In a perfect world, everyone would find their soul mate, recite a set of heartfelt vows, and ride away into the sunset on the path to happily ever after. In the real world, however, the numbers tell us that around 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. What gives? How is it that so many people could be so wrong about something so important?
The truth is, there are definite warning signs to whether or not your relationship is destined for marital bliss or for divorce court. And the fact of the matter is that while you may not be able to recognize trouble, the people you’ve brought in to help with your big day can often see it loud and clear.
I’m talking about your hair stylist, your florist, and yes — your wedding videographer. Not only have they watched you interact before, during, and sometimes after your “I do’s,” but they also see countless successful and failed couples go through the same ritual every year.
Here are ten ways that your wedding videographer can predict whether you and your beau are headed for happiness or for headaches.
The Bad Signs…
1. You Argue Over the Small Stuff
Chances are you’re going to hit some rocky patches in your marriage – managing financial issues, raising hellacious teenagers, or caring after each other’s elderly parents. If you can’t agree on what song plays in the background of your wedding video while you’re putting on your tux, you’re probably going to have serious problems managing your lives together.
2. You’re Trash Talkers
“When brides come in a few days before the wedding to hash out final details, it’s never good when she arrives sans groom,” says Tim Canter, owner of Artistic Video Creations, a wedding videography company in Ohio. “But when she comes in with her mom or a bridesmaid and can’t stop throwing her fiancé under the bus, it’s an even bigger red flag. It probably isn’t a fairy tale wedding when you’re already so annoyed with someone that you’re trashing them to a total stranger.”
3. You Leave Your Wedding to Watch the Game (Seriously)
You can’t know whether Michigan will make it to the playoffs the year you decide to get hitched, but spending your reception at the lobby bar watching the game DURING YOUR WEDDING is never a good sign.
Don’t think it happens? “It happens all too often,” says Canter. “At one wedding, the groom disappeared right after dinner and missed all of the big moments – the bridal dance, the mother/son dance, and the bouquet and garter toss. He finally arrived with 45 minutes left in the night, but the damage was done.” If a game is more important than your wife on the biggest night of your life, it’s pretty easy to think she’ll be much easier to ignore on an average day.
4. You Don’t Spend Time Together on Your Wedding Day
Sure, your family and best friends have all gathered around to celebrate your special day, so it’s only natural to devote a large portion of your time and energy to them. But when you barely see your new partner post-ceremony or actively spend your time pre-occupied with everyone else, it makes your videographer wonder why you wanted to marry that person to begin with.
5. You Haven’t Accepted Your Relationship Roles
Often in relationships, one person takes on a dominant role while the other partner steps back a bit. What’s necessary for a happy union is to learn this give-and-take early on — you know when he/she is going to want to take the lead, and vice versa, and you’re both fine with it. Generally Canter says he thinks this works out fairly well, but when a bride or groom hasn’t accepted the relationship’s dynamic, it’s a sign they’re headed for trouble.
“I see a lot of controlling partners,” he says. “If a bride or groom is barking orders or rolling their eyes at their partner’s mistakes, it’s a big red flag. Believe it or not, I’ve seen brides yell at their new husbands for not striking a good enough pose for a shot.”
6. You’re Not Compatible
Real compatibility can get masked in everyday life as a couple moves through their routines. But an event like a wedding can bring out incompatibilities faster than it takes to cut the cake.
Canter says he can spot differing personalities from a mile away – like when one person wants an elegant black tie affair and the other just wants a backyard party. Or when the bride values perfect makeup/hair/photos and the groom insists on smashing cake in her face.
“It’s one thing if they can work out the differences and come to a happy conclusion, but sometimes you can tell that they’re just very different people and probably won’t make it too far in their marriage,” he adds.
7. You Get (REALLY) Cold Feet
If you opt for a wedding video, there’s something important you should consider: you’ll be wearing a microphone for most of the evening, so whatever you say could end up on tape.
“I taped a wedding once where the groom was watching his mother-in-law light the candles while simultaneously telling his best man that he was making a big mistake. He ended up going through with it, but both he and his new wife got so drunk at the reception that they had to separately go sleep it off in the hotel room before the night even ended. If you need to get smashed to be around one another, it’s probably not the best sign of a lifelong bond.”
The Good Signs…
1. Your Interests are Synced
Maybe you met at a Giants game and the bride wants to surprise the groom by wearing a blue and red garter. Or perhaps you both have a soft spot for Chuck Taylors and want to walk down the aisle rocking your favorite kicks. Building similar interests –- and making it a priority to feature them in your wedding video –- is a pretty good indication that you’re tuned into one another, and a good sign for long-term compatibility.
2. Your Nerves Get the Best of You – In a Good Way
There’s something to be said for nerves, but Canter says it still makes him happy to see someone get crazy nervous for the right reasons – like wanting everything to go perfectly for their partner, or because they simply can’t wait to see the other person.
“When you see so many people that are more concerned with the centerpieces than the actual ceremony, it makes it that much more special to see someone who looks like they’re waiting in line to cash in a winning lottery ticket,” he says. “They’re almost dizzy with anticipation and positive energy. That’s a pretty good sign they’re not going to take each other for granted later.”
3. You Break Out the Dancing Shoes
I’m not talking about taking lessons or choreographing some elaborate first dance. Instead, this one’s about getting lost in each other’s presence. Along with slow dancing – it’s always a good sign when a couple can close their eyes and really absorb the moment, even in front of 200 guests – busting out crazy moves together is another great indicator of success.
The couples that have the most fun aren’t forcing anything – instead you can tell that they’re best friends and want to be partying together all night long.