Wedding: How To: The Big Merge

It’s time to play nice and learn to share all over again

As a bride-to-be, you spend a lot of your time planning. Planning, that is, for one day of your life. But the truth is, planning for the days after your wedding — you know, for that thing you’re entering into called marriage — is even more important. Because when the wedding is over and the dreamy honeymoon fog lifts, there’s a big reality staring newly married couples in the face: Suddenly, you’re supposed to share everything of yours with someone else. And he’s supposed to do the same.

Even if you’ve been living with your new mate for years, being officially married comes with some officially grown-up questions: Do you change your name? Do you share bank accounts? And if you’re only just now shacking up, there are even more: What closet can I hide — I mean, put — his DVDs in? Where will my shoes go? Why does he have so many stupid concert t-shirts?

[sidebar]To help you get this new era of your life off on the right, harmonious track, we talked to a bunch of local experts to get their advice on how to handle the nitty-gritty of merging your lives — and how to approach the more sensitive topics with, well, sensitivity. While they all had lots of great advice, they also all had one priceless piece of wisdom in common: Talk it out now, before it turns into something ugly.