Will You Jump or Wade into the Marriage Pool?


When you are ready to jump and he wants to wait, how do you decide how long the engagement will last?

After waiting for years to hear Jamie ask, “Will you marry me?” the decision to dally any longer was difficult. I was ready, he was ready, and after eight years, our parents were really ready — for grandchildren, anyway.

However, there were many logistical obstacles to navigate that affected the length of our 13-month engagement. Most importantly, we needed to save money, even if our $7,000 celebration came in far below the national average of $26,000. And honestly, as a DIY bride and a full-time employee, I don’t know how I could have tackled the myriad requirements for an out-of-town wedding in less time.

If you are young, have specific education or career goals, in a long-term relationship or paying for the wedding yourselves, then it’s easy to find reasons to delay the nuptials. Other couples choose the fast track to becoming husband and wife, whether it’s due to cultural beliefs, family obligations, an unplanned pregnancy or simply because you are in love. As Harry once told Sally, “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

While the average American betrothal lasts 15 months, the decision to wait two months or two years between the proposal and wedding is ultimately up to you. My best advice is to do what feels right for you as a couple. Don’t let other people pressure you into a decision you are not comfortable with, especially one that could change the course of your life. If you are ready, then jump, but if you need more time, take it.

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