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How to Deal with Long Engagements

For years, I have been planning the perfect wedding. From the colors to the rings to the venue, no corner has been left untouched. But I’ve had a little bit longer than most to do all this planning… Three years, to be exact. And I still have one more left.

My fiancé and I were engaged young; during our sophomore year of college. From the beginning, we knew that it would be a few years until we tied the knot, because we wanted to have our degrees first. Now, we’re months away from graduating college (!!!), and we get married in one year! Still, have a while left? Here’s how to celebrate, plan, and love each other during an extra-long engagement.

Plan slowly.


Once you’re engaged, the first thing you want to do is buy a cute wedding planner and get down to business. But if you have years to go until the big day, you won’t be able to book photographers, caterers, or even a venue just yet. Grab yourself a planner and make some notes when you get a good idea, but otherwise…


Go Pinterest crazy.

My Pinterest board literally does not have a single thing on there that I added two years ago. But that’s the beauty of the site: You can edit it. Like that fade-to-pink dress today? Cool. Saved. Next week, just delete it. (Or not.) Follow some boards that inspire you and get online when you feel some wedding planning coming on.

Wait a while to have an engagement party.

Engagement tassel balloon banner
(Get this banner here!)

I was engaged December 2013, and we just had our engagement party in May. For us, it re-vamped our excitement to really start planning, and it made the wedding day finally seem real. A year to a year and a half is a solid time to have the party. While most people use this event as the announcement for their engagement, everyone will already know by this point. Treat it as a way for your families to meet, to introduce potential bridal party members, and to celebrate your continuing love.

Use the words “fiancé” and “fiancée” often.


This is silly, but it’s really important. Throughout a long engagement (especially while living together), it’s hard to feel that you’re not much more than a roommate or a girlfriend. No matter how long you’ve been engaged, hearing your partner call you his fiancée is heartwarming, and it always makes you smile. Small things that remind each other that you’re in a committed, about-to-be-married relationship are so important, and they can’t be neglected. (Etsy is the best for little engagement gifts year-round!)

Keep your ring clean, post photos often, and show that baby off.


After a year, it begins to feel less like the most important thing ever and more like an everyday piece of jewelry. By maintaining the shine, keeping your claws cute, and showing it off, your man feels good about what he got you, you feel good about wearing it, and everyone remembers how lucky you are for finding a guy as good as he is.

Begin compiling the PERFECT guest list.


One big thing you can do a few years in advance? Start gathering a guest list. In the next few years, you can add and delete people as you please, and by the wedding, you’ll have the perfect guest list. You know those people who talk to you in college and then dip after graduation? Yeah, delete them! A spreadsheet is the best, in my opinion (Excel or Google).

Author: Molly Michael – Engaged college student who enjoys singing, teaching, blogging, and wedding planning. Her colors are gold and marsala, and she is marrying Mario, of the Super Mario Brothers, next December. She currently runs The Wired Soprano blog, and is in the works of running a music studio with her studly fiancé.

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