The top vendors and venues are booked at least a year in advance, so the question is, what happens if you want a short engagement?Planning a wedding six months out leaves you with little to choose from, and less flexibility on dates.
The truth of the situation is no one knows when you booked your venue. Your guests will not come through the receiving line and ask, "What date did you reserve your photographer?" Although there is an excitement surrounding the search for your venue once you officially have the ring on your finger, there is a practicality in securing your number one venue with enough time so you can host your ideal wedding.
If you have visions of a summer wedding and July is approaching quicker than expected, you might want to consider putting your thoughts together for places and people you want to use. I am not suggesting to lose any of the romance or surprise of getting engaged, but if you know that you will be engaged in the next few months through discussions with your man, and you would rather have a short engagement than have to wait another year and a half for your desired date, you want to be prepared!
I would caution you, many venues require down payments for saving the date for your wedding. If you do begin to plan pre-engagement make sure that you are both fully on the same page and realize the risk of losing the deposit in case your plans change.
Enjoy every moment of the planning process and start preparing when you are ready. There are no rules to when is the right or wrong time. It is your relationship and you can create your own timing! If there is a photographer or venue that you know you want, and you want a short engagement, do not hesitate to begin the planning pre-engagement!