Avoiding Wedding Day Disaster Series: Fainting Brides, Grooms & Guests

So, I went in search of another disaster that perhaps I could help avoid.  This week’s disaster comes from the Huffington Post article on Wedding Disasters: Guests Share Their Stories. There were a few good ones, but I choose this one for this weeks topic:

Photo of Tweet taken from Huffingtonpost.com

Photo of Tweet taken from Huffingtonpost.com

Ah… yes.. fainting guests, brides, grooms, officiates; we’ve all seen those videos on America’s Funniest Home Videos or on blooper shows.  Sometimes it’s even put to a musical montage.     But what is causing all those brides, grooms and or guests to fall over and how can you avoid the same fate on your wedding day? Since I’m not doctor, I googled fainting and it is described as:

A  sudden loss of consciousness, usually temporary and typically caused by a lack of oxygen in the brain.

It’s also called Syncope described in Medilexicon’s Medical dictionary as

“Loss of consciousness and postural tone caused by diminished cerebral blood flow.”

How do you know you’re about to faint?  Here is a list of symptoms:

  • A feeling of heaviness in the legs
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Feeling warm or hot
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, a floating feeling
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Yawning

Of course, there are many causes of fainting and if someone has a history of medical problems, like heart issues, and they faint, you should have them checked out.  In some cases, if the person is a diabetic they could have low blood sugar .  In reading further through the article I referenced, the type of fainting that most likely is occurring during those bloopers is called Neurocardiogenic Syncope;  when something causes a short term malfunction of the autonomous nervous system.  The person will feel a sudden drop in their brain’s blood/oxygen levels, and , well they faint.  And, looking through the causes, weddings could be right up there as they include:

  1. An extremely embarrassing situation or event (NERVES!)
  2. Standing still for too long
  3. Being in a hot and stuffy place for too long

So, here are my tips for avoiding the possibilities of those fainting spells.

  1. Eat Breakfast.  This is often the  last piece of wisdom I bestow on my couples the night before their wedding.  We all know that when we are stressed out or are busy, we forget to eat.  Don’t go all day long without filling your belly.  You’ll end up with low blood sugar that could lead to weakness and cause you to faint.  You don’t have to eat an elaborate meal, but keep yourself hydrated and eat some carbs, even if it’s plain bread & butter.  Just have something in your belly.
  2. Prepare for heat.  If you are getting married in the summer time, you might want to make sure that you are wearing a light free flowing wedding gown that isn’t too restrictive.  Tight corseted or heavy gowns will make you sweat and cut off circulation.  Same goes for the groom and his groomsmen.   Perhaps opting for a lightweight linen suit would be best.  For your guests, provide them with a fan if you are having an outdoor ceremony or in a church that doesn’t have air conditioning so that they don’t get overheated as well.  And, if it’s wintertime, you might want to turn the heat down just a bit. Not too much, you don’t want your guests to be cold, but you also don’t want to create a hot situation.
  3. Don’t lock your knees.  I think this one is the one that gets most people.  When standing for a long time, and particularly when we are nervous, we tend to lock our knees cutting off our circulation.   Try to keep your legs loose, bent slightly at the knees. Maybe shift your weight during the ceremony.  If your ceremony will be long with lots of readings, perhaps you’ll want chairs for each of you to sit on during the ceremony and seat your bridal party in the first two rows on either side.
  4. Take Deep Breathes and Relax.   Yes, this is a big day and everyone is watching you. But, they all love you and are not judging so there really is no need to be so nervous.  The best thing you can do if overcome with nerves or if you feel any of the symptoms listed above is to take a few deep cleansing breaths and relax your shoulders  and  legs and get that blood flowing. And, if possible, have a seat so you don’t fall down.

I must thank Huffingtonpost.com for this week’s disaster and MedicalNewsToday.com for the information about fainting!

And thank you YouTube for this video clip!

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