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   How NOT to Faint at the Altar

How NOT to Faint at the Altar
By Kathy Boyd-McLaughlin

Many brides and some grooms fear that they will faint once they are at the altar. Here are a few tips to keep in mind, just in case you feel you are going to "keel" over!

  • The night before the wedding, pack smelling salts and give them to your Officiant, maid of honor or best man. Make sure they will be close in case you need them.
  • The day of the wedding, avoid eating heavy meals but rather try eating lightly throughout the day. DO MAKE SURE YOU EAT THOUGH.
  • Eat chicken or fish, cold salads, cheese and crackers, toast, scrambled eggs, bagels, and lightly seasoned pasta dishes (avoiding spicy tomato sauces and try for pasta in light olive oil
  • Avoid gas-producing foods such as beans, cauliflower and broccoli.)
  • This may sound crazy, but eating salty foods like popcorn, potato chips and salty pretzels an hour before your wedding, will help you to retain water, eliminating the urge to have to go to the bathroom.
  • When standing, never lock your knees and stand with your legs apart even with your shoulders, knees relaxed.
  • Request chairs or a place to sit at the altar be provided so that if you do feel overcome with dizziness, you will be able to sit.
  • Take advantage of the prayers. Bend your head and breath slowly and deeply inhaling and exhaling to a slow, mental count of 7.
  • Lean on your fiancé if you must.
  • Dress for the season. If you are marrying in the colder months, do not wear a summer gown. You should feel comfortable. If you are marrying in the warmer months, avoid heavy under clothes such as crinolines and petticoats.
  • Your dress should fit you comfortably, not too tight.
  • Choose a gown with short or no sleeves (if your Officiant allows). If you must choose a gown with sleeves, make sure they are loosely fitted, lacy or illusion material. Make sure your dress lets you "breath".
  • Choose shoes that will let you stand comfortably and do make sure they are broken in. If you must, take them to a shoemaker and have them stretched so that they aren't binding on your wedding day.
  • Avoid heavy scents and perfumes, which are overly sweet smelling. They can overcome your senses and make you feel nauseous if you are dizzy.
  • Have water available and close by.
  • If you do feel that none of this is helping, simply whisper to your Officiant that you feel faint and have him/her seat you and your bridal party.
  • Ask to bring in fans if air circulation or air conditioning is a problem.
  • Relaxing is most important. Before walking down the aisle, you may find that a short "loosening up" is in order. Shake your arms and legs and do a few head and neck rolls. You may look funny, but it does help.

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