Can a wedding photographer tell when a marriage is doomed?

According to one wedding photographer, couples who forced cake into each other's mouths almost never worked out. Photo / Getty
According to one wedding photographer, couples who forced cake into each other's mouths almost never worked out. Photo / Getty

We all love a wedding, but what about the thought of sticking to the marriage once the confetti settles?

Too often, couples get so wrapped up in the glitz of their big day; they forget about the hard yards that follow.

While the age old saying is "only time will tell", there is one person on every wedding day who believes they have a fair idea of whether a couple will last or not.

With the job of getting up close and personal with the bride and groom both in the lead up, and especially on the big day, wedding photographers get to know their subjects pretty well, and from an objective standpoint.

Earlier this month, Tawnybigbuns took to Reddit to find out what photographers saw in their newly wed subjects, and whether they could tell if a couple was doomed or not.

"I was looking at the wedding pics of friends who divorced four months after the ceremony," she wrote.

"And was wondering if the photographer noticed any clues."

The feed was flooded with more than 1000 comments, with mixed opinions on whether a photographer could make the call on a long lasting relationship or not.

"We spend 8, 10, 12, or more hours in a day looking at the bride and groom through a frame that isolates them alone and together, largely stripping away the broader context and focusing on their interactions," says Reddit user SuccessiveApprox.

"We are looking specifically for moments of contact, of intimacy, of emotional connection. It pretty quickly becomes evident when those things are there, and when they are not."

"We also spend a lot of time listening to the language they use in pre-meetings, engagement shoots, on the wedding day, etc. It becomes pretty clear in a short time what the focus is. Many couples, particularly young couples, pretty clearly have in mind a wedding but have put little thought and planning into a marriage. The difference we see between a young couple and an older/second marriage couple is pretty significant."

Another telltale sign, according to Reddit user CoLmes is affection towards one another: "My very first wedding was a couple who was getting married by the art museum in Philly," he wrote.

"I had my friend whose been a wedding photographer for 10 years with me to show me the ropes after doing a lot of second shooting with him. So he poses a kissing shot of the couple, and when he asks them to kiss the bride goes 'oh, no, no thank you' in this weird little mousy voice."

But according to Brisbane based wedding photographer Todd Hunter McGraw, making a call on whether a couple will last based on affection doesn't always work out.

"I have been wrong so many times. I might think a couple will break up, and they don't," Mr McGraw told news.com.au.

"And then I've shot people completely in love, eye gazing and totally into each other - but then they break up three months later. So different dynamics work."

Mr McGraw, who has spent the past 10 years photographing weddings for more than 400 couples, said he stopped trying to pick if a couple were made for each other or not very early into his career.

"Every relationship is different, because ages, cross cultures, family dynamics all come into it," he said.

"Some couples simply don't express themselves in public at all, but doesn't mean they aren't in love. They just don't kiss much or hold hands in the open.

"So I wouldn't say that's any indication [of breaking up] at all."

Apparently, the cutting of the wedding cake is another big sign about the success of the marriage.

One photographer admitted that couples who forced cake into each other's mouths almost never worked out, while those that share the cake are the ones that share a tender and loving marriage together.

But Melbourne based photographer Cam Neville said as a photographer, you shouldn't let emotions or judgment get in the way of the profession - but he had witnessed one wedding where he knew the outcome probably wasn't going to be as rosy as the ceremony.

"I don't judge a couple, not when you're there as a professional and have to be on form all day. I am there for the couple to make sure they get what they want," Mr Neville told news.com.au.

"But I did shoot a wedding four years ago and I felt this vibe at the end of the day, and things didn't seem quite right.

"Maybe it was an older crowd, I'm not sure but they were just so stressed on the day. There was lots of family dynamic, and I think there had been issues with a mum and dad breaking up.

"It really showed up in the photos, even though I tried to calm them down.

"But at the end of the day, you're being paid to do your best and capture people being happy and having fun. Negative thoughts on whether the couple will last or not, it could put you off your camera game."

- news.com.au

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