Wedding Wednesday – Week 3: Long Vs. Short Engagements + My Wedding Planning Book

Week 3: Long Vs. Short Engagements + My Wedding Planning Book

Happy Wedding Wednesday, lovelies!

This week we’re talking about wedding planning timelines. If you haven’t read the first two posts on why I’m writing and what to do right after you get engaged head to those posts first! 

Let’s Get Down To It

There are an infinite number of reasons why someone might pick a long or short engagement. Here’s what I’ll say right off the bat: YOU. DO. YOU.

I referenced this in the week 2, but we chose a “shorter” engagement based on our family/jpb schedules. Shawn and I wanted to get married right around when his lease ended, when his new job started, before the holidays, etc. We had also been dating for over 4 years so we were just ready to be hitched!

How Do I Decide?

Other than the fact that it matters for your schedule, there’s one other major reason why you choose between a long a short engagement.

It determines the type of wedding you have!

Unless you have a planning team working day and night, planning a big wedding in the matter of a month is nearly impossible. It takes time to get everything accomplished, and most people have more responsibilities than solely planning a wedding. Usually, the longer you have to plan the wedding, the more likely it will be on the fancy schmancy side.

So, what kind of wedding do you want? I knew when I picked a shorter engagement I’d have to compromise on a few things. Luckily, I wanted a simple, more intimate wedding with mostly family. Had I wanted a massive production at The Plaza, I would have needed more time.

Long vs. Short

When I started researching timelines, I saw a lot of 10-14 month and 1-5 month timelines. We fell in the middle and chose a 9 month engagement. It was plenty of time to plan a wedding, but wasn’t necessarily enough time to get everything we wanted. By the time we set a date and secured a venue, we really only had 8 months to plan. If you want a popular venue, you may have to book way in advance! Shawn and I were aiming for an October wedding. Almost every date in Texas and Florida were booked for that month, so we decided on September in Texas. Between you and me, I couldn’t wait until late November to marry the guy!  🙂 

While my wedding planning book has been helpful, it was more elaborate that I ended up needing. Because of that, I broke down the few simple reasons why to choose a long or short engagement.

Long Engagement Pros:

  • You have more time to get the most popular vendors. (Notice I didn’t say “best” vendors! There are hundreds of vendors out there, so don’t fret if you don’t get your first choice of caterer.)
  • Your guests have more time to plan their travel arrangements (This is key for destination weddings!) Airline tickets usually open up around the 6 month mark. Be respectful that your guests have lives and need time to plan travel arrangements. 

Short Engagement Pros: 

  • You have a lot less time to stress about planning. No matter what, the wedding day will come. If you pick too long of a timeline, you’re likely to spend more time stressing than is necessary.
  • Choices can be slightly limited, making your decision making process easier. We happened to pick most of our vendors in one day. Once we saw that I venues were booked for October, we knew vendors would also be booked around then. The first thing we did when contacting vendors was ask their availability. This saved us a ton of time in long run.

That’s about it! Once you set a date, you can start to breakdown just how quickly you need to make decisions.


The Knot

Right after the engagement I was gifted The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer. Sound intimidating? It is! But it really has been a great resource.

There are dozens of pages full of helpful timelines and ways to stay organized. I don’t look at it more than once a month or so, but it reminds me of things I may be forgetting. Ex. Tipping your vendors. I never would have remembered to have cash on hand for the wedding day.

There are a lot of great wedding planning books out there, and free resources are everywhere! Take a day to stroll around Barnes & Noble before you cling to a book. There are so many out there, and the one you like may surprise you! Still not sure? Check out the Top 10 Wedding Books of 2019 to get started.

Next we we’re talking about how to book your vendors! And how to get a discount where you’d least expect it. 🙂

PRO TIP OF THE POST: Talk to your partner about your wedding must-have’s. If you can swing it, go for the shorter engagement! We are less than 75 days away and I can’t wait to marry my honey!


The Chief Dime

Rachel Munson of The Closet Dime