T-2 Years and Counting!

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning

Today, as we officially launch Third Time Bride, is the 4th anniversary of our first date.

It’s also exactly 2 years from our planned wedding, so kind of a pre-versary as well.

And it’s kind of an odd feeling.

I mean, I was always up front with Todd about wanting a long engagement and knowing that our best-case-scenario date was 2 years and a bit out seemed like a really good idea when we first started talking matrimony (and it still is, don’t misunderstand) but neither of my 2 previous weddings allowed for this much planning!

At 19 I think we planned everything in maybe 2 months–there was no time to celebrate pre-milestones when you’re trying to squeeze in a wedding before fall semester starts. At 26 it was a planned elopement (which only 1 other person–my roommate–knew about) so there was no build-up or anything at all.

So to have my handy little the Knot.com ticker tell me that we’re 731 days away (there’s a leap year in there, hence the odd number) is a bit surreal.

But in the best possible way.

We have this luxury of time and I am so grateful for that. I know long engagements (which we’ll talk about more in theory, later) can be considered ridiculous–I used to think of them that way, “why wait?” I’d say when anyone asked what the hurry was. But, really? Why not wait? Why not take our time to choose what we want and discard what we don’t? Why not make the time work to our benefit rather than fighting the clock and the ever-present to-do list?

It’s not like we’ve put our lives on hold until the wedding happens: it’s just the next step for us. We spent almost 4 years and boyfriend-girlfriend and now we’ll spend 2 years as an engaged couple before spending however many years we’re granted as husband and wife. I think 2 years is just the right amount of time.

Pretty Book and Flower Icon

Did you (or do) have a long engagement and, if so, have you celebrated any “pre-versaries” leading up to the big day?

Setting a Date

Third Time Wife, Wedding Planning
Scattered clear calendar tiles

image via stock.xchng | photograph by mai05

Setting a wedding date is tricky, especially if you’re thinking of having a long engagement. Sure, looking 2 years out means you’re more likely to find the spot you want available on that day, but first you have to figure out the when. It’s kind of a chicken and egg thing–the where may depend on the when and vice versa.

For me, though, there’s one other bit that matters: we already have an anniversary! We met, and got to know one another, online and dated long distance for the first few months of our relationship. We’ve always considered our anniversary, however, to be the day we first met in person–Nov. 2. Mr. Road Trip came to town for the weekend and we consider that Friday, the night of our first date, our anniversary.

My dating history, by the way, leaves something to be desired. What I lacked in quality, apparently, I made up in quantity if you count all those first/blind dates that never went anywhere.There seemed to be a few pretty steady lines of demarcation:

  • If we were still talking after the first date, 3 weeks seemed to be the next drop-off point.
  • If we were still dating after 3 weeks, 3 months was the milestone it most likely ended upon.
  • If we made it past 3 months, though (and this was rare), at a year things fizzled.
  • Unless, of course, we decided to get married. In which case, we never quite made it to 3 years.

Yes, you read that right: neither of my previous marriages lasted 3 years. I also had the nickname of gypsy for a while, 3 years being the longest I’d lived in any one place and even then most were shorter stints.

Looking back I kinda have to wonder why I’ve always considered 3 my “lucky” number.

So Mr. Road Trip comes along. A bit more than 6 months after we start dating, he moves to Florida. A year after that we move in together (signing that lease was a scary thing, indeed!) and then we renew our lease. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that, as we approached that 3 year point, I was a bit nervous. Okay, I was paranoid.

But here’s the thing: we were still talking. We were more than talking, we actually LIKED being together as much as we possibly could. We’d gone on trips, even a 7-day cruise, and hadn’t needed time apart.

So, now that we’s achieved the illusive 3 years and were still going strong (a major factor in my thought process in the me vs marriage debate) I didn’t want to give up those years we’ve already logged in our relationship. I don’t want to have to pick another date and start all over at day 1 again.

I want to get married on our anniversary.

When I realized this I grabbed my calendar to check out the upcoming years. (Keep in mind, this was still pre-proposal, so I might have been jumping the gun a tad but, hey, a girl’s gotta know what she’s working with!) Turned out, November 2nd falls on a Friday in 2012 and a Saturday in 2013–perfect! And, hey, if we want or need to make it a really long engagement, there’s still a Sunday in 2014 (though I hope it doesn’t come to that, honestly–I said I wanted to try a long engagement but not that long!).

And, yes, I did broach the subject with Mr. Road Trip, pre-proposal–mainly because my head was swimming with ideas and thoughts and maybes and maybe-nots so I wanted us to be on the same page. Turns out, the way he saw it, he’d considered himself ahead of me when it came to future-thinking and my obsession has managed to catch us up to each other.

Did you have any date dilemma when planning your wedding?

Which came first, the when or the where?