The Summer 2018 Guide to Planning Your Dream Wedding and Swallowing That Last Bit of Yourself That Held Onto Your Most Secret and Sacred Dreams

 Stay Organized

Between the guest list, the registry, and all the vendors to manage, you’ll have a lot of balls in the air, but that shouldn’t be a problem for you! Heck, by junior year of high school, you already had written your college application essays, found a boyfriend on the wrestling team, won a national merit scholarship, and bought a black bra. So this won’t be any different! You just have to stay one step ahead of the curve, which you’ve done this whole time! The wedding is already in the pipeline. And since your promotion, you’ve been saving a bit of money every month, which will help when you and Brian start looking for a house. Hopefully, your parents will be able to help you with a down payment. But first, you need to choose a florist.

Start a Checklist

Once you’ve got your wedding date nailed down, create a checklist to figure out what your to-dos and must-haves are. Don’t stress yourself out by setting goals that might prove to be unrealistic. The invitations might look more purple than pink once they’re actually printed up, or those little Japanese lanterns might be out of budget. Although Brian’s dad is an actuary, and they make good money. That’s one of the good things about Brian. But the point is, the checklist is just a rough guide to keep you on track, not a master plan. It’s not like Brian ticked all the boxes on the list you gave him when you were first dating. He started shaving his back. He bought a pair of pants that didn’t have an elastic waistband. What does it matter if he still insists on making that Buffalo Chicken Cheese Dip whenever we’re invited to a party? Adulthood is a series of compromises between your childhood dreams and the world as it actually is, so don’t worry if your first choice of caterer is booked. You’ll thank yourself later—promise.

Divide and Conquer

You and your partner should both be involved every step of the way. Though, it goes without saying, with the proper supervision. Brian’s never been one for details. But it’s not like he isn’t a hard worker. You could ask Ariel to help, if you really get stuck. You could tell her Brian is too busy with work. Of course, she might not buy that, since David is a lawyer. But still, she doesn’t know what sales is like. Brian could be busy. And he’s tweeting those movie reviews now. That takes time, especially since he’s not just reviewing Marvel movies anymore. He even has twenty followers now. Sure, half of them are Russian prostitutes, but it’s boosting his visibility. And it’s creative, kinda. What does Ariel’s husband do that’s so creative? Actually, she tells me David is a pretty good amateur sculptor. God, can you imagine? Brian did finally go with you to that pottery class, but he’s just not good with his hands. You knew that going in, though.

Be Flexible and Fair

Maybe he doesn’t want to wear a tux, and you don’t really want his friend Jerry to officiate. Each of you is going to want things the other doesn’t care for, but if you both keep your sights set on the bigger picture, you’ll be just fine. That’s a good mantra, actually. Just keep repeating that. When Brian’s drug dealer comes over and doesn’t stop leering at you, think about how Brian always offers to do the dishes when you cook. When you catch him looking at Pornhub on his phone in bed, just remember how he drinks only on weekends now (Thursday is practically Friday, like he said, since he only works half-days in the summer). When you suggest he start a blog for his movie reviews, and he shrugs and says he didn’t even want to do the Tweets in the first place, remember that you’re not getting any younger, and he really does love you. Life isn’t about getting everything you want. You’ve got a great job at McKinsey, no student debt, and your metabolism hasn’t slowed down very much. Plus, the guy at the golf course said they could wait to turn on the sprinklers till after the ceremony.

Make it Fun!

This is the most special day of your life! Or one of the most special. There’s no quicker way to ruin your fun than getting too caught up in your own head to be in the moment. You don’t want to be standing up there with Brian, worrying if you’re just checking boxes for the sake of it. Remember what Dr. Rothstein said about negative thought loops clouding our innate capacity for pure happiness. What about that day you rented a paddleboat at the lake? That was pretty fun. Brian’s a great guy to do things like that with, and not only because he has huge thighs. Aw, Brian’s putting on The Office. See? He can be really thoughtful. You’re lucky to have found him when you did. Your wedding will be great. Just don’t forget to smile!