Wedding photographers are responsible for capturing all the important moments from your engagement to your special day. So they have quite a bit of experience dealing with all kinds of couples. While you can't always tell whether a couples is going to last, there are some clues to look out for. According to wedding photographs, they do notice subtle differences between
marriages that last and the ones that don't.
A photographer may not be the first person you think of to
predict the outcome of a relationship. But as Brandon Ballweg, photographer and founder of ComposeClick, tells Bustle, "We do meet a lot of couples. We casually observe their behavior towards each other, and we become friendly enough to share updates on each other's lives." So while he recognizes that wedding photographers aren't exactly psychiatrists, they do have "slightly more insight as to whether things are going to work out between a couple than the average joe."
For instance, wedding photographer,
Christina Piombetti, tells Bustle that the very first thing she notices about a couple is how they treat one another. Are they talking to each other with respect? Or are they criticizing the way the other talks, stands, or laughs?
"There are couples who are so sweet and respectful of one another," Piombetti says. "You just know
they have a solid foundation and they’re going to make it."
Here are some subtle signs your relationship is going to last, according to wedding photographers.
You Use "We" More Than "I" Or "Me" When You're Talking About Yourselves
The small words you use to talk about yourself without really thinking about it can say a lot about how you see your partner. According to Ballweg, successful couples that speak in terms of "we" see themselves as part of a team. For instance, even if your partner isn't around, you may say, "We're really excited for the big day" instead of "I'm really excited for the big day." It may not seem like a big deal, but it does show that you see yourself as being part of a team. "They seem to approach things collaboratively rather than as two individuals," he says. "When things go wrong on a wedding day, the 'we' couples seem to take things less seriously and go with the flow."
You Never Call Out Each Other's Flaws Even In A Joking Way
"This is as simple as it gets," Ballweg says. "I'm much more inclined to believe that a couple is going to last when the they get along well. Healthy and happy couples tend to accentuate the qualities of their partner and downplay their partner's faults." There's really no reason to bring up your partner's flaws, especially around others. Some couples do it in a joking way, and it's no big deal for them. But if it comes from a place of resentment, that's not a good sign. As Ballweg says, couples that last tend to overlook their partner's shortcomings and focus on their more positive traits.
You Manage Money As A Team
It's no secret that money matters can either make or break a relationship. When you're not on the same page financially, you're going to have problems. If you're both over spenders, you may have problems down the line. "When meeting clients for the first time, I look for signs as to whether they are over-stretching their budget," Jimmy Chan, wedding photographer of
Pixelicious, tells Bustle. "Yes, a wedding is definitely expensive but those that last will work as a team, will look for alternatives." If a couple can't manage a wedding budget, there's a good chance they'll have bigger challenges when they're looking to buy a house or potentially have kids. When you're stressed, it's easier to pick fights.
You Handle Stress And Drama Well
Wedding planning can be stressful. But it's a good way to practice compromising and dealing with challenges together. "Your marriage will be full of big decisions and teamwork," Keith Phillips, wedding photographer with
Classic Photographers, tells Bustle. "Often times couples that handle planning the wedding well as a team can carry that experience on to their marriage." Strong couples remain kind and patient, even during moments of frustration. When your wedding day isn't going as planned, you're going to have those moments of frustration. It doesn't matter who's right or wrong. All that matters is the two of you know how to come together to find a solution.
You're Affectionate With Each Other
Couples who end up lasting don't "wait for permission" to kiss. "During the engagement shoot and wedding day, kissing is highly encouraged," wedding photographer,
Kaitlin Cooper, tells Bustle. "While a photographer will tell couples to kiss at certain moments, these are not the only times you’re allowed to kiss." The physical connection you have with your partner can make for some seriously romantic photos. According to Cooper, "candid and unprompted kisses" throughout a session shows that you're clearly into each other and you're not afraid of a little PDA.
"Like it or not, a wedding involves both families," Chan says. "If the in-laws love each other, it's a good sign of a long-term marriage." It's easy to say that nobody else matters but the two of you. For some couples, that's true. But the reality isn't that simple for everyone. If family is important to both of you, it's going to be tough to deal with your families not liking each other. It's always going to be a source of tension. "Sometimes clients take a risk knowing their difference in religion, culture, or social status and it's always heartbreaking to learn that things didn't work out in the end," Chan says. So if your families get along, that's a really good sign that your marriage will last.
You Don't Hold Back On Complimenting Each Other
A small compliment here and there may not seem like a big thing. But according to Cooper, this can make a huge difference in the strength of your relationship. "While photographing couples, the couples who are complimentary towards one another instantly have more confidence and smile more," she says. "By giving genuine compliments to each other early on in the relationship, it becomes more natural over the years (especially once the initial spark and honeymoon phase are over)." When you compliment your partner, you're infusing more positivity into your relationship. According to The Gottman Institute, it's important to have
five positive interactions to every one negative interaction if you want your relationship to last.
You're Constantly Laughing And Smiling Whenever You're Around Each Other
Laughter can help make your photos look more candid and genuine. According to Cooper, it's also a good sign that your relationship is going to work. "Whether it’s laughing at an inside joke, cheesy punchlines, or at one another, having a sense of humor increases your chances of staying together," she says. In fact, a 2013 study published in the
Western Journal of Communication found that over 74 percent of long-term couples laugh together at least once a day. So if you and your partner are always laughing together, there's a good chance your marriage will last long-term.
Your Wedding Day Is All About The Two Of You
"The happiest couples are always the ones who have made their own decisions around their wedding day, without too much outside input," wedding photographer,
Nina Larsen Reed, tells Bustle. It can be little things like doing a first look before the ceremony, or big things like choosing to elope instead of going for a big traditional wedding. Your wedding day is supposed to be a celebration of you, your partner, and the life you're about to have together. But during the wedding planning process, it's easy to get caught up in wanting to please everyone like your parents or the wedding planner you hired. But according to Reed, "It's always a great sign when you're confident in who you are and what you value as a couple. You don't let anyone push you around."
On the day of your wedding, Reed also says it's great to see a couple sneaking away from the festivities for a moment alone. "It’s your wedding day. You should want to spend some time loving on your partner without a crowd around," she says. You know that your wedding day is all about you as a couple.
These are just a few things wedding photographers notice in the couples they work with. Chances are, your friends and family likely notice these little things as well. If your relationship is full of love and positivity, it will show. If you keep that up, your marriage is likely going to last.