Monday, August 22, 2011

Benefit$ of a Long Engagement

For as long as I've thought about getting married, I've always imagined having a long engagement.   For years I dreamed of a 5 year relationship plan-3 years dating, 2 years engaged, then happily married forever :)  I've relaxed the plan a little bit, but my fiancé and I have both agreed that a 12+ month (probably more like 18 month) engagement is right for us given the time of year we want to get married and our budget.  Now every couple is different, but I do think there are some major benefits of having a long (I define long as 9+ months) that are worth considering. 

More time to save $$$!  
Having a long engagement gives you more time to save up money for the wedding, instead of choosing to "swipe now, pay later."  There is no reason to go into debt for this one day, and by planning a wedding for 9 months or more you have enough time to set aside a reasonable amount of money each month without having to live on a Ramen and water diet, and can enjoy your wedding/honeymoon without worrying about the bills waiting for you when you get home :) For me, I know that paying for a wedding right now would completely wipe out my emergency fund (a financial no-no!), but with a tentative wedding date of spring or summer 2013, I'll have more than enough time to raise money for the wedding, maintain my emergency fund, and have room in my budget for a little bit of fun here and there ;)

More time to plan!
A long engagement period can also reduce the stress-and cost-of wedding planning. Give yourself time to picture your dream wedding, and research different venues and vendors that can make it happen. Popular ceremony sites may begin booking dates a year in advance, so the earlier you can make that decision, the better! Compare prices for caterers or photographers, and follow them on social media sites to see when they have specials and discount prices.   If you choose to save money by going the D.I.Y route for items such as invitations or wedding favors, you will have plenty of time to make them perfect!  

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