Should you have a short or long engagement?

Getting engaged is the start of a period when you’ll make a lot of decisions, and that’s even before the business of wedding planning gets underway. One important chat you and your new fiancé will have is whether to indulge in a long engagement or jump straight into married life after a short engagement.

There are so many factors to consider when deciding when to get married. As well as bearing in mind how long it’ll take you to plan your dream wedding day, the length of your engagement can be dictated by your current living situation and money matters.

Both long and short engagements have their pros and cons, here we explore them all…

Considering a long engagement?

A long engagement usually lasts 18 months or more, which is a surprise considering that the average wedding takes between 13 and 18 months to plan.

A long engagement is a great idea for several reasons, the first of which is enjoying that just engaged feeling that little bit longer. Getting engaged is a huge milestone and one that should be celebrated properly before launching into wedding planning.

With a long engagement, you’ll have more time to save for the wedding of your dreams. Booking venues and vendors is another thing that’s made easier thanks to the greater choice available when booking ahead of time.

Your wedding guests will realise the benefits of a long engagement too, particularly if you’re expecting them to travel to attend your special day.

With more time to plan however often comes more thinking space, which can leave you second guessing your plans. Wedding fatigue can also get the better of you when you’re planning that far in advance. In addition to this, there’s more time for wedding nerves to kick in, meaning an increased chance of either the bride or groom-to-be suffering from those dreaded ‘cold feet’.

Is a short engagement more your thing?

Short engagements and the weddings that follow often have a bad reputation due to their nickname -‘shotgun weddings’. But, as HuffPost describes, the shotgun label is doing nothing to quash the popularity of shorter engagements:

“Two years out is more than enough time to plan a wedding. A year is far more common, and less than a year is even more common than that nowadays. More than 50% of the more than 500 couples I’ve worked for have planned and executed their weddings in less than nine months.”

The excitement that goes hand-in-hand with a short engagement (an engagement that lasts 1 year or less before marriage) is a plus-point many couples enjoy. The joy of being engaged and counting down to your big day all at the same time is particularly thrilling. While the fact that there’s simply no time to procrastinate leaves little room for second-guessing.

On the other hand, short engagements can be stressful, there’s simply so much to do and not a lot of time to do it. Couples may also find they pay a premium for venues and vendors when booking at short notice, and could even miss out on their first choices due to increased competition.

Which is right for you?

Deciding on a short or long engagement comes down to your individual circumstances so do what works for you and your partner. Couples who need more time to save for their wedding day and prepare their relationship for married life may find more benefits in a longer engagement. It’s important to bear in mind that the excitement of engagement tends to diminish over time, however.

If you’re concerned about wedding planning stress, opting for a shorter engagement may be more intensive – yet many couples benefit from having less time to stress. There’s less time to worry and fuss over the tiny details, especially if you’re swapping the big white wedding for an extra special, intimate wedding.

Long or short engagement, finding and booking the perfect wedding venue should be the first to-do on your list. Get in touch with us to discuss your wedding plans or to check availability.


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