- I’m a professional bridesmaid for hire who’s worked at over 125 weddings, so I’ve seen it all.
- How couples act toward each other during the “first look,” ceremony, and reception can be telling.
- Friends will tell me if something’s wrong, and I also pick up clues from how the couple treats me.
The most popular question I get when people find out I work as a hired bridesmaid for strangers is whether or not I can predict if a marriage is going to last.
I spend quality time with the couples and get to know intimate things about them, from family drama to past relationship blunders. Often, the bride even confides in me about any doubts, fears, and nerves she has.
Although it’s impossible to know for sure whether a marriage will last, I feel confident in my ability to predict how “future-proof” a relationship will be based on my observations.
Here are some key things that help me decide if I think a couple is going to make it or not.
How they speak to each other
You’d think a couple would only have nice and charming things to say to one another on their wedding day. But I’ve been to several weddings where the couple is screaming and cursing at each other right before walking down the aisle.
At one wedding, the bride called the groom stupid. At another, the groom called the bride a bitch.
The word choice and tone couples use with each other can be a sign of whether their marriage is about to crumble or not.
Those two couples didn’t make it a year.
The way their friends react
I often get to know the couple’s friends very well. I’m also usually the person they turn to with secrets they can’t share with anyone else.
I’ve had friends of the couple tell me about how the groom is cheating or the bride is settling. Others have bet that the marriage won’t last more than a season. I’ve even had a maid of honor share that the bride was already speaking to divorce lawyers.
When friends open up to me with negative opinions or (truth-backed) secrets, it’s very likely the marriage is on the rocks.
How the couple deals with chaos
Weddings are filled with last-minute challenges and pop-up problems. Even if a couple has a strong team of professional vendors, they’re going to have to field some of the chaos together.
Some couples work well under pressure. But others don’t — their wedding might even be the first thing that puts them under that kind of intense stress.
I’ve had more than 10 clients who didn’t make it to their wedding day because the drama and emotions of planning together were enough to make them see they weren’t meant to be.
How they react during the ‘first look’
One of the most intimate parts of a couple’s big day is when they have their “first look” moment, either before or during the ceremony.
I’m often invited to help calm the bride down and prepare her.
When the couple sees each other for the first time, I get two types of gut reactions. The first is when I feel fireworks going off in my stomach, which instantly makes me cry. The other feels like heartburn and makes me cringe.
The couples who don’t look genuinely enthralled by one another are usually the ones I hear about breaking up soon after the wedding.
The amount of patience they have with each other
People’s true personalities come out on their wedding day.
Couples who respect and care for each other are also usually the ones who have patience. When one person is anxious and the other is calm, it’s so beautiful to watch the more even-keeled person help bring down their partner’s nerves.
But in situations where one person needs that kind of help and their partner can’t provide it, I’m usually the one who steps in.
In those moments, it’s clear that the person isn’t getting what they need, which isn’t a good sign for the marriage.
How much time they spend together on the day
At a wedding, it can be tough for the couple to spend quality time together. They’re both being pulled in so many different directions to say hello to family and dance with friends.
Couples with a strong bond who spend the majority of the night by each other’s side tend to stick together.
At a few weddings, I noticed couples who hardly saw each other the whole night and didn’t share more than two dances. When following up years later, I learned over 75% were divorced.
How the couple makes me feel
I know I’m just a hired bridesmaid who’s there to do a job, but I find that how the couple treats me really matters.
When they treat me with kindness and respect, it can be a sign that’s also how they treat each other.
When couples use me to take out their anger and frustration, it’s clear that they have bigger problems and are using me as a buffer.
Out of the hundreds of weddings I’ve worked at, 15 couples made me cry. At least 10 of those pairs are no longer married.