Marriage isn’t easy, and the statistics support this. According to the American Psychological Association, 40 to 50% of marriages in the US end in divorce. These divorces don’t happen spontaneously. Often the seeds of a divorce are sown long before it happens, possibly even before the couple gets married. And while the two people in a marriage might not be able to recognize their fundamental differences, to an outside observer they can be obvious. Even if that outsider barely knows the couple.
Recently, a Redditor asked the wedding photographers and videographers of Reddit if they can tell when a couple is headed for splitsville. They had a lot of responses. Here are 15 of the most interesting.
1. Skip the cake smash.
“Photographer here. I swear that all of the couples that have split up have smashed the cake in their SOs face. None of the nice cake couples have. Just my weird anecdotal experience. Maybe it’s a sign of respect for each other.” – kylesford
2. Tough crowd.
“Former wedding videographer. When doing the letter read the bride at the end said which I quote ‘Well that was f*cking stupid.’ I cut that part out in the final video.
Edit. Let me clarify what im referring to. The couple reads their letter from their partner prior to the wedding. She just got done reading the grooms letter and was talking about what he wrote. To be fair, what he wrote was not exactly Shakespeare but still a harsh response.” – flyingthedonut
3. Wandering eye.
“Red flag: The groom winking at both my assistant and I during the ceremony. He was not winking in the sense that he might have been tearing up or had something in his eye but there was a part in the ceremony where the couple sat down and he would lean his head back in his chair look past his soon to be wife and wink at me or look over his left shoulder and wink at my assistant. It was bizarre.” – shinyquartersquirrel
“Photographer here. You can tell somewhat based on how the couple treats each other on the wedding day. If they are respectful toward one another (and toward me) during a day full of stress then I think that’s a good indicator of being able to deal with other problems that may arise during a marriage.” – thr3epointone4
5. Trying to change each other.
“Wedding videographer here: I try to get to know both people beforehand, so I can work in their hobbies/unique traits into my product. A big red flag is when one person is clearly trying to change the other. I had one dude who loved poker, craft beer, cigars, hanging with his rowdy friends, video games, etc. I planned a cool shoot where I had all his friends in an old west saloon, and he sees his bride to be, etc… but she steps in and declares “oh, he won’t be doing any of those things any more.” Poor bastard just sat there in silence as I awkwardly had to plan them shopping for a Yorkie puppy instead. Half way through post production after the wedding, he called and said he was getting an annulment. I wanted to say “could have told ya so!” But I try to stay neutral.
Green flags are just the opposite. Embracing the other person’s habbits/hobbies/interests, basically not being a controlling freakshow.” – c64bandit
6. Photoshop can’t fix everything.
“My husband and I are wedding photographers. We’ve been pretty lucky so far and haven’t had too many crazies. We have stayed friends with a few of the couples and see them regularly.
The one couple we hope we never see again fought the entire wedding day. The couple barely looked at each other, it was so bad. Then we had to photoshop a smile onto the groom a couple of times so he at least looked happy in the ceremony of all things. To describe what he looked like, I would compare him to a Polish meat butcher with transitions lensed glasses. Totally brutal. I have no idea if they are together still but I would say not.” – golden-lining
7. Do you take this f*cking man to be your lawfully wedded husband?
“I am a videographer. Most weddings we video are fairly smooth. Couple is happy. Family cries tears of joy. Lots of laughter. That bit. We did film one wedding that seemed fine right up until the aisle walk.
We video the bride and groom prep. They have two suites—one for the ladies and one for the gentlemen. My partner and I were having an easy time running back and forth. Everyone is drinking. Not light beer either. I mean knocking back shots. Empty bottles everywhere. Offering us rounds too as they go by. Everyone is pretty carefree, upbeat, and ready to party, the bride and groom most of all. This is going to be the easiest wedding we film. Or so we thought.
Now everyone is seated in the ceremony hall. Groom and all his men are up front with the officiant. Bride’s Maids start walking down the aisle. All beautiful. The bride walks in with her father. At this point I’m filming the groom and his reaction. We get a wide shot because we can always zoom in during post. My partner is recording the groom and her father. I see the best man in my viewfinder pull out a flask from his jacket pocket—the rest of the men do the same except Groom. So this is clearly planned. The best man speaks loud enough over the music so people turn to him away from the Bride. He raises his glass high and shouts “Here’s to Bride Name, here’s to Groom Name; may you never disagree. But if you do…” He points at the bride with his flask hand and finishes “FUCK YOU, here’s to Groom Name.”
They all drink to their frat boy toast. The best man hands the Groom his flask and he drinks it laughing!!
I have never watched a video more than I have the reaction of the Bride and her father. Jaw dropped speechless. The ceremony went on. And it’s not done. The officiant asks the Bride “do you take Groom yadda yadda…” and she surprisingly, yet weakly, says yes. The officiant asks the same of the Groom and instead of just saying yes, he screams “Fuck da fuck yeah I do!!” Bride just face palms herself in embarrassment.
The look of disgust on her whole family’s face the entire night after that was priceless and highly awkward to film. I could go on with more stories about this wedding, but this just about the bride and groom. Needless to say I think that’s a big red flag.
TL;DR Best man raises his flask as Bride is walking down the aisle and says “here’s to Bride, here’s to Groom, may you never disagree, but if you do, fuck you *pointing at bride* heres to Groom.” All groom’s men drink from flasks including the Groom.” – tuckahoe89
8. Hot mess.
“I used to be a photojournalist and shot the occasional wedding either as a wedding present to friends or for extra cash to buy more gear. None of my (very few) clients are divorced, somehow, but I did try to pick up some work hanging out in front of Toronto city hall the week after gay marriage was legalized in Canada. Just as my friend and I walked up, a couple came out in full ’70s tuxedo and puffy wedding dress, yelling at each other while the groom tried desperately to get his ring off. A very angry looking older couple followed them out pushing a baby stroller and muttering something in a foreign language.” – Janiegunn
9. Groom SMASH!
“Wedding band guitar player here. Drunken gorilla-sized groom physically attacked us when we cut off the music after already going over our contracted time an hour. Mother of the groom got into the mix and pulled him back. Bride was in tears. Best man pulled out a Bluetooth speaker and kept the party going. We did not get a 5 star review.
So that was a red flag. They lasted a few months.” – LincolnHawk79
10. Yeah, that miiiiight be a problem.
“When I shot a Mormon wedding and the groom was pretty flamboyant and flirty with his best man. I later saw them fondling each other’s butts discretely when they thought no one was looking.” – Lizard182
11. Supportive, or critical?
“Not a photographer but I taught hundreds of couple’s their first wedding dance. I totally knew whose marriages would thrive and which couple’s would crash and burn and by what year into the marriage too. By working one on one with them over a period of months it becomes crystal clear to anyone around too. Couples who when learning together a new skill (regardless of talent towards that new skill) compliment each other when one of them achieved something that the other did not are going to make it in life.
Couples who would pass blame on to the other one when challenged to aquire a new skill always put my divorce Spidey senses up.” – fliccolo
12. Not so nice in Iceland.
“Wedding videographer here.
Had a couple fly us out to Iceland for their engagement shoot. Now the first couple of days were fine and everything looked okay, but in Iceland, some lodging options aren’t very luxurious. The groom chose to book what was essentially a tiny bunk house (the ones meant for those summer camps) and the bride lost it and complained the whole night.
Next morning things are pretty tense and our team continues the shoot as planned even though it is incredibly awkward. Most of our plans fall through because they start arguing.
In front of a beautiful, solitary glacier.
For two hours.
Our team can hear them yelling at each other half a mile away because there is literally no one else around for miles.
We finish up whatever we could of the last day of the shoot and awkwardly said our goodbyes. Later on I learn that they broke up a month before the wedding.” – Aeonasphere
13. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
“$200 is still $200. Married a younger couple under a waterfall. Even with multiple felony convictions, face tattoos, unemployment, habitual drug use, anorexia, multiple miscarriages, for everything wrong, they never cheated, they stayed together, they never quit, they had good teamwork, and they had a great dynamic. (Bible says judge not.)
We hiked in, got married, hiked out, went to Denny’s. They didn’t care about the little details. They didn’t want a wedding, they just wanted to get married.
That was 2008, and I believe they’re still together. I didn’t see it coming.” – Lizaderp
“I was a wedding photographer for many years in the 00’s.
It was pretty easy to tell which couples were going to last and which ones would soon be divorced.
The main behavior differentiating the two was whether they were on the same team, helping each other and lifting each other up in the face of the inevitable problems and stress that come with weddings. Good couples tackle problems together. Bad couples take sides and fight/blame each other when something goes wrong.” – chriberg
15. On the other hand, you can tell when a couple’s gonna make it.
“I am/was a wedding photographer: I think you can kind of tell if they are going to stay together forever based on how they handle all the little (and sometimes even big) problems a weddingday can bring.
There was one couple’s story I love to tell. They are not your typical bride and groom, they had their wedding in a forest where you could also go climbing (sorry don’t know what they are called) with a big wooden house and fireplace in front. All vegan food and a lot of friends with looots of dogs. Everything was perfect, except the special dress the bride had have made and painted didn’t arrive in time for the ceremony and she was devastated. She was in her sweatpants and a mickey mouse tshirt at that time and her soon-to-be-husband took off his suit, put on a big white shirt, stood there in his boxershorts and just said “well, we have to go” (cause the ceremony-person had to leave an hour later) and she just laughed and went with it. I was in shock but other than it being strange to have hairy man-legs in my weddingphotos, taking the pictures was really fun and they were totally relaxed. I’m pretty sure they will be doing well.” – saerahmarina
h/t: Bloomjoy Collective