The Wisdom of the Wedding Photographer
After 20 or 30 years at it and interviewing ten of thousands of couples I realised that I could pick if a couple were going to be happy, if they were going to stay together, happy or not, and a few other things too. Sometimes I’d be looking at the prospective bride and groom wondering if I could get the money up front because I wouldn’t bet that they’d make it back from the honeymoon. And it wasn’t my exquisite foresight and wisdom either, it was that there were giveaway signs that I started to notice mainly because I was surprised. Almost all couples are happy or deliriously happy when they come in. The guy knows that you’re a crook out to remove his last dollar with the help of his beloved but he still invariably thinks he’s hit the love jackpot and so does she. Next week the David Mane giveaway signals for marital bliss, longevity in marriage and being in the right place!
Here we go. I’m sitting there giving my frank opinion on hairstyles and whether tule is superior to silk and the one thing I know is that if the bride wants lilies or the priest dressed as Tarzan the grooms face will usually drop. Then the groom wants something and the bride will look to heaven for relief. I assumed it was all wedding fatigue until I noticed that two years after the wedding the happy couples had done the opposite two years earlier. Happy couples had an instinctive initial enthusiasm for each other’s plans. The bride will be thinking of doing, say, some course and the groom will go Yes! This positive response to the partner doing or planing something for themselves is the big giveaway sign for being a happy couple. I checked it or I correlated it for 12 years until I gave up because I didn’t find an exception. The ones who initially admired their partners personal ambitions or even party plans had no idea they were doing it. The admiration was instinctive and similarly the ones who were always dubious said it was for a good reason. I asked one guy who was sitting there like Droopy why he got upset if his wife wanted to go out with the girls & he said because he’d have to cook. There was always something, and the zombie couple look accompanied it. On the other hand the Hey Smartguy, you should go mountain climbing for two weeks, not one, couples were the ones joking with each other.
So, an affection for the partner’s ambitions is my giveaway sign for happiness, staying together is another matter. The things I noticed, the keys were that age and having been through a rough time romantically really helped. Basically knowing yourself and knowing exactly what you don’t want in a partner. They’d be sitting talking about love, which along with tule and silk, is what we wedding photographers talk about and I’d get shopping lists about I love him or her because she or he is not this or that. They’d love the things he doesn’t do like the previous miserable, rotten, lowlife, may he float in a barrel of sulphuric acid, bastard. And it works. If they’ve learnt something from the last disaster it’s a good sign. The we’ve been together since the age of 15 and we just know it’s forever is scary to us artistes of the wedding industry.
Another one. A girl came in 3 days before the wedding sobbing because he’d gone back to Scotland. Not just sobbing, sobbing and heaving and utterly crushed. Now in that situation you’d expect that if you’re up to your eyeballs in pain you wouldn’t look too good but with her it was the opposite. She was definitely in the middle of a nightmare but she looked better than normal. Prettier. Two years or so later she’s back in with the new Mr Right and thanking God that the other guy went to Scotland and she’s looking good. We did a lot of weddings so this wash’t such an infrequent thing to happen and I thought it was strange that unhappiness could make someone look good. i saw the opposite too. A bridesmaid I knew would come in with her new fiancé, smiling like there’s no tomorrow and yes, looking not so good. After years of watching this I decided it’s a thing with women. They look good when they’re in the right place. They can be miserable but if they’re doing the right thing they’ll look good physically. They can be doing backflips and laughing their heads off and if they’re in the wrong place they’ll look bad. As for men, forget it, there’s no correlation at all.
Next, 90% of my couples found each other in exactly the same circumstances. I’ll give you a hint. I always advise that if a girl wants the love of her life look for a woman, not a man and get the yellow pages. Next instalment coming soon…