Wedding season is again upon us, and you brides-to-be are busy as bees, finalizing arrangements for your dress, flowers, catering, clergyperson, shower-curtain-pattern selection, 2 7/8 eyebrow-tweezing appointment and the 17 million other details that make planning a modern wedding far more complex than building a space station. Meanwhile you grooms, for your part, have been entrusted with the responsibility of locating a pair of dark socks.

The reason the groom is not involved in wedding preparations is that, traditionally, the groom is a guy, and guys cannot be entrusted with wedding details. Fortunately, you brides get plenty of planning help from the nation's giant wedding industry (Motto: "Your Wedding Is Sacred. It Should Cost A Lot."). You can also rely on leading experts such as Modern Bride magazine and myself. Today I wish to present, as my special gift to you brides-to-be, the following wedding tips:

1. Plan your honeymoon wardrobe carefully.

This tip is based on an Associated Press article from the Naples, Fla., Daily News sent in last year by alert reader David Shapiro. The article states that a honeymooning bride and groom from Wisconsin got into what police called a "heated dispute," during which the bride became so upset that she leaped over a nearby railing. This was not a wise honeymoon maneuver, inasmuch as at the time they were aboard a cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Fortunately, a waiter threw the bride a life preserver, and she was rescued. But imagine her embarrassment at being pulled from the sea wearing a drab, ill-fitting flotation device. Your well-prepared bride would have brought several of her own (pastels for daytime; darker solids for evening wear).

2. Select reception food wisely.

This tip is based on an item from the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, sent in by Kate Denison. The article I am not making these articles up begins:

"TAMPA -- A wedding reception turned violent Saturday when the bride threw a plate of macaroni salad at the groom and the groom shot the bride in the stomach, Tampa police said."

Here we see why leading wedding authorities constantly stress that brides should NEVER throw a salad. As etiquette expert Amy Vanderbilt put it: "The bride must always throw a menu item with sufficient density to render an armed groom unconscious, such as prime rib or, ideally, fruitcake."

Speaking of throwing food, the most important tip is:

3. Do not invite Cindy Seip to your wedding.

Cindy is a friend of mine. Last year I wrote about a wedding she attended where a dispute erupted over the catering arrangements, culminating during the reception when the groom, in front of all the guests, threw the cake at the caterer.

Cindy told me that not long after that, she attended another wedding, this one in Indiana, and everything went flawlessly, except that -- this is all true -- (1) the hall where the rehearsal dinner was to be held burned down; (2) the minister moved away two weeks before the wedding; (3) the bridesmaids were unable to get their dresses, or their money back, when the owner of the dress-rental store was arrested in a cocaine bust; (4) the bride and groom, who were supposed to drive to Indianapolis, spend a romantic wedding night in a hotel, then fly to Florida the next morning to get on a cruise ship, discovered, upon arrival at the hotel, that they had forgotten the bride's suitcase, and thus spent their wedding night romantically driving back home to retrieve it; and (5) when they finally got to Florida, they were informed that the cruise line had gone bankrupt. This was fortunate. The ship would undoubtedly have sunk.

My point is that you should cross Cindy off your guest list, because, the way things are going, the next wedding she attends will end with an Iraqi air strike.

Anyway, I hope these tips are helpful, and I'm sure you're going to have a wonderful wedding day, from the moment you wake up, to the moment, 45 seconds later, when you discover your huge new nose zit.

No! It'll be a great day. Just relax, have fun, and remember: for evening weddings, the flak jackets should be formal.

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