Yes, I realize I’ve taken nearly a whole week to write about wedding ceremonies. And while that’s far from the standard fare for this blog, I’m secretly sitting back and waiting on the lucrative writing contracts to roll in from high-end magazines like High Maintenance Brides and the Grooms Who Fearfully Endure Them.

If you missed posts one and two, you should read them here and here.

5. Your wedding day should be all about you. Wait, what? You talkin’ out of both sides of your mouth, there, preacher boy? Ain’t that different from what you said on point #4 yesterday? And did you just completely switch personas as if you’re an entirely new character in this series? Well, yes.

Your wedding day should be a reflection of you. It should embody your personalities, your relationship, your story. And while, yes, it should ultimately point to and celebrate Jesus, it should also celebrate what Jesus is doing in you.

If you are a fun-loving couple, then make your ceremony fun. If you’re a stick in the mud couple, then make your ceremony fun (trust me, your guests will thank you for it). Make sure your pastor knows you well enough that he knows how to craft a service that looks like you.

I used to say that I don’t do cookie-cutter ceremonies. I tried to write a fresh message for every couple I married. After nearly 30 ceremonies, I’ve realized that there are only so many ways you can marry a couple. So short of having them zip line down the aisle in Star Trek outfits, there’s a fair amount of cut-and-pasting that I do nowadays.

But that still doesn’t excuse me from making parts of the ceremony as personal as I can for that particular couple. A good pastor will work with you to figure out how to do that.

Oh, and a word on tradition: there’s no such thing anymore. As long as you exchange vows and rings, there’s really not a right or wrong way to work through a ceremony. If you don’t want a unity candle, no problem. If you want a banjo instead of a grand piano (true story), be my guest. Don’t hang on to something because it’s what your meemaw expected you to do. Make your wedding look like you.

6. Don’t schedule a 6 AM flight the next morning. I can’t tell you how many couples I’ve married who have had a reception late into the evening and then had to be awake at 4 AM to get to the airport so they could fly to Cabo san Nassau, Puerto Rico (not a real place, calm down). Let me shoot straight with you: you will be exhausted on the day after your wedding, and not just from your – ahem – new favorite hobby.

You’ve spent weeks preparing for a wedding, sending invitations, and yelling about stupid people who don’t RSVP to invitations. You’ve spent several days hosting your bridal party and stacking chairs after rehearsal dinner and pretending to like your extended family. Don’t sabotage your honeymoon by trying to get to a faraway location too soon. If you have a flight, wait a minimum of 36 hours after your ceremony to take it. If you have a more-than-three-hour drive, don’t start it until early afternoon the next day. Find a nice hotel close to your wedding venue and for the love of all that’s good and holy, relax and sleep in. You’ll avoid 42% of future counseling sessions if you will do this.

Undoubtedly, there’s a 7th or 8th thing that I’ve missed. How about it, pastors and/or married people? What would you add to this list? Comment below.

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