An engagement or betrothal is a promise to marry, and also the period of time between proposal and marriage – which may be lengthy or trivial. During this period, a couple is said to be betrothed, affianced, engaged to be married, or simply engaged. Future brides and grooms may be called the betrothed, a wife-to-be or husband-to-be, fiancées or fiancés, respectively (from the French word fiancé). The duration of the courtship varies vastly.
Long engagements were once common in formal arranged marriages and it was not uncommon for parents betrothing children to arrange such many years before the engaged couple were old enough to marry. jokes