You’re engaged. You have a million ideas on how you want your wedding to look, where you want your wedding to be, who you want to invite, etc. But first things first. You need to plan out your wedding timeline. So how long does it take to plan a wedding?
Ask yourself the key basic questions
The answer to this question will be determined by a number of factors. Some of the things to consider would include: What time of year you want to get married? Are there any special dates you need to plan around? How big or small do you want your wedding? Can you reserve the wedding venue you have your heart set on and how informal or formal would you like your wedding? These factors will help determine how long or short your engagement period should be. There are advantages and disadvantages to both a short and a long engagement period.
Short engagement versus long engagement
A typical, longer, traditional wedding engagement time period is between 10 months and 2 years. According to recent statistics, 40% of couples are engaged for about 13-18 months. This longer time allotment generally creates less stress and allows time for some traditional wedding protocols to be followed. It would allow for the 6 to 8 week time period for sending out invitations. It would allow you the advancement needed to book a wedding venue, since most are booked a couple months out. And just like wedding venues, wedding caterers are typically booked a couple months out, so this would give you the time needed to secure a caterer.
While a longer engagement period usually comes with a lot of advantages, there are some notable disadvantages. If your wedding design is following a certain popular wedding trend, you may find that the time your wedding comes around, the wedding trend you are following has come and gone. Certain life events, like Covid or financial changes, can also throw your wedding plans off the rails. The longer your engagement period, the more changes these life events can have an impact. And lastly, after a long engagement period you might experience wedding planning burnout. You might find yourself just wanting your special day to just come already!
For a shorter wedding engagement time period, maybe something around a couple months, things can get a bit tricky. But maybe you want an informal beach wedding with a small number of guests. Or maybe you got engaged in June and you have your heart set on a winter wedding, but do not want to wait over a year. If you already have a plan and you are not using a lot of vendors then your short engagement period should not be an issue.
If you have your heart set on a formal wedding, with a large guest list and you want your wedding to be held at a popular wedding venue location, then a shorter wedding engagement period may not be the best engagement period for you. Having a shorter engagement period usually means spending more money since you will not have time to shop around or wait for the best bargain. It also means that you may not be able to get the special order wedding dress you wanted, certain guests may not be able to attend due to prior commitments, and all the venues or caterers you had your heart set on are booked.
Choose which suites your ideas best
Planning a wedding timeline can involve a lot of circumstances and things to consider. When you narrow down your absolute wants and needs for your wedding, you can then determine how long your engagement can be. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both a short and a long engagement period, there is no right or wrong answer, and you need to find out what works best for you and your future spouse by asking yourself the key basic questions.
If you still have questions about how long things take, we’re here to help. Cheryl or Suzanne can let you know how long things will take based on the kind of wedding you would like with us. So please contact us with your questions.