How to tell if a relationship will last, according to a wedding expert.

Getting married to your person, surrounded by those you love most, is supposed to be the best day of your life. But the planning? The planning can be... stressful. To put it lightly. 

And sometimes, cracks start to show in the lead-up to the big day. 

Whether it's down to anxiety, finances or even communication (or a lack of it), there's not much Amy Parfitt hasn't seen when it comes to the planning stages of a wedding. As the co-founder of Wedshed, she and her best friend have been helping couples pull together their perfect dream weddings since 2015.

So we asked Amy to share the common signs that tell her a relationship may not make it all the way to the aisle.

Watch: How much do Aussies spend on weddings? Post continues after video. 

Video via Mamamia.

Why does wedding planning bring up so many red flags?

For couples, weddings are often the first major thing they will plan together for their future, says Parfitt. 

"There's a whole lot of investments that go into a wedding – which is, by the way, only a SINGLE day. It is a lot of emotional investment, financial investment, and an investment of time," she explains.

"You can be really excited about getting married but if there's anything that's bubbling, planning a wedding is probably going to bring all of that to the surface because weddings are a pressure cooker."


Wedding planning can also bring up relationship issues because it's the first important joint event of a couple's life.

"You're potentially seeing your partner in a new light and different aspects to their personality that aren't just there every day," she explains.

Red flag #1: When couples aren't on the same page about money.

Parfitt says it is not unusual for couples to disagree about money. In fact, it's probably the most common problem that couples have – especially when planning a wedding.

"When it comes to wedding budgets, you're realistically not going to see eye to eye on everything – and that's fine!" she tells Mamamia. "But you at least want to be roughly on the same page when it comes to your budget because the day is about both people getting married. 

"And also, if there's a misunderstanding — or even worse, if one party is actually hiding how much things cost — it could be a sign there'll be financial secrets in the marriage that follows as well."

Red flag #2: When family members have a lack of boundaries.  

Parfitt created a Facebook group a few years back called Wedchat by Wedshed, which now has 25,000 members. It's a place for brides, grooms and wedding guests to go for advice, ask for help and vent their frustrations. 

And for the business founder, family members causing drama is not an uncommon problem when a couple is planning a wedding.

"Weddings often run into their fair share of family politics. It's actually quite common – and dare I say, it's also fine – for family dramas to surround your wedding, but it's a real red flag to me when a couple doesn't stand as a united team in the face of it," she explains.


"We had a bride reach out on Wedchat the other week asking for advice because they had decided on a 'no-kids policy' at their wedding. However, the fiancé's sister was demanding an exception for her kids and his family were rallying around the sister to support her, despite the fact that she could find a babysitter and there had been plenty of time to do that."

The red flag for Parfitt wasn't that a couple was having issues with family members, but the fact that the bride was in the battle on her own. 

"The fiancé was tiptoeing around the issue and making it seem like it was the bride's idea instead of theirs," she continued. "That, to us, signals an unhealthy prioritisation of the family at the expense of the actual partner."

Red flag #3: When one partner has no interest in planning.

There is a caveat though: when one partner is simply more passionate about wedding planning than the other.

But for the most part, Parfitt thinks this isn't usually the case and finds it worrying when a bride (in a cis-gender heterosexual relationship) is doing all the work.

"What if things don't 100 per cent go to plan? It can blow up in the person who organised the wedding's face as well, and they can have the finger pointed at them," she says. "But it also suggests that you've got different values as well if one party doesn't want to participate in planning. It's really about both of you."

Parfitt encourages couples to ask themselves what their priorities are and if some responsibilities can be shifted so it feels a bit more balanced. After all, a wedding is meant for both parties involved to enjoy!


Red flag #4: When communication isn't solid.

Communication is a sensitive topic, Parfitt admits. But a wedding isn't the best place to put it to practice, because in order to even plan one, communication has to be solid.

"Everyone has got their own relationship and communication looks different for everyone," she tells Mamamia. "I think believing that marriage will fix your problems is just absolutely not the right frame of mind to go into this with. I think it's important to remember that getting married is something that you get to do and it's not something you have to do."

Parfitt continues, "Just because you've been in a relationship with someone for a certain timeframe doesn't mean that you need to get engaged... Buying a dog, getting married, having a baby – none of these things will fix a fractured relationship."

Red flag #5: When there is a lack of respect from the partner.

Something that Parfitt believes is important to remember (whether you're getting married or not) is that a relationship requires mutual respect and an understanding of someone's boundaries. 

A classic example was a Reddit post that went viral from the 'Am I The A**hole?' page, where a bride asked if she was in the wrong for leaving her husband on their wedding day. 

"This bride explicitly told her partner not to smash cake in her face because she didn't think it was a nice thing to do, and because she had been traumatised from when her mother had done that to her. The cake had a figurine in it that ended up cutting her in the face," Amy says.


"So she made it really clear to a partner, like, 'Please don't do this to me,' and then the groom shoved a cake in her face and she just left the reception there."

This story is a perfect example of a red flag because, "It's not even about cake. It's just about mutual respect and understanding someone else's boundaries."

Red flag #6: When one partner has immature friends.

You might know someone with immature friends, or you might be the person with those types of relationships. Heck, maybe you ARE the immature friend. 

Amy feels that it's not a good sign when one partner has immature mates who have no problem disrespecting the couple getting married.

"I was at a wedding where the groomsmen treated the best man speech like a 21st," she recalls. "They were roasting him, sharing incredibly inappropriate stories and seemingly forgot that the groom was sitting next to his then-wife with a whole bunch of older family members around as well.

"As an outsider, it felt very off that these are the people who are tasked with sharing your character with all your friends and family," Parfitt continues. 

"You can't choose your family, but you can choose the mates you surround yourself with."

Amy Parfett is the co-founder of Wedshed, a wedding planning platform that connects couples with suppliers. They also offer resources, advice and wedding venue management. She is also the co-founder of Gravy, a digital gifting company that sends anything, to anyone, for any occasion.

Feature Image: Getty.

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