Why is it that people are always fainting at weddings? Whether it is the groom, the bride, the wedding attendants, even the preacher, it seems no one is immune from fainting on the big day. Fainting grooms seem to be a popular segment on funny video television shows and internet viral videos. While the clips might be funny to watch after the fact, fainting at a wedding can be not just embarrassing but also have dangerous implications.

So what is fainting anyway? The medical condition is actually called ñsyncope,î and it is a sudden yet brief loss of consciousness followed by a spontaneous return to awareness. Fainting is caused by lack of blood flow and decreased oxygen to the brain. When you ïblack outÍ without warning like this, it can be quite harmful because you lose muscle control and will fall to the ground. Here are some important rules to follow to keep you or your groomsmen from fainting at the alter:

DonÍt drink: Getting wasted the night before is a no-no. This means plan the bachelor party to happen several days, even weeks before the actual ceremony. Put away those bottle openers and groomsmen flasks. Alcohol can cause dehydration and dehydration is a known trigger in fainting. As a precaution, even if you havenÍt consumed any beer, wine or liquor, keep a water bottle nearby and sip on it frequently as you wait for the wedding processional to being. Also, have a carafe filled with water waiting near the area where you will say your vows, just in case.

Eat a meal: Consuming food before the ceremony will also minimize the chance of fainting. Hunger pangs and low blood sugar shakes (combined with nerves) can make a guy feel like fainting. So, ensure that you have had a good meal several hours before the event and a small snack just before you walk down the aisle. Please, for everyoneÍs sake, avoid gas-producing foods such as beans, cauliflower and broccoli. This is a great chance for the guys to tryout their groomsmen gifts and use those engraved pocket knives to peel you an apple.

Remain calm: Use positive visualization techniques and rely on the help of your groomsmen to keep anxiety and nerves at bay. Fear, adrenaline surges, and extreme panic can all divert blood flow away from your brain, causing you to faint. Most menÍs reactions to stress as being fight, flight or faint. None of them are helpful. But if you focus on the good things about getting married and/or have your friends take your mind off the worry (even just playing video games together helps), you can remain calm and carry on without falling to the floor.

DonÍt lock knees: You can also decrease your blood supply to the brain by ñlockingÍ your knees. Long ago, choir members discovered that keeping their lower extremities rigid often caused them to get dizzy and fall off the bleachers. Can you imagine that sight? To keep from fainting in this way, simply remember to stand with your legs almost shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent forward. If necessary, shift your weight around from foot to foot.

Other triggers: There are many other things that can generate a fainting spell including a change in medications, undiagnosed health issues, assaults to the senses (like smelling Aunt GerdieÍs perfume), and constrictive clothing and shoes.

If you do feel like you are going to keel over (most get signs of dizziness, light-headedness and dilated pupils), then whisper to the officiant that you might faint and he will guide you to a chair until you feel better. There is no need to feel embarrassed; it would be way worse to fall backward and get a concussion, spending the wedding night in a hospital bed.

Are you worried about fainting in your wedding? Have you ever seen anyone ñgo downî in a wedding? Let us know in the comments below.