(Closed) Please explain "being engaged" versus "planning to get married"

posted 4 years ago in Engagement
Post # 2
10410 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

We dated for 7 years before getting engaged. Pretty much that whole time we knew we would want to get married. However, we did not consider ourselves engaged until there was a formal proposal (which was important to both of us) and we didn’t want a long engagement that goes on for years. We wanted to be ready to actually get married and plan the wedding when we got engaged.

ETA: If they are actually planning a wedding and not considering themselves engaged they probably want the ring/proposal before considering themselves engaged.

Post # 3
3231 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

It’s weird but some people want a ring to use the label “engaged” even if they are actively planning.

Post # 4
548 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Friendship Plaza

View original reply
morgansmom :  FWIW, this is what I find people to mean these days. (Also, I am 41) 🙂

Planning on being married (one day): You’ve discussed it, you’re on the same page, you both know that’s where the relationship is headed.

Engaged: The next step. The above has happened, and now you have a ring and a date.


I think semantics plays a bit in this (mostly in terms of the first phrase), but in my experience, that’s what it means.

Post # 5
2590 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club

View original reply
morgansmom :  By definition an engagement is a formal agreement to get married. I view an engagement as two people planning to marry. Many couples do not claim to be engaged even if starting to plan a wedding until there is a formal proposal/ring.

However, in today’s society there have been people who get engaged and don’t plan on a wedding like the wanted a comitted relationship without the legality if that makes sense, so it’s become another step in a relationship that doesn’t necesarily mean you’ll take the next step. 

It’s strange to me. I understand long engagements and whatnot as it’s usually due to family problems, finances, schooling, etc. I don’t understand being engaged without the intent to marry. My cousin has been engaged for years and they are not planning a wedding or anything they are just “happily engaged” as they put it. To each their own.

Post # 6
1576 posts
Bumble bee

Tenure-track vs up for tenure 

Planning to get married vs engaged 

Post # 7
5080 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

My husband and I knew we wanted to get married early on in our relationship, we considered ourselves “engaged” when we started actually making concrete plans to get married. Planning to get married, to me, is just acknowledging that, provided everything keeps going well, we want to get married someday. Engaged is when you are actually taking steps to make that happen. 

Then again, some people book venues, buy dresses, etc. before they consider themselves “engaged” because they haven’t gotten a ring or a formal proposal. That’s silly to me, but to each their own. 

Post # 8
1313 posts
Bumble bee

For us, being engaged meant being able to actively plan our wedding. Before the engagement we knew we’d get married but it was not official since we were not ready to start planning and paying for a wedding. 

Post # 9
346 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I usually say “planning our wedding” rather than “engaged” because i feel a little self-conscious about the term “engaged”, like it’s a bit precious given we’ve been sharing our lives for a decade already.  But he did technically propose (after many discussions over many years) and I’m wearing a diamond ring, so “engaged” applies too for me, it’s just a question of what feels comfortable when I’m talking about our relationship. 

Some couples begin planning a wedding before they have a ring or a formal proposal for logistical reasons, but do want to have the ring/formal proposal thing happen (often for the romance of it!) and will consider themselves engaged once that happens.  Some couples will want to keep their wedding planning on the DL until it’s official. 

And I do also have a friend who got engaged as a major relationship milestone/commitment that felt right to both her and her partner, they are not not planning a weddding and may never have one.  

Just ask your daughter what the particular label she and her partner are using means to them! 

Post # 10
6368 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
morgansmom :  I knew that we were going to get married, there was no need to be engaged.  Our engagment period was so short that it probably wasn’t even a real engagement ha

Post # 11
2861 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

View original reply
morgansmom :  I may be able to give some insight. An engagement is defined as a “formal agreement to get married.” In many cultures, this is symbolized with an engagement ring for the woman. In some Latin countries, both the man and woman wear rings. Some cultures involve a dowry, or another type of ceremony wherein the intended couple formally set each other apart from all other people as who they will be marrying. i.e. betrothal Now – planning to get married is different. Planning to get married is setting up a timeline, researching, maybe even saving for the wedding. I fully believe that you can be planning to get married WITHOUT being engaged. They are not mutually exclusive.

For example, my boyfriend (at the time) and I planned to get married from February 2016. We discussed it. We set timelines. Determined budget and actively planned what our wedding would be behind the scenes/privately. However, he actually proposed with ring in hand in June 2017. That is when we became engaged – when he formalized our agreement to get married. Hopefully that makes sense. It can be confusing!! xoxo

Post # 12
2329 posts
Buzzing bee

Women are having more of a say in their own future these days instead of just waiting to be asked. In the past, there was a clearer delineation because it would have been “presumptuous” of a woman to discuss the wedding and the future before actually being asked. Nowadays, it’s far less clear, with couples discussing the future and even partially planning out their wedding before they are officially engaged.

While a lot of people like to say “well, then you’re engaged, if you’re planning a wedding,” I disagree. Engaged isn’t JUST “you’re planning to get married.” It’s that you’re formally planning to get married. The formal part is important, I think. Without it, we would consider any guy who ever strung a girl along with talk of marriage and wedding planinng “engaged.” Since the girl (for the most part) can’t know if the guy is just stringing her along or not until things are formalized and announced publicly, I don’t consider people engaged until that happens. 

SO and I were discussing general things about our own wedding a YEAR before he proposed – that didn’t mean we were engaged. If we had broken up at some point before the proposal, that wouldn’t have been a broken engagement. I wouldn’t have referred to him as my ex-fiance. That would be ridiculous. Our talks were just two adults being responsible and making sure they were on the same page about their future before committing to each other formally. 

Post # 14
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

Planing to get married means; Do not worry we are going to get married. We are working on it. He will propose and we do the wedding when it is time.


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