How Long Should You Stay Engaged?

Marriage is an exciting process – the proposal has happened and now you’re engaged. One of the very first things you and your new fiance have to do is to set the date for your wedding. How can you decide how long you should be engaged before you celebrate your big day? It will depend on a number of factors, including how much time you’ll need to plan, whether or not you have guests coming in from out of town, and more.

This is something you should start discussing with your S.O. no later than the day after you get engaged. The sooner you can settle on a date, the sooner you can go to work on the rest of the planning process.

Decide On The Wedding Size

Before you can set a date, you have to decide exactly what kind of  wedding you’ll have. If you and your partner want a big ceremony with lots of guests, a full bridal party, and a huge reception, you may very well need at least six months to a year to get everything set up.

If you want a small ceremony with only a few friends and family, you may only need a month or so. Should you and your partner be anxious to get married and not into a traditional wedding, you might even consider eloping as soon as possible. You can always have a party to celebrate your marriage with all of your friends and family after the fact.

Picking A Special Date

Another factor to consider when picking a date is whether or not there’s a special date that means something to both of you. Maybe you want to get married during a certain time of year so you can have an outdoor ceremony, like late spring or early fall. Or maybe there’s a meaningful date, like the day you first met or the anniversary of your first date that you want to be your date.

If either of these scenarios is the case, you may have a big wait, particularly if you need time to plan and that date or season is coming up quickly. Should that be the case, you might have to wait until that date comes up next year instead of this year, or your planning might be too rushed. If neither of you wants to wait that long, you need to be willing to sacrifice your idea of a perfect date or season to get married in.

Venue Availability

Your date will also be determined by the availability of the venue you want to get married in. Some venues, like religious ones, may already be booked for someone else’s  ceremony on the date that you want. It’s a good idea to have a window of dates or a few backup dates in mind in case your ideal date is booked. Otherwise, you need to be willing to be flexible on the venue.

The same thing goes for who will perform the ceremony. If you belong to a specific congregation and want your preacher, priest, Rabbi, etc., to perform the ceremony, you will most likely need to be flexible on your date. If the two of you are just going to use a justice of the peace, however, you can probably pick the exact date you want. Odds are that someone will be available for that day.

In the end, finding the right date mostly comes down to what your priorities are. If you have a detailed dream wedding plan, you’re probably going to need more time and have to be more flexible with your date to make everything work. If you and your fiance’s number one priority is to make the marriage sooner rather than later, you’ll have to be willing to be looser with your wedding plans. Just make sure that you’re both on the same page about your priorities, and you’ll settle on the right date in no time.


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