The Weird Reason Some People Pass Out At Weddings

Weddings can be stressful, especially if you're the bride or groom or you belong to the bridal party. Despite the fact that everyone you love is coming together to celebrate a special day, there's a myriad of things you have to do to prepare, costs to think about, and people to entertain. 

This is probably why there are hundreds of funny compilations on YouTube of brides and grooms passing out at the altar. Some might experience dizziness because of dehydration or a lack of food, while others might just be overly stressed or anxious about the big day.

Apparently, there's another, weirder reason why people experience fainting spells at weddings — locked knees. Standing in one place for a long length of time combined with locking your knees can cause someone to faint, as orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Nicholas told UAMS Health. "The low rate of blood return to the heart in these situations results in hypo-perfusion of the brain and at times the fainting spell."

Standing with locked knees can cause blood to pool in your lower region

Weddings aren't the only hot ground for fainting spells. Military personnel standing at attention for long periods of time and choristers expected to stand through long services can faint due to locked knees, too.  

Emergency medicine physician, Dr. Eric Smart told KUTV 2 News Salt Lake City, that the most common cause of fainting when you have locked knees is reduced blood flow to the brain. Standing with your knees locked consistently can also lead to poor posture because it can cause your pelvis and spine to adjust to this position.

Now that you know that standing up for too long with locked knees can make you pass out, there are a few things you can do to prevent this. Experts will tell you that eating your meals during the day, no matter how stressed or pressed for time you are, is a good way to start when it comes to preventing fainting in general. Also, drink plenty of water, especially if the wedding (or other commitment) is outdoors and you're going to be exposed to the sun all day. As for the knees, keep them soft and slightly bent. Bent knees act as a pump to send blood back up to the brain where it's needed, Dr. Smart explained.

What to do if someone passes out while at a wedding

In the unfortunate incident that someone — bride, groom, or guest — does experience a fainting spell at the wedding, the important thing to do would be to make sure blood returns to their heart and brain. If you start to feel the effects of dizziness right before passing out, take a seat and put your head between your legs, per Mayo Clinic

"You may recall that the first aid treatment for fainting is to lay the person on his back and elevate the legs. This increases blood flow to the head and upper body and is often all that is necessary to achieve recovery," Dr. Richard Nicholas added (via UAMS Health).

Most of the time, fainting during long days that involve lots of standing might have to do with weird reasons like locked knees or just dehydration, but if you're prone to passing out often, you may want to see a doctor. "Don't ignore it. Even if the lightheadedness does not have a serious cause, it could lead to serious injuries from a fall. And at the worst, the cause may itself be life-threatening," associate professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School Dr. Shamai Grossman explained to Harvard Health