Long engagements- thoughts?

posted 4 months ago in Engagement
Post # 16
4060 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

At the risk of sounding like an old lady, as I get older I realize more than ever that life doesn’t have one size fits all solutions when it comes to pretty much anything. 

Getting engaged and married are huge commitments. And you should be making those steps when you both feel happy, and confident in making them. If that means a long engagement, then it’s the right choice for you. And my personal definition of engagement is completely irrelevant. 

Post # 17
290 posts
Helper bee

I really don’t see the point in being engaged for years and years.  It’s hard to take it seriously as a true engament.  I’d rather just wait until 1 year or 2 years max before the wedding to get engaged or I’d feel silly. 

That being said, these are just my feelings about the long engagements I’ve seen personally.  You guys do you. 

Post # 18
12108 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

To me, being engaged means you are planning a wedding so I don’t see the point. If you are out of school and self supporting, I don’t see the point in waiting five years just so you can affird a one day party. Personally, I would get married soon and then have a big five year anniversary party. 

After five years of a so called engagement, a house etc. most people will lose the sense of anticipation and consider you married. Pre-wedding parties may seem excessive, and an expensive wedding reception may still be out of your budget. 

Post # 19
6441 posts
Bee Keeper

aleycat65 :  Length of engagement is all up to you.  You do you.  I preferred a short engagement because we didn’t do a wedding.  But if we had, I would have wanted a longer one to get everything sorted out and have enough money for everything.

Post # 20
1935 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I’m traditional, so I do see engaged as ready to be married and actively planning the wedding. If you were to get engaged now or soon, and don’t plan to be married for another nearly 5 years, I’d say you’re no more committed than you are now. You’d be a girlfriend with a ring, as another PP put it. There’s no more commitment between how you are now and how you’ll be after a proposal and wearing a ring, but I do understand that at this point after those years together you might be tired of the “girlfriend title” and you do mention that you want this as a signal of the next step in your relationship. Friends and family won’t see this that way once you’re a year or two into your engagement and no closer to planning the actual marriage. So if that is one of your main goals, I don’t think you’ll accomplish it. 

Howver, at the end of the day, if this is going to make you happy, who am I, as an internet stranger, to say otherwise?

Post # 22
2661 posts
Sugar bee

And honestly, I used to think that long engagements were strange.  I didn’t understand why you’d want to be engaged for long and not just get married.  But I also had to wait for the engagement for a very long time and wanted kids and had that pesky biological clock ticking….so we followed the year engagement, get married….then unfortunately got divorced.

This time around I’m much more secure and happy and am truly just living for the present and not worrying about the next steps.  Marriage is something we both want and we are on that path, but we just don’t feel any sense of urgency when we plan to be together forever.  

I have to get on his health insurance in July and we had to sign an affidavit stating that we were in a domestic relationship with intentions to marry (or something like that).  Felt very significant to me!  Ha. 

No one can deny that people consider relationships in which the couple is engaged or married to be more legitimate and serious.  I do think engagement has become a next step in legitimizing ones relationship to society.  

Not that being engaged or married really means that your relationship is actually more committed than one that is not, but I do think society plays into that idea.  


Post # 23
1985 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

aleycat65 :  I had an issue with being engaged, which was largely irrational, but once you’ve set the date of the wedding you know the expiration of your engagement. It felt unnatural to have a specific end to something in a relationship when a relationship naturally moves and progresses through the stages. Plus my anxiety during our engagement was ridiculous. So a long engagement wouldn’t have worked for me.

I also don’t really get the idea that you’re ready for engagement but not marriage. I personally feel that if you’re engaged, you should be ready to get married if the need arose (something bad happened and you want to be married).

I don’t necessarily have an issue with long engagements, each to their own. I think it’s very easy with intentionally long engagements for the marriage to be pushed further and further back. You won’t be able to get vendors for two, probably three years. So, if in 3 years time something has cropped up and planning gets pushed even further back. I’ve seen relatives get engaged and decide to have a long engagement as they got engaged quickly in the relationship. They’ve probably been engaged for 10 years and there’s no plans to get married. They’ve had a kid, bought a house and other things have taken precedent. I don’t think they will ever get married now. 

Post # 24
1276 posts
Bumble bee

It want until this site that I found out 2 years is a long engagement. Based on my observation 2 years is the expexration between engagement and wedding and after 5+ years we’d start to consider it being longish.

I think you should do you. Engagement  means different things to different people. 

Post # 25
235 posts
Helper bee

My fiancé and I will have an engagement that is just over 2 years long. We got engaged in March and will marry in May 2021. Our reasoning is that we didn’t want to rush or feel rushed. We are both still young and wanted to enjoy this period of being engaged. Neither of us feel that there is any rush and our friends and families say the same. That being said we have picked a date and are looking at venues too. We spend maybe a couple of hours a week together going through things and that is what is working for us. I can’t say how I will feel as it gets closer but hopefully because of how much time we would have had I will be able to figure out options earlier or just have more time to look at options. 

Honestly I’d say you do whatever you think is best for the both of you! Neither of us are really fussed about what family, friends or colleagues think about it as it’s not their day. They all seem excited and not at all judgemental that we are waiting though and we have enjoyed discussing different possibilities with them. It probably will die down but people will get excited again as the event gets closer.

Congrats on your impending engagement! 

Post # 26
507 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

aleycat65 :  My husband and I had a 3 and a half year engagement for a few reasons, I wanted to get my degree first and getting married would mess up my finanical aid/loans and we both wanted to find good full time jobs. He was working 3 part time jobs when we got engaged. 

I definitely recommend a long engagement! We moved in together once we were engaged and learned how to manage money well together even through hardships (money tends to be a cause of divorce). We gained better saving habits and were able to afford the wedding we’ve always wanted. 

Post # 27
477 posts
Helper bee

I personally don’t understand the point, but whatever works for you both! 

I know someone who got engaged 2.5 years ago, wrote “finally” on social media with a picture of her ring which I thought was rude and then still not married years later. 

Post # 28
1450 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2021 - Kauai, HI

I’m also having a long engagement.  We’re older and not planning on more kids so there’s no rush.  We wanted to get engaged to show our commitment to eachother.  We’re excited to marry but waiting because:

– we need a pre nup

– we want a 2 week Hawaiian elopement/honeymoon that will cost a fortune.  Gotta save up $$ and PTO

– two of my kids will be graduating and we’re trying to work around that and not take away from their big days!

all of this equals March 2021 or 2022 depending on how the spring breaks work out.  I don’t care that it’s long.  I am very excited to marry him and love being engaged.  We are having an engagement party in August to celebrate now!

Bee you sound a little like you’re not sure you want to get married.  Don’t feel pressured to move forward just because you’ve been together a long time.  I think you’re very smart to wait.  A long engagement might be a nice way to move forward while giving yourself a little more time to be you and decide what you want.  


Post # 29
812 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

My friend from grad school was engaged for a little over three years because her husband was in the military and proposed before a three year deployment. 

My SO and I will have a 21 month engagement because that has allowed us to plan the wedding that we want.

I agree with princessmiaofgenovia and other PP that it’s not the length itself that has meaning but the purpose of the engagement period. It’s not a question of what the date is, but rather that there is a date that can be set because there is a reasoning behind it (e.g. planning for a wedding after a graduation or after saving a certain amount of money). 

You say you aren’t ready for a marriage, but do you mean a wedding? To me the point of an engagement is to declare that you are ready for marriage; the length of the engagement period is what varies based on how ready you are for the wedding, for whatever reason.

Post # 30
462 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I, like many others, struggle to see the point in a long engagement. The good news is, our opinions don’t matter…you have to do what’s right for you!


That being said, I have absolutely noticed that long engagements (2-2.5+ years) absolutely correlate with family/friends being less excited. Not to say that they won’t be just as excited to show up in the day of, but the planning/preparation part of the engagement tends to lose it’s excitement to everyone after awhile. This isn’t something that should make or break your decision, but just be aware, and try not to have your feelings hurt when people aren’t excited to talk about your engagement/wedding after the initial rush…in their minds, it’s a million years away, and years of sustainted excitement/interest is too much to ask of people. 

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