Weddings are made up of breathtaking moments: the bride walks down the aisle, the newlyweds share a kiss, the cake is cut, and everyone hits the dance floor in celebration.
But these and other wedding moments can also say a lot about whether the happy couple will stay happily coupled—and no one knows this better than wedding photographers, who are paid to capture everything on camera. The more weddings they work, the more red flags they pick up about which brides and grooms won’t be together forever.
Need proof? Check out the viral r/AskReddit thread posted on Monday, which posed the question: “Marriage/engagement photographers/ videographers of Reddit, have you developed a sixth sense for which marriages will flourish and which will not? What are the green and red flags?”
Since then, the post has received over 50,000 upvotes and 6,000 responses. Some of the top-ranked replies from photographers and videographers (and from other wedding workers, like members of the band) weren’t too surprising. One example: an over-imbibing bride or groom.
“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,” a videographer wrote of one red flag he recalled at a wedding.
One wedding band guitar player chimed in on the thread, sharing the story of alcohol-fueled nuptials resulting in disaster. “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,” the commenter wrote. “So that was a red flag. They lasted a few months.”
Another telltale sign that plenty of commenters agreed on was that if a couple was fighting over minor details, a successful marriage was likely out of the picture.
“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,” one videographer wrote. “Later on I learn that they broke up a month before the wedding.”
Another bad sign? When one person tries to change the other.
“I try to get to know both people beforehand, so I can work in their hobbies/unique traits into my product,” a videographer wrote. “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,” a videographer wrote.
One of the most surprising signs of impending disaster was the way the couple cut their wedding cake.
“I swear that all of the couples that have split up have smashed the cake in their SOs face,” one photographer wrote. “None of the nice cake couples have. Just my weird anecdotal experience. Maybe it’s a sign of respect for each other.”
But despite all of the red flags, there are ways to tell that a couple’s relationship is strong, the photographers and videographers agreed.
“She feels comfortable, it’s easier to get her laughing and smiling,” one commenter wrote. “And he can make requests such as, ‘do that look you gave me at the Taco Bell last week,’ and they get to work in inside jokes and fun things for their memories.”
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