We had a long engagement. About two years.
Mostly, I’m happy with this decision. We have shit to do in our lives, and spreading wedding-planning out was definitely the way to go.
But there are some challenges in having a long engagement.
By the time we finally wheeze across the wedding finish line, I will have spent more time being engaged than I spent in graduate school. And I will have cried twice as many times.
Here’s my list of #longengagementproblems:
Couples we are inviting keep breaking up
Thanks to our large families and sprawling friend group, our guest list is unwieldy. One unforeseen challenge has been keeping up with the life changes of all these guests so that we can accurately address the invitations. We’ve had two break-ups of long-standing couples and three divorces (damn it, Millennials!) on our guest list since we started this process. That means address updates and removals of former significant others from the 400-row guest list spread sheet.
And people rarely tell you they’ve broken up. One day you just see that their couples Facebook photo has been replaced with the solo vacation picture. And then you have to awkwardly inquire about their relationship status so that they don’t get a reminder of their failed relationship in the mail — a wedding invitation addressed to them and their former sig-O.
My future in-law’s psychosis is growing with time
Had we had just a year-long engagement, I would now be back to the very limited and controlled contact that has given me a civil relationship with my fiance’s parents all these years. But now that I’m planning a wedding with them, I need to communicate with them regularly.
And communicate we do! About how I’m going to be ugly on my wedding day. About how our venue choice isn’t fancy enough and doesn’t even have chandeliers. And about how their relatives are flying in from all over the world and will expect chandeliers. Chandeliers, dammit!!!
Oh yeah, and they keep thinking of more people to invite.
My mother keeps thinking of new wedding crafts
My mother has always been a crafty lady. She was a Pinterest Mom before Pinterest Moms were a thing. And, the longer our engagement drags on, the more hand-made shit she comes up with to try to fit onto our tables and into our decor. I have banned her from Hobby Lobby. She makes more shit anyway.
My fiance and I fight all the time
My fiance and I have had some really awful fights about the wedding. We have both agreed that, after this is over, we will go on our honeymoon, symbolically burn a wedding photo, and forget all this ever happened. Our long engagement is delaying that.
People keep dying off our guest list — and being born onto it
We have added nine babies to the guest list since getting engaged (awesome!). And I’ve had to delete people who died from the guest list spreadsheet. There’s just something about hovering your mouse over the name of someone you loved very much and hitting “delete row.” Had we had a one-year engagement, four more of our loved ones would have been there.
People keep fucking moving
We are Milennials, and we and most of our friends live in a city with rapidly rising rental costs. So, I get needing to move to a new apartment every year. But goddamn, it’s hard keeping track of everyone and maintaining an up-to-date spreadsheet of addresses for invitation purposes.
My fiance got back from having dinner with a friend and when I asked how he was doing, my fiance said, “Oh, he’s good. He moved.”
“DID YOU GET HIS NEW ADDRESS???” I shrieked.
Meanwhile, whenever I’m catching up with a friend and they mention they moved recently, I don’t ask them if they like their new place or where it is. I dig through my purse for my phone, pull up the Google sheet with all the addresses, and shove it into their hands saying, “Give me your new address.”
We keep making new friends
My fiance and I constantly make friends through our hobbies and general willingness to talk to strangers. Therefore, we’ve found ourselves with a ballooning list of close friends (ie, friends we see at least once a week).
So, I recently declared a “no new friends until after the wedding rule.” And I’m reacting to dinner invitations from new friends like, “No, we can’t go to that because if we can’t let ourselves get too close to another person! We cannot let anyone new into our hearts and onto our guest list!” My fiance mentioned he was going to lunch with a friend he hadn’t seen in a couple years, and my first reaction was, “OK but don’t rekindle your friendship or anything because we CANNOT invite another person to the wedding.”
How long was your engagement? Was it the “right” length for you? And for those of you who had short engagements, what are some short engagement problems you ran into?