Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is having a blast planning his upcoming nuptials to fiancée Lauren Pesce.
“We are in the sweet spot right now and having fun planning the wedding,” the Jersey Shore Family Vacation star tells PEOPLE at the Lunch with the Jersey Shore event at Little Dom’s restaurant in Los Angeles on Friday.
While Sorrentino, 35, admits that he’s been leaving most of the big decisions up to his bride-to-be, he says he’s really enjoyed checking out different venues — and tasting all those wedding cakes!
“I don’t think most guys realize how much goes into planning a wedding. I told her, ‘Babe, just do whatever you want to do,’ ” he adds.
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Sorrentino and Pesce, 33, who got engaged on Valentine’s Day, met in 2004 in college and dated for about four years, splitting before the original run of Jersey Shore premiered in 2009. After the MTV series wrapped in 2012, they rekindled the romance and have been together for over four years.
While Pesce previously told PEOPLE the couple didn’t “have a date” picked out yet, she revealed the couple’s “dream was always to go to the motherland and get married in Italy.”
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Sorrentino, who is also celebrating 30 months of sobriety, went on to tell PEOPLE that his time with his Jersey Shore castmates was vastly different this time around.
“I was able to make good decisions, stay faithful to my girlfriend back home and stay positive,” he remarks. “I was definitely a little worried about going to the clubs with these guys who can drink and being back in that environment, but I was able to do it.”
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Sorrentino, who has battled with a prescription painkiller addiction in the past, previously told PEOPLE that he credits his fiancée with helping him turn his life around.
“What I dreamed of, the expectations I had set for him, him getting healthy and sober — I didn’t know that our relationship would survive had those miracles not happened, and they did,” Pesce said. “He put in the hard work and thanks to the faith in God that we have, we’re in the position we’re in today.”
“She’s definitely my better half and the reason why I strive to be the best version of myself and to fight for our future,” Sorrentino added. “And to show a good example to her, her family and everyone watching — because my life has been under a microscope. I have a lot to prove.”
And as Sorrentino awaits his June 20 sentencing after pleading guilty to tax evasion in a New Jersey federal court in January, he’s maintaining a positive outlook and is hoping for the best — even though he’s facing up to five years in prison.
“I’ve done everything in my power to better myself,” he told PEOPLE prior to the season premiere of Jersey Shore Family Vacation. “I really feel that I’m in the best situation possible.”
“We should receive some closure,” he added. “And I’ll try to move forward with my life.”
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