One of the working premises of All Things Are Ready is that an engagement only needs to be 12 weeks long. Certainly this kind of timeline isn’t for everyone. However, since most wedding planners on the market assume you will be engaged for years, not months, it seemed timely to provide helpful options for those with a different plan.
All Things Are Ready is laid out to work on any timeline. The lists, calendars and tools are not based on how many weeks or months you have until the wedding, but on what priority each task has in the overall wedding preparation plan. However, it does give suggestions and tips for keeping your engagement short if you so desire. I have found that many brides plan their wedding in about 12 weeks, whether they have just 3 months or 3 years to get ready. The remainder of their engagement gets filled in other ways. The only thing keeping many couples from enjoying a short engagement is the vague idea that a wedding just can’t be done in that amount of time.
In the planner, I provide a calendar showing how every detail of a wedding can be accomplished in 12 weeks and tools for making it happen. The following is from the introduction to All Things Are Ready and explains a few of the reasons why a bride might choose to consider keeping the length of her engagement to a necessary minimum.
Why Twelve Weeks?
- A short engagement usually results in a less expensive wedding. Taking a lot of time to plan a wedding usually drives up the cost and stress-level. After you budget, plan, and pay for the key parts of the wedding, it is time to have the wedding. If you find lots more time on your hands, you’ll probably start thinking of more and more things to add. Suddenly, you find yourself spending a lot of money and time on things you 1) would not have time to dream up if the wedding were sooner, and 2) you won’t care about six days after saying “I do.”
- A short engagement leaves less time to obsess over details. The more time you have, the more absorbed you may get in the whole wedding planning world. With magazines, books, and websites telling you what you “must have” in order to put on a classy wedding, it is easy to get lost. You will be increasingly emotional and more vulnerable as your wedding date approaches. Tiny details will start to loom impossibly large during this intense part of life. This can lead not only to spending much more than you planned, but sometimes even to hurting relationships with those involved.
- A short engagement provides fewer opportunities for sinful attitudes and hurt feelings. During your engagement, life will revolve around the wedding. Emotions run high. Weddings offer many opportunities for miscommunications, hurt feelings, and damaged relationships. It is hard for everyone to remember to live like Christians when they are so emotionally invested in this momentous event. Limiting the time frame limits the opportunity to sin against one another through selfishness, moodiness, unwise speech, and demanding attitudes.
- A short engagement leaves less opportunity for unchastity. While many find this suggestion offensive before or when first engaged, by the end of their engagement they usually understand the concern. Engagement is a very intense time in a relationship and no matter how much we love the Lord, none of us is as strong as we think we are. Many temptations arise during engagement. You are ready to be married, and the marriage bed is where you want to be. This is a good gift of God. Showing restraint until your marriage vows will be increasingly difficult, and it is a mercy to not delay those vows. Scripture does not call us to be strong, but to flee sexual temptation (1 Cor. 6:18-19). One of the best guards to holiness is to avoid unnecessarily putting off the wedding date. If you are not ready to get married soon, don’t get engaged.
If you’re interested in more of the whys and hows of a shorter-than-average engagement, as well as considerations for why not to have a short engagement, read the entire introduction of All Things Are Ready.