Long vs. Short Engagements: What is the way to go?

Sergio Torres proposing Jessica Harmon

How long should an engagement last before a marriage? This is a question that can be very applicable to students here at BYU-Idaho, the university otherwise known as BYU-I Do.

There are many couples that are engaged for a couple semesters up at school, while others are engaged and married within a couple of months.

What is the happy medium between an engagement and a marriage?

According to The Huffington Post, 40 percent of couples wait 13 to 18 months between their engagement and marriage. Here at BYU-I that time is usually shrunken down.

Emma Ewell, a sophomore studying nursing, shared her experience being proposed to and engaged since March.

“I would say that some people date and get engaged really fast after meeting,” Ewell said. “Sometimes it’s good to be engaged a bit longer to get to know more about the person and how they do under stress and different situations. Aka wedding planning.”

Mackenzie Casper, a sophomore majoring in marriage and family studies, shared her perspective on how long the engagement period in a relationship should last. She is also known as a lifestyle and relationship advice blogger.

“Engagements are the times to discuss expectations, your hopes and dreams, how to raise kids and gospel involvement,” Casper said. “The engagement phase is the time to solidify your relationship with you partner.”

Sergio Torres proposing Jessica Harmon

Ewell said she is happy with how long her engagement has lasted.

“I would say my engagement was pretty short, like three months, and I’m really glad because I think it was the perfect amount of time to plan and still enjoy the time we spent engaged,” she said.

There are many couples at BYU-I that plan their futures and their weddings before they are even engaged. Casper said that the time of an engagement is blurred here at BYU-I.

“Dating them longer than you are engaged to them is more important,” Casper said. “I would say a long courtship and a short engagement is the way to go.”

Christie Toborg, a sophomore studying recreational management, said that being engaged to her husband for about three and a half months was the perfect amount of time for them.

“The engagement is time for logistical things, time to grow closer together and also for spiritual preparedness before marriage,” Toborg said. “Having that longer dating experience before our engagement was important because it helped us understand each other more.”

Are longer or shorter engagements better in the long run?

Toborg said she preferred a longer engagement because it gave her and her husband time to get to know and understand each other more.

“I would say you don’t want too short of an engagement,” Toborg said.

So what is the engagement period in a relationship really for? Casper shared her feelings about what the purpose of an engagement really is.

“The engagement is not a time to plan your wedding, but to prepare for marriage,” Casper said.

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