When you’re working at a wedding, you can’t help but wonder if the couple is going to actually make it or not, but I only ever bussed tables at weddings (and I usually wasn’t hanging out with the bride and groom). Other working professionals like DJs, wedding photographers/videographers, and more are much closer to the bride and groom, and it turns out they have a lot of insight into whether your marriage is going to live or die.
These are the stories of the red flags they spot, and some of these are far more obvious than others (beware the serving of the cake…).
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.
Former wedding videographer. When doing the letter read the bride at the end said which I quote “well that was fucking 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.
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.
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.
There is one particular venue that has a 100% divorce rate with our clients. It’s a state park, which I’ve dubbed Omen Meadows.
Photographer here: to me the biggest sign is the cake cutting. Some people like to smear the cake everywhere as a joke, some people don’t. Usually the couple is in sync about this. They know what the other would like and they don’t smush cake on the others face if they wouldn’t want that.
Sometimes one of them (usually the groom) will force cake all over the others face and embarrass and upset them. I’ve seen this happen a handful of times and all of those relationships that I have kept up with have ended in a divorce.
[Editor’s Note: In the interest of not putting the same thing over and over again into this gallery, I must emphasize that there were well over a dozen variations of this advice.]
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.
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.
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.
Not a photographer, but I make a LOT of engagement rings.
It’s actually really simple. If they’re nice to each other, and nice to me and my staff, they’re going to do well. If they’re short-tempered, rude, pushy, etc., it’s a sign they don’t really want to be there.
I used to help a buddy of mine do wedding videos back in college. I found the bigger the country hit they use for the wedding song, the shorter the marriage. Obscure songs seemed to last longer.
Wedding videographer: Probably when the bride got absolutely blackout drunk and started telling everyone at the party (in that drunk loud whisper) that she was fucking the groom’s brother.
Ex wedding photographer.
Typically I saw red flags when the bride or groom is super quiet. I mean silent and just watching.
One instance was a groom who barely said ten words to anyone during the ceremony or reception afterwards. The bride and her mother were extremely loud and excited the entire time. The bride needed everything to be “perfect”. I dropped off the photo bundle with them two weeks later and he was still quiet. She however complained about all of the pictures because the groom wasn’t “smiling enough”. She wanted a discount because I couldn’t make him look happy enough.
They got divorced about a year later. I know because I did his engagement photos with his new fiancée about four years after his first wedding. His engagement photos showed him much happier.
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