Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux waited three years. Amy Adams and her husband, fellow actor Darren Le Gallo, waited seven. Jessica Simpson and hubby Eric Johnson waited three years – and had two children in the meantime. When it comes to tying the knot, some people like to take their very sweet time.
“Anything longer than 18 months,” can be considered a long engagement, explains Sandy Malone, wedding expert and author of How To Plan Your Own Destination Wedding. The reasons to postpone the big day more than 14 months (the average length of time it takes to go from ring to altar, according to a study by The Knot) can be a valid one.
“One of you is working overseas, and are back at a certain date,” Sandy says. “I know a couple who had a one-month window between graduating from medical school and starting their residency. They knew early on they were going to get married at that time.”
When Jessica Simpson first started dating her husband, he was still legally married to someone else. “Some are waiting for the divorce to be final,” Sandy says. When there are extenuating circumstances, an extended engagement makes sense.
But more and more, couples seem to be waiting without a definitive reason, which can cause strain...on the people around them.
“You got engaged, got the rings, you’ve starting to tell people about the wedding and got your family and friends excited. It’s that engaged honeymoon,” Sandy shares. “But how long can you expect others around you to sustain that bride worship for so many months? You’re going to burn out your friends and family!”
Sandy confesses she has brides-to-be calling her to book weddings in 2021.
“If they are young, that’s good thing probably.” The wedding guru explains that some realize they’ve set up a long engagement because it’s not the right guy “and they don’t make it to the ceremony.”
And then there are the gals who call to start planning “without an engagement ring! I mean come on – then propose to him!”
So what if a long engagement just feels right to you, what can you do to put yourself and those around you at ease? “Tell people ‘we’re engaged, and we’re going to have a long engagement,’ and ease up on actively being a bride-to-be,” Sandy suggests.
If you are not ready to start planning your wedding, be sensitive to the fact that just because you’re taking a lot of time for your engagement, that doesn’t mean everyone around you has to be engaged in it.
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