On the heels of Kim and Kanye’s Proposal, which was pretty darn amazing…and expensive, and with talks already about prenup’s and having only a short engagement, we wanted to focus a bit on the importance of an engagement period.
The engagement is the period between the proposal and the wedding. It can be any span of time, however, typically in North America the Engagement is about 12 – 24 months. There is no standard. Historically and even presently in some cultures, parents would arrange the marriages of their children and once the engagement took place they were encouraged to spend as much time as possible with each other prior to their marriage in order to get to know each other and accept each other.
North America and most of the Westernized world doesn’t really engage in arranged marriages and therefore the engagement period serves as the time to plan the wedding. However, there are other important reasons to embrace your engagement period. Here are a few that we felt were of significance.
- Family Ties – It’s important that you really connect with your future in-laws and really start to enjoy being part of the new addition to your family. It’s also equally important that the two families meet and get to know one another. Reason being that if there are any serious differences that they can be ironed out and dealt with prior to your big day.
- Marriage Preparation – This is the time or your relationship that, if you are not already living together, you will start to spend a lot more time together and start to pay attention to how the other ‘lives’ on a day to day basis. There’s no doubt you love each other, but learning to accept each others daily quirks is a compromise you will need to start mastering.
- Financial Planning – Will you have a Prenuptial Agreement? Joint bank accounts? Will you each take care of your past debt or wait until you clear that up to get married? Tying up all the lose ends and coming up with a mutual financial plan is one of the most essential items that should be on your wedding checklist.
- Family Planning – You need time to discuss your future hopes and wants. How many children, if any, do you want? What are you religious beliefs and if different, how will you compromise?
- Wedding Planning – planning your wedding will be one of the first big emotional events of your lives and you will need to come together to compromise on many things leading up to your wedding. For example: What kind of Budget do you have? What will be your family and Friend’s participation? Will you have an intimate or grand wedding? Or will your wedding be a destination wedding with only the two of you?
- Tying up loose ends – Most of us have things we need to work on that we have put off. It could be a school loan that needs to be paid off, weight loss, putting some closure to a personal issue etc. Entering your marriage renewed is vital.
- Enjoy Pre-Wedding events – From engagement parties, tux fittings, showers, bachelor parties and the rehearsal dinner, give some time to really enjoy these events instead of ‘fitting them in’ to get them over with.
- Balance – Just because you are engaged doesn’t mean that everything has to be ‘Wedding related’. Keep enjoying the time you spend as a couple like you always did and when you are out with your friends and family it doesn’t have to be all about the Drama or excitement surrounding your big day! It’s so easy to get tied up with wedding stuff that dating goes out the window and family get-togethers & friendships become strained. Assign certain days of the week that are strictly for your wedding planning and the rest keeping things down to earth.