He popped the question and you said 'yes'! What an exciting time. The first question out of everyone's mouth is: "when is the wedding?". This strikes fear and anxiety into even the calmest of couples. The sheer magnitude of planning an event as big and important as a wedding can be overwhelming. In my humble opinion as a 20-year veteran event professional, the shorter the engagement, the less anxiety you will have! In celebrity wedding planner Shawn Rabideau's definition, (the ideal engagement length is) ten months — (enough time) to plan their dream ceremony without overplanning and obsessing.
Giving yourself a year or in some cases far more than a year to plan a wedding is fine. Some couples like to take their time and select vendors at their leisure and have something to look forward to. I have always been of the mindset that once the "yes" is said, the decision is made and why NOT have the wedding sooner than later?
Excuse #1 for having a long engagement: "I need to save money to pay for the wedding"
The truth is, a wedding is a party. Plain and simple. You have hosted and attended many parties that didn't require a savings account to produce! Celebrate within your means. Think outside of the box to stay in your budget. Many couples are celebrating on a weekday to save money, and others are reducing their guest list to make sure their bank account isn't empty when they say "I do".
Weddings are expensive. Ridiculously expensive. This coming from a saleswoman is something! When I see couples spending more than they can afford on one day of celebrating makes me sad, in a way. I have always approached event planning with the theory that I get to help people celebrate their happiest of days and see them in their most important moments. Weddings are BIG BUSINESS these days. Don't let money stand in the way of that happy day.
Excuse #2 for having a long engagement: "the venue I really want books far in advance"
That 'dream venue' may book 2 years out...but there are most likely hidden gem-type venues that DO have availability for your special day. Some research is required, but asking around can be your best source of information! Simply posting a question on a social media group page can result in what would have been hours and hours of research! Everyone wants to share their own experiences, so don't be afraid to ask. You just may find a diamond of a venue!
Excuse #3 for having a long engagement: "I want to accomplish *fill in the blank here* before we get married"
Your masters degree, buying a home, getting that desired promotion...all great goals for sure. My question to you is, then why isn't 'getting married' on that list of goals? I guess excuse #3 is, in my opinion, a true excuse. Be sure to look long and hard at why you might want to extend an engagement and be sure you are planning a marriage more than planning a wedding.
Bottom line is, if you want to marry the love of your life--DO IT. Like it says at the end of When Harry met Sally: "when you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as quickly as possible".