What Is the Appropriate Length of an Engagement?

Updated 03/22/15

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Your engagement should be an exciting and deeply personal time for you and your fiancé to celebrate the love you share. However, couples often get caught up in what should be done — especially when it comes to how long the engagement should be. Here, our etiquette experts answer the long contested question of how long is too long (or too short) for an engagement?

We may sound like a broken record, but your engagement should be as long as you want it to be. As we mentioned, this is a deeply personal and exciting time — you should make of it what you two want and not succumb to pressure from parents or friends itching to celebrate with you.

Your personal circumstances will totally determine how long you decide to remain engaged. The average length of engagement in the United States is a year to a year-and-a-half, but if you have school to finish, or a major project coming up at work, or simply want to save, there's nothing wrong with taking your time before tying the knot (hey, if Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux can do it, you can too!). As for shorter engagements, you may want to move, you may be in the military or have a family illness that may speed up the planning and marrying process, which is totally fine too.

Just make sure that whatever decision you both make is best for you and no matter how long you choose to remain engaged, you take time to enjoy it together!

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