06/18/2012 10:54 am ET Updated Aug 19, 2012

The Wedding Planning Timeline No One Talks About

My fiancé and I have been engaged for nearly two years now, which hardly makes us experts in wedding planning, but it does make us nearly savant at thinking about wedding planning.

I like to joke that we share a studio so we're practically married anyway. This remark sometimes earns a polite, passing laugh, but is usually met with a gasp of pity from any female who assumes that the date is not set because I'm in an abusive relationship, with a partner who put a ring on it simply to stop me from whining, but who has no intention of ever sharing healthcare. When I assure these ladies-in-waiting that the delay is my doing, they think I'm a staunch feminist. Or a hipster who doesn't believe in the sanctity of marriage because I like the way it sounds to say so. Or not in love.

Brides are supposed to follow a specific wedding-planning timeline, prescribed by magazines everywhere. These charts tell us that if we don't have our dream place cards ordered by month one then we're already behind. Those of us who didn't start scrapbooking images of taffeta and pearls the day we got our first period are on our own sluggish schedule. For the damsels who worry that they're missing the bridal gene because they never thought to create a Pinterest page of dress-piration, but still don't want to be told it's too late to plan an enchanted wedding, this timeline is for you!

Week 1: Instagram photo of ring. Tweet, tumble, and draw it with friends. Alert bridal party to man their battle stations. Champagne toast.

Week 2: Endure every female you know (and some that you don't) pulling on your left hand without permission. Note to yourself you'll hate this when you're pregnant and it's your protruding tummy in question. Smile graciously while they comment on the size of the "rock" and watch as they try to calculate your betrothed's worth. Regurgitate proposal story approximately 39 times. Try your best not to feel guilty that you're the one with the ring instead of the singletons spitting out forced "awwws!" Maybe they are happy for you.

Week 3: Have dreaded budget talk. Ask your respective parents for money. Drink excessively.

Week 4: Make lists of buzz words that fit your theme criteria. "Barn." "Bucolic." "Fairy lights." "Elegant" "Sh*t Show." Discretely Google search venues at work.

Week 6: Sport an eyelet dress to visit venues with fiancé plus overly opinionated mom. Feign enthusiasm over site planner's sales pitch, oohing on cue. Agree that raw bar is a senseless price gouge but $75 per guest on mashed potato bar is a must. Picture spending the most magical four hours of your life here. Discard marketing materials.

Week 10: Select idyllic manor house on Long Island (where you swore you'd never wed). Convince yourself it's worth spending 50K on 120 servings of chicken franchise, fatty beef and requisite pasta course.

Week 11: Watch "Father of the Bride, Part 2." Ask dad for more money.

Week 12: Discuss with cohort your vision for the save-the-date photo shoot. Something whimsical yet ironic. Remember you haven't started wedding detox-diet. Settle on e-card.

Week 14: Fight over officiant. Promise Catholic mom that no "Jewish hats" will be worn during the inter-faith ceremony. Ignore recently ordained mother-in-law-to be's suggestion that she officiate it herself.

Week 18: Buy bulk candy to fill tote bags for all 12 guests staying at the nearby Holiday Inn Express after the wedding. Sample. Fantasize about tequila shots at the lobby bar after-party. Wonder why you don't just get married at a saloon.

Week 19: Decide you're too anxious to spend a year planning a six-hour event that focuses so much attention on you. Decide on a destination wedding weekend. Piss off in-laws. Stop fighting with fiancé now that you realize your two opinions are the only ones that matter. Remember a wedding is just a party but a marriage is forever. Wince at writing that.