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Serious question - What is the purpose of an engagement?

CMGragainCMGragain member
First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
edited April 2014 in Chit Chat
Is it to plan a wedding?  Is it to mark your partner as taken?  Is it to get to know each other better in terms of future marriage?  What is the purpose of engagements, especially long ones?  What is your opinion?
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Re: Serious question - What is the purpose of an engagement?

  • I think part of it is to plan the wedding should you want it. To me being engaged is agreeing that you both want to marry one another. Whether that time is 3hrs (because you eloped) or 3 months or 3 years (because things keep coming up and having a big todo is important to you) 
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  • For me, being engaged is a time for us to plan a wedding. This "planning" could also involve getting to know intricacies of our marriage and all those intangible things (so not all the physical planning, but emotional "planning").

    I've never been one for long engagements, and have no personal interest in anything over 2 years (and mine will be about 10-11 months).
  • I think it is an agreement that you will at some point get married.
  • I think it is the time which signifies that two people have made a commitment to be married and in which they plan how they want to be married.  That's why I personally don't understand long engagements ( > 2 years or so), BUT I understand that everyone is different and sees it in their own light!
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  • Signify that you are choosing each other for life and is making plans to get married. We knew early on we would marry each other, becoming engaged solidify it, and that's when it became setting a date instead of someday.
    emmaaaMrsAitchRedJacks25
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
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    edited April 2014
    EverAfer said:
    Signify that you are choosing each other for life and is making plans to get married. We knew early on we would marry each other, becoming engaged solidify it, and that's when it became setting a date instead of someday.
    I agree with you.  I have a cousin who was "engaged" for more than ten years with no date in sight.  I don't understand this at all.  They finally had a courthouse wedding.
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  • EverAfer said:
    Signify that you are choosing each other for life and is making plans to get married. We knew early on we would marry each other, becoming engaged solidify it, and that's when it became setting a date instead of someday.
    I agree with you.  I have a cousin who was "engaged" for more than ten years with no date in sight.  I don't understand this at all.  They finally had a courthouse wedding.
    As a person who has been engaged for five, almost six years I can tell you it is because life gets in the way.
  • More info?
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  • I agree with pps. It's an agreement you're getting married.

    I think this is why... actually, I know this is why I don't understand promise rings.
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    [Deleted User]
  • @jdluvr06, we didn't get engaged right away because of our loved ones health conditions. Thank goodness we caught a break and it worked out eventually.

    On the same topic, I had a friend leave her boyfriend of 10 years. He said he wanted to marry her and never came through with a ring-and she wasn't asking for anything fancy or for a date/timeline. I think for her, she wanted validation of some sort.
  • CMGragain said:
    More info?

    We have had to postpone twice. The first time his grandmother died not too long before the wedding and the second time his mom had cancer and we decided to wait until she was well again.
  • MollyandDMollyandD member
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    edited April 2014
    To me, the purpose is to plan a wedding to the person you want to be with. My boyfriend and I had been together 5 years, and we had talked about getting married before we got engaged. We didn't call ourselves engaged until we were actually ready to start planning, even though we had known for a while that we wanted to always be together.

    He bought me a ring when we both were ready to start the planning, and within a week we had the date set and venue booked.
    emmaaa
  • To me, both to make a public declaration you are choosing each other and to plan a wedding. We've started talking in vague terms about it, but agreed that we're holding off on serious planning until after we close on the house next month. One major life event at a time - that we can control, right?
    MollyandD
  • Back in the day, the engagement is when you really got to know each other. That was well before people started living together prior to marriage though.
  • To me, both to make a public declaration you are choosing each other and to plan a wedding. We've started talking in vague terms about it, but agreed that we're holding off on serious planning until after we close on the house next month. One major life event at a time - that we can control, right?

    I bought a house first too. :)


  • jdluvr06 said:
    CMGragain said:
    More info?

    We have had to postpone twice. The first time his grandmother died not too long before the wedding and the second time his mom had cancer and we decided to wait until she was well again.
    We have also had to postpone because we needed to find a new apartment or various other things. Or our idea of what we wanted for our wedding changed. 
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  • Back in the day, the engagement is when you really got to know each other. That was well before people started living together prior to marriage though.

    Yeah, I definitely agree that the engagement period (and purpose) is one of those things that has changed with the times.
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  • We are using it to plan our wedding, but we have been dating for seven years. Our engagement will be a year because that was literally the date that works for everyone's schedules. Also enjoying being with each other, though we are long distance.

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  • jdluvr06 said:
    CMGragain said:
    More info?

    We have had to postpone twice. The first time his grandmother died not too long before the wedding and the second time his mom had cancer and we decided to wait until she was well again.
    @jdluvr06 I love your comments on the site, so I really don't want to be insensitive or upset you. I'm just curious how that happens? Did you already have the date booked and everything or was it more like "we'll get married next fall"? FI's grandma died last year and he didn't even cry, I know if his other grandma died today it wouldn't cause him to cancel the wedding that's booked and paid for. I understand all families are different and maybe his grandma raised him/ was a lot closer to him than my FI's. That's why I'm really not trying to be snarky, just genuinely curious. Same with the mom situation- I have never been in that position so I don't know what it's like but I think if I heard that news tomorrow it wouldn't make me cancel the wedding. Depending how serious the diagnosis is/ how far along and everything like that. If it were rapid, I'd be like those stories online that do a wedding that day so she could be there rather than postponing. I really just don't foresee anything happening that would stop me from getting married- maybe the actual large family/ friend ceremony & reception at the venue would get canceled in lieu of running to the courthouse but not canceled all together. I know these are very personal situations so again sorry if that didn't come across as sensitive, that really wasn't my intention at all. 

                                                                     

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  • I agree with PP's. It is meant to mark that you have consciously chosen each other to spend your life with. It goes past "oh I like you, let's hang out" to "wow, I can't imagine my life without you." I think that's when you concretely have a date or time frame in mind rather than just knowing it will happen. As someone who had a promise ring, that's the difference for me. It went from getting married someday to we're getting married December 27, 2014.


    pinkshorts27
  • @eg72
    eg72 said:

    I agree with PP's. It is meant to mark that you have consciously chosen each other to spend your life with. It goes past "oh I like you, let's hang out" to "wow, I can't imagine my life without you." I think that's when you concretely have a date or time frame in mind rather than just knowing it will happen. As someone who had a promise ring, that's the difference for me. It went from getting married someday to we're getting married December 27, 2014.

    Same date!

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    emmaaa
  • @blueeyes90 How much do you love being asked 1). Is it a Christmas wedding?!? or 2). Are you crazy?!? That's right after Christmas! Haha

  • EverAfer said:
    Signify that you are choosing each other for life and is making plans to get married. We knew early on we would marry each other, becoming engaged solidify it, and that's when it became setting a date instead of someday.
    I agree with this. 

    I know a couple that's been engaged for 12 years. I also don't get it. 
  • I agree with QueerFemme, there was a time when the engagement was part of courtship.  A young man decided he wanted to get to know you, he asked your father's permission and you started spending time together.  As you got to know one another you determined if you would be compatible as life partners.  The engagement was when the courtship agreement became official. (And I'm not trying be exclusive of same-sex relationships, sadly, it just wasn't "done" when courtship/engagement rituals began).

    I think today it's because it's "what's done".  As a rule, people don't court the way they used to.  Today it still serves as a public declaration of the intent to marry.

    As for those poo-pooing long engagements - sometimes they are necessary.  H & I had a specific vision of what we wanted for our wedding.  We were paying for it all ourselves which meant we had to save up to be able to afford to host our guests properly.  For me, some of the reason for wanting the big to do was my family.  I'm sure they all would have been just as happy for me/us if we had a small affair or eloped, but I knew that they also would rather celebrate with us.  It took us 3 years to save the amount of money we wanted to.  I didn't mind the wait because that meant I could 1. host our guests properly and 2. be able to have things exactly as we wanted them.

     

  • I think it's when you're at least very close to setting a date. Sometimes things come up and we end up postponing a wedding or whatever and end up with a longer engagement than ideal, but personally I didn't want longer than a year engagement. I also don't get when people are engaged for years and years without setting a date. 
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  • I think it depends on the couple.  For us, it is to plan the wedding and have enough $$ to pay for it.  We'll have been together over 5 years by the time we get married so we know each other and we know we're doing it lol.

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    pinkshorts27
  • For my FI and I, I think being engaged means that we have agreed to get married to each other and the time frame just gave us time to plan for the wedding.
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  • For us, it was simply the time to plan our wedding. That's why it was as short as we felt comfortable with (7 months). Relationship-wise, it still felt like we were boyfriend/girlfriend, and things didn't really feel different till after we got married. My partner was "taken" when we decided to date exclusively, and we "chose each other for life" when we moved in together. So the engagement was perfunctory. But that's just us.
    miaawallacebethsmilesgrumbledore
  • For me, it was purely for the wedding planning. We had already agreed to be married and wanted to be married. We figured out some stuff like housing, getting good jobs before the engagement, and the engagement was the "OK GO" for planning an actual date.

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