Step away from the cake...
Turns out there’s a lot to be said about watching life through a lens – especially if you’re a wedding photographer. Capturing some of a couple’s most intimate moments during their special day can be pretty revealing, which is why one Reddit thread asked wedding photographers to reveal their tell-tale signs that a marriage won’t last. This is what they said:
1. Cutting the wedding cake
It might sound obvious, but when someone decides to rub cake into their new spouse’s face it’s often not a great sign.
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2D Printer explains: ‘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.’
Yes, weddings can be stressful so emotions can run high. But at the same time, this is meant to be the happiest day of a couple’s life. So if a couple are already squabbling, odds on it’s not going well.
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eatcheeseordie: ‘I 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.’
3. The looks of love (/loathing)
This is less about gazing adoringly into each others eyes and more fundamentally liking one another apparently.
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SuccessiveApprox: ‘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.’
4. The speeches
Yes, we know the phrase is ‘actions speak louder than words’, but not when it comes to wedding speeches apparently. One of the things several photographers pointed out was a lack of respect (or acknowledgement) is a sure-fire sign of failure regardless of who is doing to the talking.
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Thimble: ‘In the Bride and Groom speeches, if they don’t mention the other person, it’s probably not a good sign. It reminds of when a director wins best picture and doesn’t acknowledge the lead actor or vice versa.’
2D Printer: ‘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.’
5. Bridezillas/Peter Pan grooms
This tended to be a trend amongst photographers. Basically, if one spouse is a lot more enthusiastic or domineering than the other, it can be a sign of the cracks beginning to show.
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Sir Leopold Stoch: If I had to pick a trend, it would be really self-centered brides (or quick tempered ones) or lazy/immature grooms. Really bad combination if both of them are that way.
NorseGodLoki0411: The biggest sign for me is how bossy the bride is to the groom. If she’s totally running the show to the point where he is getting a little annoyed, that’s a huge sign. It’s the happiest day of his life, and he’s angry. Not good.
CoLmes: ‘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.’
6. It’s all about the wedding (and not the marriage)
Sure, it’s easy to get swept up in the wedding planning, but when a marriage becomes more about the wedding than spending your life together, you know you’re in trouble.
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Photographer_Rob: ‘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.’
But of course, a lot of wedding photographers also pointed out that when it comes to predicting the success of a marriage they’d captured, they simply didn’t have a clue. So if you do have a squabble on your big day, don’t despair. But maybe take a step away from that cake (just in case, you know?)