What Corrie's Carla should have known before she married Peter

A look at what we can 'learn' from the soaps: The Barlows' wedding in Coronation Street, Charity's marriage to Jai in Emmerdale and EastEnders' Jake's new job.

With Christmas fast-approaching and alcohol flowing more freely than normal, it's often wise to think about the possible consequences of your actions before saying 'yes' to that tenth glass. So if you're thinking of tying the knot over the festive period, then we've got some good advice for you straight from British soaps.

Think twice before saying 'I do' when asked if you want more champers:

Your wedding day should be a time of celebration and joy, but in 'Coronation Street', Carla took things to a whole new level and collapsed on the floor in a drunken heap.

Ladies: if you're a successful knicker-factory owner and your husband-to-be is an alcoholic, womanising bigamist like Peter Barlow then it's vital to keep your wits about you and remain alert at all times, as the moment you're carried off to bed; no matter HOW wonderful the world seems (and HOW 'at one' you feel with everyone in it), in the few seconds it takes for you to float off in a drunken haze he could already be turning his attentions towards his next conquest - and probably IS.

You might have a ring (that you've probably paid for yourself) on your finger, but it may be only a matter of time before you're going to be needing that divorce lawyer. If - by the next day - your husband already seems keen to busy himself on tasks that don't include you then it could be a warning sign, especially if you suddenly find him in the pub when he's supposed to be packing his lighter and black shirts for your honeymoon in Bali (which is in the Southern Hemisphere - as Sally Webster helpfully informed us).

Don't get too friendly with your husband's son's new babysitting barmaid either. Keep a close check on her face for signs of guilt (if you can see past the cuprinol complexion) and on her general demeanour, as if - like Tina - she looks more sullen than normal and is suddenly always in a room with your husband when you walk into it then it's a fair bet that something's afoot.

What if the boot's on the other foot though, and you find that your (fairly) new millionaire husband's got your cleaner pregnant?

Jai's counting the cost of rustling Rachel's wrappers:

It's ok to be cross, but probably not really necessary to trash his car with the aid of a mechanical digger like Charity did to Jai's in 'Emmerdale' last week. There's nothing like guilt (or alcohol) to loosen a man's grip on his wallet, and you'd be strongly advised to firstly play the anger card.

A good selection of cutting 'put-downs' always comes in handy - as does the threat of violence - and telling him that he wouldn't find a horse's head in his bed but that you would just kill him in his sleep will be an almost guaranteed way to have him purchase you a brand new car that very same day.

Once you HAVE decided to forgive him though, you know you'll be assured of a bumper Christmas so be sure to get straight down to writing that (very long) list for Santa.

If money's a bit tight but you want to look your best when you visit your local pub over the festive period (especially if there's going to be a new landlord and landlady arriving on Christmas Day), then nip down to your local street market for some trendy, yet affordable fashion.

Mind out for that Christmas 'spirit' Jake:

Bianca and Kat in 'EastEnders' have got a lovely range of imitation silk dresses going cheap. You'll even save money on the cleaning costs as they're already impregnated with washing up liquid so you'll be 'quids in' there, innit?

If you're single and are too busy selling classy gear on your market stall to clean your house and look after your kids then you should consider dating a cab driver (like Bianca's new fella Terry). Not only will he work all night but will then come home and spend the whole day getting the place looking pukka for you.

If - like Jake - you were a cabbie but have discovered that your wife's sold your car; what better opportunity could you have than to start a new job as a chef in your local 'fine dining' restaurant?

Don't worry that you're a recovering alcoholic or that you haven't done any cooking for a while; the owner will be on hand to show you the ropes and talk you through the menu on your first morning - unless he suddenly has 'fairmlee' problems and you find that you're left to run the place single-handedly.

If this happens to you, just wait until the young woman you've been having an affair with comes in and get her to roll her sleeves up and help you out. Whatever you do though: DON'T focus on the bottle of wine in front of your face, ok? Alcohol can lead to a great deal of marital problems.

Yes. Some of the perils of the demon drink to be aware of in the run-up to Christmas. Stay sober so that you'll be able to keep your eyes on your partner at all times and hopefully not end up like some of our friends in soapland this week. What will we learn from the soaps next week? Who can say ...