Musings on a Longer Engagement

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with our relatively long engagement. On the one hand, the extra time has allowed us to carefully consider what’s most important to us for the wedding, and afforded us the luxury of planning when we want to (rather than feeling pressured to). We’ve also been able to save up our money, shop around for the best deals, and take our pick from the massive pool of available vendors.

On the other hand, a big repercussion of our now 22 month engagement is that it’s given me plenty of time to second guess our wedding-related decisions. I’ve gone through the whole spectrum of wedding “mood swings,” from feeling purely content to long periods of time where I’ve been consumed by boredom, wishing that the big day would just get here already. It’s during these times that I ended up getting lost amongst the pages of countless blogs and inspirational websites, which in turn led to me take a tumble down the wedding wishing well. Tell me, will some of my objects of desire be fulfilled at your wedding?

String lights. I have a sentimental attachment to these. On our first “real” date, Mr. Tartlet and I saw the movie Big Fish, and I fell in love with the twinkle of these lights as a direct result of this scene:



Our venue has strict rules regarding electrical wiring, so there will be no throwbacks to our first date. But, I can count on candles to emulate the luminous glow that this wedding achieved to perfection:



Bagpipes. Some of my happiest memories are from my time living in Scotland, and the drone of bagpipes is a fond reminder. However, I’m fully aware that some folk would rather cut their heart out with a spoon (10 points if you name that movie reference) than listen to one for more than 5 seconds. OK, maybe 2 seconds…


Brantley Gutierrez via Green Wedding Shoes

A sparkler exit. Really, an exit of any kind. Since we’re staying at the Royal Park the night of the wedding, it would make for a rather awkward scene if the guests were to send us off in a blaze of glory only to run into us seconds later in the lobby. Hi…come here often?



Horses. Yes, you read that right. Here is a clear example of where I let all of those adorable ranch weddings work their way into my subconscious, and I unreasonably found myself lusting after a galloping herd to mark the end of our ceremony per this wedding:


Katy Gray via Snippet & Ink

Mr. Tartlet happened to walk by as I was writing this, took one look at the photo and immediately said: “Let me guess. You’re writing about how with a longer engagement you run the risk of your wedding vision flying out of control?” Spot on my dear, spot on.

Furniture. Especially since I’m the kind of person who needs to step away from the crowd every once in a while, I love the idea of creating cozy nooks for people to sneak away to. They also make for fantastic photo ops!



A live band. I’m probably a bit jaded on this one because I have yet to happen upon a bad live band, but have come across some atrocious DJs in my time.


This band brought the house down at BM Laura’s wedding!

With a little over two months to go, I’ve found my way back to my place of zen where I’m 100% pleased as punch about the wedding we’re having. And, if I had to do it all over again, I’d still choose to have a longer engagement. Picking a wedding date is one of the most personal decisions you and your FI can make—whether it’s a short or long engagement, it’s so important to do what’s right for you as a couple!

How long will your engagement be? What are some pros and cons you’ve experienced working with your time frame?


Mrs. Tartlet

Rochester, MI
Wedding Date:
May 2011
Ceremony Flair
An Invitation Just for ME!
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  1. meerkat Member
    meerkat 3257 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:56 am

    Amen! I am so glad we had a long engagement. I really had the time to refine and focus on what we want.

    BTW I think most brides fall in love with the Big Fish photo you have. I know I did. 😛

  2. Member
    Megan316 369 posts, Helper bee @ 9:58 am

    Cut your heart out with a spoon… why? cause it hurts more. Princess Bride.

  3. Member
    CNsbtt 7 posts, Newbee @ 9:58 am

    Thank you for posting this. With a 22 month engagement myself, I second guess every single thing I choose and get ahead of myself more often than not. It’s terrible. And with 14 months to go, there’s no end in sight!

    The most recent second-guessing was with my wedding dress… ughhh…

    Perfect timing. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Member
    toshella 730 posts, Busy bee @ 9:59 am

    I <3 string lights! We have a 16 month engagement which sounded long at the time, but I’m coming to realize is pretty standard. It’s nice because we got a jump on looking at venues so most are free even for the holiday weekend that we’re planning. But like you mentioned, some days I just wish it would get here already….

  5. elephant Member
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 10:05 am

    Ours will be 25 months by the time we get married, and I’ve definitely had times of second guessing.

  6. Member
    TheFutureMcBride 4485 posts, Honey bee @ 10:14 am

    @Megan316: You beat me.

    Bagpipes = awesomeness!

    Our engagement was 4.5 months and I loved it. It was all wedding planning all the time and made things easier because all plans had to be figured out with no second guessing. Granted, I think it would’ve been nice to have a couple months more.

  7. Member
    martL26 15 posts, Newbee @ 10:21 am

    All those things (well except maybe the horses) have crept their way into my wedding vision over the months as well…sadly the only one that may become a reality is the twinkle lights!

  8. lox Member
    lox 1465 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:24 am

    Oh my… add flags and ribbon wands to that exit picture and you could possibly be in my brain. Well, minus the horses. 😉

  9. tartlet Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:37 am

    @Megan316: I love Princess Bride! But, I’m thinking of another equally glorious film that involves men prancing around in tights. 😉
    @CNsbtt: I think there are many of us who second-guess our wedding dress (myself included)–so you’re not alone!
    @TheFutureMcBride: I’m always so impressed by the couples who can plan their weddings in that amount of time!
    @martL26: Mmm, the twinkle lights are one of my all-time faves. Glad you get to have those!
    @Miss Lox: I’ve been bitten by the flag and ribbon bug as well thanks to all of the crafty posts floating around here!

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    kristophine, Guest @ 10:43 am

    I’m in month 3 of a 30-month engagement. By accident, really–I thought we’d be able to do the wedding next year, but I didn’t realize how much the wedding we wanted would cost. Can we do it? Yes. Should I probably have another year to save, what with my man living on student loans? Yes.

    So I have strict rules about when I can start buying anything bigger than a breadbox, and MAN, I hate it. I know it’s probably a good thing–I’m impulsive and that doesn’t work well with a unified vision–but dang, not being able to set up centerpieces and buy champagne flutes and all that is driving me crazy.

  11. Member
    sugarpea 5103 posts, Bee Keeper @ 10:49 am

    We’ll be engaged for around 2 years and my wedding vision is constantly changing haha (: could the reference be to Robin Hood? I ♥ Alan Rickman haha 😉

  12. Member
    Denali 296 posts, Helper bee @ 11:04 am

    I completely understand the second-guessing thing! I’m glad you’re back in your zen place, though :)

  13. Member
    mrsbowieii 704 posts, Busy bee @ 11:51 am

    Love the sparkler exit and the furniture but budget doesn’t allow for such things… Plus I love that you are a MI bride so I can relate.

  14. cinnamonbun Member
    cinnamonbun 1116 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:57 am

    Men in Tights!

    Wedding vision changing is one of the reasons I’m very happy that our engagement is 12 months (almost to the day!). I have way less time to change my mind about stuff!

  15. crepe Member
    crepe 331 posts, Helper bee @ 12:06 pm

    at one point, I asked Mr. C about having vintage lounge furniture around and he looked like me like i was out of my mind. I wish I had more time.. we have like an 8 month engagement? But def can see how having more time means more time to second guess! Love this post btw, so much inspiration and I also need a little reality check. Haha.

  16. Member
    xtatic1 783 posts, Busy bee @ 12:11 pm

    we will have been engaged for 14 months and I have to say I wish we had chosen an earlier date. But we fell in love with a venue and had little options to work with unless we wanted to get married during the rainy winter months. No thank you, I would have gone nuts watching every day. Plus the longer engagement has given me too much time for DIY and I keep adding to the list when I cross off a completed project. 6 more months to go, wonder how much DIY I can get done! 😉

  17. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 12:17 pm

    19 months here. I haven’t run into any boredom yet… wishing I could slow things down a bit so I can DIY more.

  18. Member
    junebug12 399 posts, Helper bee @ 12:38 pm

    Thank you for writing this! By the time we get married, we’ll have been engaged for 26 months. It’s a doozy! I feel the same way that you wrote about – so antsy for it to be here, bored outta my mind, changing my mind, coming up with a bajillion and one ideas.. sigh.

    On the other hand.. I think it gives plenty of time to research and hopefully not stress as much in the weeks leading up to the wedding.. time will tell though 😉

  19. tartlet Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:34 pm

    @kristophine: I imposed some spending rules on myself shortly after we got engaged, too! It can definitely take some getting used to, but it helped thinking about the endgame. :)
    @sugarpea, @Miss Cinnamon Bun: You got it! Hooray for Men in Tights! 😉
    @mrsbowieii: Hooray for another MI bride! I get so excited whenever I hear from another gal in the area!
    @Denali, @Miss Crepe: Thanks, ladies!

  20. tartlet Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:37 pm

    @xtatic1: Oh gosh, continuing to add projects is definitely one of the traps I’ve fallen into as well!
    @Miss Pain au Chocolat: I have a feeling if you talk to me in a month or so I’ll be wishing that I could slow things down, too. 😉
    @junebug12: It’s definitely been more relaxing for me thus far having spread things out over a long period of time. I hope you experience something similar when your wedding rolls around!

  21. Member
    SerenaSF 681 posts, Busy bee @ 1:42 pm

    I lived in Scotland too and the sounds of bagpipes brings me right back… but not everyone feels quite so fondly about them. Just had to share because I loved my time in Scotland and squealed a little to see that you had lived there as well!

    Also, globe string lights are my only must have decor item. Love love love.

  22. msgiraffe Member
    msgiraffe 4248 posts, Honey bee @ 2:21 pm

    I’m in the same boat, yo! This almost 2.5 year engagement is seriously playing with my head!
    I can’t believe its almost over!

  23. starfish Member
    starfish 1902 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:18 pm

    24 months for us. It was great to get our top vendors and it was pretty relaxing to have so much time to plan. Enjoy the rest of your time because the end goes by to quick!

  24. Member
    Lexsy 537 posts, Busy bee @ 3:30 pm

    I think a long engagement is better to a shorter one, as it allows you the time to ponder and think and refine and really create “your” wedding. However all this time also leaves room for doubts and second guessing – this is inevitable! The important is that at the end you confirm that what you had previously decided is indeed the best choice, and it seems you’ve done just that :-)

  25. barrettes Member
    barrettes 913 posts, Busy bee @ 5:40 pm

    I love this post, Tartlet! As a long engagement bride I’m totally feeling you on this. I lol’ed when I saw the horses- girl you went off the deep end! =)

    So happy you’re in your zen place now!

  26. magic Member
    magic 640 posts, Busy bee @ 6:16 pm

    You are in my head! Our engagement will be 23 months long. I have changed my mind too many times to count.

  27. Member
    DisneyBride2Bee 112 posts, Blushing bee @ 8:50 pm

    Our engagement is LONG…28 months! I’ve watched my budget creep up in the 8 months we’ve been engaged. Like you, there are some things I want but can’t have…sparklers (venue restrictions) and live band (venue restrictions/cost). Ok I realize that’s not a lot of stuff…I’m sure there’s more, and there are definitely a few things that I’m cringing at the cost of (but need to have due to wedding blog stalking)…chiavari chairs come to mind. Oh well..hopefully things don’t change too much in the next 20 months.

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    the artist, Guest @ 9:27 am

    Did you just make a Robin Hood reference? Love.

  29. frenchbulldog Member
    frenchbulldog 1088 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:05 pm

    Hold the phone! YOU LIVED IN SCOTLAND! I love Scotland (if you can’t tell by my freak out), plus I’m part Scottish. What part did you live in? If I hadn’t met Mr Frenchie I would have moved to Scotland & lived in Edinburgh for a least a year. I am one of those people that loved bagpipes. I could listen to them for hours. I begged Mr F to let me get bagpipes to play Amazing Grace at our wedding, but he’s one of those heart out with a spoon people. Hmpt.

  30. tartlet Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:42 pm

    @SerenaSF: Ahhh! I’m so happy to hear from someone else who lived in Scotland! It’s such an amazing place. :)
    @Mrs. Barrettes: LOL – f’real I went off the deep end. If you could have seen Mr. T’s face when I started melodramatically narrating the impact horses would have at a wedding…
    @DisneyBride2Bee: Oh boy, chiavari chairs are definitely on my list, too. Unrequited love.
    @the artist: Haha – yep! I love me some Men in Tights. 😉
    @Mrs. French Bulldog: I lived in Aberdeen! And OMG – I was SO tempted to move back after I finished undergrad. Edinburgh is phenomenal, oy! I have serious pangs of longing for that country, now! Did you spend time there? I should just send you a PM…

  31. frenchbulldog Member
    frenchbulldog 1088 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:49 pm

    @Miss Tartlet: Reading your PM…

  32. husky Member
    husky 1750 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:53 pm

    Mr. T’s response is so funny when he saw the horse picture – clearly he knows you well! 😉

  33. Guest Icon Guest
    liz, Guest @ 4:06 pm

    omg we have a 22 month engagement tooo!!! i feel it has pluses and minuses too!!!! ahhh!

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