Whether you’re planning on popping the question soon or have been engaged for some time, you may be asking yourself and others the ever-important question, “How long are people engaged?” Engagement lengths are different for every couple, but they typically fall between 12 and 18 months in order to allow for all the preparation that goes into planning a wedding and the rest of your lives together.
Keep reading to hear our thoughts on how long engagements usually are and how long they should be. (Hint: however long you decide to be engaged is the perfect engagement length for you and your fiancé!)
Like every other wedding-related decision you’ll have to make—such as finding the perfect engagement ring, choosing where and when to get engaged, and who to share the wonderful news with first—the length of your engagement is uniquely up to you as a couple to decide. Every engagement is distinct and serves different purposes; this time can be used to save for your wedding celebrations, discuss future plans, merge more aspects of your lives, or simply to feel more assured in your future together as you continue in your relationship.
While it’s easy to compare yourselves to other couples during this momentous time of your lives, remember that your love story is your love story, and you’re the only one who can write it.
While the length of your engagement really is up to you and your fiancé, it can be useful to know how long other couples are typically engaged for. The national average engagement is currently 12 to 18 months.
However, there are plenty of people whose engagements do not fall within that time frame. You should feel no pressure to do anything other than what feels right to you. Especially during the time of COVID-19, when many couples either held more intimate ceremonies and got married sooner than planned or had to postpone their weddings for significant amounts of time, you should feel confident in whatever time frame works best for you individually.
If you already know that your engagement is going to be longer due to temporary long-distance or uncertain schedules, you might not know exactly when you want to get married. Setting a tentative wedding date for the future, however far away it may seem, may help you feel more confident in your decision to become engaged. Setting a date will also help you stay on top of planning, which always seems to take longer than most people expect.
If your engagement is slightly more spontaneous and you hope to get married more quickly, you may have to be more flexible when choosing your wedding date. Most venues are booked out far in advance, especially during weekends and summer months, so you may need to adjust your schedules based on what is available. Deciding on a wedding date as soon as possible will help you and your guests to be prepared whenever the big day comes!
Maybe you and your fiancé are attending different schools with vastly different schedules, or you have a long-distance relationship due to exciting job opportunities. Even if you want to start your lives together as soon as you can, sometimes that isn’t possible until other milestones are accomplished. If you choose to get engaged while in a long-distance relationship, planning a specific wedding date may be more difficult, resulting in a longer engagement. But whoever said a longer engagement was a bad thing? You’ll still be able to chase your individual dreams while simultaneously feeling secure in your commitment to a future life of love together.
Reaching out to your closest friends and family to see when they will be available is always a good idea (especially if you are wanting to have a destination wedding or spread your ceremony and celebrations over multiple days). Even though it’s your special day, ensuring that the people you love the most will be in attendance will help make it truly special. This is especially important if your engagement is on the shorter side since your guests will have less time to plan far ahead.
Do you want a peaceful backdrop of snow, or is the warm summer sun more your style? Depending on your temperature preferences and the weather patterns of your chosen location, and if you want your engagement to be a certain length, you may want to get engaged during a specific time of the year.
During your engagement, your most important tasks will have to do with planning your wedding. Choosing the location, venue, guest list, colors, and vendors can take much more time than most people realize—especially if you haven’t ever thought about those things. While some people start planning their weddings before getting engaged, those plans usually look more like hopes and dreams. Your engagement period is when you see those dreams become a reality! When choosing a wedding date, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to research, plan, and reserve your vendors—as well as plenty of time to enjoy the process. As excited as you may be to officially begin your lives together, you’ll never be engaged again, so try to enjoy it!
Depending on where you live, the lengths of your friends and family members’ engagements, and your own personal expectations, a “long engagement” can mean very different things to different people. Generally speaking, an engagement is considered to be on the longer side if it lasts more than two years. On the other hand, an engagement is usually considered short if it lasts for less than a year.
No matter how long your engagement lasts, make sure you start it off with the perfect proposal and the perfect June Ring.