There was a question that lingered at the back of my mind throughout our short engagement that I'm 99% sure other brides-to-be planning weddings in six months or less can relate to.
I wonder if everyone thinks I'm pregnant?
featured photos: Suggs Photography
I have no idea who created the 12-18 month engagement timeline and proceeded to label it as "traditional," but I kind of want to have a word with them. Because, whether this person knows it or not, they're causing the rest of us to wear form-fitting clothing to our gown appointments to avoid being asked about our due date.
Yes, pregnancy is a reason that some couples choose to shorten the length of their engagement. But it is by no means THE reason. In fact, I would argue that in many cases, couples who say "we do" to planning a wedding in six months or less haven't even started practicing the baby-making process yet. (More on that in just a minute.) So today, I'm putting the assumption that "a short engagement equals a bun in the oven" on a block and giving it a little karate chop by sharing six other reasons that couples might choose to plan a wedding in six months or less.
6 other reasons to plan a wedding in 6 months or less
1. Desire to be married. I'll speak from personal experience here. My husband, Taylor, and I started dating in January. We got engaged in March. We set our wedding date for July. All in the same year. We understood that our timeline might be an eyebrow-raiser for some and realized that our story probably looked and sounded a little crazy from the outside. But we weren't outside of our story. We were right in the thick of it—so thankful to God for bringing us together; so ready to be forever teammates doing life side-by-side. While we valued the idea of exchanging vows and celebrating in the presence of our family and friends, we recognized that every month we added to our wedding planning timeline was another month taken away from our journey as husband and wife. Ultimately, we decided that the marriage we were beginning meant more to us than the party we were planning, and our 4.5-month engagement reflected that.
2. Stage of life. Older couples, couples planning second weddings, and couples who just plain have their lives together in the get a degree, find a job, and accomplish life goals department(s) are likely to plan their weddings sooner rather than later. Why? Because they know who they are, what they want, and where they're going—and they're ready to go there together.
3. Clear vision about the wedding day. If you have a pretty clear vision about your wedding day and at least an idea about which vendors you'd like to work with to bring that vision to life, you're in a good position to plan your wedding in six months or less. Personally, I wouldn't say that I had crystal clear ideas about the look/design of my wedding day, but Taylor and I were both on the same page about what we wanted it to communicate and how we wanted to be represented as a couple. Combine that type of focus with flexibility and quick decision-making, and you've got a recipe for efficiency.
4. Impending life change. Maybe the bride just got accepted to an international grad school program, or perhaps the groom is preparing for military deployment. In both of these scenarios (and many others), couples are typically forced to choose between an extended engagement (2+ years) or—you guessed it—a super speedy one.
5. Family. If the bride or groom's family lives halfway around the world (or even the country), then a couple's wedding date might be moved up to accommodate their travel availability. Concern for the health and mobility of older family members can also play a factor when deciding on a short engagement, as can a family member's unforeseen medical diagnosis or major illness.
6. Abstinence. If a bride and groom believe that sex is meant to be enjoyed only in the context of marriage, then a short engagement is going to be particularly appealing—the longer the engagement, the more tempting it can be to compromise on this belief.
And there you have it: six (other) reasons why a couple might choose to tighten up their engagement timeline. Long story short? There are oodles of reasons why some couples choose a lengthier engagement of 12-18 months, and there are just as many reasons why other couples plan their weddings in six months or less! So, please...the next time you receive a Save the Date for a wedding that's just a few weeks away, don't automatically assume that a gender reveal invitation will soon follow. ;)
PS: Want a free 6-month wedding planning timeline? Click the button below and it's all yours!