So, you’ve gotten down on one knee, the ring has been accepted amidst squeals of joy and excitement and you’ve let everyone know the good news, now comes the question you are now likely to hear over and over again; “So when is the big day?”
The length of time between the engagement and the actual wedding is something that has fluctuated a lot across different generations and cultures. Nowadays, many couples are opting for their own time frame and there is no longer an agreed upon “ideal” amount of time a couple should wait (although the average couples waits about 13 months before tying the knot).
However, it should be noted that the amount of time you should wait will depend on a variety of factors. Today we are going to have a look at this topic in more detail.
Photo credit: facibeni
Short Engagement ( < 6 months )
If you are planning a very simple wedding, with a small guest list and a relaxed, laid back reception, you could feasibly get married within less than 6 months of your engagement. You will have to begin planning in earnest almost straight away but it should be doable provided you are willing to compromise on some aspects (highly sought after locations and vendors will most likely be booked months in advance).
You will also want to make sure that all of your guests are invited as soon as possible as otherwise you will run the risk of some of them not being able to attend (for this reason a short engagement is best suited to small, intimate weddings with a guest list composed of family and very close friends).
There are even some couples who choose to get engaged AND married on the same day! Of course this does require quite a long of planning on the part of the groom if the bride is not aware that it's about to happen.
There are many different reasons why a short engagement might be the right choice for you. In some cases, it might be a good choice for a couple where one or other of the parties is living in a foreign country and getting married would allow them to continue to live together (of course, this is only a good option if you were planning on getting married at some point anyway!)
Another potential reason might be the severe illness of a parent, grandparent or another close family member or friend. You might want to have your big day while they are still well enough to attend and enjoy themselves.
Medium Length Engagement ( 6 months = 14 months)
This is generally the amount of time most couples take to plan out their big day (as mentioned above the average planning time for a wedding is 13 months). This should give you enough breathing room to sort out all of the details related to the celebration in plenty of time. You will also have enough time to give your guests enough notice to arrange time off to attend, especially if you are opting to get married abroad.
Long Engagement ( <14 months)
Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly common for couples to opt for long engagements, as in many countries there is no longer any sort of social taboo against living together before marriage. This means that you have ample time to save up if you are planning a big extravagant celebration. Alternatively, it also allows you the time to shop around and find the best deals possible in terms of locations and vendors (for example you can plan to get married at times of the years that are traditionally less in demand and therefore better value for money).
If you are planning a long engagement, you may find that some people try to put pressure on you to have everything planned out straight away, always remember to bear in mind that your big day is for YOU, take your time with planning everything exactly the way YOU want it to be.
Many couple opt to have a long engagement as they may find out that they are expecting a baby, and prefer to wait until the child is old enough to attend (maybe in the role of flower girl or ring bearer)
A long engagement might also be a great option for a couple who decide to become engaged at a very young age, they might decide to wait until they have graduated from college and are more established in their lives/careers before officially tying the knot .
You also might find yourself having a long engagement because you are busy and time slips away from you, it can often be difficult and daunting to actually sit down and begin the wedding planning.
So there you have it! Have you just gotten engaged and are now struggling to decide on when to actually tie the knot? We are here to help!