I want to talk about the benefits of having a long engagement.
Long engagements aren't for everyone. I know that. (When I say long engagement, I am talking about the ladies who were engaged for over 16 months.) I also know why it is working for us and there are tons of benefits to long engagements. I know there are pros and cons to short and long engagements, but I do want to tell you guys why I chose to have a long engagement.
Yes. We chose to not get married for 21 months. Here are some of the reasons for our long engagement.
You Get To Enjoy The Process
Planning a wedding is stressful. There have been times that I get stressed out over the guest list or the table escort cards. I get it. It's fun, but can be trying on a relationship. I have been able to actually enjoy planning our wedding. We have time to sit down together and get things figured out. We aren't rushed into making decisions. There is no fighting or crazy DIY trains going on. Yes, we have DIY projects to do, but we have time to do them. I don't feel rushed at all.
You Get The Vendors You Want,
Not Just Who Happens To Be Available
We booked our venue, photographer and videographer in January of 2013. Over 18 months before our wedding day. I think our photographer thought we were crazy, but I wanted to get those things booked. I knew that these things would book up fast and I wanted it done. We were able to get who we wanted. Jeremy picked out our photographer himself. I found our videographer. The venue is everything we could have asked for and more. These were the 3 most important things to us, so we made it happen. And got it done early.
Costs Are Lower If You Book Early.
Image: peddhapti via Flickr
We booked our photographer in January. He quoted us at prices and packages that he offered in December (I believe). It all runs together when you have been engaged this long. We booked him at the prices he quoted us. I recently went to his website this year just to see what he charges now. Wouldn't you know, he changed his packages and his prices increased. We saved over $1,000 because we booked early with him. We probably didn't need to book in January of 2013, but I'm so glad that we were able to secure him and he stayed within our budget. If we waited to book him now, we wouldn't be able to afford him - like at all.
His package also changed. We are getting 2 photographers for 8 hours of coverage. The package that is over $1,000 is just him. A 2nd shooter costs extra and is an add on. I'm not knocking him because I love his work and think he deserves to price himself like that. I am just saying that we were able to lock in a package that we wanted (2 photographers) and in our price point because we booked early.
I'm not 100% sure of this, but I believe our videographer has raised her prices as well.
Please note, there is nothing wrong with photographers and videographers raising their prices. I totally think they should. Cost of living goes up every year. It just makes sense. If you can book someone and save yourself $1,000, wouldn't you? I know I would.
You Can Space Out Payments and Pay Out of Pocket
This might not make sense to you, so let me share a story. My dad is paying for our wedding. He is self-employed and in the process of divorcing my mom. He doesn't have our budget just sitting in his bank account right now. I also hate asking him for money. It's not fun to nag all the time about silly things. So, we have been coming out of our pockets for a few decor things and just things we see that we want on our wedding day.
We bought lanterns from Ross that were less than $10/piece. These will be part of the centerpieces for the tables. Cheap, right? Yes it is, but it does add up. Instead of spending $160 at one time, we were able to purchase them every few weeks or so. That way, we didn't have a large sum going towards wedding things all on one week. Make sense? I am also making a list of everything we have bought ourselves for the wedding so that my dad could pay us back, but I might not even worry about it. In the end, it's not enough for me to bother him with.
On this same note, having a long engagement has meant that my dad hasn't had to pay for a ton of stuff all at once. We booked our venue in January 2013. He put down a percentage of our bill and he doesn't have to make another payment until May 2014. See how awesome that can be? I also know that it's a relief that he didn't have to pay for much in 2013 except what he paid in January.
I know that long engagements aren't for everyone. I didn't think I would be engaged as long as we have been, but I can't think of it any other way. This is what works for us. Whenever you do get engaged, don't think that you have to rush it or get married within 12 months of your engagement. You don't. Will you get weird looks from people? Probably. But they don't know the reasons why you are waiting to get married. Maybe you and your fiance are paying for the whole thing yourselves. You can spend the longer engagement to save up. We are paying for certain things ourselves, but that's not why we are having a long engagement.