Pros and Cons of a 1 Year Engagement

IMG_6393Being engaged has been one of the best but also one of the most challenging of times for Iain and I. We had always talked about wanting a short engagement, but because so many things were factored in, it just wouldn’t have worked out to have a short engagement. I just graduated college and was starting a brand new job in the fall, Iain was in his first year apprenticeship at CP, his family lives across Canada in Ontario, and I have a sister living in England, etc, etc… The list goes on. Even before we were officially engaged, we set the date and accepted that it was going to be a lonnnnnnng year.

We are 5 months away and chomping at the bit because it cannot come sooner! Here are some things that we have experienced so far.

PROS

1. Planning- Although we had all of the big things planned within the first month, there have been some things that we needed the time for. I had gone dress shopping with my sisters when my big sissy was in town and Iain and I found our wedding venue and booked it before our engagement. My aunt/mom are florists and my other aunt’s hubby is a DJ. If we didn’t have the hookups, I think finding those vendors would be challenging. Most wedding vendors are booked a solid year in advance, so a year to plan is helpful. Not to mention it has taken 16 weeks to get my dress in! Cannot imagine the stress of waiting for the dress plus alterations in a short 5 month engagement.

2. Heads up to friends and family afar- As I already said, Iain’s family is all in Ontario and my sister is in England. We couldn’t expect them all to spend thousands of dollars to fly out for our wedding with a few months notice. Not to mention, my soon-to-be sister-in-law was pregnant when we got engaged, so it was not realistic to have a quick engagement. This year has given them time to save up to come out to BC to share this day and also plan a vacation around BC. This is honestly the biggest reason we wanted to wait. Plus, Iain’s 2 brothers are his groomsmen and my big sister is my maid of honor, so we kinda needed them to be here!

Oh and it’s also a heads up to my students who will have a full year to learn how to pronounce Mrs. Mascotto. Kinda related, right?

3. Debt-less Wedding- This has been another major reason for waiting. Neither of us are prepared to go into debt for one day. Yes, I get it, “It’s a wedding and it only happens once!” Okay, you only turn your age once in your lifetime, you don’t see me dropping a year of  on it! (A bit different, but you get the point) Anyway, we have been successful in having a debt free, on budget wedding so far and we plan on sticking to it. We don’t go out a whole lot, we give ourselves a small allowance and I save close to everything I make, but we are debt free!

4. Marriage Prep- Key word MARRIAGE- not wedding day prep. We always hear “You’re never truly prepared for marriage.” As true as that could be, Iain and I are being proactive and doing our part. We are doing pre-marital counselling with our pastor once a month until the wedding, reading a book, praying, and reading our bibles together. We have only had one session with our pastor so far, but we are digging right into the book “Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti” which explains why men and women are the way that they are and how we can do our parts in a relationship to work in partnership with one another- bonus is that it’s written from a christian perspective. A bit of tongue and cheek, but it’s been helpful and fun to read together!

CONS

1. Done Planning- All that stuff about it being good for planning? Yeah, we were done very early. We were on the ball with everything right from the get go, so now we just wait for the next deadline to pass. With our venue being a one stop shop and the rest of our vendors being recommended to us by friends, or actual friends and/or family, we had everything done pretty quick. Now being 5 months away and most of our vendors paid for, we have just been tapping our toes waiting!

2. Waiting- That means waiting for everything. This has been the toughest for us. Since dedicating ourselves to God, we are also waiting for many other things: Moving in together, sharing a home, sharing a room, a bed.. ahem etc.. Not easy when you have already made a commitment to be together and are just waiting on a date to make it official. Of course there are more practical things like traveling together, joining accounts, legal paper work, not having to renew my passport only to renew it once my name changes (still bitter). I wish it was like the ladies in Downton Abbey- engaged to be married, then married the following weekend. Mind you, their entire families lived on the estate and they had buckets of money so it was more simple. But alas, I am not Lady Mary, I am but a peasant girl. So I will continue to hurry up and wait some more.

3. Inconvenient-  Because we are waiting until we are married to move in together, it’s super inconvenient living apart. It’s either we are at his house or at mine or out spending money we don’t have. It’s all fine and dandy until someone has to drive home! #firstworldproblems. Iain is also on shift work, so seeing each other can be a pain at times. Right now we are fortunate that he is working the same hours as me, but once those change to afternoons with random weekdays off, our schedules with be total opposite. We have already done 6 months of opposite shifts and let me be the first to say, it was really tough on our relationship at first. We know that the limited time together is only for a little bit!

4. I’ve run out of things to say- This kinda ties into the “done planning” section. Honestly, I’m horrible at telling people things. I can talk someone’s ear off but when it comes to telling people wedding details, I usually respond with “Good”, “We are done”, “Nothing left to do”, “I don’t know what else to say” (Yes, I’ve actually said the last one) Sometimes I feel like people don’t actually care and I’m just boring them to tears when they were only trying to be polite. Maybe they actually do care though, and for that, I am sorry for my super dumb answers. I also don’t know what to say to people who ask awkward questions about how much $$ we are spending, or when they assume they are invited, and of course the “advice” that comes my way. *cringe* I’m horrible at confrontation so I either make a bad/inappropriate joke or don’t say anything and make it awkward. For that, I am also sorry.

With ALL that being said, we are both stoked on life about being engaged! I cannot wait to be a Mascotto. This is such an exciting time for us, and regardless of the wait, we are taking it all in and loving each other through it. It’s been a fast 7 months of being engaged, and people are telling us 5 months will come quickly- Here’s to hoping they are right!

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Who else is with me?! Do you have any pros or cons of a year long engagement? Feel free to comment below and let me know!

Happy planning and waiting to all you 2016/2017 brides!

-Shonagh

8 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of a 1 Year Engagement

  1. Hey Shonagh,

    I definitely empathize with having nothing to say to others about wedding plans. I entered into a 16 month engagement because we are waiting until he is done an engineering co-op. We booked the reception hall within three months and then….a lot of nothing because school was happening right now. Things finally started picking up steam at the beginning of this year when the dresses were bought and the church was found. Now we’re mostly down finding a photographer and finalizing a menu. We’ve managed to plan to do a lot by ourselves and with close friends (food, music, etc) so even though it doesn’t feel like we have booked that much, I know many things are figured out. Having an engagement over a year was helpful because it has allowed us to take as much time as we want for…everything. At the same time, the gap from this April to August is starting to look pretty big and empty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad it worked out for the best for you. Nothing like being stressed out wondering whether your hubby-to-be will have enough time to take off. Worth the 16 months. And hey, at the end of the day, you’ll be married, no matter how long the planning took!! Good luck!

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  2. We’ve got three months left of a twelve month engagement, and I completely agree with everything you’ve written.
    No one told us how strange this time would be. We’re together and making all these plans for the future, but we can’t be together all that much! We live in Turkey so culturally (and to avoid temptation) we don’t spend time alone at each other’s houses. So there’s always other people around, or we’re walking outside or spending money to do something together. Not having that alone time together and always having to say goodbye and separate at the end of the day is so hard! (We were long distance before and for five months of engagement so this is something we had to get used to.)
    We were also done planning with the large parts of the wedding early on, and are now waiting for a crazy rush of stuff in the last month.
    Like you we’re also going through marriage prep, reading the books, meeting with our pastor. Right now I’m reading Marriage Covenant by Derek Prince- I’m only half way through but my fiancée loved it and a deeper understanding of God’s plan of marriage and his role in us being together is really blessing our relationship.
    I’m trying to focus on using this time to prepare myself to be a wife, draw close to God and serve him and the church the best I can. It may be a weird in-the-middle kind of time, but it’s a blessing from God and I don’t want to look back and feel I wasted any chance to become more intimate with God.

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    • It’s nice knowing I’m not alone! You said it so well, it’s such a strange time.. Together but not official. It’s tough really getting to know one another when time is so short, but that’s where God comes in. As long as you are grounded in Him and make Him the center, God will bless you and your marriage. I’ll have to check out that book! Thanks for the response!

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  3. I feel like a year long engagement is fairly short compared to many others, but maybe not.

    I’ve been engaged for over a year and am in no rush to be married. Granted we have two children and own a home together so my situation is quite a bit different than yours 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s true, I know some other people that would consider it short as well. I guess because in my head I had this expectation of a short engagement, a year seems like a life time! Thanks for stopping by ❤️

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  4. I had a 15 month long engagement– My wedding is now in 3 weeks exactly! I definitely understand that feeling. Some of those planning bits will get you at the end after you get the RSVPs. I planned a lot and then had a long lull in planning because I had to wait until the date got closer. It’ll go a lot faster than you think, and soon it’ll be upon you! Congrats 🙂

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