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To think that you can generally guess the chances of a successful marriage based on the wedding?

(231 Posts)
EatsShitAndLeaves Fri 04-Nov-16 13:11:28

So DM emailed yesterday to let me know a family member is getting married for the second time.

All well and good and I'm happy for them.

However it inevitably reminded me of their first outrageously luxurious wedding which cost DH and I a small fortune to attend where DH and I concluded half way through the event that we had wasted a shit load of money we couldn't see the marriage lasting more than a year.

As it happens we were wrong - it all fell apart after 8 months...

Thinking about it more, nearly every wedding I've attended had a "sense" of if it's likely to work out in the longer term - and the odd exception aside, I've been right.

To be clear I don't go to weddings with the intent of conducting a forensic analysis of the relationship! I genuinely want these people to be happy and for it to work out, but sometimes I can't help that "spidy sense" feeling.

AIBU to think this pretty common?

Matchingbluesocks Fri 04-Nov-16 13:16:50

It's not money though is it? I've found the opposite- everyone who rushed down to the registry office for a £200 special split up because it was a generally impulsive (young) decision.

We spent shit loads on our wedding and have been married 11 years now

EatsShitAndLeaves Fri 04-Nov-16 13:25:59

No it isn't all about money at all.

The cost of the wedding wasn't in that case an indicator.

I just mentioned it as that was the circumstance that brought it to mind (and because I still can't help being a bit peeved at spending £2k on a wedding that didn't last a year).

It's been a variety of things, from the grooms speech, to a focus on planning the day rather than "being married", the behaviour of the B&G to each other at the wedding etc

DownWithThisSortaThing Fri 04-Nov-16 13:27:53

I don't think there's a correlation between the amount of money spent and marriage lasting.
Of course, some people get married for the wrong reasons, but lots of people get married for all the right reasons and years down the line things begin to go wrong that no one could have predicted or foreseen.
I do think that some people are more focused/interested on the big day than the marriage though. But that doesn't go for everyone who spends a lot of cash.

Matchingbluesocks Fri 04-Nov-16 13:28:41

Oh yes agreed. Behaviour of B&G at the wedding the biggest I reckon

WankersHacksandThieves Fri 04-Nov-16 13:28:44

I'm not OP was specifically saying that the more money spent the less likely that it was to be successful? My take was that when attending the wedding she got the vibes as to whether it was likely to be a long marriage.

Though to be fair, longevity is not necessarily an indicator of success.

For me it would be how much joint effort was put into the day and whose taste it reflected. And how much it was all about show rather than about having a good day and welcoming your family and friends to enjoy it.

I guess everyone's circumstances are different.

I have a brother who did the quick cheap wedding as my sil was pregnant - they were teenagers, everyone chipped in to help give them a good day. They've been married 40 years now. Other brother had a big wedding and they were also young and they've also been married over 40 years. Nephew had been with his partner for 8 years with two DC when they had big fancy wedding on a 1920s theme, they'd split up before the year was out (my nephews fault but it was clear that it was his wife's wedding, not his)

RaspberryOverloadTheFirst Fri 04-Nov-16 13:31:43

I think I can see what you mean.

I recall one wedding I attended, a modest affair, and it became clear it was something of a shotgun thing (1980s). The groom looked bored, the bride was chatting to other people all day and the body language between the two was anything but loving. Marriage broke down a few years later.

Alternatively I was a bridesmaid at another modest do, and the bride and groom are still together 15 years later.

OlennasWimple Fri 04-Nov-16 13:31:53

I sort of agree, in that the "worst" wedding we went to ended after barely six months, but that took no one by surprise and part of the reason it wasn't exactly a happy occasion was the palpable tension on the day due to a host of things that had happened before and should have led to the wedding being cancelled.

I have sat through a wedding where I know the groom was playing away, so not exactly surprised about that one (but not many others were aware, so I doubt anyone's sixth sense would have been tingling - it wasn't ostentatious or very budget conscious)

The most acrimonious divorce in our circle was indeed preceded by the wedding that seemed to take the "Top Ten Things To Have At Your Wedding" articles and do them all (chocolate fountain, glitter bomb on the dance floor etc etc), but no one could have foreseen it ending how it did

Sparlklesilverglitter Fri 04-Nov-16 13:38:52

I don't think you can guess the chances of the couple

I've been to weddings that cost ££££ and they are still together and also couples that paid ££££ that didn't make it past two years.

I've known a few friends to pop to the registry office have a quick slap dash wedding a didn't make it beyond a year.

You can spend what you like on your wedding day but marriages are hard work and if your not pre paired to work at it or if your not really suited it will not last

HeCantBeSerious Fri 04-Nov-16 13:42:01

We attended a wedding a few years back. Knew the groom but I hadn't met the bride. When I text to confirm we would be attending (as requested) she replied offering a photo of her in the wedding dress.

On the day she was preceded down the aisle by 18 bridesmaids and 4 flower girls, 12 ushers and 6 page boys. The best man got so drunk and gave a speech that was offensive to everybody and made references to lots of in-jokes between the groom's close friends. The bride walked out of the reception halfway through the speech voicing loudly just how innapproproate it was and spent the next hour in the disabled loo with a number of the bridesmaids screaming at the best man through the door. Best man had a new one ripped for him by his wife.

Wasn't much of a surprise when they split after just under 2 years.

AmeliaJack Fri 04-Nov-16 13:42:03

Hmm. I don't think you can tell from the wedding really.

There have been a few weddings where DH and I wondered whether they would last. One of which we were completely wrong about. 15 years on and they are still going strong. From our point of view it's a weird relationship but it seems to work for them.

I firmly believe that you never know what's going on in someone else's relationship from the outside.

Drbint Fri 04-Nov-16 13:45:03

No. We went to one wedding where they were so in love and it was such a happy day...they got divorced 4 years later after some issues came up in their lives that they couldn't get through. Another couple split after 4 months - I don't know why, I suspect his family may have been the factor, but you'd never have known it from their wedding.

One of the best weddings I've been to was for a relationship I suspect will not last. Great wedding though.

MackerelOfFact Fri 04-Nov-16 13:45:31

I agree. Although I'd say I get the 'sense' less from the wedding itself, but more from the behaviour and attitude of the couple in the run up to the wedding. Those that are very fussy, controlling and highly-strung about wedding preparations are also likely to behave like that in a relationship and thus be difficult people to be married to.

Agree that money has little to do with it.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Fri 04-Nov-16 13:47:55

I think I as branded a horrible cynic when I voiced similar on a wedding thread

not that it changed my mind or anything ;)

honeylulu Fri 04-Nov-16 13:51:29

Have been to a few weddings where there have been subsequent divorces. No particular alarm bells although one was a shotgun job after the bride found out she was five months pregnant within a fairly new relationship. Another one the bride and groom were barely out of their teens and very immature. So could have predicted splits were more likely if I'd thought about it.
Read a study a few years ago - will try and find link - that a psychologist was usually able to predict correctly if a couple were still together after 10 years from looking at their wedding photos. I recall one key factor was if they leaned towards each other when having their photo taken.

MuseumOfCurry Fri 04-Nov-16 13:52:25

MN is certain that an expensive wedding is the harbinger of doom. We have a very, very expensive wedding and are still hanging on by the teensiest thread 15 years later.

TheTantrumCometh Fri 04-Nov-16 13:55:12

DH worked with a two faced, horrible woman when we were planning our wedding. Earlier that year she'd got married and was very critical about the way we decided to go about planning our wedding. Not to my face, she always gushed when she saw me, but she said snide things to my DH and to others generally. She just didn't seem to be able to wrap her head around the fact that we would do things differently to her and that every must want the wedding she had. Weird considering we didn't really discuss our plans with anyone unless they asked how it was going.

Skip forward a few months and her and her husband had split. In hindsight I can see now that it was a lot less to do with how we actually did things, just more she could foresee the end of her marriage and was taking that out on others/didn't have the right outlet for her feelings.

Though I do think she probably got swept up in the planning and didn't stop to assess whether marrying was the right thing for them (form details that have come out since).

EssentialHummus Fri 04-Nov-16 13:55:37

Those that are very fussy, controlling and highly-strung about wedding preparations are also likely to behave like that in a relationship and thus be difficult people to be married to.

I think this is part of it. I also (personally, with not much evidence) believe that someone who puts a disproportionate amount of effort/money into a wedding is consciously or unconsciously hiding something/trying to distract attention or overcompensate.

I'm only 30, so we haven't really hit divorce season though.

mickeyjohn Fri 04-Nov-16 13:57:17

Yes. At my younger brother's wedding, my sister said 'this is their starter marriage' and she was right - within 3 years he was cheating on her & left her for someone else. The whole wedding was massively orchestrated by her - she was a massive bridezilla, horribly self absorbed & I don't think had looked beyond the 'big day' to realise what marriage actually meant (neither had he, clearly...!) My mum accused my sister of being a cynical bitch, but we knew better (as big sisters always do grin)

MargaretCavendish Fri 04-Nov-16 13:58:18

I know what you mean but my own sixth sense on this one is very lacking. I've been to two weddings where I thought 'yeah, give this one a year...'. Both still together, 10 and 6 years on!

In my defence I maintain there were red flags in both cases - couple 1: had known each other six months after meeting a on a 'Christian dating website', she was very young, second marriage for him because, apparently, his first wife 'just left him out of the blue and for no reason at all'. Couple 2: both coked up to the eyeballs throughout the wedding (!), which just didn't seem like a good sign! Nonetheless, as I said, both certainly still together and showing every sign of happiness!

TheTantrumCometh Fri 04-Nov-16 13:58:24

Would just like to clarify that I don't think money spent has any bearing whatsoever, just that the differences between our weddings seemed to spark something in her (and not for the better).

LisaMed1 Fri 04-Nov-16 13:58:42

My general experience has actually been that the more expensive a wedding then the less likely it is to last.

Looking at it from a different angle, I think the weddings that have lasted were the ones that were about what was important to the bride and groom. The ones that didn't last were the ones that were about what was important to the bridal magazines.

gillybeanz Fri 04-Nov-16 14:00:24

We spent very little on our wedding, had a meal for reception, no night time doo. I even hired my dress for the day.
Our honeymoon was spent cleaning out our new home which the previous owners had left uninhabitable.
We have been married 24 years and whilst we have had our ups and downs like any people do who live together, we are happier than ever.
We have never gone to bed on an argument and can't stand silent treatment.
Out in the open, sort it out, move on is our motto.

BorpBorpBorp Fri 04-Nov-16 14:01:50

I think that the massively expensive wedding phenomenon is so relatively new that it hasn't been possible for this pattern to establish itself yet. The people who have been married for decades are more likely to have spent less money on their wedding because when they got married big flashy weddings weren't such a 'thing'.

MrsGwyn Fri 04-Nov-16 14:02:30

Behaviour of B&G at the wedding the biggest I reckon


Our families cause row night before - mine by fussing and not listing and stressing me out and his by being usual selfish arses. IL and best man wife behavior on the day was appalling to us but me especially. Plus we were exhausted as we'd had no help and lots of "advise" so our behavior may mayy have been "normal".

They have all caused problems after wedding especially after the children but we live some distance away and have learnt to manage them.

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