I've seen this in friends and friends of friends and I dearly hope to never ever see it in myself. Basically, it is a state of temporary insanity induced by an upcoming wedding. Usually it is the women involved, such as the bride and the mothers. (I'm only familiar with the symptomology of the bride.) The syndrome can last up to the entire engagement-actual wedding period. It can result in family feuds, losing lifelong friends, bankruptcy, nervous breakdown, and permanent personality disorder (if she doesn't snap out of it). Common symptoms include:

- Extreme irrationality. Victim may be heard to utter such statements as, "I know the wedding is in Alaska in January, and I know you can't afford a plane ticket, but can't you just, you know, drive from Florida to come?" Objections to these statements may provoke rage, paranoid accusations, and even physical violence.
- Loss of contact with reality. Victim may experience amathia, treating amounts of money over $10,000 as though they are pocket change. Victim will expect others to behave similarly; poor grad students with equally poor friends will register at Gump's and Neiman-Marcus and damn well expect their so-called friends to PONY UP.
- Sudden personality change. A geek girl may suddenly become obsessed with fluffy pink lace, a diehard tomboy may spend hours picking out the perfect pair of satin high heels. Victim may also begin to hallucinate, believing that all those huge bows on the bridesmaids' dresses are really just wonderfully cute.

Treatment: Patience, and not giving in on everything. There's a fine line between making your friend happy on her special day, and letting her drop out of school for a year in order to pay for the veil. Unfortunately, preventative measures such as discussing an alternative wedding often don't work, even when the bride appears to be enthusiastic about the ideas--once the real wedding looms, many revert to Princess Di images of what a wedding should be like. So just hang in there, and don't let her be paying off this wedding long after her grad school debt is gone.

N. B.: Has nothing to do with cute weddings.
And yes, there's male AWIS, too, but that's usually either simple fear-of-growing-up terror on the part of the groom, or panic on the part of the fathers (who are usually justified in squawking about watching their grandchildren's inheritance go down the drain).

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