The Six Month Engagement

As the average age of today’s bride creeps up, the length of engagement seems to be shrinking at the same rate.  Increasingly, I find myself working with couples who are planning a 10, six or even four month engagement.

And it’s totally possible, y’all. I did it, with little to no wedding planning experience (my husband I married shortly before I immersed myself in the wedding industry), and you can as well.

When directed to helpful wedding websites and blogs for a “planning timeline” the bride is faced with the usual 12-18 month planning spreadsheet. Well, that’s an awesome way to start things off… 6 months or more behind.  What a great way to spend your engagement – just catching up.

Endless blog posts scream how you can still “pull off” a “short” engagement… and “overcome” a “whirlwind” timeline. Talk about creating panic in the heart of a new bride!

Let’s look at the pros and cons of a shorter engagement, instead of focusing on how “behind” you will be if you choose this route.

I see so many benefits to a shorter engagement:

  1. Your palette / colors will be fresh and on-trend, not leftover from last year when you picked them.

  2. Same goes for your dress!

  3. Vendors often have great incentives for short term bookings – here’s a real life example for something I am doing for remaining Fridays this year. FNL - wedding.png    This works out to be almost a 25% discount.  When’s the last time you got a 25% discount on such a large life-event expense? The reason vendors do this, is because they prefer to sell the date, then let it sit empty. As long as you are flexible on your date, your vendors can be flexible on price!

  4. You have a working knowledge of what your finances are going to be when you tie the knot.  So much can change during an 18 month engagement, whereas a comparatively short-term planning season gives you the benefit of knowing what your realistic budget is, and how long you have to save / pay it off.  Plan (and have) the wedding you can afford now, not the one you may or may not be able to pull off in two years.

  5. The stress of planning is not drawn out for those around you.  Even the most patient groom, or enthusiastic bride can grow weary of yet another weekend spent planning The Wedding.  By having fun for six months, the culminating everything in one big celebration, you avoid “Wedding Planing Fatigue.”

Of course, there are a few drawbacks to a quick engagement, but many brides can work around them.  Here’s how:

Scheduling Woes?  Be flexible with your date (and day of the week) and which vendors you work with.

Dress Deadlines? Consider an off-the-rack dress (and enjoy the savings!). Same goes for your bridesmaids.

Custom Ring? Use a simple ring for your ceremony, create a custom piece for your one year anniversary.

Family that lives an airplane ride away?  Drop your Save the Dates immediately upon booking your venue (electronic or mailed!).

Waiting on USPS? Harness the technology of a wedding website and have your guests RSVP directly into your wedding planning app / software.  Guest information is collected and stored, saving you time and hassle.

We are blessed to live in a world where technology has sped up nearly everything that we do.  No longer do we need to account for two week shipping on the perfect favors.  Bridal Shower save the dates can be sent out via text in seconds. Even custom printed invitations take two weeks to come in… not six.  The point is, we are surrounded with tools and technology that make ever other aspect of our lives simpler and faster – why not do the same with your wedding?

Happy Planning