8 signs that a marriage will or won't last, according to wedding experts
- Wedding planners, officiants, and photographers notice a lot about their clients' relationships.
- Being secretive about costs or not spending time together after the ceremony can hint at trouble, one expert said.
- Some of the experts told Insider that happy couples show strong problem-solving skills on the day of their wedding and don't squabble over prices.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
A couple's wedding is supposed to be one of the most joyful days of their lives - but the stress of planning the festivities can quickly expose the cracks in even the most seemingly stable relationships.
Insider spoke with wedding-industry experts like photographers, planners, and ceremony officiants to pinpoint some of the most telling red flags that can hint at whether a couple will live happily ever after.
Here's what these pros, who have worked with hundreds of soon-to-be newlyweds, said were the best indicators of future happiness or a looming divorce.
Trying to hide the real price of wedding expenses is a huge red flag.
Between the cost of flowers, food, and fancy outfits, getting married can hit your bank account hard.
However, wedding planner Lynne Goldberg told Insider that when one partner tries to hide the true cost of wedding expenses from the other, it's almost always a sign there will be future conflict.
"I have had people ask me to lie and tell their partner that the flowers or the photographer cost less money than they really do and ask to pay the difference secretly, so their partner would not know the real cost of the vendor. If there are secrets about money going into the marriage, there is a good chance there will be secrets during the marriage," said Goldberg.
If wedding expenses are stressing you or your partner out to the point where you're considering lying, it may be time to take a step back from party planning and work to get on the same page about money and communication.
Wedding photographers notice when only one partner seems interested in the planning process.
Wedding photographer Jimmy Chan of Pixelicious told Insider that a lack of interest from one partner regarding photography consultations and wedding preparations is a definite red flag.
"A clear sign of trouble is usually when one partner refuses to show up during consultations. This shows a lack of interest in the wedding planning," said Chan. "Couples who last tend to schedule meetings according to their fiancé's availability."
Not agreeing on how much to spend on an engagement ring could also be a sign of trouble.
Private jeweler Dan Moran of Concierge Diamonds told Insider that he worries about couples who come to shop for engagement rings together but can't agree on a price range.
"One of the biggest indicators that a couple may not work out is when they come together to my office to purchase an engagement ring and they are not on the same page about the budget. You need to work that out before you agree on marriage," said Moran. "Too many people push for a more expensive ring, not realising is that it's now their money they're spending as well."
There's no right or wrong amount to spend on a ring. However, Moran suggested that the cost of an engagement ring should be enough of a financial commitment so that both parties understand what they're getting into, without being a financial burden.
Disagreeing on the scale of the wedding can raise doubts about compatibility.
Wedding and elopement photographer Brei Olivier told Insider that she worries when a couple seems to have completely different visions of the perfect wedding because it may hint at a lack of compatibility in other ways.
"Whether it's a big wedding or small, couples who are both 'all-in' on the same style of wedding seem more compatible, in my experience. If one partner wants something very intimate and the other wants a massive blowout party, that might indicate different personal values," said Olivier.
One expert said it's a good sign when she hears someone call their partner their "best friend."
For most people, married life isn't nonstop passion and romance, so it's important to be able to enjoy your partner's company even while doing the most ordinary things, like grocery shopping and trying to figure out where you parked the car.
Professional wedding vow and toast writer Katelyn Stanis told Insider that when it comes to lasting love, word choice seems to matter.
"The happy couples I've worked with referred to their partner as their 'best friend' more often than the word 'soul mate.' Having a relationship that's rooted in friendship is very important. Everyday moments are more fun with your best friend, and marriage is full of everyday moments," said Stanis.
How couples handle problems on their wedding day might offer a glimpse of their future happiness.
"I think that the biggest sign for whether a couple will last or not is how they handle problems together. When something unexpected happens on the wedding day (and it will), you want to be the couple who laughs it off and stays calm, not the one who throws a fit and starts blaming each other," said Reed.
After all, if a couple can't handle an unexpected moment at their wedding, they may not be able to manage a lifetime that's filled with uncertainties.
Couples who spend most of their wedding day apart may not be built to last.
As anyone who has ever been married can attest to, snagging a bite to eat or a moment to sit down at your own wedding can be downright impossible.
However, newlyweds who don't seem to catch sight of each other until the party is over may be headed for trouble.
"It might seem obvious, but it's so important that the couple wants to spend time together on their wedding day. I once had a bride who wanted twice as long for solo portraits of herself as for couples portraits with her new husband. They didn't even make it a year," said Reed. "And if I can't get any candids of the couple together because they're always hanging out with their separate friends or families, I can't imagine that they'll last long."
Celebrating the way your partner is different from you actually bodes well.
Wedding officiant and premarital counselor Hope Mirlis told Insider that one of the most promising signs she looks for in prospective spouses is a willingness to appreciate each other as individuals, rather than simply considering the other person an extension of themselves.
"Successful couples have a curiosity about what their partner does, what their interests are, and making sure that communication is open and strong. There is clear trust and respect for their partner to be their own person," said Mirlis.
This means that both people in the relationship embrace each other's unique hobbies and abilities without trying to impose their own preferences on the other. During the wedding-planning process, this may involve compromising on things like dessert options or the reception band.