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Has anyone planned a wedding before officially being engaged?

Hi all

I know it all sounds very odd but my DP and I have been together 18 months and we've spoken about the future and marriage etc and yesterday he had a very cryptic talk with me.

Basically we were talking about when we'd like to get married and I said I love the idea of getting married on 29th February 2020. It's just such a random date and he loved the idea too.

I am genuinely not fussed about the whole big day (I've been married before) so we've spoken about going abroad just us to get married then having a big party when we get home - perfect.

My DP is waiting for some money to come through in order to buy my ring. I've said to him I don't need a fancy ring but he's set on getting me the right one hence having to wait for this money.

We spoke yesterday and he asked about how long in advance would we need to book the wedding/holiday and I explained the sooner the better. That's when he said could we perhaps book it knowing that the ring will come soon.

I think I'm fine with this as I love my holidays so even if we didn't officially marry on the holiday, we'd still have a nice trip but there is that slight idea in the back of my mind that says it's all a bit odd to book a wedding/holiday when you're not engaged.

I wouldn't tell anyone what we've booked until we're engaged so I don't worry about what people think. I think I'm worried about it being 'bad luck'. is that just silly?

Money for the holiday wise is fine as we have our joint savings that'll pay for it but obviously DP doesn't want to use this to buy my ring.

What do you think?


  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride
    If you've agreed to get married, you're engaged. That's all there is to it really.
  • Thanks I like your logic :-)
  • Yup, as MrsCToBee said, if yiou are planning a wedding, youre engaged. The "formal" asking of the question is literally just a formality many like to do but has zero bearing on anything. 

    My friend last year got engaged around june/july but didnt get a ring until christmas, they had still planned 90% of the wedding by that point! 
  • Thanks so much ladies. I'm loving these comments.

    We have no idea where to choose to get married though! How do you pluck a country out of thin air??

  • I'm afraid i dont have any experience with that, but personally id start by looking at what countries its easiest to legally get married in (if you want it to be legal over there - if not you can do the legal bit here and then go out) then maybe just have a browse for where is the kind of look you're going for? Also maybe worth taking into account how touristy the area is and time of year, as some places prices will pretty much double in school holidays! 
  • annipooannipoo Posts: 313 New bride
    Haha when I read the subject I assumed you were going to be some nutter trying to trick her other half into a wedding! I absolutely agree with the other ladies, if you've already discussed it and you both agree then it's totally ok to start booking the wedding, the ring is just a nice shiny formality! :smile:
  • OMG do people really do that @annipoo? Nope not crazy, just unorthodox it feels.

    It's a minefield trying to pick a country! I started off with the following but some are already out of scope (such work terminology lol)

    Mexico - out due to the seaweed issues

    Mauritius - I'm on the fence as it's their rainy season so I'm worried

    St Lucia - seems out of budget

    Dominican Republic - I like this one but worried about all the deaths recently

    Caribbean cruise - love this idea but they are usually only one week long so it would mean getting married on Saturday then disembark early the next day however this isn't a bad thing as we could then fly somewhere from Miami for a beach holiday.

  • annipooannipoo Posts: 313 New bride
    @beckyboo1986 It wouldn't surprise me if someone has. My uncle's wife got fed up waiting for a proposal so she just bought her own ring then told him how much he owed her, so I suppose that's not too different.

    Good luck narrowing down your location, we're getting married about 15 miles from our house so no fancy destination wedding. 
  • @beckyboo1986 I wouldn't discount Mexico because of seaweed.  Most resorts over their are 5* and employ people purely to walk up and down the beach clearing the seaweed up all day!  I have been twice there, once in March and this yr in February and it was stunning, perfect weather & scenery.  We saw lots of weddings, many like you suggest are just the couple with a couple of witnesses, and they looked beautiful.
  • Thanks for the replies. We're just being cheeky having the wedding and honeymoon in one as my partner doesn't like the idea of being centre of attention for a whole day bless him.

    That's lovely to hear @MrsMinMarch2016 I will keep looking at Mexico then. I've been to Mexico a few times and loved it so it would be nice to return. The resorts are incredible!

  • Yes, that’s exactly what we are doing.  We want to get married just the two of us overseas, so plan to get engaged a couple of months before the wedding to try and keep it secret just a little bit longer.  It’s fun but I had no idea how much there was to do when doing it all on our own...feeling a combination of excited and overwhelmed!
  • Yes, that’s exactly what we are doing.  We want to get married just the two of us overseas, so plan to get engaged a couple of months before the wedding to try and keep it secret just a little bit longer.  It’s fun but I had no idea how much there was to do when doing it all on our own...feeling a combination of excited and overwhelmed!
  • Have just hopped on and seen this, and felt like I had to reply as lots of aspects are so similar to us! We literally booked our wedding venue 9 months before we told anyone, and we weren't "officially engaged" we told everyone at a big family meal, and my OH only officially proposed a couple of days before the meal. Nobody knows how long we'd had the venue booked for! I think in this day and age it's not uncommon at all, if you've been together a while and the marriage is essentially just a formality/nice thing to show your commitment, then I think it's really common to have already planned parts of your wedding before one of you actually proposes.

    Weirdly enough, we're getting married on 29th Feb 2020! It's part of the reason we booked it so early, because we loved the idea of it being that date so much, and it falling on a Saturday just felt like it was meant to be, so we didn't want to risk our dream venue being booked by someone else on that date!

    Anyway, good luck with all your planning! 
  • I’d like to add my 2 cents, to balance out the opinions here (and since you have asked😊 ). You have only been together for 18 months and obviously you have discussed the future, like all couples do, but seeing that you have been married before and it didn’t work out, what’s the rush this time? In my opinion, discussing the intention to get married while the relationship is relatively new and exciting isn’t at all the same as committing to get married. 

    I also don’t get the whole elopement without even the nearest and dearest there. I would be devastated as a parent if I didn’t see my child get married. But to each their own, do what makes you and partner happy.
  • Isn’t it in Mexico that you need to get a blood test done to be tested for STDs before you are allowed to get married? has all the info on legalities and requirements for UK citizens getting married abroad, unless you plan to just have the pretend ceremony (which I struggle to understand the point of, apart from pretty photos). 
  • AmabeabrideAmabeabride Posts: 16 New bride
    edited September 2019
    Hi @beckyboo1986,

    I echo the other ladies thoughts about it being fine to plan the wedding.  If you are both on the same page and have discussed it, then the ring is just a formality.  I think we hear so much about 'the proposal' but there are many other couples. especially when they have been together a while who don't do the whole formal proposal.

    I'm not sure what your budget is, but St.Lucia can be affordable if you look at other hotels besides ones like Sandals.  Most of them do marriage packages with the basic ones thrown in if you're staying at the resort.

    I'm getting married there next month but not doing a hotel package but did research a lot of them and visited different hotels.
    Just do what works for both of you, as it's your special day!
    Good luck with your decisions!
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