A Long vs Short Engagement: Which is Better?

Is it better to have a long or short engagement?

There are so many things to think about when planning you’re elopement. And planning your epic elopement should be an awesome (not stressful) experience. It’s super easy to get caught up in the craziness of what you want to do and all the ideas other people give you and your own ideas. This might sound unbelievable but, the average length of an engagement for most folks is just 13 months! Some couples opt to elope within months of a proposal, while others wait years (and years, and years).

At the end of the day, I believe the length of your engagement is totally up to you, but here are some pros and cons to keep in mind when it comes to a long vs short engagement. 

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Shorter Engagement 

Pros of a short engagement:

  • A shorter engagement time gives you less time to wait, and more time to enjoy being a happily married couple!
  • Some people might argue that with a more prolonged engagement, you might get wedding fatigue and the excitement might wear down. 
  • There is no time for changing your mind (or being swayed by opinionated fam/friends).
  • There is less stress and pressure on you in the long run.
  • A shorter engagement will leave you less confused. There are literally a million options for every wedding decision out there.
  • Vendors are booking! Sometimes if you reach out too early, they won’t have their calendars open for booking your date if you have a long engagement.

Cons of a short engagement:

  • Usually, there are higher costs associated with having a short engagement because vendors prefer to be booked well in advance of a wedding date.
  • Along the same vein, your fav vendors might already be booked!
  • You will be rushed with planning and nobody enjoys that.
  • If you’re eloping to a coveted destination and want to experience popular activities that require reservation, a short engagement (less than 6 months) may mean some reservations and flights are booked or are very expensive.
  • Getting any dress alterations can take a while! It can be very tricky to get these done in the span of just a couple of months.
long vs short engagement Oregon Coast Proposal and Engagement Session

Longer Engagement 

Pros of a long engagement:

  • Booking vendors will be a lot easier. 
  • Those involved have more time to prepare. 
  • You’ll have more time to work on your relational goals as a couple.
  • You’ll have more time to save money for the cost.
  • Wedding planning won’t take over every spare minute of your life.
  • More time means more DIY projects you could tackle if hot gluing is your thing.

Cons of a long engagement

  • You’ll be waiting longer for the big day to arrive.
  • Difficult to make decisions regarding the wedding. Seeing too many options or hearing different opinions for someone else can overwhelm you.
  • Conflicts can appear. 
  • You could get mildly obsessed with details, that could make you crazy.
  • Sometimes, if your engagement is longer than a certain timeframe, some vendors won’t book that far out, so you’ll have to wait until your date is closer. Many vendors (like adventure elopement photographers and some HMUAs) don’t book farther than 18 months out at max – unless it’s an international destination.
Deciding to elope in the next 18 months?

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When it comes down to it, time gives you the ability to have choices. Planning far enough in advance will secure the ideal venue, or lock in a bomb photographer who will capture your memories in the most epic way possible. From my experience, it looks like a 9 to 12-month engagement is a sweet spot that gives you the best options to make your day. But keep in mind that this is just a rough idea! Be sure to take into account where you want to get married and what the weather will be. A 14-month engagement won’t be the end of the world if that fits better into your timeline!

If I could give you any advice it would be to slow down and just take it all in! Enjoy the day just as it is, and having a longer engagement lets you do that. The pressure that the universe puts on a newly engaged couple is outrageous, and frankly f-ed up. So do whatever your heart is leading you to do.

P.S. Are you considering proposing? Check out 5 things to know before proposing to your partner!

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