4 Common Wedding Bouquet Mistakes Brides Make

 Flowers, Wedding Flowers  Comments Off on 4 Common Wedding Bouquet Mistakes Brides Make
Sep 302015
 

Turns out bigger isn't always better! From selecting the wrong size to not coordinating with your dress, we break down a few of the most common wedding bouquet mistakes brides fall victim to.

Not using seasonal blooms
Some flowers are always available, and others are only in season for a very short period of time. Don't get your heart set on including certain blooms in your wedding bouquet if you don't want to set yourself up for potential disappointment (or disaster). Flowers that are out of season are not only much more costly, they'll likely not last as long in the current weather either. Ask your florist for alternatives that will give you a similar look and feel as your favorite flowers, but that are in season now.

Requesting a huge bouquet
Yes, oversized bouquets are trendy and they look bomb in photos, but they're also really, really heavy and like, kind of hard to hold. Remember that you need to actually be able to carry your wedding bouquet down the aisle, and your maid of honor has to hang on to it after that. If it's too big, it could be a big problem. Plus, why torture yourself and your BFF throughout the ceremony? Your big day is so not the time to test your (physical) strength.

See More: A Florist Shares: 3 Under-the-Radar Blooms for Your Bouquet

Ignoring your dress
As any fashionista will tell you, accessories can make or break your big day look, and yes, brides, your wedding bouquet is considered an accessory. In fact, it's a big one! So while you're busy picking out the perfect veil, shoes and jewelry to go with your gown, keep in mind flowers too. Specifically, what style, size and shape wedding bouquet would complement you the best? As a general rule of thumb, your bouquet shouldn't overshadow your dress or overwhelm it. It also shouldn't try and compete with it. Here are some combinations you may wish to avoid (although there's always an exception to every rule!):

- Short dress (or petite bride) with a cascade bouquet
- Intricately beaded gown with an over the top (in size and color) bouquet
- Ball gown with a small simple bouquet
- Sheath wedding dress with a large, elaborate bouquet

Being closed-minded
Florists are artists. And chances are, you booked yours based on past work. So instead of being resistant, really listen. Be open to any feedback you get once you relay your general vision. Who knows, your florist may have some creative ideas you never even thought of? Or very good reasons why those out-of-season flowers are a bad idea.

5 Happy Marriage Habits to Start Before You Tie the Knot

 Married Life, Relationships  Comments Off on 5 Happy Marriage Habits to Start Before You Tie the Knot
Sep 302015
 
Staycation Couple Ideas

Photo: Getty Images

Think you'll figure out how to make your marriage work as you go along? That's one way to do it, sure. But, "starting healthy habits before marriage can mean the difference between a marriage that thrives and lasts and a marriage that crumbles and ends in divorce," says Janet Ong Zimmerman, relationship coach and the founder of Love for Successful Women. "Cultivating healthy habits builds a strong foundation so that when issues come up, both individuals are more skilled at resolving them in a respectful and considerate manner." So if you're ready to start working toward a happy and healthy marriage now, here's five habits you can work to develop.

1. Make your partner and relationship a priority.
Your partner will come first after you tie the knot, and practicing making him a priority now will help you "experience and enjoy a deeper connection," explains Zimmerman.

2. Give each other freedom.
Making one another a priority will mean a lot of one-on-one time. But "it's just as important to let each other freely do the things you love, as long as they are ethical and moral," says Zimmerman. "By living your own lives — pursuing hobbies, interests, spending time with friends — you both find your happiness within rather than expecting your sole happiness to come from each other. And when you come together, your individual experiences enrich your relationship."

See More: Simple Ways to Get to Know Your Spouse Better After You Tie the Knot

3. Foster open communication.
It's easy to be honest when the going's good. But practicing honest and open communication is an important skill to have mastered for when things get challenging, says Lisa Kift, Larkspur, California-based marriage therapist and founder of Love and Life Toolbox. "Couples should learn to share their feelings and tackle conflict effectively," she says. "Learning to express frustration, anger or upset in a productive way is the key to avoiding built-up resentment in your marriage."

4. Take responsibility.
"Marriage is an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve into your best selves," describes Zimmerman. "In challenging times, the best thing you can do is take responsibility for your role in the situation and do what you can to make things right. Blaming your partner perpetuates unhealthy dynamics and keeps you both from what's most important — resolving things in a respectful manner." But taking responsibility doesn't just count behind closed doors. "Taking responsibility also means being responsible for the way you treat your partner in front of others," she says. "Always say nice things about him and if you're not able to, don't say anything at all."

5. Check in with each other.
You may experience this as your dating, and many go-go-go couples see this happen in their marriages: "When life gets busy, it's easy for couples to become ships passing in the night," Kift describes. "Be sure to carve out time to see how the other is doing, ask how they are feeling, and if there's anything they would like to discuss related to your relationship. This makes your partner feel like they and the relationship matters."

Would You Send a Bill to Someone Who Didn’t Show Up to Your Wedding?

 Celebrity, Etiquette, News, Wedding Etiquette  Comments Off on Would You Send a Bill to Someone Who Didn’t Show Up to Your Wedding?
Sep 302015
 
Wedding Guest Bill

Photo: KARE 11 via Facebook

Imagine your babysitter cancels and you regrettably have to miss a friend's wedding. Weeks later, you see a funny note in the mail: It's a bill charging you for the meal you should've been enjoying at the wedding. That's exactly what happened to one Minnesota woman, Jessica Baker, who shared the invoice of $75.90 with her local TV station KARE 11.

The reason Baker had to bail last minute was because her mother, who was supposed to watch her children at the "no kids" wedding, had something come up last minute. With no one left to watch the little ones, she and her husband were forced to cancel.

See more: Watch This Woman Drop a Baby to Catch a Bouquet

The newlywed couple, though, wants them to make up for the two uneaten "Herb Crusted Walleye," stating on the invoice. "This cost reflects the amount paid by bride and groom for meals that were RSVPd for; reimbursement and explanation for no show, card, call, or text would be appreciated."

The bride and groom have a point: Not showing up last minute is never a good thing, but life happens, and there are always a few no-shows. This bill does raise a few big wedding etiquette concerns — especially when couples are laying a lot of money on the line to ensure their guests have a good time. Baker says she threw the bill away immediately.

What would you do if someone skipped your wedding — would you charge them? Or, if you received a bill for a last-minute cancellation, would you pay it? Sound off on Facebook!

A Breathtakingly Romantic Wedding in the Hills of Tuscany

 Destination Weddings, Real Weddings  Comments Off on A Breathtakingly Romantic Wedding in the Hills of Tuscany
Sep 302015
 
Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Ceremony View

Photo: Jose Villa

Andrea and Adam's love story has taken them all over the world. The couple met in Las Vegas (she was there for a trade show, he was competing in the World Series of Poker), then, after a few months of long-distance dating, Andrea left Seattle and joined Adam in Miami. For Andrea's 30th birthday in 2012, Adam surprised her with a trip to Italy — and then proposed in Milan! "I felt like I was in a movie," says Andrea. They started planning a wedding in Miami, but the bride and groom changed their minds and decided to invite just 20 guests to an intimate celebration in Italy, instead. Andrea fell in love with Podere Due Scale, a 1,000-year-old villa in Val d'Orcia, Tuscany, surrounded by rolling hills, sunflowers, and sleepy Italian villages — perfect for the romantic, rustic wedding they were dreaming of.

With such a remote destination, the couple used the villa as their home base for a long weekend with their guests, touring nearby vineyards, taking a cooking class, and enjoying the romantic getaway. They worked with as many local vendors as they could, but brought a few spectacular professionals with them from the States, including the insanely talented JCG Events and Jose Villa, who perfectly captured a wedding that feels straight out of a storybook.

Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, White and Gold Wedding Invitation Suite Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Welcome Bag

Photo: Jose Villa

It all began with the invitations, which featured a delicate design with rose gold details. The envelope was lined with a map of the region, pointing to where Adam proposed in Milan and the villa's location.

When guests arrived, they received a welcome bag full of local products, including cookies made by the same baker who made the wedding cake, local olive oil, and an Italian phrasebook.

Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, White Christian Louboutin Pumps Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Strapless Monique Lhuillier Wedding Dress Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Romantic Bouquet with Ranunculus and Garden Roses Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Tom Ford Tux Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Rustic Boutonniere

Photo: Jose Villa

Andrea's wedding-day look was incredibly classic. Her gown was a trumpet Monique Lhuillier design, with Chantilly lace and an embroidered tulle overlay. She paired the wedding dress with white Christian Louboutin pumps and moonstone earrings. Her romantic bouquet combined garden roses, ranunculus, and seeded eucalyptus, wrapped in a gold ribbon.

Adam was equally chic in a bespoke Tom Ford tuxedo and Prada shoes. His boutonniere was comprised of scabiosa pods and eucalyptus.

Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Couple's Dog Ace in Mini Tux Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Dog Ring Bearer

Photo: Jose Villa

In addition to their 20 guests, Andrea and Adam brought their dog, Ace, to Tuscany to serve as the ring bearer. He wore a miniature tuxedo that the bride found on Etsy.

Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Outdoor Ceremony with Rustic Wood Chuppah Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Olive Leaf Toss for After Ceremony Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Couple Exchanging Vows Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Bride and Groom Portrait

Photo: Jose Villa

The ceremony took place on the villa's cobblestone patio, overlooking the hills of Tuscany. A rustic wooden chuppah was covered with a scalloped lace canopy, and a gold and crystal chandelier hung from the beams. Small pouches were filled with olive leaves, which guests tossed to celebrate the newlyweds. The ceremony programs detailed the traditions included in the couple's Jewish wedding, which was officiated by a rabbi that the bride and groom brought with them from Miami.

Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Reception Decor with White Lanterns Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Cheer Acrylic Ghost Chairs

Photo: Jose Villa

Cocktail hour took place on the lawn, where an ancient tree was strung with white lanterns. Guests snacked on burrata caprese, focaccia with leeks and raisins, and local artisanal cheeses as they sipped the Double A, a pear nectar mimosa garnished with fresh thyme.

The single long dinner table was set beneath a clear-topped tent, with the sides kept open to give everyone a view of the vineyards that surrounded the property. Acrylic ghost chairs were a modern complement to the rustic farm tables.

Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Low Floral Centerpieces with Candles Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Romantic Place Settings Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Round Centerpiece with Pale Florals Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Bride and Groom Chair Decorations

Photo: Jose Villa

A lace runner was topped with ornate candle sticks, votives, and low, lush arrangements of roses and ranunculus. At each guest's seat was a menu detailing the five-course tasting menu of asparagus risotto, salmon skewers with beetroot puree, and grilled sea bass with rosemary potatoes and a fennel and orange salad. "The wine and Champagne poured freely all night," says Andrea of the indulgent meal.

The bride and groom's chairs were draped with garlands of olive leaves, seeded eucalyptus, garden roses, and ranunculus.

Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, White and Gold Wedding Cake with Sugar Flower

Photo: Jose Villa

For the final course, the couple cut into a white-and-gold wedding cake topped with a single sugar peony. Beneath the fondant, lemon cake was paired with wild berry mascarpone cream. Cake was served alongside almond biscuits and vin santo, a local dessert wine.

Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Intimate Reception Space Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, A Monogram Made from Candles

Photo: Jose Villa

An acoustic guitar duo played throughout dinner. "We decided to skip dancing and focus on the intimate dinner," says Andrea. The one exception was Andrea and Adam's first dance to "Moon River," which was played by the string quartet that accompanied the cocktail hour.

Andrea and Adam's wedding planner helped design a double "A" monogram, which was displayed on the lawn with over 500 votive candles.

Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Wish Lanterns Romantic Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Bride and Groom Outside

Photo: Jose Villa

After dinner, guests gathered to release wish lanterns before heading into the villa for more Brunello and conversation.

After such an incredible trip to Italy, you'd think the newlyweds would head home to relax, but the globe-trotting couple wasn't done yet. Two weeks after they returned to the U.S. from Italy, they hopped on a plane again for an African safari!

"Don't be afraid to cut down on the guest list!" says Andrea. "For us, having a smaller wedding was a way to keep the focus on what was truly important: Celebrating this huge life event surrounded by the people we are closest with in life. Every person who was with us that day has unconditionally loved and supported us and our relationship."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Podere Due Scale || Wedding Planner: JCG Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier || Shoes: Christian Louboutin || Jewelry: Charm & Chain || Hair & Makeup: Lara Navarrini || Groom's Attire: Tom Ford || Florist: La Rosa Canina || Invitations & Paper Goods: JCG Events || Calligraphy: Marge Allmand Calligraphy || Music: Alma Project || Catering: Cooking in Toscana || Cake: L'Arte Della Torta Di Melanie Secciani || Rentals: Preludio Noleggio, Unearthed Vintage, Nuage Designs || Videography: Origami Videography || Photography: Jose Villa

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Want to see more from this beautiful destination wedding? Then check out more details in this couple's video, seen below!

Do You Have to Invite Out of Town Guests to Your Rehearsal Dinner

 Etiquette, Showers and Parties, Wedding Etiquette  Comments Off on Do You Have to Invite Out of Town Guests to Your Rehearsal Dinner
Sep 302015
 
Out of Town Guests at Rehearsal Dinner

Photo: Amber Gress

The perfect pre-wedding rehearsal dinner is an excellent opportunity for loved ones to meet, mingle, and celebrate the happy couple in anticipation of the main event. While there is no pre-ordained guest list for every pre-nuptial feast, the rehearsal dinner is often comprised of the wedding party, close friends, and family members. Guests who have traveled from afar to attend the big day, though, may expect to be entertained on their arrival. But is it really necessary to include all out of towners in the rehearsal dinner? Our etiquette experts weigh in on the issue.

Abiding by the rules of common courtesy would suggest that out of town guests should be invited to your rehearsal dinner, but there are usually more factors in play than a polite gesture. While handing out invitations to your weary travelers is thoughtful and considerate, you do need to consider other aspects of your rehearsal dinner. First, think of your rehearsal dinner venue's spatial limitations. If you are already at maximum capacity with your current guest list, inviting out of towners is simply out of the question. Also consider the finances of adding more people to the meal. If your wedding catering is a significant expense, keeping your rehearsal dinner intimate might be your best option.

See More: BRIDES Southern California: The Best Rehearsal Dinner Locations In New York

Finally, think about your relationship with the guests who are journeying from out of town to attend your wedding. You may not possess a close relationship with all of them, which could create an awkward situation at your rehearsal dinner. If you feel guilty for excluding out of towners from your dinner but cannot include them, you might consider providing a handy map of nearby attractions and eateries your guests can visit while your wedding party kicks off the celebration at the rehearsal dinner.

Demi Lovato Talks Engagement Rumors and Her Dream ‘Shabby Chic’ Wedding!

 Celebrity, Celebrity Weddings, Engagement, News  Comments Off on Demi Lovato Talks Engagement Rumors and Her Dream ‘Shabby Chic’ Wedding!
Sep 302015
 

A photo posted by Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) on

Thinking of a rustic-chic wedding for your upcoming nuptials? In a whimsical barn venue, perhaps? It turns out Demi Lovato has the same idea — even though she's not even engaged yet! In an interview with Complex magazine, the pop star opened about her relationship with her longtime boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama and if a special sparkler was going to be appearing on her finger anytime soon.

"We have been together for almost five years now, off and on," Lovato confirmed, according to E!, citing her struggles with addiction as a past point of contention in their relationship. "The only times that we were off was when I was not in a healthy state of mind, or he was like: 'I can't be with you until you get sober. I can't enable what you're doing right now.' So I did, and then that made our relationship so much stronger."

See More: Get Inspired: How to Add Rustic Touches to Your Wedding

While the couple now seems to be rock-solid and super supportive of one another — even through dark times — does that mean these two are ready to tie the knot? Not quite yet! But it does sound like Lovato has her Pinterest wedding board all set for when Valderrama decides to pop the question (ahem, like many of us...). "I love shabby chic [weddings]... I don't know if it would be in a barn, but I think I'd definitely want an outdoor wedding, with lights hanging in the trees," Lovato confessed. "With Wilmer, I'm the happiest that I've ever been, so that's all that matters to me."

Lovato may not be planning to wed anytime soon, but she will be walking down the aisle in the coming months! Her BFF Iggy Azalea has asked her to serve as bridesmaid at her upcoming wedding to Nick Young, says Hollywood Life, and Lovato was even by her side when Young popped the question early this summer! "Demi Lovato's gonna be one of my bridesmaids, and she better sing at my wedding," said Azalea. Think we can get an invite?

Demi Lovato Talks Engagement Rumors and Her Dream ‘Shabby Chic’ Wedding!

 Celebrity, Celebrity Weddings, Engagement, News  Comments Off on Demi Lovato Talks Engagement Rumors and Her Dream ‘Shabby Chic’ Wedding!
Sep 302015
 

A photo posted by Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) on

Thinking of a rustic-chic wedding for your upcoming nuptials? In a whimsical barn venue, perhaps? It turns out Demi Lovato has the same idea — even though she's not even engaged yet! In an interview with Complex magazine, the pop star opened about her relationship with her longtime boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama and if a special sparkler was going to be appearing on her finger anytime soon.

"We have been together for almost five years now, off and on," Lovato confirmed, according to E!, citing her struggles with addiction as a past point of contention in their relationship. "The only times that we were off was when I was not in a healthy state of mind, or he was like: 'I can't be with you until you get sober. I can't enable what you're doing right now.' So I did, and then that made our relationship so much stronger."

See More: Get Inspired: How to Add Rustic Touches to Your Wedding

While the couple now seems to be rock-solid and super supportive of one another — even through dark times — does that mean these two are ready to tie the knot? Not quite yet! But it does sound like Lovato has her Pinterest wedding board all set for when Valderrama decides to pop the question (ahem, like many of us...). "I love shabby chic [weddings]... I don't know if it would be in a barn, but I think I'd definitely want an outdoor wedding, with lights hanging in the trees," Lovato confessed. "With Wilmer, I'm the happiest that I've ever been, so that's all that matters to me."

Lovato may not be planning to wed anytime soon, but she will be walking down the aisle in the coming months! Her BFF Iggy Azalea has asked her to serve as bridesmaid at her upcoming wedding to Nick Young, says Hollywood Life, and Lovato was even by her side when Young popped the question early this summer! "Demi Lovato's gonna be one of my bridesmaids, and she better sing at my wedding," said Azalea. Think we can get an invite?

How to Tell a Friend She Can’t Bring a Plus-One

 Relationships, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on How to Tell a Friend She Can’t Bring a Plus-One
Sep 302015
 
what-single-girls-think.jpg

Photo: Getty Images

Despite what are likely very good reasons to disallow your best gal pal from bringing a date to your wedding, "it's always difficult to deliver bad news because we never want to disappoint our closest friends," says Irene S. Levine, Ph.D, psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine and producer of The Friendship Blog. "In fact, we want to go overboard in trying to make sure they enjoy our wedding day." So if you're not sure how to tell her she's got to attend solo without hurting her feelings or chances of having fun, we've got you covered.

First, don't wait until your friend receives your invitation to break the news. "Instead," Levine says, "let your friend know in advance that the invitation will be coming and doesn't include a plus-one." That'll keep her from feeling blindsided when she finally does get it in the mail.

See More: Topics You Should (and Shouldn't) Discuss with Your Friends Once You Get Married

Then, "explain that the decision wasn't personal but was a general policy that you applied to all plus-ones because you were constrained by cost and numbers of invitees" or any other factor, suggests Levine. "If that person hasn't been recently involved in planning a wedding, you might add how complicated wedding planning can get with two families involved."

You can further soften the blow and reduce her worry by assuring her "that you made efforts to find her a comfortable seating arrangement with people she knows at the reception, perhaps other singles," says Levine. "You might even add that you hope you can get together with the plus-one — if it's a new boyfriend or girlfriend — soon after the wedding."

Be prepared that at least initially your friend may be disappointed or downright unhappy. She may "need time to recoup," Levine says, and as she does, you can "remember the reasoning of how you came to this decision. A good friend should be able to move beyond her disappointment and support you on this special day. If she can't, it might suggest that the friend is more self-centered or selfish that you had hoped." Plus, she points out, "It could turn out that your friend would never have expected you to invite a plus-one and your worries turn out to be misplaced!"

How to Tell a Friend She Can’t Bring a Plus-One

 Relationships, Wedding Etiquette, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on How to Tell a Friend She Can’t Bring a Plus-One
Sep 302015
 
what-single-girls-think.jpg

Photo: Getty Images

Despite what are likely very good reasons to disallow your best gal pal from bringing a date to your wedding, "it's always difficult to deliver bad news because we never want to disappoint our closest friends," says Irene S. Levine, Ph.D, psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine and producer of The Friendship Blog. "In fact, we want to go overboard in trying to make sure they enjoy our wedding day." So if you're not sure how to tell her she's got to attend solo without hurting her feelings or chances of having fun, we've got you covered.

First, don't wait until your friend receives your invitation to break the news. "Instead," Levine says, "let your friend know in advance that the invitation will be coming and doesn't include a plus-one." That'll keep her from feeling blindsided when she finally does get it in the mail.

See More: Topics You Should (and Shouldn't) Discuss with Your Friends Once You Get Married

Then, "explain that the decision wasn't personal but was a general policy that you applied to all plus-ones because you were constrained by cost and numbers of invitees" or any other factor, suggests Levine. "If that person hasn't been recently involved in planning a wedding, you might add how complicated wedding planning can get with two families involved."

You can further soften the blow and reduce her worry by assuring her "that you made efforts to find her a comfortable seating arrangement with people she knows at the reception, perhaps other singles," says Levine. "You might even add that you hope you can get together with the plus-one — if it's a new boyfriend or girlfriend — soon after the wedding."

Be prepared that at least initially your friend may be disappointed or downright unhappy. She may "need time to recoup," Levine says, and as she does, you can "remember the reasoning of how you came to this decision. A good friend should be able to move beyond her disappointment and support you on this special day. If she can't, it might suggest that the friend is more self-centered or selfish that you had hoped." Plus, she points out, "It could turn out that your friend would never have expected you to invite a plus-one and your worries turn out to be misplaced!"

Can You Stay Engaged For Too Long?

 Engagement, Relationships, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on Can You Stay Engaged For Too Long?
Sep 302015
 
how-tog-get-ring-you-want-main.jpg

Photo: Getty Images

We've all heard a little saying that goes a little something like this: It's not the destination — it's the journey. But when it comes to your wedding, is that still the case? Or can you journey through your engagement for far too long?

Most wedding and relationship experts agree the majority of engagements span nine to 18 months. Longer than that, and an ongoing engagement "can keep you locked into a state of impermanence, without really tackling some of the heavy decisions that go into planning your future," warns Jane Greer, Ph.D., relationship expert and author of What About Me? How to Keep Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship.

She continues, "it keeps you living your life in the present, rather than laying down roots for the future. One of the things about getting married is planning a future together. If you just stay engaged, you're not building your life, but rather staying in the here and now."

See More: What Your Single Friends Really Think Of Your Engagement & Wedding Plans

Of course, points out psychotherapist and marriage therapist Karen Ruskin, a longer engagement means you get to know your future partner even better before you say "I do." She explains, "getting to know the person prior to marriage is advantageous so you can evaluate whether they are really a good fit for you." And that doesn't mean taking your time on the way to the proverbial altar could end in a breakup. "You can discover things you don't like about each other," Ruskin says, "but if your philosophy about marriage is to stick it out, you could be willing to work on your relationship rather than call it quits — and you'll have the time to do so."

From a planning perspective, a long-term engagement gives you "the luxury of being more structured, calm and thoughtful about each piece of the planning," says Julie Bunkley, owner and creative director of Invision Events. Of course, there's a less awesome flipside to that: "Many times, people who have a long time to plan get the thought process of, 'we have so much time! We can wait to do X, Y and Z,'" she warns.

At the end of the day, you have to decide what's right for you, experts agree. There are good and bad points to both short and long engagements — but the only thing that truly matters is that you're happy when you finally walk down the aisle.

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