I agree with soyjoy’s comments.
We’re having a VERY long engagement: 3.5 years!! We’re not particularly young (we’re both 25), and we’ve been together 6 years, so that’s not the issue. It’s just worked out well for us. Originally, my OH and planned to propose in the summer at the earliest (he’s always wanted to propose abroad). But, he ended up proposing back in Feb. His mum became extremely ill early November last year and was hospitalised, and while in hospital, we believe she was subject to neglect (she was left in a sick-covered gown for eg, she was deprived of water, they didn’t feed her her meds despite the fact she was paralysed and had lost co-ordination and couldn’t do it herself; it was horrendous). I got massively involved, writing several lengthy letters cataloguing everything and insisting on various meetings which I took minutes of and followed up in writing. Things improved, and I believe had we not intervened, she wouldn’t be with us today.
All this made my OH realise how important I was to him, and he basically decided he couldn’t wait to propose and wanted to take the next step. And I was over the moon, even though it was sooner than I expected.
As it is, it’s worked out well; I’m a student, about to start a PhD. My parents are paying for most of the wedding, but we need to try to save for a deposit on a house, and having the wedding later allows us to do that (we’ll still have to rent for a bit, but we should have a decent sum which will take the pressure off as we don’t want to rent for too long when married). Also, I’m very busy (I have 2 part-time jobs as well as studying full-time), and wanted to have time to plan, and not be rushing things. Plus we’ve chosen a very popular time of year (a Saturday in the second week of the school holidays; these dates get booked up really far in advance (up to 2 years), and we’re fussy, and wanted a specific venue).
The main downside so far is dealing with people’s comments/reactions, and also people assuming I’m going to want to talk weddings for the next 3 years, because I don’t. I’m not all that bothered about most things, the venue is booked and I have my shoes, that’s it. I don’t particularly care about the cake or the flowers, I’m not bothering with themes and loads of decorations; I’m pretty laid-back about the whole thing basically, but a lot of people can’t grasp that :-s