My brother was engaged to a rather nice girl in our congregation back in the early sixties. During the engagement they decided that they wanted to call off the wedding. The same elder who counselled me not to go to college told them that they could not break their engagement as, "Being engaged is the same as being married." I think he used the reasoning that Joseph considering divorcing Mary when he found out she was pregant even though she was only promised in marriage. Matt. 1:19. They went through with the wedding, and what a miserable marriage they had. Not much later a pioneer sister and her fiance broke their engagement, and no one seemed to think it was a problem.
I still seethe when I think of how drastically he affected our lives.
Yup I remember that policy. When I was engaged way back in 1970 we were told that the engagement was like marriage except for the sex and living in the same place.
The really odd thing to add to the insanity of wedding rules was that we had our legal wedding on Friday night and the JW wedding wasn't until Saturday (In Quebec at the time JWs could not perform marriages so we had a United Church minister perform the legal wedding)
So legally we were wed. But the elders told us we could not be together on the Friday night because we did not have our scriptural wedding. If we had gone off together and had sex on the Friday night when we were legally married, we would have been DFed for having sex outside of marriage.