One Bride Shares the Pros and Cons of a Long Engagement

Planning Tips, Real Weddings
Pros Cons of Long Engagement Amber Herring

Photo: Courtesy of Amber Herring

Meet our latest real bride blogger Amber Herring, a New York City-based fitness and style editor! Over the past few weeks, Amber has chronicled every last detail of her wedding planning process — from getting into shape to accessorizing her look. Here, she's sharing how she's managing her long engagement.

It was almost 18 months ago, that my fiancé Rajiv asked me to marry him in Paris. The feeling of "so much time" to plan is gone and the big day is three weeks away. While I'm happy we chose to have a long engagement, it's ironic how time was both our enemy and our friend in the planning process. Here's some of my most notable pros and cons and how I handled it all:

Pro: You can plan the big things far in advance, then take a break.
Since vendors like the venue, photographer and music are so important and have limited availability we booked them all quickly and then decided to take a break. With the major elements set, we could relax knowing we had lots of time.

See More: Why Wedding Planning is Really Just Marriage Practice

Con: You have time to mull over decisions.
The blessing of a short engagement is you are forced to think quickly and make decisions that youcan't change. Even the most decisive person can have a hard time making choices on theme, flowers and dresses. Pretend you don't have that time. It will force you to go with your gut and trust your instinct.

Pro: You have time to DIY, if you want.
We decided to cut back on our florist budget by providing our own vases and candles. My mother and I had time to shop around for the vases and even do a project to make them all different shades of gold. But beware: DIY is not as easy as it looks. Don't over commit yourself, no matter your time restraints. Once we finished the vase project, we decided that was enough DIY for us.

Con: You feel like the possibilities are endless.
Time is your friend and your enemy in the long engagement. A bride can get lost in the black hole of Pinterest weddings and research. Give yourself a time limit and stick to it. For example, I have one week to look up centerpieces and narrow it down to my favorites. Don't get caught up in feeling like you can always find something better, it's not true.

See More: Cool Online Tools That Will Simplify Your Wedding Planning

Pro and Con: You have lots of time to get in shape for the big day.
The long engagement is a double edge sword for a get fit plan. Don't put it off. Make a plan and allow yourself some cheats. Commit to eating healthy and working out, but accept some indulging along the way so you don't burn out. My plan was to cut carbs, dairy and sugar and work out six hours a week once I hit the six-month mark. I had some cheat meals in there, but always kept my eye on the prize ... and the scale.

Pro: You get to enjoy being engaged.
The stresses of planning a wedding can get to couples. With a long engagement, I felt like I could enjoy the planning and being someone's fianc&eaute;. It's fun to have the anticipation build between us and with our family and friends. It also keeps you mindful of how much you need to savor the day when it comes.

There's more!

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