6 Benefits of a Long Engagement

Learn why a long engagement can be the best decision for your relationship and your wedding!

We believe in celebrating every moment, both big and small, but there is definitely something to be said for relishing milestones. When we think about major life milestones, the moment you become engaged is definitely one of them. After you have celebrated your engagement (and celebrated it well!), a lengthy list of questions will likely come to mind. And, many of them will pertain to when you should officially walk down the aisle.

Should we have a short engagement?

We really want to get married in {insert any season}. Should we wait until next year?

How long will it take us to save up for our dream wedding?

Is it okay to have a long engagement?

…and so on.

There isn’t a right or wrong way to answer any of the above questions (or anything else you may be wondering about!). Instead, focus on what you and your love feel is the best option for you. Sticking to your own personal guidelines in terms of your vision and values will help make sure your wedding day is exactly as you've always imagined. For this post, we thought we would dive into the benefits of a long engagement. There are definitely many pros to taking a bit of a pause before you say “I do,” so we’re sharing the top pluses of a long engagement below!

Having a long engagement gives you plenty of opportunity to savor the magical period of being engaged!

Time to Savor:

Having a long engagement gives you more opportunities to enjoy your engagement season. There will always (or at least almost always!) be time to plan your wedding. Rather than rushing to compile a plan for your wedding day, why not pause and make sure you’ve enjoyed this moment? One of the top benefits of a long engagement is having the ability to completely enjoy this special time in your lives.

After all, your engagement period is just one small segment of your life and marriage. Savor the fact that you get to call your partner “fiancé/fiancée” for this relatively short period of your life. It’s truly a special time and should be treated as such. Attend an engagement party, celebrate with your family, toast with your friends, attend weddings and relish in the fact that soon the two of you will be exchanging vows. Instead of jumping right into the next step, make sure you’ve made the most of this one.

Time to Bond:

Use this time with your partner to invest further into your relationship as you prepare to walk down the aisle. Although you’ve likely talked through these details before, now is the time to decide on things like where you would like to live and how you imagine dividing your roles at home. You can also talk through places you would like to travel to in the future and goals you want to accomplish together.

Consider taking some pre-marital counseling classes together to create a safe space for deep and meaningful discussions about your future. Or attend an online seminar to strengthen your relationship as you prepare for your lifelong commitment.

Freebies for your wedding

Of course, make sure to have fun too! One of the best parts of your engagement is simply knowing what happens next. You’ve already answered the question about whether or not you will get married. Now, you get to follow through! 

Having a long engagement gives you more time to connect and bond with your partner to strengthen your relationship for marriage!

Time to Research:

Whether you have been a bridesmaid or groomsmen in all of your friends’ weddings or your wedding will be your first celebration, planning your own event is far different than attending a wedding for a family member or friend. The reason is obvious: it’s yours! If you opt for a long engagement, you will have plenty of time to research things like venues, catering companies, photographers, florists, honeymoon destinations, and more. The saying “time is on your side” is definitely true here, and the benefit is you will know you have made the very best decisions for your day because you have enjoyed the time to offer each one proper thought.

Time to Take Your Time:

This definitely relates to the above point about having the time to carefully research for your wedding day, but it deserves space of its own. Embracing a long engagement means you have the luxury of being able to take your time. You can get married on a date that has meaning to you, like a parent’s birthday, a grandparent’s anniversary, or the anniversary of when you met. Extra time allows you to ensure that you’re able to have a wedding in a specific season or at a specific venue. Also, you can pause to make sure those you love the most can attend (waiting to celebrate your wedding day until a loved one is home from a deployment comes to mind). You also don’t have to rush to plan the details – plan when you want to! The benefits of being able to take your time are nearly endless.

Having a long engagement gives you more time to save money

Time to Save:

Engagements used to be long because it took families a great deal of time to plan. Engagements are now long so couples have more runway to afford the wedding of their dreams. The savviest reason to have a long engagement is the ability to save more money (or just save in a less intense manner) to pay for your big day. As you have likely discovered, the cost to host a wedding is perhaps more than you may have imagined. Another benefit to a long engagement is you have the time to really dig into your wedding budget, decide what’s most important to you (and what’s not), and save to ensure the money for each element is available to you.

One of our top tips is to not go into debt for your wedding. Having a long engagement helps to ensure you will avoid spending too much too soon. An added benefit is that you’ll likely have your pick of vendors or venues if you plan far enough in advance. You could potentially even get better prices for booking more than a year ahead. 

Time to DIY:

One of the top reasons why a DIY project does not come to fruition is because the crafter simply ran out of time. If creating handmade elements for your wedding is a top priority to you, a long engagement will afford you the opportunity to research, plan, craft, and complete the details you have in your mind’s eye. The key is to make sure to create a plan and stick to it. You don’t want to have a ton of time to craft in the beginning only to fall behind and still have to rush as your wedding day approaches!

If you've got your heart set on making personalized items, signage, and other wedding decor, having a long engagement ensure that time is on your side. You could even invest in a Cricut machine and start a little Bride Hustle to help cover your wedding splurges!

A long engagement = opportunity

Whether you have chosen an extended wedding planning timeline, you’re considering the benefits, or an underlying circumstance has forced your plans to shift, there are plenty of pros to having a long engagement. Lean into the benefits rather than focusing on any negatives, and remember: no matter when you celebrate your wedding day, it will be even more fun than you have imagined.

Your marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re planning to spend the rest of your lives together, so what’s the rush to get to the altar? Especially when there are so many upsides to an extended engagement.

Just like a marathon, you’ll need to train properly if you want to get through this thing together. You should strengthen yourselves individually. Know who you are, what you really want out of life.

Having a long engagement gives you the gift of time– the one resource in life you can never get back. Use it wisely!

Are you planning to have a long engagement?

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6 benefits of a long engagement
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6 surprising benefits of a long engagement

Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here