Long Engagements: What Not to Do
Couples choose long engagements for a variety of reasons. Sometimes one or other has to complete military service, a degree, or a job posting overseas. There may also be financial considerations, logistical challenges, or other life events to take into account. Whatever the reason, long engagements are a situation many couples currently face. If you’re one of those waiting until the end of 2022 or 2023 for your big day to arrive, you’re not alone! But, while long engagements come with a lot of advantages, they also have a few unique challenges. Here are seven things you should NOT do if you’re having a long engagement.
DON’T leave room for speculation. While the length of your engagement is nobody’s business but your own, friends and family may share their opinions and speculate on your reasons. If you know up-front that you’ll be planning for more than a year, make it known. Include an anticipated wedding date in your engagement announcement. For example, ‘Christmas 2022’ or ‘Spring 2023’.
DON’T wait to take engagement photographs. Your engagement is a special time and it should be commemorated! Make time for a photoshoot celebrating this major milestone. You’ll be able to use the pictures on announcements, save the dates, etc. And, if you feel that the pictures may look out of date, you can always schedule a second shoot closer to the wedding.
DON’T commit to a wedding party or guest list. The truth is that relationships change with time. Sometimes the people we spend the most time with can shift over the course of months or years. To avoid awkward situations later, it’s always a good idea to hold off on asking bridesmaids or groomsmen too early, or to making firm invitations outside of your family circle.
DON’T register for gifts too far in advance. When you get engaged, it can be tempting to want to do all the things that other grooms or brides do. And, of course, creating a gift registry is one of these. But remember that styles, colors, and even your own taste can change. Hold off until at least a year before the event.
DON’T make all your styling decisions. There’s no rush when it comes to choosing your wedding colors, style, or details. In fact, you may find that if you do, you’ll end up changing your mind later on and having to rework everything. It’s natural to spend some time on Pinterest or browsing through magazines. But know when to step away and come back to it later on.
DON’T forget to focus on your marriage. While you may want to wait on planning the details of your wedding, that doesn’t mean you should put the growth of your relationship on hold. Plan the kind of marriage you want and start putting things in place to support that. For example, you don’t need to hold off on making traditions together. A long engagement allows you to put the stress of wedding planning aside for a while and focus on what really matters.
Finally, be sure to enjoy this special time together. Even for long engagements, time really does fly! Before you know it, you’ll be walking down that aisle.