Recently, a viral Reddit thread asked wedding photographers and videographers if they have a sixth sense about which marriages will last and which won't.
Well, they do — and here are the things they've observed on the job that make them think a couple's headed for "unhappily ever after":
1. "The cake cutting is the biggest sign of whether a couple will last. Some people like to jokingly smear the cake everywhere, and some people don't. But usually the couple is in sync about this. Whenever I've seen one of them force cake all over the other's face, the marriage has ended in divorce."
2. "A big red flag is when one person is clearly trying to change the other. I had one groom who loved poker, craft beers, cigars, hanging out with his friends, and video games, so I planned a cool shoot where the bride enters an old saloon he and his friends are in. But the bride stepped in and declared, 'Oh, he won't be doing any of those things anymore.' The poor guy just sat in silence as the bride pitched a shoot in which they shop for a Yorkie puppy instead. They got an annulment before I even finished editing the wedding photos."
3. "A friend of mine is an engagement and wedding photographer, and she says she can tell how in love a couple is by whether they pay attention to each other during their shoot, or her."
"It's the contrast of sharing the experience together versus fretting over the optics."
4. "I used to help a buddy shoot wedding videos, and I found that the bigger the country hit they dance to, the shorter the marriage. Couples that used obscure songs seemed to last longer."
5. "My red flag is when the vows are very fluffy or almost selfish. Like how you'd imagine an 11-year-old talking about their Prince Charming."
6. "I once shot a wedding where the best man raised a flask while the bride was walking down the aisle and said, 'Heres to the bride, here's to the groom, may you never disagree, but if you do, fuck you!' Then, all the groomsmen drank from flasks...and the groom joined in."
7. “You know a couple won’t last when they photoshop themselves after I’ve edited their photos to appear better-looking than they actually are. People who are truly happy for you don’t care how perfect you look in your photos — besides, genuine love and happiness makes the most beautiful photos, not a slim waist and perfect skin."
8. "When one is constantly apologizing for the other's behavior or attitude."
9. "At one wedding I shot, the groom kept winking at me and my assistant during the ceremony. He wasn't winking like he had something in his eye — he was leaning back in his chair, looking past his soon-to-be wife, and winking at us."
10. "I'm not a photographer, but I make engagement rings. I've found that if the couple is nice to each other, me, and my staff, they do well. If they're short-tempered, rude, or pushy, it's a sign that they don't really want to be there."
11. "I saw red flags whenever the bride or groom was super quiet and just watching. Once, I had a groom who said no more than 10 words to anyone the entire day. And after the wedding, the bride asked me for a discount because I couldn't make the groom look 'happy enough.' They got divorced a year later."
12. "There's one particular venue I've shot at that has a 100% divorce rate with our clients. It's a state park which I've dubbed 'Omen Meadows.'"
13. "When there's not enough input from one of them, or too much input from family members."
14. "When the bride read a letter aloud the groom had written to her, and she said, 'Well, that was fucking stupid.' I had to cut that part out of the video."
"To be fair, what the groom wrote wasn't exactly Shakespeare, but it was still a harsh response."
15. "I'm a boudoir photographer, and once I had a bride who invited the groom to come to the shoot to help. Well, he spent more time criticizing her than actually being helpful, so we got a few mini bottles of wine to help the bride with her nerves. She declined, but the groom didn't. Instead, he became more of an asshole with every gulp, sayings like, 'Arch your back more,' 'Put your ass down — you look like a porno,' and, I kid you not, 'Raise your face, I see your double chin.'"
16. "As a wedding planner, I can say that nerves are normal. But when one of the pair starts doubting whether they should go through with it WAY before the day arrives, you know something isn't quite right."
17. "I work at a wedding venue, and the biggest red flag I've seen was once when the groom asked his dad, 'Hey, how are ya?' The dad shrugged and said, 'Well, I'm here.' And the groom responded, 'Yeah, I feel the same way.'"
18. "I'm a cake artist, and once a couple came in for a tasting. The groom was late, so the bride started describing the wedding to me. She said that they would ride horses to the site, she'd wear a medieval gown, a flower wreath in her hair, and embroidered shoes, and that she wanted a cake like a castle. Well, when the groom arrived, he barely acknowledged her, then began telling me that his wedding plan entailed him dressed as a riverboat gambler wearing STERLING SILVER SPURS! Oh, and he wanted pearl-handled pistols on the cake! I decided quickly I couldn't come up with a cake that would work for them. They lived in two incompatible, self-contained fantasies, and they didn't listen to each other at all. I doubt they even made it to the wedding."
19. "I had a couple that flew us to Iceland for their engagement shoot. Well, the groom had booked a tiny bunkhouse that the bride wasn't happy with, and she lost it and complained all night. So the next morning at the shoot, things were very tense and they just argued. In front of a beautiful, solitary glacier. For two hours. They broke up a month before the wedding."
20. "I play guitar in a wedding band, and once the drunken groom physically attacked us after we stopped playing (even thought we'd already played an hour overtime), and his mother jumped into the mix to pull him back while the bride was in tears. Then the best man pulled out a Bluetooth speaker to keep the party going. The couple only lasted a few months."
21. "My husband and I are wedding photographers, and we once had to photoshop a smile onto the groom so that he looked happy during the ceremony. I have no idea if the couple is still together, but I would say not."
Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.