Wedding photographers reveal the signs a marriage won't last

By Marni Dixit October 25, 2016

A Reddit thread aimed at wedding photographers has brought to light a bunch of signs that usually mean the couple probably won't last, and some of them are quite surprising!

While weddings can be super stressful, and not everything that happens that day is an accurate representation of a couple, there are some telltale signs that a couple just won't last the distance. Some of the signs include:

1. How they act during the photos

"We spend 8, 10, 12 or more hours in a day looking at the bride and groom through a frame that isolates them alone and together, largely stripping away the broader context and focusing on their interactions. We are looking specifically for moments of contact, of intimacy, of emotional connection. It pretty quickly becomes evident when those things are there, and when they are not.” – SuccessiveApprox


2. What happens when they cut the cake

"This is going to sound totally cheesy but I feel even more strongly about this: what happens during the cake cutting. Sweetly feeding one another? Good sign. A playful smear of icing on the nose? No problem.

“But every once in a while someone will retaliate--bad sign. I think it's indicative of the sort of contempt which will doom the relationship. Even if you don't want that fondant on your face, you need to be able to laugh it off and have a good time." – 2DPrinter

Wedding cake

3. The speeches

"What people who give speeches (maid of honor, best man, father of the bride) say about the person their friend/relative is marrying is a huge giveaway. Do they feel like this person enriches their new spouse's life? Do they see them as an extension of their family or as a close friend? Are their anecdotes about how each person complements the other? Or are they simply 'happy for them'?

“I’ve heard some truly heartfelt, touching words shared during toasts... and have heard others that were seriously underwhelming. If it isn't easy for you to think of why this person is a good match for your friend, that's a bad sign." – 2DPrinter

Wedding toast

4. How they are during the lead up to the big moment

"We also spend a lot of time listening to the language they use in pre-meetings, engagement shoots, on the wedding day, etc. It becomes pretty clear in a short time what the focus is. Many couples, particularly young couples, pretty clearly have in mind a wedding but have put little thought and planning into a marriage. The difference we see between a young couple and an older/second marriage couple is pretty significant." – SuccessiveApprox

engagement photo

5. How the wedding party behave

"Also, the differences we see in the families' and friends' behaviour at a wedding - the bridesmaids talking, the groomsmen interacting, the parents' glances and body language, the frigging toasts - all are very telling about how much they think this is a good idea and how much community support there is around a couple." – SuccessiveApprox

Wedding party

6. If it's all about the wedding, not about the person they're marrying

"A few things I have also noticed is some brides are almost more in love with the idea of a wedding rather then the person they are marrying. I shot one wedding where the girl had 4 different dresses for the entire day, elaborate jewellery and everything was over the top, but this was no interaction between the bride and groom at this wedding. The other photographer and I made bet it wouldn't last. Sure enough a few weeks later we get a call to not worry about processing the pictures they had paid for because they were calling it off." – Photographer_Rob

Bride Wars

7. If they just can't be bothered

"My very first wedding was a couple who was getting married by the art museum in Philly. I had my friend whose been a wedding photographer for ten years with me to show me the ropes after doing a lot of second shooting with him.

“So he poses a kissing shot of the couple, and when he asks them to kiss the bride goes "oh, no, no thank you" in this weird little mousey voice. He has shot over a 100 weddings and said he never saw a couple so not into each other as much as they were.

“The whole thing was weird. The groom didn't even bother to properly make himself look presentable on his wedding day, it was literally the first time both sides of the family met that day. Weird people." – CoLmes

Bride phone

8. If the bride and groom don't want to hang out

"I do sometimes wonder (if my couples will stay together). Especially in the cases where the bride & groom don't really socialize with/pay attention to one another during their own wedding day. I get it when couples are trying to spend all their time with their guests, but sometimes it's extreme.

“I also wonder about the brides & grooms who make snarky remarks during the day. Like, if I only know you for eight hours, but I know you're upset your new spouse didn't let you plan any of the wedding, then I'm not sure you have your priorities straight." – eatcheeseordie

Runaway Bride

9. 'Selfish' or 'lazy' couples

“If I had to pick a trend, it would be really self centred brides (or quick tempered ones) or lazy/immature grooms. Really bad combination if both of them are that way. Sometimes I'm completely shocked to find out a couple has split up, other times it's almost to be expected.

“I will say that of all the couples I've worked with that have split up, they all married quite young. Sure that doesn't help." – SirLeopoldStotch

Marry myself

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