Wedding Nightmares
Dr. Phil gives a second chance to a bride who feels she ruined her wedding.
Crystal and Brent

"When I was getting ready to walk down the aisle, I didn't feel good," explains Crystal. "I collapsed in my parents' arms 10 feet from the altar. I blacked out and fainted. The worst part was knowing that my parents weren't able to walk me down the aisle and give me away." Although she recovered and was able to stand and exchange vows, Crystal still feels that she "wrecked" her wedding.

"I felt bad for her," says Crystal's husband Brent. "I told her it wasn't her fault. Her fainting didn't ruin our wedding day. It happened and I'm over it."

But the fainting incident has created a new fear for Crystal: "My sister Cheri is getting married in six months. I'm afraid I'm going to have a repeat of what happened at my wedding. My sister can joke about it, but it's still very serious. Dr. Phil, can you help me get over my fear of walking down aisles?"
"First we have to label this properly," Dr. Phil tells Crystal. "You can't be telling yourself that something horrible has taken place. I'm real big on word power. I believe that the word 'horrible' is reserved for things like the burn unit.

"It didn't destroy the marriage or the wedding, right?" asks Dr. Phil. "It's not what you would choose, but it isn't the end of the world. Do you understand you might be putting some language on it that's overkill?"

"Yes," says Crystal.
Dr. Phil introduces Crystal to Peggy Post, author of Wedding Etiquette. "So tell us, Peggy, is this a disaster?" asks Dr. Phil. "Do they need to redo the wedding or something?"

"It looked beautiful to me," says Peggy. "We have so much hype around weddings that brides and grooms put a lot of pressure on themselves. From what I could tell, it looked like your guests were treating you with kindness and consideration and respect and they were trying to make you feel better by applying a sense of humor." Nudging Crystal's husband Brent, who is seated next to her, Peggy assures Crystal, "I think I can tell he is very happy with you."

"So was this a horrible breach of wedding etiquette?" asks Dr. Phil.

"No, not at all," says Peggy. "The thing about etiquette is you have to go with the flow and adapt the principles to whatever happens. Nothing is perfect. I tell brides and grooms before the wedding to try to relax as much as they possibly can and just enjoy it."
Dr. Phil tells Crystal, who's on stage with her sister Cheri, "There are two things you can do to handle the situation coming up at your sister Cheri's wedding. Number one, look at it from the mental aspect. Own the moment. When you're walking down the aisle of the church, you can frame it any way you want to. You can say, 'Oh, my God! Am I going to make it? Am I getting lightheaded?' Or you can choose to focus on anything else. You can focus on the fact that you are sharing your sister's big moment and make it all about her instead of about you."

Dr. Phil continues, "What I don't want you to do is make the old saying come true: 'What I fear, I create.' I don't want you to make it come true."
"Number two," explains Dr. Phil, "there is a physiological thing you can do as well. When you faint, it's because your blood vessels dilate, the blood leaves your brain, and you have an oxygen deficiency. All you have to do is tense up your lower body every three or four seconds and you won't pass out."

Dr. Phil then provides Crystal with a bouquet and groomsman and asks her to try walking down the aisle of his studio while tensing her lower body with every step.

"If I would have known this at my own wedding, it would have helped," she laughs as she walks back toward Dr. Phil.
"Your husband Brent is here and I think you're ready for the next step," says Dr. Phil. "You said the saddest thing about your wedding was that your mom and dad were there but you never got given away. Well, I want you to walk down this aisle in your wedding dress — which I had taken out of storage and flown here. I also flew in your minister. But you'd need your mom and dad here to give you away, right? So let me have your mom and dad come out."

Crystal's mother and father surprise her by walking onto the stage carrying her wedding dress.

"We're doing this because I want to give you a second chance and let you replace that memory," says Dr. Phil.

"Thank you!" says Crystal.

After changing into her wedding dress, Crystal walks down the aisle of the studio accompanied by her parents, who get a second chance to give her away at the altar.

The audience members rise to their feet.

Brandon and Crystal exchange wedding vows. When they kiss, the audience applauds.

Dr. Phil: Crystal, I predict you will walk down the aisle at your sister's wedding with flying colors. We have another surprise for you. We thought that since we're having a wedding, we should have a gift. We, along with the folks at, the leading wedding Web site, have arranged to give you a $1,000 gift certificate to their home store and gift registry.

Crystal: Thank you! I feel so much better already. I made it! It was great!