Post # 1
My boyfriend and I are not yet engaged, but have talked about it and plan to make that official before next year, because he is a physician and we will be moving to a new state for a fellowship. We want to be engaged before we take that step for many reasons — mostly because we feel ready (we’ve been together for just over three years, and are 25 and 30 years old), but also because it is quite a commitment I’m making to leave my job/life behind (if only temporarily) to take this step in his career. (Though he knows I don’t see this as a favor I’m doing — I’m fully committed to him, and am positive he’d go wherever I wanted to take him if I had a similar opportunity because we are a team.) However, I feel like planning a wedding and subsequently having it soon after we move will be really stressful while living far from my friends and family. If we wait until we return to our home state (which we plan to post-fellowship) to get married, this will mean almost a 3 year engagement. I’m fine with that, and am really happy to just spend those years enjoying that stage of my relationship with my partner, slowly planning and getting excited for the next step of marriage. I am excited to be engaged and not rush to the finish line, and instead do it on a timeline that makes more sense for our complex situation.
I am, however, a little worried about outside judgment. I’ve never known anyone who had such a long, drawn-out engagement. Is it weird? Should we not even bother with the engagement until we have the time/bandwidth to get married within the year after? I think I’m just looking for a little advice/people to chat with who have had similar situations.
Post # 2
It’s a little weird, but in your circumstance, I think it makes sense. But who cares what other people think? I think long engagements are only judged when there’s no plan for marriage. It sounds like you have a plan and have thought it out so I don’t see any problem. But just know you’ll have people asking all the time “when is the wedding?” and stuff. You’ll just have to explain it.
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2019 - Canada
I have a friend who’s been engaged for 6 or 7 years now haha. I don’t know if they’ll ever actually get married. I don’t thin it’s weird. It makes sense that you wouldn’t want to uproot your lives, have your Fiance start a fellowship and plan a wedding all in the same time frame… that’s a lot! After a year of engagement, you may change your mind and be ready to start planning a wedding sooner and that’s OK too! I say get engaged and decide later if you want to wait the full 3 years or if you want to move up your time line.
Post # 4
My fiance and I are having a 2-2.5 year engagement. We just have too much going on with other weddings in our circle next year so we are trying to be fair to our guests by giving them some breathing room between weddings, since they all involve travel.
Post # 5
I think really long engagements are a bit weird, personally, but I don’t mean that in a judgmental way. I’m not judging anyone who does it, I just don’t get how you can be “ready” but not actually ready to plan the wedding and get married. To me being engaged means actively planning to marry, but everything is subjective and if you guys are happy then just do what you feel is right!
Post # 6
I know a couple that’s been engaged close to two years and has yet to make any wedding plans. It’s a little different but there’s nothing wrong with it. You’re making a bigger commitment to each other and doing things as they work for you.
Just be prepared to get a lot of “so what’s going on with the wedding” questions. Between people being genuinely curious and outright nosey, you’ll get a lot of it in the course of three years.
Post # 7
zzar45 : I can understand that! To be honest, I think it is kind of just to solidify the commitment and know that it is locked in and a wedding is in the works, even though the plans will be lingered over for a couple of years so the party itself can happen at a time when everyone we love can attend.
We have discussed the possibility of having a small elopement (possibly just our parents/siblings and maybe a best friend or two) and getting actually married quickly, and also the possibility of just biting the bullet and planning what will ultimately be a logistically chaotic wedding that we’ll have to travel back home for (I’ll have a lot of time on my hands when we move to plan because I’ll be working remotely and staying at home a lot). I’m comfortable with literally any scenario — I’m in love and happy, ready to be married to my lifelong partner, and excited about the fun that comes along with it. But I’m also not hugely controlling or worried about the wedding day itself. It could be entirely planned for me by a relative back home and I’d show up and be happy just to be getting married with everyone there. So I guess we’ll see how it plays out! Thinking about it a lot today because I suspect a proposal is coming soon. (I know there is a ring and we have a few trips planned, so it is a sneaking suspicion!)
Post # 8
That’s very thoughtful! I generally hold the opinion that if the engaged couple is happy with what they’re doing and how they’re doing it, then it is the right situation for everyone.
Post # 9
To me, the point of being engaged is that you’re publicly declaring your intent to marry in the near future and working toward that, so I don’t really see the point of getting engaged if you’re not actually ready to marry yet. 2+ year long engagements are odd to me (barring an unexpected life event prolonging things) for that reason. But to each their own. It’s not hurting anyone so if you prefer a 3 year engagement, go for it. You may get some confused family members, but it’s your life after all.
Post # 10
Do what works for the two of you. Plenty of people have two year engagements–how much different is a three year engagement, especially given your circumstances?
Post # 11
I think the “traditional” view of engagement is that you are ready to actively begin wedding planning.
But I think that milestone has evolved and some think of it as more of a way to publicly solidify the relationship. Just a stepping stone toward marriage.
Besides, you could certainly begin planning your wedding right away and just not book anything until closer to the 3-year mark. Not everyone can or wants to plan a wedding in 6-18 months.
Post # 12
My engagement will be roughly 4 years. We’re paying for it all ourselves and I’d worked out that’s how long it will take us to save up for it.
Post # 13
I think something to consider is whether you will even be in a good position to get married after the fellowship. Do you know for sure you’ll be able to move right back to your hometown after that? What if you or your husband get another opportunity in a new location? What if you decide to stay in the place you’re moving to? Even if you do move back, you still will have to find somewhere to live and find new jobs for yourselves. You never know how things are going to play out, so it may not make sense to wait around for the perfect time.
Post # 14
Do I think it’s weird to have a long engagement? Kind of. I think the natural assumption with a long engagement is that there are no actual plans to get married. I personally know a couple that has been engaged for a few years now with no moves forward for marriage. Her boyfriend proposed a few months before she gave birth to their baby, and they dated for several years prior to that. I’m not sure they actually plan to get married, so I don’t know why they got engaged. However, I acknowledge that my opinion does not and should not matter to that couple.
People are always going to have an initial thought, reaction, or judgment to things they see and hear about. That’s human. However, I don’t really think people should live their lives restricted by the thought of that judgment. Perspective and opinion are heavily influenced by what people have experienced and their beliefs. In my eyes, engagement should be the time you’re ready to get married and you’re actively planning a wedding. To others, engagement may be something else.
I think your plan and reasoning for your timeline is practical and makes total sense. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters.
Post # 15
You’re young and you’re perfectly happy with a long engagement, so have a long engagement. FWIW I think it’s lovely that you’re content with enjoying the time together and planning for your future.