So, you're getting hitched?! That's great! Congratulations! But when you come down from the clouds and hit the ground with the inevitable thud, just be prepared to take off in a sprint because girl - we've got a lot to do!

First things first - have you decided where you're getting married? This is the very next step you need to take early in the planning process. Outdoor weddings are always beautiful, as is someone's palatial home. Maybe you could hit the boss up to donate his digs after that stinky raise he gave you. If you have a generous budget, I've seen some beautiful weddings take place at bed and breakfast inns, or you could do something more contemporary at a hotel - both of which can also accommodate your reception immediately afterwards.

Of course, there is always the preferred traditional choice - the church wedding ceremony. Wait a sec. Let's pause at that last word - "ceremony." In Webster's New World Dictionary, the meaning of the word translates to, "a set of formal acts proper to a special occasion, as a religious rite." In essence - a service. And since the ceremony is being held in a church, it is naturally understood to be a worship service. Although with a few of the services I've directed, a "dog-and-pony show" would be a more adept description. But I won't go into any of the gory details (unless you ask me to). However, if you decide to be married in a church there are several things to be considered, such as location, dates, price (if you're not a member, they charge extra), and things like that. Most importantly, be sure to have a clear understanding about what the church policies and procedures are to make sure they will be able accommodate your plans for your special day.

Most churches will have a printed form or booklet that outlines the pertinent information. After you have carefully looked it over, start asking questions. If there is something special that you want to do with the service, whether it is regarding the music, decorations, order of service, whatever - make sure that everyone is on the same wavelength you are and has a clear understanding of what you're asking. And if they nix your idea, please be gracious and accepting of whatever the church's guidelines are for wedding protocol.

Always keep in mind that a ceremony held in a church really is a worship service and you, your fiancé, wedding party, and even wedding guests, should conduct yourselves accordingly and in a way that will be pleasing to God. After all, whether you are a member of that church or not, you are all "guests" in the House of the Lord.

I wish you all the happiness in the world, and may the Lord richly bless your marriage with health, joy, love and 12 children (oops, typo!). And may you have a wilt-free wedding day!