"You're engaged? Oh, congratulations! When's the wedding? Where's it going to be? Are you two planning on having kids anytime soon? OMG, how did he propose?" And so, the endless parade of questions begins, with the blushing bride-to-be dutifully answering, all the while smiling like a pageant queen. At least, that's how my story goes.
As every recently-engaged woman knows all too well, the moment you and your fiancé decide to announce the engagement, your once-private relationship is suddenly under public scrutiny, and you start feeling like the goldfish in your dentist's waiting room. As a woman who usually keeps her private life, well, private, this was extremely unsettling for me, especially because I can't answer question #1: When's the wedding?
According to infamous wedding resource The Knot, a year-long engagement is "about right." Although I haven't been able to dig up any recent surveys addressing this "no-set-date" trend, my personal experience with today's engaged couples tells me that this trend is prevalent. In my daily interactions alone, I've found that my yoga teacher, bank teller and a few of my friends have all (some, grudgingly) embraced this new mindset of a prolonged, indefinite engagement. 3 Things To Avoid On Your Wedding Day
So, why are couples getting engaged without the traditional wedding date looming in the horizon? From personal experience and from what I gather from the vague, evasive answers I've gotten, it seems to be a mix of financial and stability issues, as well as a "we are paving our own paths!" mentality.
Not to say that there's no pressure to justify why we're waiting. Especially among older generations, the fact that we don't have a wedding date leaves a lot people fumbling to cover up their aghast faces, and I end up mumbling something about our careers to make them feel comfortable.
My fiancé and I are waiting because of money, stability and priorities. We're both young (I'm 23 and he's 24), but have been supporting ourselves financially for awhile. We've lived together for four years now, both being the other's support system through the trials of becoming adults.
We got engaged in August 2011 as starry-eyed romantics, fully subscribing to the idea that being rich isn't a prerequisite to being married. We knew we were each other's "One." We knew we were in it for the long haul. After dating and living together for so long, we craved to be official, to be recognized as a family, our love acknowledged by meaningful vows. But after the initial planning stages, we realized that we just didn't have the budget to do anything but elope.
Believe me, there are times when we just want to run down to City Hall and tie the knot. We want to be married, but if we want the big American wedding (and believe me, we do!) it will just have to wait. For now.
If you're engaged, have you and your fiancé set a date?