5 Reasons to Have a Long Engagement
When I got engaged, I wasn’t surprised at all. It was something we had already discussed pretty extensively. I even picked out my own ring. The ring is a simple solitaire with a .5 carat pear-cut diamond, so we may not have stuck with the millennial trend of killing the diamond industry completely. But, we are definitely following the trend of a long engagement.
We officially got engaged in December of 2018 and we won’t get married until at least November 2021, nearly three years later. There are a few reasons - both emotional and financial - that I think a longer-than-average engagement is the best route.
Here are my top 5 reasons to have a long engagement:
1. Your education and careers come first.
A large part of the reason my fiance and I are waiting so long to get married is that he still has to finish medical school and I still have to finish my MBA. With all that work, time, and money that education takes, it would be a huge stressor to try to plan a wedding, too.
Agreeing to focus on our careers now also makes us feel closer. We support each other 100% of the way and completely agree that education and work come first for both of us. Having this time to work hard and have each others’ backs gives us proof every day that this won’t just be a marriage - it will be a partnership.
2. You have more time to figure out your living situation.
Most couples live together before marriage. Do you know where you want to move in a few years? Do you want to buy a house? Are you close enough to family and friends? These are all questions that a long engagement gives you time to figure out.
Family is very important to my fiance and me, so we’d love to be close to his parents in Virginia. However, we currently live in Florida and medical residencies aren’t like other jobs. Wherever you can manage to get a residency is where you’ll move. Because of this uncertainty, it’s important for us to keep our options open and save for a possible change in living situation. Personally, since we don’t know where our next Thanksgiving could be, splitting savings between our wedding fund and our moving fund for a few years is a good idea.
3. You have more time to plan the wedding.
Planning events gives me headaches. Major headaches. Having three whole years to plan a small wedding sounds like a perfectly good amount of time to me. I’ve already started my Pinterest board. I know the colors, the dress, the food, the music, the invitations...I can see it all.
The best part? If I change my mind, I have a couple of years left to get it right.
4. You have more time to talk about the future.
Hopefully, you’ve had most of the big relationship talks already. But if I’ve learned one thing about these kinds of talks, it’s that they never really end. I used to never want kids, and now I’m giving it some serious thought. Hell, I used to never even want to get married, and now here I am writing this post.
Looking for invitations for the future, or something sooner? As someone who loves having plenty of color choices, an array of bold designs to choose from, and reasonable prices, I started looking at Basic Invite.
Of course I focused mostly on their wedding invitations, but if you’re looking past the wedding invites and straight to the baby shower, they have some adorable new prints. Choose some baby shower invitations monkey style, or go with the little forest creatures like the one I found above. And if you’re keeping with those millennial trends, check out their coed baby shower invitations and unknown gender baby shower invitations.
Many of my friends used virtual invitations for their showers, but I have a thing for paper. Basic Invite uses FSC certified paper for their signature matte and smooth coated invitations, so if sustainability is the main concern, they have you covered. They also have as many colors as you can think of, and they will send you custom, printed samples. Nothing saves money more than knowing exactly what you’ll get before you buy it. And speaking of that hard-earned money of yours...
5. Most importantly, you have more time to save.
Somehow, while making sure not to neglect your retirement fund, your emergency fund, your student loan payments, or anything else that’s draining your wallet, you also have to save for a wedding now. Great.
This is the best part of a long engagement, though. You can save little by little without having to worry about going into debt to have the wedding you want. Start by doing the math. How much will the wedding you want cost? When do you want to have the wedding? Now work backward. How much will you have to save every week to save that amount of money by that time? Does it fit in your budget?
You may need to discuss your priorities with your partner and agree on what kind of wedding you can realistically have. Make sure that saving for a wedding fits into your budgets, set up some automatic transfers, and let it go.
Getting engaged and taking a big step in your relationship can make you feel impatient to get things started. Take a deep breath, think about all the money you’ll save by waiting and remember this: You’re going to be together forever. You don’t need to rush toward forever, because it already started.
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