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Heart Shaped Solitaire
The ring I've been wearing for the past 24 months; image found here


One of the first questions I often get when asked about my wedding, is

“Why are you waiting so long to get married?”

In the beginning it was because May 2013 would mark an even 10 years since Senior Prom; our first “date”, essentially, even though we didn’t really start going steady until 7 years later.

However, over the course of those 24 months between “Will you marry me” and “I do”, I’ve realized that a two year engagement was one of the best decisions we ever made, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to plan a wedding on a budget. Why?


How a long engagement can help your wedding budget

1)      Time to build up your savings = If you’re planning a budget wedding (or a wedding within your means, see here), a large factor is probably that you don’t want to go into your marriage in debt. With a 2 year engagement, you can actively save for a wedding, and even if you do something small ($25 a week) that adds up to $2,400 in 2 years. As I mentioned here (add post), in an ideal scenario, we would use 10% of our total savings. In my final recap, I’ll show how we ended up under budget!

2)      Time to find sale items = We got so many items on the cheap; scouring yard sales, using Groupon and Vistaprint, going through newspapers for 60% off coupons at Michaels & AC  Moore, and buying post-holiday décor at 70-90% off. If we were planning on a tighter time frame, I know that we’d end up rushing last minute and having to pay full price on items that we easily could get for less.

3)      Time to get skinny = Those bridal boot camps to lose unwanted fat on your arms, legs, and abs can end up costing you an arm and leg! I didn’t want to pay those premiums, so I’ve been cutting calories and working out to fitness DVDs that I bought on sale. Down 20 pounds, and didn’t have to pay $50 a session for those results!

4)      Ability to negotiate/choose vendors = I might get some slack for this, but I would advise you shop around and negotiate prices when it comes to choosing your vendors. Now, I feel as though trying to ask for 50% off because your wedding is on a Sunday afternoon is just pushing it, but cutting 5-15% from the base cost of each vendor can drastically save you some dollars. The longer your engagement, the more time you have for negotiation.

5)      Get your money’s worth with your engagement ring = I planned on wearing my engagement ring only during my engagement, so the idea of a short engagement made me think “what, even if I wear that ring every day for 6 months; it becomes a monthly cost of $100!”, with a 2 year engagement, it ended up being less than a dollar a day!

6)      Time to just chill = this isn’t specific to those on a budget, but I can honestly say that being able to relax and just spend time with my favorite gentleman, without having every other conversation be about wedding planning has been really nice.

Remember, you're going to spend the rest of your life married, but you're only going to be engaged for a little while; ENJOY it.

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About Denise

I'm Denise, and in May of 2013 I'll be marrying my best friend of over a decade. By the time we get married, we'll have had a 2 year engagement. I also post on my own blog

Connect with Denise
  • Jenn

    completely agree! yay for the 2 year engagements, best decision ever. so thankful not to be one of those couples who are super stressed and wedding planning takes over their entire lives for 6 months. We have been able to relax, do some planning, relax, do some planning. Our wedding planning was a facet of our lives, but didn’t consume it!

    It also means you have longer to just enjoy being in that engaged state. And a more relaxed engaged state at that. I spread our tasks out over the months and it has been so stress-free. And it’s a journey over those years, you go through so many stages, and as it comes closer you get excited about the day, but appreciative of the process.

    Practically speaking it helped us a lot with getting the venue and vendors we wanted because we had the pick of the crop being able to book ahead.

    Would recommend it to anyone!

  • Heather

    I couldn’t agree with your points more! We got engaged this January & won’t be getting married until September 2014. We get asked ALLLLLL the time why we are waiting, but we are paying ourselves & want to be debt free when we walk down there aisle.

    All the venues are booked with PLENTY of time to worry about little items. So glad we have time to plan and not stress out! 🙂

  • Lexi

    So hard to think about the budget especially for a big wedding! I love the engagement ring though, so adorable! I want a heart-shaped engagement ring as well 😀

    • Yes, I can see how size of a wedding can make having a budget difficult! But you might be able to cut a deal by ordering a lot from a certain vendor (I know a lot of invitations that I looked at, the prices per piece went down a LOT once you bought more than 100. Even though it’s hard to think about, having an “ideal” and “maximum” budgets will really help with your planning. It actually REDUCES what you have to do, because you can eliminate certain vendors easily because they’re too expensive.

      My favorite gentleman actually got that ring from Diamond Nexus Labs ( It’s a simulant, and despite some of the negative comments that come up when you do a search about the company, I’ve had NO problems with it at all.

      In 2 years, I’ve worn it every single day, and with the exception of a few very minor scratches on the band, have had no problems.

  • Robe de mariée

    Thank you for your informative sharing.

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