There's no denying that being engaged is a wonderfully momentous and exciting chapter in the life of a soon-to-be married couple. Whether you've been together several years or only a few months, getting engaged signals taking a major leap forward in your relationship. It means you've chosen to spend the rest of your life with this person—what could be more meaningful and intimate than that? Not much, which is why most couples say the engagement period is one of the happiest times of their lives.
One of the best parts about being engaged for Victoria C., who hails from Chicago, Illinois, is finally being able to wear the heirloom engagement ring that she had her eye on her entire life. "My diamond engagement ring is actually a family heirloom passed down from my grandmother! It's so meaningful to be able to wear something that has been in our family for generations," she says. "As the ultimate symbol of authenticity and love, every time I look down and see my natural diamond shining back at me, I'm reminded of my grandmother—it's something I will treasure forever."
For Angela W. the best part about being engaged so far has been the fact that friends, family members, and perfect strangers take her relationship much more seriously. "We were already living together and expecting a child when we got engaged (at our baby shower!), so it felt a little bit more like 'playing house' than actually being in a long-term, committed partnership," she says. "For some reason, I'm more open and comfortable with my partner now because the engagement has given me a sense of more security."
Courtney D., who lives in Boston, Massachusetts, also appreciates the more intimate qualities being engaged brings about in her relationship. "When you're dating, there's quite a bit of risk taken by each person and being fully vulnerable as well as sharing feelings—both the good and the bad—isn't always easy," she says. "Since getting engaged, Chris and I celebrate the comfort of knowing that we've committed our lives to each other everyday and forever and have also found an appreciation for understanding what makes each of us happy—whether it is planning a boys' trip or a day at the spa, we genuinely care about encouraging each other to focus on self-care."
Pilaar T., from Santa Monica, California, got engaged this past November. She and her now-fiancé Michael were traveling to Palm Springs to celebrate Thanksgiving with both sides of their family. The two say that the support they get from one another is one of the very best parts about being engaged. "Yes, wedding planning can be difficult, but knowing that we have the liberty to make our wedding as non-traditional and fun as we are is really exciting," she says. "The feeling that you've made the right decision and found your person is tantamount. I can't imagine my life without him from here on out, it's such a sense of calm and security."
Emily W. and Connor G., from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are enjoying the venue hunting chapter of their engagement. "We love going to venue open houses to sample the food!" she says. "We make a fun little date night out of going to tastings, wedding expos, and samplings. It's a lot of fun telling our story again to new people we meet at these events—it never gets old." The couple considers themselves to be low-key, but admit that they do love experiencing some of the fancier open houses that come with seeking new vendors for our big day.
For Alysia S., from Laguna Beach, California, the engagement period has been what she describes to be a "conversational unicorn"—this magical, elusive thing that brightens up any room once you bring it up or flash your sparkly ring. "Whenever I find myself in a somewhat uncomfortable conversation with a stranger, I can instantly upshift things by blurting out, 'I'm engaged!' In fact, I managed to work in that I'm engaged during a recent divisive political debate with the passenger next to me on a long flight and poof, we're blissfully talking rainbows, butterflies, and diamonds. It immediately brings everyone to a happy time in their lives and it's truly a relatable topic!" But the magic doesn't stop there, according to Alysia. "Of course, the very best part of it all is the anticipation and excitement that leads up to us promising our love and lives to each other, but, I have to admit, if we had known it was this much fun, we may have extended our engagement a little longer."