Why the Long Engagement?

Mr. A and I got engaged over a year ago (February 15, 2009 to be exact). For the average bride, picking a wedding date would have involved a one-year engagement, which if we had gone that route, would have us getting married about now. But, I’ve always wanted a fall wedding, for a few reasons. Mostly because fall in the Midwest is G-ORGEOUS. The colors are fantastic (see: engagement photos).

Images courtesy of Lisa Hessel Photography

While we could have gotten married in Fall 2009, a 9 to 10 month engagement was too short for me.

I wanted some time to enjoy the engagement and time to plan without pulling my hair out (because I totes would have). The Mr. was game for what I wanted, so there were no complaints from him. The obvious decision? Wait until fall the following year (fall 2010). Not only did this give us time to really plan, it gave us time to enjoy our engagement, and get first pick on a lot of the vendors in town. Most places in St. Louis book up fast within a year. So, with a 17 month engagement, we had quite the lead time ahead of most engaged couples in the area.

I’m not gonna lie ”“ it has been a long ride, but it’s one I have fully enjoyed. We’ve really had time to comb over any big decisions. And, I’ve had time to meet with our booked vendors on multiple occasions to get a lot of the details taken care of early on, all adding up to practically no stress.

Yes, we’ve had our highs and lows of wedding planning (and I’m not referring to goods and bads, arguments and make-ups. I’m talking being really busy at times and bored out of my mind at times). The entire process has been pretty bipolar (okay, mostly bipolar). We spend a few months really hashing out details and vendors, and then spend the next few doing absolutely nothing at all. It’s a bit confusing, but I would not change it for anything.

Was your engagement long or short? Were the seasons a factor in your decision to wait?


Mrs. Argyle

St. Louis
Wedding Date:
September 2010
"You're My Lobster"
A Budget Bride's Search for the Perfect Bridesmaid's Dress
Add a comment


  1. Member
    Ms. Library 464 posts, Helper bee @ 10:13 am

    I know the feeling. By the time we are married, Mr. Library and I will have been engaged for 2.25 years. I’m ready to get married already!

  2. Member
    shantastic 122 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:14 am

    I guess ours is a short engagement–8 months–and the factor there was graduation, leases up, and possible moving. Everything seemed to be coming together at the end of August, so we set our sights on early September. I’m kind of wishing for a long engagement now, though…your getting “first pick” sounds great now that I’m getting within the 5 month mark. :-/

  3. Member
    LisaBee 358 posts, Helper bee @ 10:14 am

    Miss Arglye, we are on the same schedule! I got engaged in March 2009, and we are getting married this October. Whenever people ask about wedding planning, I always tell them how low-stress it has been. We also got to take our sweet time deciding on vendors, and have never felt any pressure to get things done NOW. It has been wonderful!

  4. Member
    amariem25 3753 posts, Honey bee @ 10:15 am

    We had a 15 month engagement because I wanted my wedding in the fall too. But then the fall colors were really bad this past year and everything was still green in mid-October. The colors didn’t change much at all actually because of the snow we got in October. So all of our wedding pictures are green instead of fall colors.

  5. Member
    meggyo 586 posts, Busy bee @ 10:28 am

    we are in the midst of a 14 month engagement because we wanted our wedding in the fall. we got engaged in july 2009 and are getting married this september. i totally agree with you about the highs and lows. people will ask me all the time, “how’s the wedding planning going?” and i’m just like, “um.. slow right now. i haven’t done much” haha.. i was really excited when we first got engaged and we booked all of the vendors right away and pretty much mapped everything out. now it’s just a waiting game. :)

  6. Member
    KBSept2011 23 posts, Newbee @ 10:28 am

    I had the same thought process you as, Miss Argyle! We were engaged this past February and will be getting married Sept 2011 because I just can’t imagine not having a fall wedding!

  7. Member
    AlmostMrsG 394 posts, Helper bee @ 10:28 am

    By the time the wedding rolls around, Mr and I will have been engaged for 3 years, 9 months. I was going to law school and didn’t want to get married/plan a wedding during law school. Also, by waiting, we’ve been able to stay on our parents’ health insurance policies for way longer. Score!

  8. Member
    corgitales 11391 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 10:31 am

    We’re having a 16 month engagement because of family weddings. We got engaged last October and I REALLY wanted a fall wedding, which would have been perfect at about 1 year out. But, my brother was getting married in August and my FI’s mom was getting married in October, and I didn’t want our wedding to get lost in the shuffle, shoved in between anyone else’s. We thought about a December wedding but apparently thats pretty expensive because rooms are booked for holiday parties, and January was out because of my FI’s work schedule… so February 2011 it is! :)

  9. Member
    DianaLynn 197 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:36 am

    We’re the same way…got engaged this past Christmas but I always wanted a spring or early summer wedding…so June 2011 it is! We both work full time, are in grad school part time and are planning the wedding 4 hours from where we live so the extra time is definitely necessary! I think people are waiting longer to get married…I was shocked that some dates for the venue we wanted were already booked a year and a half away

  10. Member
    alohababy28 468 posts, Helper bee @ 10:42 am

    Ours was long (just under year and half) and I totally regret it! Ironically, for the same reasons you listed. We actually had problems finding a venue b/c it was TOO early they said, and they were hoping to book a larger party, so would not book our “smaller event”. Also, all the “down times” have caused us to get lazy and fall behind, so now we’re about a month away, and have SO much to do that we wanted to do six months ago, but people kept telling us “slow down, you have plenty of time.” and foolishly we listened.
    I also wanted to get married in the Fall or winter (because it’s so cheap), but since we got engaged in January he felt that getting married that fall or winter was too soon, and I thought the following fall/winter was too far away, so we compromised on the following Spring. In hindsight I would have had the wedding that winter. We would have saved a ton of money, gotten everything done quickly, and most importantly we’d be married already! (Can you tell I’m a tad on edge w/ a wedding a month away and a TON of to-dos!?)

  11. Member
    Ella1978 2043 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:45 am

    We ended up with a 16 month engagement (feb 19, 2009 to june 19, 2010). And I have mixed feelings. We booked things early, but there was so much time, that it gave things time to go wrong.. if that makes sense? Ideally, we would have done a fall wedding as well – but my FI is in school, so that would have meant delaying the honeymoon, and he did NOT want to do that, so we settled on August… but it turns out that there was really only one week in August that would give us enough time to have a one week honeymoon, and that weekend was booked at our hall…. so we moved it up to June.
    I’ve still been stressed a good portion of the time, but maybe that’s just my personality? Only 2.5 months to go, and I’m very excited!

  12. Member
    moderndaisy 6691 posts, Bee Keeper @ 10:53 am

    We were forced to have a long engagement. Well, either that or create a huge rift in my family since my sisters wedding date was exactly 1 year after the date we got engaged. So 1.5 years it was and while some things have been special about having a long engagement, I’m ready to get married already.

  13. Member
    SanDiegoAli 3096 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:54 am

    I was engaged in February of 2009 as well! And I’ll be getting married this September – so yep, a long engagement for me as well. I’ve enjoyed it mostly, but I think if I could do it all over again I wouldn’t have waited more than 12 months (but we faced the same decsions as you – we WANTED to be married in September and 7 months to plan just wasn’t enough).

  14. Member
    Miss Chapstick 2098 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:56 am

    We got engaged in July two years ago, and also wanted a fall wedding, so we obviously had to wait another year :)

    I actually kind of regret it. I think long engagements are great for some, but by the time the wedding came around, I was seriously sick of it, and just wanted to get it over with (which is NOT a good attitude to have the weeks leading up to your wedding!). I always tell people I would have picked a spring/summer date if I could do the whole thing over again, and have a much shorter engagement. BUT, that’s just me.

  15. Member
    LatteLove 5567 posts, Bee Keeper @ 11:05 am

    I planned my wedding in 8 months, and wouldn’t recommend any longer of an engagement than 10 months to my friends, but we were also in a long distance relationship for our whole engagement (and previous to that) so there was a reason to keep things moving quickly!

  16. Member
    ktbrady 1054 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:19 am

    I got engaged December 2009 and am getting married October 2011. I, too, wanted a fall wedding and October 2010 was booked, plus extended family was acting crazy! lol

  17. Member
    alivoo01 2625 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:21 am

    We’ll be engaged for 8.5 months by the time our wedding rolls around and it will be in the Fall. Although Fall was not a requirement for me, I’m wondering if I should have at least waited until Spring of 2011 instead…

  18. Member
    mander411 735 posts, Busy bee @ 11:28 am

    20 months for us! We get married this November so we have about 7 months left :) It has been great and I am so happy we decided to have a longer engagement for all the reasons you stated! And Fall in the Hudson Valley is gorgeous!

  19. Member
    AmberWaves 326 posts, Helper bee @ 11:38 am

    By the time we get married it will be 15 months. I have to admit I’m a tad quirky and didn’t want to get married in 2009. Something about odd numbered years. Yes, weird, I know. :) It’s been nice to have the extra time to plan and enjoy the engagement. However, there definitely are times I wish we could just be done with it already. Thank goodness there is only a month to go!

  20. Member
    jmc 882 posts, Busy bee @ 11:39 am

    I got engaged on Feb 15, 2009, too! We got married in December 2009 though. Quickish engagement, but it was good for me.

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    Sarah, Guest @ 11:39 am

    To have the groom’s brother available (instead of halfway around the world), we could either get married 2 months after the engagement or 14 months after. I’m just not organized enough to pull off even a small wedding in 2 months.

  22. msjellyfish Member
    msjellyfish 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:08 pm

    We got engaged Feb 21, 2009 and are getting married in Sept 2010, so a 19 month engagement. I totally regret having such a long engagement. I’m a very indecisive person and having this much time to mull over decisions is killing me! I already just want to have the wedding over with, which is a bad attitude I fear. Oh well. :(

  23. taco Member
    taco 946 posts, Busy bee @ 12:23 pm

    Ours will weigh in at 15 months! A lengthy one with good and bad points (time to stress and worry vs. time to save and take our time with things).

    Those of us who don’t have seasons are envious of the colors in those pics!

  24. Member
    sasapok 77 posts, Worker bee @ 12:41 pm

    Nothing wrong with your timeline! I’ve been engaged since Mar ’09, and will be getting married also, in Sept’ 10. I too did this for one reason – because I HAD to have a Fall wedding. No biggie! Only thing IS, instead of making good use of all that time, I totally let myself fall into the “I have plenty o’ time!” routine, and now, at 5 months til’ … I’m dying, stressing .. anxious and nervous! Haha. Oh well! =]

  25. Member
    Aug2010bride 52 posts, Worker bee @ 12:47 pm

    Our engagement was long… um.. 4 years? *halo* He proposed Jan of 2006. We’re getting married August of this year.

    We had originally discussed about marriage and we both agreed after he was done with college would we be thinking of it. Well he proposed to me 2 years ahead of schedule. And then I was going to tell my parents when the topic somehow came up where she said, “you have to get married within 1 year of getting engaged or it’s bad luck.” How in the world that topic came up, I have no idea, so I kept it a secret from my parents (only my sisters knew within my family) till he was done with school. I finally told them March of 09, and we choose a date closest to our anniversary which would have been August 2009. Planning that short a time was too much for me, so we pushed it to August 2010.

  26. lioness Member
    lioness 819 posts, Busy bee @ 12:49 pm

    That is EXACTLY the reason why we’re having a long engagement. We’re going to Costa Rica next month as a graduation present to ourselves, and he had hinted pretty hardcore that he planned to propose there…so I had my mind made up on April 2011. Well, apparently he was just trying to throw me off because he proposed in August of 2009 (whenever someone brings that up, he sings “Poker Face”…it’s quite…umm…charming). I already had my heart set on the spring, and April 2010 was just too soon. Long engagement it is!

  27. argyle Member
    argyle 2519 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:54 pm

    @LisaBee: It has been very low-stress, which I love.

    @amariem25: I’m sure it was still gorgeous!

    @AlmostMrsG: That’s a nice little bonus!

    @DianaLynn: Most of the popular places in town book up a year to a year and a half out.

    @AmberWaves: I like your logic!

    @Miss Jellyfish: I wish you were enjoying it more!

    @sasapok: At least you still have five months. Could be worse and you could have 1 month left!

    @Aug2010bride: Wow, that is a long engagement!

    @juliaelizabeth3: It’ll be worth it if you use your time wisely!

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    JD, Guest @ 1:00 pm

    Wow – I must say people are really hating on long engagements a lot more than I thought they would. My engagement will likely end up being 2 years, as I’m law school. I think longer engagements are becoming the norm anymore. I also think you need to do what’s right for you and it sounds like you have – ignore all of the people telling you long engagements suck! You won’t have to feel stressed, and you’ll have plenty of time to look forward to the wedding. You only get one! (hopefully) – might as well relax and enjoy the planning and anticipation. Congrats to you!

  29. turtle Member
    turtle 776 posts, Busy bee @ 1:22 pm

    When we get married, we will have been engaged for almost two years! It sounds crazy, but for us it just right. We wanted to wait until we were both graduated from college. In the beginning, a lot of people were like, “Why on Earth would you wait that long?” and they made a lot of jokes about it being forever away. Now those same people can’t get over how fast it’s flown by! At first I was hesitant to have a long engagement, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! It’s been a wonderful period in my life and allowed me to slowly plan the wedding and psychologically prepare myself for being married!

  30. cardigan Member
    cardigan 8645 posts, Bumble Beekeeper @ 1:25 pm

    We have a long engagement too, so I know exactly what you’re talking about! Just got out of one of those “bored out of my mind” times and am in the middle of a “doing things like crazy” time!

  31. hamster Member
    hamster 4047 posts, Honey bee @ 1:51 pm

    Totally agree! We got engaged in Mar’09, and a summer wedding was too close, but I didn’t want a winter wedding, so we ended up with the following May :)

  32. Member
    labrat 468 posts, Helper bee @ 2:19 pm

    I actually like the idea of a long engagement. If we weren’t worried about grandparents being around until the wedding, I would have extended our engagement. =) Right now ours is a 21 mo engagement.

  33. Member
    silverbrooke 203 posts, Helper bee @ 2:23 pm

    We got engaged in October 2009 and are getting married July 2010.

    Mostly this was because of the teacher schedules. I wanted to have a month of time with no work other than wedding planning, and some time to go on a honeymoon without having to take off work hours. I also thought waiting until next summer would be too long, especially since we might be making a big move next year or one of us starting graduate school. That was going to be too much all at once.

  34. Member
    Lo 538 posts, Busy bee @ 2:24 pm

    We got engaged 2 weeks ago and set the date for July 2011. We originally wanted May or June but the venue we wanted was already booked and I had my heart set on a spring/summer wedding. We figure it will give us more time to save and plan.

  35. parfait Member
    parfait 1755 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:33 pm

    We got engaged the same weekend as you! You’re so patient to wait for your favorite season. I’m sure it’ll be beautiful!

  36. elephant Member
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 6:32 pm

    We’ll be engaged for 25 months. I agree with the super busy at times and then other times with nothing to do. It could have been this fall, but FI really wanted it around the time of our dating anniversary so next April it is.

  37. argyle Member
    argyle 2519 posts, Sugar bee @ 6:37 pm

    @JD: Thanks for the support, lady!

    @Miss Turtle: Good call – and I agree with you!

    @silverbrooke: I fully understand that. Two of my good friends are teachers and got married during the summer months to avoid having to take time off from work.

    @Miss Parfait: I just hope some of the Fall colors will come out. It’ll be the first weekend of Fall on wedding day – so we’ll see!

  38. Member
    OctPumpkin 593 posts, Busy bee @ 6:52 pm

    We got engaged Dec 09 and are getting married Oct 10. Good lord, my FI and I have been together almost 6 years and I want to get that man down the aisle tout de suite!

    I’ve always wanted a fall wedding and it’s going to be small, so this has been the perfect amount of time. But I totally agree with everyone here, go with what feels right. I’ve had so many comments from people who have factually told me that it isn’t enough time.

  39. Member
    krissybee 3921 posts, Honey bee @ 9:04 pm

    we have a 2.5 year engagement… we are 1 year and six months out now. i have to say i love having so much time!! its actually going fast and i’m freaking out!!

  40. Member
    tea 2414 posts, Buzzing bee @ 9:14 pm

    it most likely will be short. i’m thinking 6 months or so. but we’ll see what happens

  41. Member
    ResearchBride 41 posts, Newbee @ 10:04 pm

    Ya know it’s funny. I got engaged the same day as you and am getting married at the end of Sept of this year. After all this time, I feel like we definitely could have gotten married already. But we wanted to get married in the fall because it’s our favorite time of the year. The venue we choose only had 1 Saturday left in Sept/Oct and thus our wedding date. I remember when I first started planning everyone said “you have plenty of time” Well after the holidays rolled around all of sudden I got the “you haven’t done that yet?!” After some weeks of stress, I finally feel like I’m enjoying the planning process better. Maybe a shorter engagement would have been better but I’m happy where we’re at now. :) good luck with planning!

  42. Member
    Skywalk 87 posts, Worker bee @ 10:09 pm

    My engagement will be just under a year for a similar seasonal reason.
    I have always wanted to get married in September, it’s my favourite month of the year. Fall just starts to show it’s seasonal face while the summer sun is still shining beautifully with a softer warmth than the height of summer.
    It just turned out that my fiance chose to propose in September of 2009 and wanted to be married before the end of 2010…love a man that wants to just get on with it! :o)

  43. Member
    Jenniphyr 3426 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:24 pm

    We will have been engaged for 3 years, 11 months, and 19 days when we get married. We got engaged Valentine’s Day 2009, and are getting married on our date-a-versary (February 2nd) in 2013. The reason? We’re waiting until we’ve both graduated (he’ll graduate Dec 2012 if the world doesn’t end) — for financial reasons. While attending school we can stay at home with our parents rent-free, and we’re still covered under their health insurance (makes birth control a LOT less expensive). It’ll also be a lot easier to finish up the last-minute wedding planning when I’m out of school.

  44. Member
    jordynrose 6351 posts, Bee Keeper @ 12:31 pm

    Our engagement will almost be 2 years. It is less seasonal, and more so because I will not finish school until this May. Summer is way too hot for a wedding in the southwest (unless all indoors, and not what we want). Fall was my first choice, so luckily I don’t have to go much longer.

  45. Guest Icon Guest
    Ameliya, Guest @ 3:55 pm

    My fiance proposed on Christmas Day 2009. We picked our wedding date that same day and will be getting married in 2012. I just started a business and want to have time to plan ,and save for, the perfect wedding and honeymoon. So our engagement will be a 30 month engagement! We have been together for 3 years now, so it doesn’t matter to me. As long as we walk down the aisle some day!

  46. Member
    mrspaetz 3812 posts, Honey bee @ 9:46 pm

    ours was short because we had to deal with the hassles of US immigration.

  47. Member
    marieta 339 posts, Helper bee @ 4:57 pm

    Ours is long because of financial reasons (as in he’d lose some financial aid for college if we got married too soon), but I also feel strongly that I want a spring wedding. So if we get the financials worked out and we’re still a year away… well, I’m willing to wait for the next spring.

  48. Member
    MaineCountryBride 29 posts, Newbee @ 11:37 pm

    Our engagement was two days before Christmas 2009, and we had talked about having a fall wedding,so it is set Oct 2010! Once we nailed down a venue I was relieved. A lot of places we contacted were booked for the whole year already, YIKES!

  49. msgiraffe Member
    msgiraffe 4248 posts, Honey bee @ 4:47 pm

    Ours is looooong! 2.5 years!

  50. Member
    cnuptain 330 posts, Helper bee @ 4:41 pm

    We’re having a 21 month engagement and I couldn’t be happier. Our date is the Sunday of Memorial Day and our vendors booked up super quick so I loved having first pick at everything!

add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors