Keeping It Real

Keeping It Real: Long Engagements & Why They Rock!

My fiance proposed to me almost 20 months ago.  You would think that with such a long engagement, I’d be bored by now.  That I’d have all my wedding plans set in stone.  And I’d be tapping my foot impatiently, waiting for our wedding day to finally be here.

Ha, WRONG!

My fiance and me, the day after he proposed!

Our wedding is now only 8 months away, and we JUST put our deposit down on the reception hall yesterday, and the church a few weeks ago.  We’re using friends and family for most of the other necessities: photographer, videographer, DJ, invitations, etc.  I’ve had my wedding dress since last November (2010!).  We’ve picked out the tuxes for the guys, and I think the girls and I have finally decided on dresses.  We still haven’t done anything with decorations – like flowers, chair sashes, candles, centerpieces… and haven’t decided what dessert we will have (a wedding cake? cupcakes? cookies? pie??).  Oh and I think we’ve narrowed down our guest list…

If you’ve never been married and never helped plan a wedding, you may be starting to see that the list of things to do seems almost endless.  Which is one reason why I am SO glad that Ken and I have had a long engagement.  But there are so many other reasons to have a long engagement… here are my top reasons why long engagements ROCK!

  1. You have time to save money.  Like many couples out there, Ken and I are paying for our own wedding.  Having an engagement over two years long has really allowed us to work on our finances and save money for the wedding that we want.  If we had gotten married right away, we would have had to cut our guest list to almost no one, or even just eloped somewhere because we definitely didn’t have the money for it then!
  2. You have time to change your mind… again, and again, and again.  I cannot tell you how many times we have changed our mind about things from the simplest of details (the colors, flowers we want) to the big things (where we’re getting married, what kind of ceremony).
  3. You really get to know the person you’re marrying.  Spending this much time planning a wedding really allowed me to get to know Ken on an even deeper level.  Things that you wouldn’t think would matter to him might really matter!  And you get a really good look into how they handle their finances when you’re working with a budget for a wedding.
  4. You can live together longer before the wedding.  This depends on your beliefs and values.  Ken and I have lived together since we got engaged.  We don’t have our own place – we live with my parents – but to me it is a really great idea.  You really don’t know a person until you’ve lived together… shared a bed, shared a bathroom, shared a kitchen.  You learn little things about each other that might be cute, and others that might be dealbreakers.
  5. You can work on your relationship before the wedding.  So many people who rush into marriage don’t know each other (see #3 and #4) because they simply don’t have time.  If you do have time… and you can live together… you can work on little issues that might come up without them blowing up in your face.  Planning the wedding is going to get stressful at some point.  You’re going to argue over something stupid like icing flavors.  And if you have other issues that you haven’t worked on, these little arguments are going to seem like a whole lot more.  I’ve been able to start working on myself to be a better person and a better future wife, and Ken has done the same thing for me.  We both know what we need and expect from each other, and it is so much easier to work those things out before getting married than afterward.
  6. It leaves room for those “uh oh” moments.  This has a lot to do with #1 – saving money.  A longer engagement not only allows you to save money, but it also allows you to make up for things if an “uh oh” moment happens.  Like me not finding a job right away after the internship… because we have had a long engagement, we were able to save a little before the internship, and we felt a little more comfortable about me not getting a job right away because we knew we had time before the wedding came up.  And now we’re dealing with vet bills for my cat – because we’ve been planning the wedding, we know how to make those things affordable and not break us.

So for me, having a long engagement has been great.  I have been able to swoon over being engaged, make sound decisions about our wedding, and we’ve been able to save up for the wedding that we want.  I promise one of these days I will make an update about the details of our wedding plans… tomorrow I am meeting with my maid of honor and matron of honor to discuss bridal shower ideas and try on bridesmaid dresses!  Yes! :)

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