All Things Are Ready is not based on any particular timeline or calendar. The checklists and tasks are arrange by priority and can be used whether you’re getting married next month or next year. When I was getting married, I was always frustrated by the fact that all the wedding advice was based on a 1 to 2 year engagement. What was I supposed to do if I was getting married in 3 months?
So, in writing a Christian wedding planner, I included tools for any engagement calendar, but also suggestions on how a wedding can be done in a short time frame if wanted.
But what if you don’t want a short engagement? What good reasons are there to have a long engagement? How should you think about your wedding season if it will last for months or even years? The following excerpt from the introduction to All Things Are Ready talks about the Whys of spending more than 12 weeks planning your wedding.
Why NOT to get married in just 12 weeks
The following are a few of the many reasons to consider choosing, out of love for others, a longer engagement:
- Your mother (Heb.10:24). Many mothers of the bride feel undue pressure and strain if they are asked to organize a wedding in less than six months. You need to consider your mother’s feelings, desires, and temperament. Does she become stressed when planning major events such as holiday gatherings? Does she want you to include certain events in your engagement that may not matter as much to you? The call to honor your father and mother remains during this time, and in deference to your mother or mother-in-law, you may need to wait longer than three months for your wedding.
- Family preferences. Either set of parents may simply require a longer engagement. The couple is not always free to set their wedding calendar themselves. Your timeline should never become a reason to be frustrated with the request of either set of parents.
- Your temperament. “Do something every day” means you must be the kind of person who can work efficiently and diligently on a project. If focusing fully on the wedding and working on it daily will turn you into a basket-case, you need to give yourself more time.
- Time and distance. If family members live out-of-state, you may need to wait for a convenient time when everyone involved is able to travel to the wedding.
Couples also may find it more difficult to coordinate plans when they are separated by great distance or on very different daily schedules. Dealing with time differences in order to discuss wedding plans over the phone, or communicating via email, will require you to have more time to put your plans into action.
This may also be true if you are both working and are on opposite schedules. This will make it harder to work on the wedding together. Unless you allow extra time to get together for planning and decision-making, one person (most likely the groom) may end up completely left out of wedding planning.
- Family schedules. It is loving and kind to consider other family members’ schedules when setting a wedding date. Twelve weeks is a short time. Vacation plans, business trips, school deadlines, pregnancies, or other factors may make it difficult or impossible for some people to attend your wedding. They may feel hurt and left out if you set a date when they cannot possibly attend.
Also, if you and your families see that other events and schedules will not allow you to focus on the wedding for three months, you will need to allow more time. Not every bride or family can take twelve weeks out of their lives to focus primarily on wedding preparations.
- Finances. Your parents may need time to gather the resources. If they are not prepared to pay for a wedding in three months’ time, either consider paying for the wedding yourself, or be grateful and sensitive to their budget constraints by changing your schedule.
If you decide that you do think a shorter engagement is preferable, discuss funding for the wedding before you become engaged. It may be best to consider putting off engagement until wedding funds are available, rather than extending the engagement period. Always remember that having your wedding paid for is a blessing, not an entitlement, and treat those paying for it accordingly.
- Location. If you have your heart set on a particular location, it can often mean getting married at a specific time of year or on a specific date. If you plan to get married in your parents’ back yard, you’ll need to wait for summer. If you want to marry in your grandmother’s church, its availability will govern your choice of dates.
Always remember, whether you wait three months or nine months to get married is never as important as treating your families with love and honor. Be selfless, not selfish, in all matters pertaining to your wedding, including setting the date.