Smooching in front of everyone you know at the altar is considerably less comfortable than making out on the couch. Here’s how to avoid classic wedding PDA pitfalls.

ByMark Bazer|
Illustrations:Aimee Levy
Step 1
Smile at each other. Many brides and grooms forget this because (a) they’re still nervous or (b) they’re miffed that the officiant pronounced the guy’s name five different ways.

Step 2
Tenderly hold one another—closer than a junior-high slow dance when you were in junior high, but farther apart than a junior-high slow dance today.

Step 3
Gaze into each other’s eyes. Do not look at the guests. Even a glimpse out of the corner of your eye at Uncle Lenny can alter the dynamics of the kiss.

Step 4
Close your eyes, lean in and make contact. Strive for the proper tongue balance in the kiss: Let people know tongue is involved without people knowing you wanted them to know tongue is involved.

Step 5
Find the right duration of the kiss. Your two enemies are “The Impersonal Peck” and “The Long Slobber” (there may be kids in the crowd!). Studies show roughly four seconds is optimal. Note: Tasteful dipping of the bride is allowed (required if the groom is wearing a white tux with tails).

Step 6
Slowly pull apart, smile and keep your eyes fixed on each other for a moment. Then turn toward the audience. Let the applause dissipate. Now look at Uncle Lenny.