I married my sister when I was 18. I wasn’t the groom. I’m the pastor.

Three hundred weddings later, I’ve seen just about everything that can happen during a ceremony — from fainting to family feuds.

I have also counseled dozens of worried couples, reassuring some that they have what it takes, while knowing others have little chance for success.

Along the way, I was able to see patterns between what happened at the wedding and whether that couple was likely to get divorced down the road.

[lz_ndn video=29587981]

The couple is more likely to get divorced if …

1: They fight over the seating. A healthy family tries to honor one another, but exact seating location isn’t that important as long as everyone has a seat. In unhealthy families, certain members are prone to feel disrespected if they do not have a prime seat. The unhealthiness often spreads to the couple and the marriage suffers.

 One groom thought it would be hilarious to write “Save Me” on the soles of his shoes.

2: They smash the wedding cake into each other’s face. When a playful exchange becomes a fierce tug-o-war of wills, you might as well take back your wedding present. The more violent the cake exchange, the faster the divorce.

Related: Modern Dating Disaster

Who do you think would win the Presidency?

By completing the poll, you agree to receive emails from LifeZette, occasional offers from our partners and that you've read and agree to our privacy policy and legal statement.

3: They have few guests at the ceremony. When there are more family than friends at the wedding, something is wrong. Family has to attend, but friends are more likely to skip if they think the relationship isn’t long lasting.

4: They stumble over the repeated vows. It’s easy for a couple to fake “I do,” but it is not so easy to listen and repeat the vows without the truth revealing itself. A nervous smile, laugh, or stumble often shows the tension in the relationship.

5: They kiss more aggressively than they should. A wedding kiss can be passionate and long, but some kisses seem more forced than others. Remember Al Gore forcibly kissing Tipper to show his passionate side? They later divorced. Healthy couples do not have to fake passion. A beautiful kiss resembles a beautiful relationship. A forceful kiss screams false passion.

Few things predict divorce like money problems, and few things predict money problems like spending too much money on the wedding.

6: They spend more money than they have. If a family has the money for an expensive wedding, they should spend whatever they desire. However, when a couple spends money beyond their means, it is a loud warning the marriage will not make it. Few things predict divorce like money problems, and few things predict future money problems like spending too much money on the wedding.

7: They don’t go on a honeymoon. When a couple returns to everyday life the week after a wedding, the marriage is in trouble. A couple doesn’t have to have an expensive honeymoon, but they do need to mark the occasion, spend time together, and create an experience they can always remember.

8: They (especially the groom) wear joke wedding attire. If there’s one time in a man’s life to simply suit up seriously, it’s the day he’s pledging to love and honor ’til the day he dies. If he feels this is the occasion for a bit of “gallows humor,” it’s a sign he sees the wedding as more of a death sentence than a life celebration. One fellow thought it would be hilarious to write the words “Save Me” on the soles of his shoes, so that when he and his bride knelt to take communion, the congregation would get a big laugh. Can you spell “annulment”?

9: The bride or groom gets visibly drunk. There’s a world of difference between enjoying toasting your nuptials and getting wasted on your wedding night. Drunkenness on the most important night of one’s life either reveals alcohol problems — a big risk factor for divorce — or an attempt to self-medicate deep anxiety about the union itself. Ironically, it’s a worse sign if only one person (bride or groom) gets plastered, as opposed to both. Research shows differentials in drinking habits correlate with higher divorce risk.

Related: Cheers to Marriage

10: There’s first dance foot-dragging. This wedding predictor of future divorce actually shows up before the ceremony — when it comes time for dance lessons for the bride and groom’s all-important first dance as a married pair. Sometimes one partner (usually the woman) is more enthusiastic about this tradition than the other. But in happy couples, both get in the spirit and rise to the occasion. When one party digs in their heels and makes a big show of what a “sacrifice” they’re making to please their partner, the couple is already out of step with each other and won’t take long before stumbling into divorce court.

While weddings appear to all be the same, they do not all tell the same story. Some reveal couples who are well on their way to success. Others show signs of couples who will greatly struggle in their marriage. Pay attention, as the wedding often predicts the marriage.