Questions to answer before getting engaged

23 March 2021

 Nope, this is not an engagement announcement. :p

It's not the wedding, it's the marriage. There are few bigger steps a couple can make than when they take the decision to get engaged and set in motion a process that will end with them being married. Looked at from outside, an engagement can seem like a pretty straightforward preliminary to that marriage. However, for many people, the period of engagement is where they learn more than at any other time. There are lessons about themselves, about their spouse-to-be, and more besides. And so, before you even get engaged, it is worth asking yourself a few questions to clear up worries so that you can be ready for this period of time.

Do I want to be married?

It sounds obvious, but it is a question that needs to be addressed. Marriage is not a small decision to make, and needs to be taken seriously. Keep in mind that a wedding lasts a day, typically, while a marriage is intended to last forever. There is a difference between getting married and being married, and there is no point getting engaged right now if you can’t see yourselves in the latter position eventually.

Will this be a long or short engagement?

Getting engaged tomorrow doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily get married in a few months, or even this year. An engagement can be as long or as short as the couple in question choose for it to be. So it’s not the case that you’re under pressure to get everything ticked off the moment the ring is ordered from Whiteflash or wherever you’ve picked it from. Being engaged just means you plan to marry in the future and are both agreed on that. A long engagement can allow you more time to save for the key expenses of the big day - and beyond. Let the duration of the engagement be decided by the kind of wedding you want to have.

Breaking this wall of text to insert a photo of my beautiful ring I got for myself
I'd like my engagement ring to be unconventional and symbolic

Are we on the same page?

In truth, this is a question you will also be asking during the engagement, and even after you’ve got married whenever future goals come into question. For as long as you are in a couple, it’s a question that needs an answer; because, quite simply, there are now a lot of decisions you have to make that will affect at least two lives. It’s not something that needs to be asked constantly, but at the point of any major decisions affecting one or both of you, it’s important to be in agreement on how you move forward. Don’t get engaged - yet - if you have differences of opinion on when, and even whether, to get married.

Is a proposal in order?

Tradition dictates that before an engagement is to happen, one of the couple will plan out a proposal, often after asking the father of their spouse-to-be for permission to do so. The second part of that sentence demonstrates why the first part is not essential. These days, it is considered anachronistic to ask anyone other than the other person in a relationship for permission to marry them - and even that isn’t essential. If you love each other, and want to spend your lives together, then you can just agree to become engaged. The “popping” of the question is not an essential part of the process, so if you don’t want to go through the nerve-wracking sequence of events that lead to a proposal, you don’t have to.

Personally, I don't want grandiose proposal nor a huge wedding. I think I've had enough surprises and stressful days that I'd like my wedding to be quiet, simple, and stress-free. Hopefully, when the Philippines is already Covid-free.

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