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Wedding 911

2 Year Engagement

Hey ladies! So my fiance and I got engaged in January, and have decided we wanted to get married on April 30, 2016. My father passed away 5 years ago, and being that April 30 is his birthday, we both really want to honor that. Just a few days later however, we learned that another family member is getting married on the same day, forcing us to push our wedding back until April 30, 2017 so we won't have to force our family to pick sides on which wedding to attend.
With all of that being said, how do you handle a 2 year engagement? I think my creative mind is so excited to start planning and picking elements of our wedding out, it's all I can think about! Any advice?

Re: 2 Year Engagement

  • Hi msbrianchanel! I totally understand what you are going through as my fiance were engaged November 2013 and our wedding is this October. Not exactly 2 years, but pretty close. I actually enjoyed the down time this long engagement offered us. I started early doing things like picking out a venue and the guest list. Things that are super important and take a long time to figure out. I couldn't book most places until the exact 1 year from our wedding date.

    This gave us plenty of time to think about what we really wanted to have for our wedding, pick a place and discuss it with our families, because in the end we decided on a destination wedding. We had a lot of time to research, save, think and do one thing at at time. I cannot tell you how amazing it is to be able to handle one thing at at time and not have to worry about fitting everything into a year or however many months. I pity brides that have to go to multiple appointments in a day or run errands on their lunch. I promise the time will go fast and before you know it it will be time to pick out your dress and invitations.
    Katie&Rey
  • I know people who still grieve when a deceased loved one's birthday comes up, even when they passed years ago. Why would you not just pick another day and still have the wedding? There's like 3 other weekends in April and all the ones in May if you still want a spring wedding.
    image
    HeffalumpMaggie0829doeydojaprincess24
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its

    I know people who still grieve when a deceased loved one's birthday comes up, even when they passed years ago. Why would you not just pick another day and still have the wedding? There's like 3 other weekends in April and all the ones in May if you still want a spring wedding.

    I agree with this.  Many times when families lose a member they tend to grieve or are more sad on days such as they day the person died, holidays and that persons birthday.  I get what you are trying to do, but I would pick a day that works best for you, your FI and your VIP guests rather then picking a date because it happens to be your Fathers birthday.  Regardless of the date, your Dad, I am sure, will be smiling down on you.
    Eh, I disagree. I wouldn't necessarily get married on my late mother's birthday, but that doesn't mean it isn't okay for OP and her FI. 

    Anyway, there's nothing to "handle". You just have more time to plan. H and I were engaged for two yeas and it was great. It gave me time to get out all the weird ideas I had at first and we were able to take our time planning exactly what we wanted. We got our pick of venues, dates and vendors. 
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    Rrobinson15
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    I know people who still grieve when a deceased loved one's birthday comes up, even when they passed years ago. Why would you not just pick another day and still have the wedding? There's like 3 other weekends in April and all the ones in May if you still want a spring wedding.

    I agree with this.  Many times when families lose a member they tend to grieve or are more sad on days such as they day the person died, holidays and that persons birthday.  I get what you are trying to do, but I would pick a day that works best for you, your FI and your VIP guests rather then picking a date because it happens to be your Fathers birthday.  Regardless of the date, your Dad, I am sure, will be smiling down on you.
    Eh, I disagree. I wouldn't necessarily get married on my late mother's birthday, but that doesn't mean it isn't okay for OP and her FI. 

    Anyway, there's nothing to "handle". You just have more time to plan. H and I were engaged for two yeas and it was great. It gave me time to get out all the weird ideas I had at first and we were able to take our time planning exactly what we wanted. We got our pick of venues, dates and vendors. 
    I guess I am more thinking about her VIPs, rather then just the OP and her FI.  OP and her FI may be fine with it, but they also need to take into account her Moms feelings, maybe her Grandparents feelings (her Fathers parents) if they are still alive, her siblings, etc.  Those people may find that day hard.  So I think the OP just needs to talk to her VIPs and see how they feel about it.

    But either way I don't think I would want to push my wedding day out another year just because of a date.  The date doesn't add greater significance to what is actually occurring and there are other ways that you can bring memories of your late father into your wedding.  Like, if you have an old shirt of his you can cut a heart out of it and sewn it into the inside of your dress.  Or if he had special cuff links you could attach them to your bouquet.  Or get a nice locket and put his picture in it and wrap it around your wrist or around your bouquet.  Play his favorite song during your reception.  Things like that. 

    ohannabelleCMGragaindoeydojaprincess24
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its

    I know people who still grieve when a deceased loved one's birthday comes up, even when they passed years ago. Why would you not just pick another day and still have the wedding? There's like 3 other weekends in April and all the ones in May if you still want a spring wedding.

    I agree with this.  Many times when families lose a member they tend to grieve or are more sad on days such as they day the person died, holidays and that persons birthday.  I get what you are trying to do, but I would pick a day that works best for you, your FI and your VIP guests rather then picking a date because it happens to be your Fathers birthday.  Regardless of the date, your Dad, I am sure, will be smiling down on you.
    Eh, I disagree. I wouldn't necessarily get married on my late mother's birthday, but that doesn't mean it isn't okay for OP and her FI. 

    Anyway, there's nothing to "handle". You just have more time to plan. H and I were engaged for two yeas and it was great. It gave me time to get out all the weird ideas I had at first and we were able to take our time planning exactly what we wanted. We got our pick of venues, dates and vendors. 
    I guess I am more thinking about her VIPs, rather then just the OP and her FI.  OP and her FI may be fine with it, but they also need to take into account her Moms feelings, maybe her Grandparents feelings (her Fathers parents) if they are still alive, her siblings, etc.  Those people may find that day hard.  So I think the OP just needs to talk to her VIPs and see how they feel about it.

    But either way I don't think I would want to push my wedding day out another year just because of a date.  The date doesn't add greater significance to what is actually occurring and there are other ways that you can bring memories of your late father into your wedding.  Like, if you have an old shirt of his you can cut a heart out of it and sewn it into the inside of your dress.  Or if he had special cuff links you could attach them to your bouquet.  Or get a nice locket and put his picture in it and wrap it around your wrist or around your bouquet.  Play his favorite song during your reception.  Things like that. 
    Yes, this makes sense. I agree with everything you just said. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • Hello everyone! Thank you for your responses and input. I get what most of you are trying to say, and how choosing that day might be a little hard to deal with for some of our guests. However, after speaking about the choice of date to my mother and sisters, they are all for it, and agree that it shouldn't be on any other date. I guess I'm so stuck on that day because I want to honor my late father in a special positive way, and not a day of sadness or grieving. Regardless, I'm sure the waterworks will be flowing either way from everyone!
  • Hello everyone! Thank you for your responses and input. I get what most of you are trying to say, and how choosing that day might be a little hard to deal with for some of our guests. However, after speaking about the choice of date to my mother and sisters, they are all for it, and agree that it shouldn't be on any other date. I guess I'm so stuck on that day because I want to honor my late father in a special positive way, and not a day of sadness or grieving. Regardless, I'm sure the waterworks will be flowing either way from everyone!

    What if the venue you want isn't available on that date?
    MesmrEwe
  • We're doing a 2-year engagement, almost to the day.  I was really against it at first, but we chose it for a variety of reasons - it just worked best for us.

    That said, I am SOOOO GLAD we decided on 2 years!  We've had our pick of every single vendor, and have been able to really space everything out.  We tackled all of the major stuff in the first year (budget, guest list, venue, caterer, bar, photographer, DJ, florist, gown, general color scheme and overal look/feel), and have saved some of the smaller things for this year (lots of the details, etc).  It allowed me to keep stress to a minimum and really explore my options without feeling like I was under the gun time-wise.

    One piece of advice - having this long to plan (at least in my experience) can allow you to change your mind, A LOT.  Sometimes Pinterest is your friend, sometimes its really not.  Having months and months to second-guess my aesthetic decisions has been somewhat challenging.  The time allows you to figure out what you really want, but I also got to like the 14 or 15-month mark and decided I might just change the entire color scheme of the wedding because I suddenly hated everything... that's when I realized I needed to step back from Pinterest and SMP and just go with my gut and my original plans.

    Long story short, enjoy the extra time and remember there is so little that is truly worth stressing over!


    InspiredDIYBride
  • I know people who still grieve when a deceased loved one's birthday comes up, even when they passed years ago. Why would you not just pick another day and still have the wedding? There's like 3 other weekends in April and all the ones in May if you still want a spring wedding.

    I agree with this.  Many times when families lose a member they tend to grieve or are more sad on days such as they day the person died, holidays and that persons birthday.  I get what you are trying to do, but I would pick a day that works best for you, your FI and your VIP guests rather then picking a date because it happens to be your Fathers birthday.  Regardless of the date, your Dad, I am sure, will be smiling down on you.



    This - but also, there were more dates more important to your Father than his birth date, There was his anniversary, the date he became a Dad for the first time... things like that which were his happy times in life.  If you don't want to wait two years, choose one of those dates.

    There's nothing really to "handle" - the best thing you can do during this time is simply, get a real world guest list together and start saving up for the costs associated with a wedding, but more importantly starting a life together.  Start talking to people about vendors they've used and had great experiences working with (an easier to work with vendor will pay off in dividends)...  Otherwise, just relax and be engaged.  Possibly even start your premarital classes if you're planning on a church wedding - ours liked having more time for this as it allowed for more post-wedding discussions about married life and issues that either one of us may have forgotten to discuss...

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  • We're doing a 2-year engagement, almost to the day.  I was really against it at first, but we chose it for a variety of reasons - it just worked best for us.


    That said, I am SOOOO GLAD we decided on 2 years!  We've had our pick of every single vendor, and have been able to really space everything out.  We tackled all of the major stuff in the first year (budget, guest list, venue, caterer, bar, photographer, DJ, florist, gown, general color scheme and overal look/feel), and have saved some of the smaller things for this year (lots of the details, etc).  It allowed me to keep stress to a minimum and really explore my options without feeling like I was under the gun time-wise.

    One piece of advice - having this long to plan (at least in my experience) can allow you to change your mind, A LOT.  Sometimes Pinterest is your friend, sometimes its really not.  Having months and months to second-guess my aesthetic decisions has been somewhat challenging.  The time allows you to figure out what you really want, but I also got to like the 14 or 15-month mark and decided I might just change the entire color scheme of the wedding because I suddenly hated everything... that's when I realized I needed to step back from Pinterest and SMP and just go with my gut and my original plans.

    Long story short, enjoy the extra time and remember there is so little that is truly worth stressing over!
    THIS! The bolded. I also have an (almost) 2 year engagement and I am LOVING IT. There are lots of little details and challenges that pop up when joining 2 families and its nice to have this time to hammer everything out. You definitely get a pick of vendors, you can purchase things a little at a time so you are not having to stress over funds (as much) and its nice to work out some of the big details so you can focus on smaller ones. Its amazing how many little things pop up that you don't think of at first! 
    Yes, beware of things like Pintrest that can give you idea-overload. BUT the positive side of this is that if you are a DIY type bride (like me, who is pretty much DIY EVERYTHING) having this long engagement gives you time to DIY whatever you plan on DIY-ing! If you have your heart set on that specific date, go for it, and enjoy your long engagement. I know I am!
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  • We got engaged in February 2015 and set a date for October 22, 2016. That's not quite 2 years, but like the others have said, we had our pick of whatever we wanted. We already booked the venue and started paying on it, same with the band, and even my dress and our rings. We are paying for this whole thing ourselves and put ourselves on a strict budget to pay off every single expense a couple of months before the wedding (excluding tips and other little things). So we will go to our wedding free and clear of wedding debt! Plus, getting all the big things out of the way this first year allows us to relax a little next year so we can enjoy the second half of our engagement.
  • I am actually having a short engagement, and I am loving it, but I know that long engagements work out too! There are pros and cons for every side.

    I say, if you love a date and you're pretty certain about having a two-year engagement, stick with it! You have two years to plan, so don't be worried about your venue not being available for your date, or not having a caterer. The earlier you start, the faster it is to book them! 

    It's your day, and you are celebrating and honoring your dad :) That's pretty awesome if you ask me. 
  • I am actually having a short engagement, and I am loving it, but I know that long engagements work out too! There are pros and cons for every side.

    I say, if you love a date and you're pretty certain about having a two-year engagement, stick with it! You have two years to plan, so don't be worried about your venue not being available for your date, or not having a caterer. The earlier you start, the faster it is to book them! The only thing I have to warn you about is how easy it is to change your mind...you're not getting married for another year, so why not? I recommend doing lots of research and once you pick something, pick it once and for all. It's a good rule to follow, or else you might find yourself stressing out, and your vender/venue/company will be inconvenienced. 

    It's your day, and you are celebrating and honoring your dad :) That's pretty awesome if you ask me. 

  • I think it's an awesome idea to honor your dad... what a great way to remember him on your special day.

    We are actually doing a 2.5 year engagement (yikes!).  We were both in school when we got engaged, so we decided to give ourselves a good amount of time to save money.

    We booked our venue already (due to how quickly it books- we got the last weekend that was open for May 2017).  We also booked some popular vendors (my photographer had two brides fighting over my wedding day- it was a race to sign a contract).  Vendors are working with brides earlier and earlier. We took care of all the boring vendor stuff and are now focusing on saving, decorations, dresses, etc.
    Live like there's no midnight.
    Our Fairytale Wedding- May 20, 2017
  • We are getting married in a month and had a 18 month engagement.
    Booking vendors that far ahead saved us money as they gave us 2014 pricing and we had a wide selection to choose from.


  • @frenchiekin This is EXACTLY how our two year engagement has been and I have loved every second. We spent the first year researching/meeting with vendors and were able to choose who we wanted without the stress of our date being taken. I also agree about Pinterest, it has been a wonderful tool for inspiration but sometimes I have to take a step back because there's so much you can do that it can becoming overwhelming. I have changed my color scheme back and forth SO many times and always went back to my original plan. Two years has also given us a great deal of time to save so the cost of it wont be as burdensome as a one year engagement would have been for us. Like @InspiredDIYBride I am also incorporating a lot of DIY elements and two years has given me time to make everything. We also have been able to slowly accumulate items/materials for the DIY projects so I wasn't spending a lot all at one time. At first you may feel two years seems so far but it really goes by faster than you think and in the end I wouldn't have done it any other way!
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    frenchiekin
  • I'm having a 2 year engagement because I want a summer wedding, and I don't want to steal my older brother's thunder by getting married next summer like he is...plus, we want plenty of time to plan and save money. I'm glad we have a long engagement, and can't really imagine it any other way :)
  • Be careful how far you go with details. We got engaged last August and are getting married in October and I started doing things REALLY early to get money spent but some of those details didn't work out and I wasted money or changed my mind. Can't tell you how many returns I've made.

    Before you buy, make sure it's what you really want! In terms of nailing down big things like vendors it was helpful because we got 2014 pricing :)

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  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    2 years means you have a lot of time to save. We had a 1.5 year engagement soley for the purpose of saving. 

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  • primafaba15primafaba15 member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited July 2015
    MegEn1 said:
    2 years means you have a lot of time to save. We had a 1.5 year engagement soley for the purpose of saving. 
    This!! 

    We had a 15 month engagement (our church requires a minimum of 12 months). We thought we had plenty of time to save, but we had a lot of unexpected (non-wedding) expenses and we really were not as diligent as we intended to be. We are going to be fine, no extra debt, but I wish we had saved more so we'd have a bigger cushion going into our marriage. 

    If logistically possible, open a joint checking account that you can both deposit into over the next 2 years to cover expenses. I have read about people doing that and I wish we had -- it would be so much easier than trying to figure out who can/should spot the next big deposit this month. 

    Also, take copious notes on anything you book or decide this far out, and get detailed contracts. We did so much in the first 6 months of our engagement, and even less than a year later our memories are fuzzy on a lot of those early things. 
  • Hey I've had a long engagement and now in the last month. Ditto to those comments so far I'd definitly repeat that. Anyhoo after booking those vendors look into when they need to meet, and deadlines in the contracts. Schedule out meetings or select what week for what. Make a calandar share the meetings with your boss. The last month has been super busy for us because many didn't want info till 30 days out (because they get burned by changes in plans). We got comfy and procrastinated on descions we could have made earlier.

     If you DIY things, line up and knock out projects as early as you can, but focus one at a time (including buying materials for it) vs. simotaneously over months. List them, figure out the order to complete. If things morph to different colors/theme, goes bad, or just works better a different way, it is okay. You can find a vendor and move to the next project vs. re-purpose/return materials. We picked a color and let the other colors choose themselves depending on what was available and looked good with what we got. Buying materials few at a time allowed us to use 40% off coupons for a lot. 

    Don't second guess what you got completed, guests will not notice unless you make a big deal about it. (Seriously who's negative to a bride, they'll find something they like and complement that, and enjoy the party.)


    Use Pinterest for ideas, and converying what you are thinking at first. After purchasing materials only use it for problem solving re-thinking that specific item. You can pinterest what to do with leftovers materials after the wedding. 
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