One of the first things you’ll need to do after you get engaged? Decide when your wedding will be, of course! You’re happy, in love, and eager to spend the rest of your lives together, so you might be inclined to tie the knot as quickly as possible. On the other hand, a wedding planning to-do list seems to go on and on, which makes a longer engagement sound like a better choice for some. Should you cut to the chase and head down the aisle, or should you take your time? We asked a few wedding pros to share their top reasons not to rush your wedding—as well as why you just might want to.
Don’t Rush It Because...
“The details take time!” says Ashley Rhodes, owner of Ashley Rhodes Event Designs. “A longer engagement means more time to tend to each and every detail, allowing you to make sure the venue, custom products, and logistics are all covered.”
“Your guests need time to plan too,” Rhodes adds. “Most couples these days are planning three-to-four-day events so they can enjoy the company of their nearest and dearest loved ones. To ensure they’ll be able to make it, plan a wedding with more advanced notice so they can get you on their calendar.”
“A longer planning period allows you to be really thoughtful about the details and customize the experience,” says Lyndsey Hamilton, creative director of LH Events. “We love working within a longer schedule because we can take the time to create specialty items fabricated exclusively for the couple, from bars and lighting to unique fabric items. This adds a layer of personalization that you can’t get on a shorter timeline.”
“Destination weddings take time,” says Amber Karson, one half of Karson Butler Events. “Guests appreciate the advance notice when it comes to planning vacation days and shopping for great travel rates.”
“You need time to fit in ancillary wedding events,” says Emily Butler, the other half of the Karson Butler team. “If you’re planning to have an engagement party, bridal shower, and bachelorette party before your big day, you’ll either need a longer engagement so guests don’t feel overwhelmed or burdened, or you’ll need to combine the events into single parties or host them on the same weekend.”
“Response times are crucial when it comes to planning a wedding, and your vendors will need to hear back from you promptly—especially if your engagement is shorter,” says Butler. “If quick replies don’t work with your schedule or personality type, opt for a longer engagement and planning cycle instead.”
Don’t Wait Because...
“Smaller, more intimate affairs can come together quickly,” says Rhodes. “If you’re getting married in your hometown, notify your guests early and make it happen! No need to prolong the process unnecessarily.”
“You shouldn’t overthink it!” says Hamilton. “If you’re on a shorter schedule, there’s no time to second-guess your decisions—which actually means less stress and more decisiveness. If your goal is to be efficient and move on to the next thing on the list quickly, a short planning process is for you.”
“If you know what you want, go for it!” says Karson. “If you have a particular vendor in mind, like a planner or your dream photographer, and are flexible with a shorter timeline, they might have a date coming up and can squeeze you in.”
“Short engagements often mean smaller guest lists,” Butler explains. “A shorter timeline often means a higher chance that co-workers, friends, or even relatives might not be able to attend. For some couples, this is a good thing, especially if your dream venue is on the smaller side.”
“Being focused and prioritizing will result in a really personal event,” says Butler. “You won’t have time to worry about little details that guests might not notice, and instead will have to really hone in on what matters the most to the two of you.”