The stress of planning a wedding can bring out the best or the worst in a couple.
If the pair has a strong foundation, they’ll work through any stressors they encounter as a team and doing so will bring them closer together. If there are already cracks in their foundation, though, preparing for the big day will often put even more of a strain on the relationship.
Just ask wedding coordinators. Below, event coordinators from across the country share signs a couple is all but fated to divorce, based on pre-wedding behavior.
1. They barely know each other and are rushing into the marriage
“It’s a bad sign when folks who met six months ago get engaged within the first 60 days or so. They’re in a rush to get married in a matter of months, because ‘They just met their soulmate!’ I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. How do you know if this person you’re marrying pays their bills? How do you know if they are trustworthy? How do you know if they don’t have a massive gambling problem? How do you know if you are going to be able to put up with this person for the rest of your life? You just don’t. Not in that amount of time, at least. My advice would be to enjoy dating the person until you have an idea of who they really are. Spend at least a year being engaged and see how you both handle the stress of planning a wedding.” ― Emily Reno, owner of Weddings & Events by Emily in Las Vegas
2. One spouse smashes a piece of cake in the other’s face, despite being asked not to
“Wedding cakes can be trouble. During the wedding planning for one of my clients, the bride asked the groom multiple times in a serious manner to not smash the cake into her face during the cake cutting. The day finally came and ... he did it. She annulled the marriage soon after that.” ― Anita Dybala, founder and lead planner at Anita Dybala Events in New Jersey and New York
3. The couple couldn’t care less about planning the wedding
“It’s a bad sign when someone doesn’t seem excited about their wedding planning process at all. It’s normal for the bride-to-be to be a little more into the details than the groom but when neither laugh or smile the entire time, you can just tell it’s heading down the wrong road already. Most couples have little jokes with each other or laugh about things the other wants at the wedding, and when there’s none of that, it’s like you can feel the tension in the room. Usually not a sign of everlasting love.” ― Trené Bambrough, co-owner of Great Expectations Weddings and Events in Las Vegas
4. One of the partners thinks the wedding is all about them
“One of the first signs that things aren’t going to last? When the bride or groom is extremely into themselves. This person is usually very attention-seeking and not in a ‘yay, it’s my big day!’ way. With some brides, they make faces like they’re posing for pictures even during a regular conversation. They usually are overly touchy with their fiancé as well and those two things together usually indicate it’s just putting on a show. Most couples who are genuinely in it for the long haul are more into each other than themselves. ” ― Rachel Abolafia, co-owner of Great Expectations Weddings and Events in Las Vegas
5. They’re going into debt for the wedding
“Listen, weddings are how I make a living so telling couples not to dish out cash for their wedding is sort of unwise on my part. However, I do believe spending money you don’t have and going into debt over your wedding before starting a life as a married couple is extremely risky.” ― Reno
6. They treat their wedding vendors poorly
“I offered to coordinate one wedding for free. The bride asked me to place some ready-made, simple centerpieces on the tables as she was a DIY kind of bride. During our meetings she assured me that all I had to do is place ready-made bouquets into the vases. When the day finally came, I couldn’t find the mentioned bouquets, only the tightly packed shipping boxes. Inside, I found roses with thorns and leaves on, uncut and unprepared. I had only one hour to create 15 centerpieces and I did it because I knew my reputation was at stake. I left pretty traumatized that day. The bride didn’t even say ‘thank you.’ I don’t suppose their relationship is built on a strong foundation because of that. If they treat others badly, you can expect they will treat each other the same way.” ― Dybala
7. They make sneak decisions about the wedding behind the other’s back
“One of the most obvious red flags is lack of compromise for even the most trivial of details. Sadly, I have so many examples of the frustration this can cause. On one occasion, I had a bride change half of the music directly with the band instead of going with the list that the groom had compiled with her help. The groom was so upset thinking the band had played the wrong song for their first dance, he walked off the dance floor to yell at the vendor. This, of course, ruined the moment and the photos. It was only then that he realized his wife had gone behind his back to make those changes. It just goes to show how important listening and allowing for flexibility is ― you’ll have to make compromises in your marriage, too.” ― Regina Young, owner at Meant2Be Events in Scottsdale, Arizona
8. They cant agree on wedding decisions ― or anything, for that matter
“One red flag for me is when couples literally can’t come to a compromise on anything. My job is to help facilitate decisions and when couples can’t even agree on what cake flavor or wedding song they want, I start to have serious doubts how decision-making after the wedding will go.” ― Reno