Author Topic: Is there a ticking clock?  (Read 7119 times)

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WillyNilly

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2013, 04:16:26 PM »
I think for a lot of people its the question they ask because its really the first step one makes in planning. If you haven't set a date, then by default you probably haven't picked a location, and you haven't started on invites, or probably your guest list, mot people don't buy a dress until after the date is set, etc. So asking "have you set a date?" is essentially asking "have you started actually planning or are you still just hanging out at 'engaged' and not actually doing anything else?" Some people do hang out at 'engaged' for years, even decades, maybe forever - to them it is the, or at least a, relationship destination of its own. Others see engaged as a transit period that is simply to get from 'dating' to 'married'. People are naturally curious about which course others will be taking.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2013, 04:18:07 PM »
Is it possible they are trying to get an idea so they can plan?  Thinking of the other thread where the poster was trying to plan a trip and was assured there would be no conflict, only to be scolded because there is a conflict, people might be trying to get an idea if they can go ahead and plan their cruise for next spring or the like.

This.  For most people it won't matter, but I'm guessing there are a handful of people in your life you'd really expect to be there, and you'd be hurt if they decided not to come.  If someone very close to me (close enough I felt attending their wedding was mandatory) had just gotten engaged, I'd probably hold off on planning any major vacations, life events, etc. until I found out when their wedding was going to be.  And if they waited for several months - until after I had decided to just go ahead and book that Disney cruise - and then they announced their wedding was going to be while I was gone, I'd be kind of put out.

So in short, no, there isn't a ticking clock.  But it's kind for you to give people you're close to some sort of guidance, even if it's just "probably next fall," so they can make their own plans.

turnip

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2013, 04:21:54 PM »
You may recall that in the T.V. show The Office ( both US and UK versions ) the receptionist was introduced as having been engaged for several years, with no wedding plans on the horizon.  Over the course of the series it was made clear that the engagement had been 'throwing her a bone', so to speak, and her finance had no intention of marrying her.

So that perception is out there.  I think if you go years and years without getting married, and without any concrete reason why you can't get married, people are going to start to speculate that the engagement was a sort of compromise between a partner who very much wanted to get married, and a partner who didn't. 

So if you are worried about people thinking that, you might want to come up with a reason for the delay ( we're looking for the right location, we're saving up for the honeymoon, etc ).  Of course, there's nothing wrong with not caring what others think and trusting that you and your partner are doing the right thing for yourselves.

Arila

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2013, 04:30:58 PM »
In general, I don't think there's any specific requirement for the length of engagements or how soon you need to start planning the wedding.

DH and I couldn't be together until we got married (I was "importing" him on a family visa) so we had an ASAP sort of feel to things once we decided to get hitched. This might not apply to you, but here's our timeline:  We were engaged in January, I had set a date Feb/March, sent out Save the Dates in May/June, married in October.

Actually, when we started looking at the various restrictions on when it could be held, the date just became super obvious. For us, since we were getting married in the desert, summer was out. Spring was too soon (visa wouldn't be ready), and winter was too far away. My sister was in school, so there were only a couple of weekends when she could travel to participate (fall break or T-day). I assume if you start narrowing it down in a similar fashion (ie when will critical guests/participants be available), the date will become pretty obvious like it did for us.


EllenS

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2013, 04:36:48 PM »
There are no rules, but there is a sort of "tolerance level" of excitement for friends and family, or a perception of how serious you are about really getting married, as oppposed to just saying you are engaged.  I would say, an engagement beyond 18-24 months, when there is no obvious obstacle or milestone that is being waited for, is going to come across as a "token" engagement.

Tea Drinker

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2013, 07:43:28 PM »
I think the timeframe goes in the other direction: that there ought to be at least X weeks or months between the time you choose the date and the wedding. The value of X depends on variables including your specific culture(s) and backgrounds, and how many people you're inviting and how far away they live, since the point is for people who you want to have there to be able to make plans.

So, "no, we haven't picked a date yet" is fine. If it's someone you're planning to invite, you can add "but we'll make sure to give you plenty of notice, we're not going to call you some afternoon and expect you to be at our wedding that weekend."
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

Kaymar

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2013, 08:35:56 PM »
First, congratulations!

I got engaged this summer and had a fair number of people asking about the date... since the proposal was (for me) a surprise, my answer was "Not sure yet - not today, but other than that, we'll keep you posted!"  People took this pretty well and laughed and admitted that they only asked because that's one of those questions you ask to show interest in someone's engagement.

We did set a date a few weeks ago, but only b/c my mom jumped the gun a bit and booked our honeymoon.

Oh Joy

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2013, 09:23:32 PM »
Congratulations!

I wouldn't say there's a specific time frame, but if a couple isn't actively working toward marriage in some way (logistically, spiritually, legally, whatever), then they're not really engaged in my book.  They may be in a very stable and positive commitment, but 'engaged' isn't the proper term.  Part of the problem is that some couples use that term to be taken more seriously than 'just' a boyfriend or girlfriend, but aren't moving toward marriage in any way.  Some of the people you're talking to may be trying to distinguish you two from this other type.

Best wishes.


katycoo

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2013, 02:28:50 AM »
People ask because they are interested and excited, not because they are pressuring you. 

Lady Snowdon

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2013, 08:08:23 AM »
We actually chose a location before we picked a date.  We really wanted to get married at the college where we met, and so we picked our date around what the college's schedule was.  For us, that meant about a month delay between getting engaged and setting the date - we had to wait to find out if our date could be accommodated. 

DH and I both felt an urgency about choosing our date after getting engaged.  We had relatives who would be coming in from all over the US and we wanted to give them as much time as possible to save up money/book flights/arrange time off work. 

I don't see anything wrong with telling people you haven't picked a date yet and you will let everyone know once the date is set.  As far as birthdays not being a good reason to have a wedding in that time frame, well...my birthday is a month before DH's, whose birthday is a month before our anniversary.  So two birthdays and an anniversary in a three month span!  We joke that it's great to get all our gift buying (except for Christmas presents) done in a short time period!

Magnet

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2013, 08:49:03 AM »
DH and I were engaged for 10 years before we married.  There is no time limit on engagement.  I agree with other posters to just treat these questions as natural curiosity. 

Hope you have a lovely wedding. 

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2013, 08:50:50 AM »
I did just have a thought.  You mentioned you'd like to get married in the fall.  If you mean this fall, yes, there is a very large ticking clock.   ;D

But if you are thinking next fall?  You have a while.
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Ontario

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2013, 09:02:09 AM »
For some people close to you, they may want to know so they can plan around it.
So if you were imagining something next fall, they would want to plan vacation time around it for example.
Or they may need to save money or allocate time to help you plan.

Perhaps you could say "Given that we haven't set a date for setting a date, it won't be next year (or fall at the earliest, or whatever)"

TootsNYC

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2013, 09:06:31 AM »
I will confess to personally believing that if you're not going to actually start planning to get married, it seems a bit silly to get engaged. I start to think that they engagement isn't really all that heartfelt.

In a philosophical sense, I'm not a fan of "being engaged" as being anything more than a temporary, transitional state. I don't really like engagement parties, because I don't think this is a stage that should get its own celebration. It's sort of like the time period between being offered a job, and starting it. The "starting it" is the real thing to celebrate; the other stuff is just as administrative preliminary.

So when a couple seems to treat their engagement as its own stage, and not as an administrative preliminary, I tend to wonder why they bothered to get engaged.

Sort of what Oh Joy said, actually.

But, that's mostly an academic or philosophical reaction. How each person/couple lives their own life and navigates this is going to be influenced by lots of things--I don't think there's any neutral *rule* or anything.

And I sure as heck don't say anything, even if I do wonder how you have truly have a fiancÚ for multiple years. A "fiancÚ" is " someone you are committed to marrying"--and I wonder how committed you can be when you've let so much time go by without actually doing something about it. The whole idea is to GET married, not to promise to marry. So if you couldn't bestir yourself to GET the thing you want, maybe you don't really want it.

Also, strictly philosophically speaking, I lament the changes in our wedding industry that make people say,  "We can't afford to get married right now," when what they mean is, "We can't afford a big party." What's that bumper sticker? "Don't postpone joy."

I miss the Victorian concept of "an understanding," reserving "engagement" for "we are planning."



But I will ALSO say that I wish people wouldn't run around asking, "When are you getting married" as soon as they hear that people are engaged. We do have long engagements nowadays. And potential guest, it's not all about you.  (Of course, sometimes people don't want you to think they're ignoring your happy future, etc., so that's the only conversation starter they think of.)

TurtleDove

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Re: Is there a ticking clock?
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2013, 10:42:11 AM »
I will confess to personally believing that if you're not going to actually start planning to get married, it seems a bit silly to get engaged. I start to think that they engagement isn't really all that heartfelt.

I agree with this, and suspect it is relatively common to think this way.  As another poster pointed out, long engagements with no actual movement toward marriage often indicate that one person placated the other by agreeing to get married at some point in the future but does not really ever intend to do so.  These situations break my heart a little.

That said, OP, do whatever you want on your own timetable so long you are doing what *you* want to do.