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Your engagement is a romantic time where you plan your life together, share your nuptials with friends and families, and strengthen your bond.
Though according to experts the average engagement length in the United States is between one and two years, there is no ideal amount of time to be engaged to ensure a successful marriage.
Some couples get engaged and race to the altar on the same day, while others can take a decade.
Both paths can lead to happy lifelong marriages.
How long you stay engaged is a very personal decision between you and your partner.
It all comes down to how much time you and your partner decide you need.
Things to Consider When Deciding the Length of Your Engagement
These factors can help you determine the length of your engagement when you and your partner are deciding on your engagement timeline.
Here are some common reasons for short engagements:
- You and your partner deeply in love and cannot wait to start your lives together
- Either of you are looking to access marriage benefits like health insurance
- You and your partner want a small, intimate ceremony or elopement
- There are family circumstances like a sick or elderly relative you’d like at the wedding
- You’re eager to get back to the business of living your lives
Here are some common reasons for long engagements:
- Long engagements give you time to build the life you want
- You have more time to plan if you want a big wedding
- You’re looking to build your savings before starting your life together
- Booking wedding vendors early can lead to a lot of savings
- It gives family and friends more time to prepare for the ceremony
How Long Should You Be Engaged?
The average engagement length of 1–2 years is right in the sweet spot. It’s enough time to plan a wedding but not so much time that it drags out the engagement.
However, it’s not always so straightforward.
With all of our obligations to work, family and community, sometimes our idealized timelines don’t perfectly align with our actual lives.
Rather than trying to do what’s “right,” focus on what’s right for you as a couple. Do you want to get married right away? Then do it! If you want to take your time, do it!
There is no right way to be engaged, only the right person to marry.
Questions to Ask When Considering Your Engagement Timeline
Since there’s no one-size-fits-all timeline for engagements, the best way to determine your timeline is to open communication with your partner. Talk about your expectations and hopes around the engagement.
To get the conversation started, here are some questions to ask yourselves and discussion:
- What type of wedding ceremony do you want to have?
- What will that wedding cost and will you have to save money to pay for it?
- Do you have an ideal time of year or date you’d like to get married?
- Who would you like to have at your ceremony?
- Do you have plans for after your ceremony like where you will live together?
- Do you need to save for things like buying a home after the wedding?
It’s also a good idea to speak with a wedding coordinator as soon as possible. Wedding coordinators can help you determine if you can have your ideal ceremony on your timeline.
The average engagement length may be right for some couples, but everyone is different.
Rather than trying to follow what’s average, embrace what’s exceptional about your partnership.
Decide what it is you really want and keep communication open. Your engagement timeline will fall together.
Our wedding coordinators here at Cactus Collective Weddings make the exceptional possible. We’ll help you put together a ceremony that is ideal for you on whatever timeline makes the most sense. Ready to get started planning? These articles will help you understand the first steps.
McKenzi Taylor is America’s go-to elopement and micro wedding expert, often featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times. With over 15 years of wedding photography experience, it was after planning her own Las Vegas elopement in 2016 that McKenzi felt her purpose shift into elopement coordination. She started Cactus Collective Weddings soon after in 2017. Since then, she’s become a WIPA board member, and has helped well over 1000 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills.