‘This Ends In Divorce’: 39 Wedding Industry Workers Share The Moment They Saw Red Flags Fly Above The Bride And Groom
A wedding is a celebration of love and commitment but sometimes not everyone present thinks the couple will live happily ever after. While the guests are all boozed up and having a good time, the staff who provide the fun see everything that's going on, and some of the details apparently point to a breakup of the newlyweds.
Just a few days ago, Reddit user Justhearmeoit posted a question on the platform, asking, "People that work in the wedding industry, have you ever seen a couple and immediately thought 'this ends in divorce?' Why?" Their call was immediately answered.
From arguments over money to hooking up with someone else, here are some of the most upvoted answers.
All the f**king time. You know how they say 50% of weddings end in divorce? I can pretty much predetermine who that 50% are going to be with about 98% accuracy.
I bake wedding cakes for a living. I own my own bakery, but have also worked in a country club kitchen, doing basically the same thing + other pastry chef duties day of weddings. I've seen them both for the tasting/design consultation, and on their wedding day. I see how they interact when they're just together, but also when under stress of the big day. I've seen everything. Lots of cheating, lots of drunks, lots of terrible mothers.
Once had a Mama's boy who ignored his wife when they were supposed to be having their cake tasting to cuddle their mother and hand feed her cake. His mother was NOT supposed to be there, and you could tell the bride was pissed. By the end of it he had kissed his mother on the lips multiple times. Divorce.
Have seen a woman b**** and complain at everything her fiancé said. Any suggestions he had for what he liked resulted in him being called stupid. Anytime she'd open her mouth he'd cower and flinch. Their cake actually got canceled like a month before the wedding, so we didn't get anything but the deposit even though we'd started baking it. First time I've lost out on money and I've been relieved.
Once had this arrogant [jerk] Turkish guy marrying into this Bangladeshi family. Bride was sweet, about 10 years older than him, and came from a fairly well off family. Generally got the impression that this being a Turk/South Asian marriage was kind of a big deal, even though they're both Muslim, but since she was 30-something they wanted her to get married so they allowed it.
Guy complains about everything during the planning process, especially over them not serving alcohol. Is generally a [jerk] to us, but is just straight up cruel to her. like at one point when we were meeting I asked after her wedding dress, because south asian wedding dresses are gorgeous. She's showing me this amazing dress and he says straight up 'I don't know what she picked that one, she looks fat and old in it. every other woman is going to be more beautiful than her one her wedding day.' He then shows me this dress he picked out, which isn't traditional south asian style at all, and is very western and very fugly and basically makes the model in the picture look naked it's so sheer. When she says something about how no mosque would let her in dressed like that and her traditions are important, he just sneered and said she should 'get over it' and her traditions weren't that important. Divorce red flag.
Found out later they didn't last a day. From the way the servers tell it, midway through the reception, guy raises his hand to his new bride when she asked him a question about being drunk and she flinched and turned away, protecting her face. He grabs her by the arm and rips her around, pissed. Her mother and aunt were standing three feet from her and lost their f**king minds, realizing what must've been happening there. His response when Mom started to lose her s**t on him was to hit the mother. So in the middle of this very big, 600+ person Bangladeshi wedding, this 20-something outsider dickhead no one wanted her to marry anyway smacked a well respected woman in their community. There was a brawl, the cops were called, marriage was annulled.
Interestingly, the divorce rate in the US has been steadily decreasing since the early 90s. Nonetheless, it's interesting to learn about the factors that contribute to people splitting up, whether it's a lack of support from family and friends or an extramarital affair.
In 2019, the INSIDER Data team analyzed a study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), which polled 52 people (31 women and 21 men), who had been involved with PREP, a "prevention and relationship enhancement program" that focused on teaching couples communication and conflict resolution skills.
The course took place before the couples tied the knot, but the study surveyed individuals who ended up divorced, 14 years after PREP took place. It aimed to glean information on why their marriage had failed, and whether it had been a combination of factors, or due to a "final straw."
Photographing the groom and you see his eyes light up when a guest arrives. You look over and it’s a cute woman in a short dress. He smiles, walks up to the woman, picks her up and swings her in his arms.
Best smile I captured of the groom all day. Marriage didn’t last 6 months from what I’ve heard.
Little or no premarital education and religious differences — 13.3%. Even though all those surveyed had participated in PREP, for some it still wasn't enough. "I probably wish that we would have had more premarital counseling and had somebody tell us we should not be getting married," one participant said. Another added that, while the course was helpful in communication, it wasn't realistic about the growth of marriage. "Premarital counseling teaches you how to get along, and that you should communicate, but it doesn't really talk about the phases of a marriage over time."
As for religious differences, 69% of married people say that their spouse shares their religion, according to a Pew Center survey. And on average, per Fox News and according to the book "Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America," couples in interfaith marriages are less happy than those in same-faith marriages.
I worked fine dining/catering for over 20 years so Iʻve worked lots of weddings and receptions. I once heard a bride at the reception during the toasts say that she actually thought she was asking out the grooms twin brother on their first date and that might actually be cute except she ...just kept going on. How the twin was more compatible, etc. then she ended the toast with "well...as nice as you are youʻll make a great first husband". I was walking past the camera man at that time and you can hear me on tape saying " did you get that? Tell me you got that".
Lack of support from family — 17.3%. According to a 26-year longitudinal study that looked at 373 couples, a husband having a close relationship with his wife's family decreased the risk of their divorce by 20%. However, a wife having a close relationship with her husband's family increased the risk of divorce. According to the study's researcher, psychologist and professor Terri Orbuch, "Wives should maintain boundaries with their in-laws, and husbands should remember to take care of their in-laws and treat them as important."
Not sure if this belongs here, since I'm really sure that they got divorced after, but anyway:
I was helping out at my parents restaurant where a huge wedding party was hosted. I was busy serving drinks and suddenly loud yelling and screaming startet right behind me. Turns out the bride had somehow found out that the groom had hooked up with her sister right before the wedding ceremony (and apparently on a few occasions before) and in her anger she stabbed him in the chest with a dinner fork several times.
We had to call an ambulance and the police. It was like hell
Substance abuse — 34.6%. At least one partner in 50% of the former couples surveyed by the NCBI cited substance abuse as an issue: 34.6% of individuals overall did, but in only 33.3% of cases, both partners agree that substance abuse was to blame for their divorce. "He never admitted that he even drank. It wasn't me against him. It was me against him and the disease," one participant said. Of those who indicated their marriage indeed had a "final straw," 12.1% reported it was because of substance abuse.
At a wedding when the “I do’s” came, the groom said, “I guess”.
Too much conflict and arguing — 57.7%. Survey participants revealed that they didn't resovle their conflicts calmly or effectively, and it only got worse over time.
They reported that "communication problems increased in frequency and intensity throughout their marriages, which at times seemed to coincide with lost feelings of positive connections and mutual support." One participant concluded, "I got frustrated [with] arguing too much."
When the bride and groom argued over why the grooms mother shouldn’t get all money given to them on their wedding day. Ya that was a red flag.
I perform ceremonies as an officiant, and know other officiants. The worst (IMHO) are the weddings that are just a bad idea. The couple is young, inexperienced, and selfish. I mean, even courthouse weddings can last decades, but if you have a wedding that is clearly not planned out, they are often not though out as well. Weddings that are rebellious as a "f**k you daddy, I am 19 and marry who I want!" I give about 2 years, especially if the bride and groom are out of sync with one another, or one just looks like "this was the other's idea primarily."
Oddly enough, weddings with cheesy themes (Star Wars, Elvis, etc) last longer than the traditional styles. I have theories on that, but don't have enough data that's not anecdotal to back it up. But I think casual weddings where everyone is relaxed, happy, and having a good time because the wedding is about celebrating rather than ceremony will last the longest.
A sense of humor helps. If both the bride and groom are relaxed and silly with one another, those last the longest.
It was the third time the bride had hired me and all the guys had been carbon copies.
Ugh I photographed this awful couple. She was a sour cow, barely cracked a smile and all day she was following him round saying "Maaaark! Get my shoes! Maaaark! Where's my bag? Maaaark!" He looked completely miserable and barely spoke all day. At one point we asked them to kiss for a photo and she said "Oh, we're not that kind of couple."
Night before the wedding, the bride-to-be tried to sleep with me on her stag night, crying on my shoulder she wasn't ready for marriage.
Even my 18 year old hormonal brain did a big NOPE there. They lasted a year.
I worked at a hotel in the kitchen, we did a trashy wedding where the cake was brought in from walmart, groom was caught making out with a bridesmaid in a conference room and we saw the bride throw her ring into a storm drain across the street.
They had a big fight the night before the wedding and were considering calling it off. Until the bride showed up 30 minutes before the ceremony, no one was sure if she would be there at all. The groom danced with his MOM more times than he did with the bride. The bride was snippy and nitpicky with the staff all night. The word "annullment" was cast around and I hope to god they went through with it the next day because holy s**t.
I’m a photographer and I’ve shot 3 weddings bc I hate them and they are not for me. Bless you guys who do it, but it’s too much work and drama for me, and not worth the money. Anyway, one of the weddings, the groom called the bride unattractive (she was stunning and used to model, was maybe a size 2, and he was cute, but generic cute), he kept taking shots of vodka with his boys, and asked for a full on photo shoot with his mom. He was definitely a mama’s boy, bc mom was hovering, but you know it’s bad when mom suggests that he maybe take some photos with his wife. He told me to stfu every time I redirected, so after the 3rd time that happened (and he flashed me his junk?), I started packing up. When he started yelling at me, I just told him no one talks to me like that, and I’d send them a refund. I knew right then that it wouldn’t last. He started crying and said he’d behave. He did, but it didn’t matter bc 2 weeks later the marriage was annulled. No one wanted the photos. I was paid in full for photos no one wanted. Bride’s dad had paid me, and tipped me well too. When I offered to refund him half anyway, he said the bride knew when the groom yelled at me and cried that it wasn’t going to work, so I earned it. I guess the whole fam was trying to get them to call it off.
I work and n a hotel. I came in one night to find the wedding was already wrapped up (it was supposed to go until 1 AM and it was 11 PM) because the wedding couple had a fight and she went home with mom.
At another one they had a huge rehearsal dinner fight which spilled out into the lobby. Everyone in the lobby found out that she hated his parents, she was pregnant and she had no idea who the father was, and a few other things. Half the guest list packed up and checked out the next day. They still got married.
Heard from a friend who did calligraphy that a bride came to get wedding invites and the usual wording of 'bride mum and dad and groom mum and dad invite you to the wedding of bride and groom" , bride didn't want grooms parents names on the invite. My mate did an invite mock-up called the couple for a check and the groom lost it, because grooms parents were the ones paying for most of the wedding. They didn't need any invites.
Worked wedding receptions, here are some favorites:
Bride started stripping on the table while the groom was outside.
Bride and best man [were found] in a closet.
Bride lost her ring less that 3 hours after being married.
Mother of the groom lit the table on fire because she didnt like the bride or her family.
Groom was passed out drunk less than 30 mins into the reception. He pregamed in the limo. Our bartender refused to serve him when he arrived. Groomsmen loaded him back into the limo to sleep it off and he didnt come back that night.
I was a wedding planner for almost a decade and saw these types of couples regularly. My biggest key indicator for this was whether they cared more about the wedding day than actually being married to one another.
For example, I remember one couple who really wanted an over-the-top wedding that would be good enough to be featured in a popular luxury wedding magazine. They spared no expense. They became so obsessed with this that they were even choosing members of their bridal party based on their looks rather than their relationship with them. The bride had 2 brothers, one brother looked like a model for Hugo Boss and her other brother looked a bit like fat Thor. Well, only the "hot" brother was selected to be a groomsman. Things like this caused a lot of tension between family members and fights between the couple. It was awkward a lot of the time. I knew for sure this couple wouldn't make it for long.
Interestingly enough, the couple divorced a week before their wedding was featured in that luxury bridal magazine.
I've told this story before but I was working as a cook at a golf course and, at one of the weddings we catered, the bride got incredibly drunk and kept sitting in the laps of all the male guests and flirting with them pretty heavily. I think she made out with one of them too IIRC. Her new husband just sat at the head table by himself looking more and more like a guy who made a $30,000 mistake.
Not actually in the industry but i have helped out a friend with a few weddings. Two of the weddings i could just tell they weren't going to make it. The first wedding the bride and groom hardly talked the entire wedding. It was like they had nothing in common. And then later the groom pretty much f**ks off half way through and went home because i quote "he was tired". So he just left his bride having to take pictures with the wedding guests on her own. He never came back that evening so she had to greet everyone off etc. Funny enough about a year later i heard they're filing for divorce.
Another time was actually last summer. Just before the wedding speeches the groom went go hang out with his friends for like half an hour leaving the bride sitting there alone and delaying the speeches. Then right after the bride and groom cut the cake he once again went to go hang out with his friends and abandoned his wife. So she was left alone having to mingle with all the guests and he made no interaction with her side of the guests. He stuck with his friends the rest of the evening. His wife basically had to go and beg him to come and take more wedding pictures. At one point in the evening he actually went for a drive with his friends for about an hour and his wife had no idea where he was. I mean i get wanting to mingle with your friends at your wedding but to not even mingle with your wife's family or friends on your wedding day seems quite rude.
Many years ago I had a side hustle doing cakes and would often get orders for wedding cakes. Long story short, the bride to be threw a full-fledged stompy-footed tantrum, locking herself in my bathroom and refused to come out because the groom was "unreasonably insisting" on having a say in what the cake flavour was going to be. Like, I'd say through the door, "Get out of my bathroom!" and all I'd get was a whiny defiant little "NoooOooooooOooooooooO!!!!!!" IIRC she was about 22.
I work in the industry (side hobby) and I saw it before entering.
Recent husband came to me, a total stranger to him, and asked what I would do if I found my fiance f**king her dance partner 3 weeks before the wedding.
I just shook my head and walked away.
I ran a fairly upmarket hotel & restaurant that sometimes hosted weddings. Made a rookie error and booked in a wedding for Christmas Eve. This should have been a warning sign, as it shows a pretty significant lack of consideration for friends and family making them travel across the country on one of the most irritating days of the year, when we’d all rather be at home with family preparing for the next day.
They turned up 3 hours early and the battle axe of a bride proceeded to shout at us for not being prepared, surrounded by her incredibly embarrassed but not unsurprised family.
There were various other red flags throughout the night, but the main one was when the husband got blind drunk on whiskey and asked me to go to his hotel room with him and “break him in” as a married man. I politely refused.
When I used to work the occasional wedding on weekends there was this one couple that made me think yea she’s going to end up alone. She took the microphone in the middle of a song that everyone was happily dancing to and then kept saying “it’s my day but I’ll wait til your done your conversation!” “Don’t worry it’s only my wedding day” “helloooo bride wants to talk” blah blah it was hella rude, when she was finally satisfied with the silence she started her speech by berating everyone for taking so long to be quiet and then went on to talk about how she’s so happy and she loves her husband and don’t take the centre pieces. It was awful if I was a guest I would’ve taken my gift and left
I'm a musician and the son of a wedding photographer.
I've actually played in a band whose leader, on the wedding day, took a deposit for the divorce party that was to follow. The groom's mother laid it down and said "I give it six months".
Nine months later, there we were, and there she (the bride) wasn't.
I’ve shot a couple of weddings and the worst “yikes” one involved a bride who would glare at the groom nearly 97% of the time. Made my job getting good photos to try and paint the day in a happy light near impossible and when grilled with the “why didn’t you get more shots, I paid for your service didn’t I?” From the bride was awkward as hell. To be fair I only barely was able to scrap together enough to meet the contract’s expectations due to the bride scowling the majority of the time. For some added context; it was a relatively small family/friends only wedding and held on some land that one of the parents owned. The groom was having fun and talking to all sorts of people introducing himself to those he hadn’t met and was overall a really cool dude who was super excited for the whole event, the bride was a contemptful bridezilla that hated he was having fun and the attention wasn’t solely on her, I’d detail more but some of the .. ‘events’ of the day can only be explained with some details that would dox me pretty quick to anyone at the event. This was the one that made me get out of wedding photography.
From the context of Facebook they got divorced about 3 months afterwards. The groom had nothing but nice things to say about my work and how glad he was I got shots of him and his now late dad together smiling, while the bride complained about just about everything. “Why didn’t you get any good pictures of me and my mother?!” Because literally half an hour after I arrived on sight you had told me you were avoiding her because she ‘was a selfish b**** who shouldn’t even be here.’ Ugh. While profitable it is such an exhausting market/industry.
I used to drive a limo and did a few weddings. This one Saturday afternoon I am picking up both bride and groom, best man and maid of honor.
Poor groom has his arm in a full cast and immobilized with a steel rod. Turns out he had shattered iy a week earlier while riding an ATV.
They all get in the car and the bride-to-be starts ragging him hard core, telling him he is such an idiot, he has ruined the wedding, he is such a loser. She is not letting up and not letting go. Obviously she knew about the injury so it wasn't a surprise. She was just using it to drop F bombs and other unwholesome words in his general direction
I pull up to the church and she and the maid of honor leap out and go into the church. The best man asks if he still wants to go through with the wedding, and the poor dumb schmuck says yes with the enthusiasm of a sleepy sloth.
I just wanted to say "No, dude. Dont spend the next few years with that Witch B****." But he was getting out of the car by then. I dont know how it turned out, bit I am sure it wasn't good.
Catered weddings for a year or so, here's some of the more bat s**t ones off the top of my head:
Entire wedding party dropped molly about an hour into the wedding, bride was colossally f**ked up while the groom looked like he s**t himself while staring at the alpacas they hired to take pictures with. (Yes they hired alpacas, no I don't know why.)
Bridezilla screamed at our serving team for serving too much chicken and not leaving enough for her, after she refused to eat untill 3 hours past dinner service. Groom was nowhere to be found after that.
Brides mom tried to f**k one of our chefs, a very good looking 6'3 italian man. Bride had to pull her away from the kitchen two times, causing a fun argument between the brides mom and dad. Bride started crying and the groom decided to disappear to go take a few shots instead of comforting his wife.
I don't work in the wedding industry but I have a depressing wedding story.
I have a friend who I grew up with, she was always gorgeous and incredibly popular with guys and I always thought she was a great person. As I got older I came to realise she was actually extremely toxic in relationships and did better when she was single. She had been seeing a new guy for two months when one day I receive a wedding invitation in the mail. Knowing her history it was a massive red flag for me. I turn up to the wedding and it's at a gorgeous little backyard type wedding, it's spring and everything looks perfect. I greet her family and it's like I've turned up to a funeral, not a wedding. They're all extremely solemn and when I ask about the groom her mother rolls her eyes and says "This. Is. A. Mistake."
Wedding commences and as the bride comes down the aisle her face is grey and like she would rather be anywhere else. They exchange vows while the bride does everything in her power to not touch her husband to be, even standing a solid metre away from him as they stand at the front. She actually cringes and looks away when he gets choked up saying how much he loves her. When the priest announces the kiss the bride takes a slow step forward and presents her cheek for him to kiss instead of her lips. No one cheers, it's just an awkward shuffling of feet and a few scattered claps. It was the worst wedding I've ever been to.
They lasted about 3 months, before separating.
Probably 2 late but after seven years in the industry 2 stand out.
I. Groom focused on “the boys” all night. Rarely saw the bride and groom together. In his speech he mentioned the bridesmaids and groomsmen the proceeded to spend the rest of his speech talking about his new place of “hierarchy” in the family. Never mentioned her. 3 months later it was over.
Second and most favourite. TLDR: bride drives herself to the ceremony, pops the Ute and skulls a drink in front of the guests. Is drunk before the reception begins. Shows the mc she’s not wearing anything but her garter under the dress. Pulls her strapless dress down to show me her nipple. Groom spends whole night outside chain smoking. And that’s the short version.
I’m a wedding photographer, and the first red flag was how much flipping money they were spending. They had multiple venues, one was a golf resort. Really fancy schmancy. Could’ve bought a really reeeeally nice car with that kind of money. Down payment on an expensive home kind of money.
Second, when I showed up to do the getting ready shots in their house the husband’s family was really nice to me, almost treated me like a family friend. Whenever she was brought up his family would look at me and make a face or roll their eyes, obviously not happy with his choice of lady. It seemed implied that since they already had a kid that I guess he haaaaas to... which was kind of sad.
I had half a mind to tell him that he didn’t have to get married if he wasn’t happy. Which I may have implied very gently.. Not professional I know but she was kind of a monster, not just the day of, but even after. In my opinion, she treated her new husband really poorly. Right after the ceremony, they were outside and she was already yelling at him about something. Just checked, and they’re still married but according to her posts she’s antivax.
I work for a catering company... I knew they were going to get a divorce as soon as the bride started grinding on the best man when the groom was puking his guts out in the corner.
Not me, but my little brother did catering for a bit after he graduated college. He told me a few stories:
Groom drank ten beers during dinner, proceeded to projectile vomit on the wedding cake.
Bride's mother overheard groom talking about his high school wrestling career, tried to drag bride out of the venue yelling about "I TOLD YOU TO FIND A GENTLEMAN"
Bride and groom got into a fistfight before dinner because bride had ordered lilacs instead of roses for the tables out of personal preference
Yes. One of my brides was nervous and got so drunk before the ceremony that she had to be helped down the aisle. Then when the ceremony was over, instead of kissing the groom ("we now pronounce you man and wife") she licked him from chin to eyeball. She fell during the recessional and knocked over a waiter carrying champagne. She couldn't be in their post ceremony photoshoot because she kept falling. When it was time to cut the cake, we couldn't find her. Our staff went to her hotel room and found her covered in her own vomit, still in her wedding dress. She had the audacity to ask for a refund after all of this. They're divorced now...
I worked in a tux shop for a while after highschool. The friction in a couple's relationship was directly correlated with how involved the mothers were. Whether it was motherzilla of the bride or a momma's boy groom, if they had their finger on the scale, you could see it.
I worked weddings as a server for about a year and saw a ton of different things but one stands out specifically. This venue was on a golf course and in the middle of the reception all of the groomsmen and the groom got drunk and decided it was a good idea to go swimming in one of the ponds in their tuxes. The bride was standing on the back porch screaming at them, asking him how he could be such a dumb ass and lamenting loud enough for the world to hear that she married him. I didn't see the bride for the rest of the reception after that. Pretty sure that marriage ended pretty quickly...
Used to serve at a lot of weddings. At one very expensive engagement party the groom got drunk and tried to pick a fight with one of the servers. He then punched another guest and had to be walked out. Bride seemed upset but not shocked.
Well, usually canceling the wedding twice the week before the actual wedding is a good sign.. They made it two weeks before divorce.
Yes I’m a wedding photographer and think this often, when I’m at the rehearsal and they often have nasty arguments over small details
My background is in Marriage and Family Therapy and I work at a wedding venue now. There have been many times that I thought a couple is destined for future therapy, if not divorce. Especially when I see the “four horsemen of the apocalypse” as described by Gottman— criticism, contempt, defensiveness, or stonewalling.
I also assume that things won’t end well when either of the bride or groom is a big bully towards me or the other vendors— it just makes me feel bad for the future spouse.
But we don’t tend to hear much from the couples once they are married, so I usually won’t know how things end up down the road.