I do…need a lawyer: Wedding-day red flags that predict a rocky marriage

I do…need a lawyer: Wedding-day red flags that predict a rocky marriage

There’s no foolproof way to predict if a marriage will go the distance, but occasionally, glaring red flags pop up, even on the wedding day itself. Calling off a wedding, however, can lead to emotional chaos and the hassle of returning those nice gifts you were just getting excited about. It might seem easier to plow through the vows and deal with the fallout later.

But if your gut is screaming “something’s off” as you’re about to say “I do,” it might be wiser to say “I do…need a lawyer” the moment you spot matrimonial red flags.

Red flags in focus through the photographer’s lens

During weddings, no one has a better vantage point or more insight into the day’s events than the wedding photographers. After all, it’s their job to capture every moment, and sometimes those moments hint at more than just a beautiful ceremony. From behind their cameras, these professionals often get a sneak peek of the future — and whether that future involves a “happily ever after” or a “see you in court.”

On a Reddit forum, photographers shared their “they’re not gonna last” moments, revealing some jaw-dropping instances where they suspected the couple they were photographing were destined for a trip to the divorce lawyer’s office.

The groom who couldn’t bear to look at his bride

One photographer recounted a wedding where the bride was gazing adoringly at her groom, while he was staring off into the distance. Could the groom simply have been outrageously tall, unable to physically look down at his much shorter bride? We doubt it. The sharp-eyed photographer had a hunch that this marriage had a short shelf life.

The camera-shy groom who was a picture of marital doubt

Another photographer shared a story of a groom who flat-out refused to have his photo taken after the wedding ceremony. While some might blame camera shyness, it's hard not to read between the lines. The groom was probably less thrilled about being married than he let on because who wouldn't want to immortalize the supposed happiest day of their life?

The bride who requested to look thin in the wedding photos

In a similar scenario, one photographer recounted an unsettling sign of a doomed union. The bride insisted on having her wedding photos Photoshopped to make her look thinner. While the request initially seemed harmless, it soon became clear that the motivation was far from innocuous. The bride wanted to avoid her husband’s criticism about her weight and was desperate to present an image that wouldn’t upset him and cause him to make disparaging comments.

Red flags before the vows through the eyes of now-divorcees

Even those who are about to tie the knot often catch glimpses of red flags waving from afar. BuzzFeed tapped into their community of divorcees, asking them to share moments when they realized their marriage was not destined for marital bliss.

The pastor who commits a Freudian slip of epic proportions

When the pastor slips and calls out the wrong name during your vows, it may be time to investigate. Start with “Why that name?”

One bride shared a tale of her wedding where the officiant uttered a different woman’s name. As it turned out, her groom had a secret family, complete with a child out of wedlock. The mysterious name? Likely the name of his hidden partner.

The husband who gets offered an upgrade to first class, accepts it, and leaves the wifey in economy

We can all agree that when your spouse gets offered a first-class upgrade on your honeymoon flight, and instead of offering it to you as a sweet gesture, they waltz off to luxury while you’re left in economy, that’s a big red flag. One BuzzFeed poster recounted this exact scenario. Her husband didn't even bother mentioning to the flight attendant that they were on their honeymoon and happily accepted the upgrade without a second thought.

In such cases, opting for divorce might seem like the kind route — when in reality, honeymoon jail might have been more fitting.

The gut feeling you should’ve trusted before the “I do’s”

Studies suggest that newlyweds often have a gut feeling about their marital future, a deep-down instinct that predicts happiness (or a lack thereof) in a marriage. One BuzzFeed poster shared her tale of a sense of foreboding during her wedding rehearsal. Despite knowing in her heart that marrying her now-ex was a mistake, she went through with it. After all, the church was already booked and the extravagant wedding was already paid for.

In an interesting twist, she said her ex was actually a good man who loved her. But for whatever reason, she had a gut feeling that they shouldn’t marry. Perhaps it was because she didn’t love him enough to commit to staying together through sickness and health.

Related reading: Divorce gift ideas for your friend navigating Splitsville

Trust your gut to lawyer up

At our law offices in Kent, we’ve yet to hear a client say they knew their marriage was doomed from the start because their spouse stared off into the void during their vows or due to some other oddly specific omen. While we can’t confirm if these red flags are accurate predictors of divorce, body language and subtle cues can indeed reveal a lot about a person's true feelings.

So, if you’re on the brink of marrying someone who can’t look you in the eye at the altar, it’s smart to have the contact details of a reliable family law attorney like LaGrandeur & Williams on speed dial. Better safe than sorry, so save our contact details.