Thus grief still treads upon the heels of pleasure:
Married in haste, we may repent at leisure.
The Old Batchelour, 1693:
One of the biggest mistakes people make in marriage is haste. A trip to Vegas, or a rush to a Justice of the peace and suddenly you are in a legal relationship whose failure can cost you plenty.
A long engagement means that you get time to know each other, to spend time with each other, to see how others react in a crisis, to test your judgement. It also gives time to see how you act in conflict because conflicts WILL arise and you need to see how these will be handled.
Now by a long engagement I don’t mean living together, While that does provide some preview of coming events it becomes very easy to fall into the “it’s just a piece of paper” trap, which I will address in a future tip.
In the catholic Church there are meetings and marriage preparation that take place, these allows you to consider things that you have not advised by a person who deals with families every day and has seen marriages work and fail. This is an invaluable tool and a long engagement gives time for it to be used.
Additionally a long engagement give extra time to plan the Wedding date to maximize the chance of distant guests to attend, to give wiggle room in case an issue comes up and to be sure that your Wedding day is a memorable one.
The idea is to have a single wedding day in one’s lifetime, so take the time to make it a good one and it will help make it last.