In 2014, when I first started working as a hired bridesmaid for strangers, I didn’t know very much about love or relationships. I was perpetually single and most of my friends married their college sweethearts. But after working hundreds of weddings over the years, I started to pick up different lessons about love by getting to know the couples who had hired me. And one big lesson I've learned through the years is how to tell if a relationship will last.
A big part of my job is to support the person who hired me (whether a bride or a groom) before their celebration and on the day of their wedding. I often don’t leave their side from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to sleep that night. Because of that, I often feel like a third wheel in the relationship and can see and hear everything that goes on between the couple that day.
I have witnessed couples get into screaming matches right before walking down the aisle and I have seen couples know exactly how to comfort each other during moments of intense stress. After working hundreds of weddings as a professional bridesmaid, here’s exactly how I can tell if a relationship will last.
How To Tell if a Relationship Will Last, According to Wedding Expert Jen Glantz
These are the four signs I've noticed time and time again.
The couple is on the same page
One of the first signs that a couple’s relationship might be flawed is when one person plans the entire wedding and the other person is completely uninvolved. Oftentimes, the person who wasn’t in the loop about all of the details feels like a stranger at their own wedding.
I once saw a groom show up at the venue and rage with anger over what he saw. He wasn’t happy with the color scheme, the reception menu or the flower arrangements. Not only was there awkward tension between the two of them, but a few months after the wedding, they ended their marriage.
It’s okay if one person is more involved with planning the celebration details but it’s important that both people are on the same page and know what to expect on the wedding day.
Planning a wedding is a good way for both people to come together, make decisions and blend personal preferences into one big gathering.
The couple fights with kindness
It’s normal for couples to disagree and have arguments in any relationship. Even though a wedding is meant to be a joyful and positive experience, it’s rare that a couple makes it through all of the stressful moments without an argument or two that day.
However, the couples who fight with aggressive words and body language, or put the other person down, usually are the couples who have deep and unresolved problems in their relationship.
I’ll never forget a wedding where five minutes before the couple walked down the aisle, the groom was cursing and screaming at the bride. She ran to the bathroom to cry and I followed behind her. She told me that she wasn’t sure how she was going to put up with his anger for the rest of her life. A year later, she messaged me that they got divorced.
But I've always seen couples who work through disagreements and tough moments with kindness and respect. A couple who found themselves in a heated conversation about uninvited guests showing up were able to solve the issue by letting the other person speak uninterrupted and coming together on a game plan to handle the situation.
I’ve noticed it’s important to understand your partner’s communication style and work together, either through conversation or by getting professional help, to learn how to get through arguments in a loving way.
Each person has selfless moments
When planning a wedding, each person will inevitably have a few things that they care about more than anything else. For example, a few months ago, I worked with a bride who wanted to only serve pizza at her wedding. She loves pizza and wanted to make the wedding menu anything but boring.
While the person she was marrying thought it would be strange to not offer alternative menu items, like meat or fish, he decided that since the bride cared about this more than anything else, he would take a step back and let her decide the catering menu.
Couples who are selfless seem to not only show up for their partners with an open heart and mind, but also can anticipate what the person needs during the tough and emotional parts of a wedding.
The couple has had tough conversations
I often see that after the wedding ends, some couples go through a lot of rocky moments. That’s because they are coming down from a period of time when a lot of their focus and conversations were around planning a party. After the celebration ends, both people are often faced with tough decisions about where to live, how to blend finances and what joint goals are next for the family.
However, I've noticed that couples who have these tough conversations before the big day end up getting to enjoy more of the post-wedding honeymoon phase because they are on the same page about their next steps in the years ahead.
If these conversations seem daunting or it’s hard to know where to start, I’ve seen a lot of couples do premarital counseling as a way to dive in and navigate these topics.