adopted a dog together, so committment wasn’t an issue. The only thing that stopped us getting engaged sooner is that we didn’t see any point in being engaged until we were ready to plan a wedding. So once we reached the point where we were financially able to plan a wedding, and where we had enough time to plan a wedding, only then did we decide to get engaged. We got engaged in Nov 2018 and our wedding isn’t till Feb 2021, so we are also having a long engagement. But we started planning as soon as we got engaged.

We are also very non-traditional and non-religious. To the extent that I would actually say that being ‘engaged’ has changed absolutely nothing about our lives, our feelings for each other or our relationship as a whole. The only thing it has changed is I now have a piece of beautiful jewellery and we are going through the practicalities and logistics of planning a big event now. I guess we were as good as engaged for years, and actually, that was lovely and we didn’t need a ‘title’ or a ring to feel like we were moving on to the next steps of our life.

So basically, I agree and relate to eveything you have said in your post, the only bit I personally disagree with is the need to put the ‘engaged’ label on your relationship when you have no plans to get married or even plan a wedding any time soon, and have said you don’t feel ready for marriage at the moment. 

But having said that, you do you!!!!! It’s none of anyone else’s business, mind included, and outside opinions generally shouldn’t impact on these sorts of life decisions. 

Post # 11
3811 posts
Honey bee

OP, do what works best for you and your SO.  People will judge no matter what, but as long as you are happy and on the same page, it doesn’t really matter.

My fiance and I are a year into our engagement and we are considering getting married in about 14 months.  People do occasionally still ask about the wedding plans, but it’s becoming less and less as time goes on.  It’s a second wedding for both of us and we don’t have to worry about biological clocks since we aren’t planning on having kids.  We wanted to be engaged before we moved in together to make sure we were both on  the same page and then life got in the way and we just haven’t had time to think about the wedding. 

I’m very much enjoying this time in our lives of being engaged.  It does feel like an additional step in our relationship and is has brought us closer.  I’m excited to get married, but I don’t feel this overwhelming urge to rush anything. 

Post # 12
3597 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

From my experience of a date isn’t set within 2 years the wedding isn’t happening. 

Post # 15
1753 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
aleycat65 :  If you both are on the same page than whatever works for you is what you should do. Just make sure you continue to be on the same page every step of the way and touch base often. A long engagement will come with questions from people. Just be prepared, people are nosy. 

For me personally I have a very specific idea of what engagement means. To me, an engagement means both people are 100% sure that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. As in, someone shouldn’t propose, and accept that proposal unless they already are sure.

Now to me “Sure” means that you understand that this person is the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with and you are emotionally ready and prepared for that and all that comes with being a wife or husband to that person. Logistics is an aside thing that I think is up to each couple to decide. For example, if saving up for the actual wedding is gonna take a year or 2 that doesn’t really have anything to do with being “sure” about each other, its just logistics. So a long engagement to me is totally fine if the reason you are having a long engagement is because you logistically need time to make the wedding day happen, not because you aren’t sure about marrying the actual person. 

The reason I personally think its important to not propose or accept a proposal until you know you want to marry someone, and would go out and do it that day “sure” about it, is because I have seen lots of guys (more than women in my experience) who don’t understand the gravity of a proposal and see it as a way of buying time, or as a forward step but still need more time to decide if they actually see the woman as the person they want to marry. I think that not only cheapens the experience, but can also be incredibly hurtful to the other person being proposed to when they think it is a go, but the guy doesn’t. Obviously this isn’t everyones idea of what engagement is, but it does happen. On the bee alone we have seen the guy who proposes but won’t let the woman plan a wedding, wont pick a date etc. 

Most recently I had a friend’s boyfriend go ahead and ask her father for her hand saying that he was intending to propose. He then didn’t propose for 6+ months after asking her father, and then ended up dumping her instead of proposing and ended the relationship. Her father was incredibly hurt as was my friend because the step of asking the father shouldn’t happen either until the guy is 100% sure he is ready to propose, and soon. 

To summarize haha, I think engagement should happen when you know 100% that someone is your person and your ready for marriage completely. The length of the engagement should entirely rest upon the logistics, not the concept of being ready. 

I tried really hard to explain that well, hope i did! lol 

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors