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A Very Long Engagement…Or is it Short? Which is Right for You?

Most people say that one year is an ideal time-frame in which to plan a wedding, but for many couples itching to get hitched, a year is just too long. Still others may feel that twelve months simply isn’t enough time to make all the arrangements and secure the perfect venue. So how do you pick the ideal date once you’ve got the ring on your finger? There’s no simple answer. You’re going to have to take a lot of factors into consideration when you set the date for your nuptials. Here are a few that could make a difference.

1. Availability of bookings. If you’ve got your heart set on a popular venue during wedding season (i.e. the summer months), you could find that trying to book even a year ahead of time presents some difficulties. On the other hand, some flexibility with your choice of vendors could provide you with the dates you need to make your wedding day arrive a lot faster.

2. Availability of guests. The minimum time for guests to make travel arrangements is generally considered to be three months (although it’s standard to send a “save the date” six or more months out to make sure people are prepared). But keep in mind that families with children may not be able to attend if you plan your wedding during the school year, so if you really want your sister to stand in as your matron of honor, but she has three kids of school age, you might have to push out your date to accommodate her.

3. Time for planning. If you’re already weighed down with professional and personal obligations but you’re stuck planning the wedding by yourself (no extra funds for a wedding planner), you may want to make sure to give yourself extra time to get it all done, especially if it’s a destination wedding.

4. Ability to wait. If you’re keen to get married like, yesterday, and your partner is feeling the same way, there’s no reason to wait for a white dress and chapel bells. Head to Vegas and hire an Elvis to read the sermon. Heck, you can even hold the ceremony in a drive-through if you’re in a real hurry.

5. Potential for problems. If your family is not particularly thrilled about the engagement and you suspect they might try to ruin the wedding (based on the fact that they staged an intervention to try to break you up), then maybe you’d rather do the deed before they have a chance to plot against your soon-to-be spouse. It is for these situations that elopements were invented!