real life

The longer the engagement, the less likely the wedding.

Brian and Delta in happier times

Kate Hunter writes: “The nation is reeling with the news that Delta Goodrem and Brian McFadden’s engagement is over.

There will be no wedding. And it would have been a doozy – they had THREE YEARS to decide on the flowers and choose between the sandcrab roulade and the duck wontons.

Surely that’s what an engagement is all about, isn’t it? It’s time for planning. You get engaged, your girlfriends squeal over your ring and you start arguing about whether or not you have to invite your cousins from Albany. Of course, if you’re famous like Delta and Brian you begin fielding offers from weekly magazines for the photo exclusive.

But what happens when the engagement drags on? Weeks turn into months and months into years. Your dream dress on the cover of  ‘Bride’ is now classed as vintage and your flower girls start university. Friends are feeling ripped off because they clubbed together to buy you a $300 salad bowl for your engagement party and you’re now using it for loose change and car keys. People are losing interest and sadly, so are you.

These days longer engagements seem to be the norm – more a way to say, ‘Hey everyone, we’re off the market,’ than, ‘Give us a couple of months and we’ll be the ones with confetti in our hair.’

I’m of the opinion that an engagement should last no longer than it takes organise a wedding – I see that as being between 6 and 12 months. Even Prince William and Kate Middleton’s nuptials are being pulled together in 6 months. Granted, they have exclusive rights to a number of cathedrals and a nice selection of palaces to choose from as reception venues, but you take my point.

So what is an engagement anyway? Is it a commitment to make a commitment? Time to test the relationship waters or a great excuse for a party and a nice piece of jewelry? In your experience, is there any correlation between the length of an engagement and the success of a marriage?”