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An engagement or betrothal is the relationship between two people who want to get married, and also the period of time between a marriage proposal and a marriage. During this period, a couple is said to be fiancés (from the French), betrothed, intended, affianced, engaged to be married, or simply engaged. Future brides and grooms may be called fiancée (feminine) or fiancé (masculine), the betrothed, a wife-to-be or husband-to-be, respectively. The duration of the courtship varies vastly, and is largely dependent on cultural norms or upon the agreement of the parties involved.
Long engagements were once common in formal arranged marriages, and it was not uncommon for parents betrothing children to arrange marriages many years before the engaged couple were old enough. This is still common in some countries.