I just got married last year, and I noticed something really strange:
After our wedding, several guests who'd attended went through significant break-ups.
What the heck?
I mentioned it to a married friend, and she said the same thing had happened after her wedding a couple years ago.
Is this a common thing?
Why does it happen?
It could have been! When you say, “I do,” you encourage your guests to muse upon their own relationships. By standing up and declaring your commitment, you encouraged others to consider their own commitments … which can mean a guest looking at the person sitting next to them and realizing, “Oh, hell no. I DON'T.”
Let me be clear: This isn't about your wedding being SOOOOOOO AMAZING that everyone else's love just pales by comparison. I'm not saying weddings blow the feeble minds of your friends and family who are like “How could my piddly relationship ever compare to the awesome power of this amazing couple!” My point is just that weddings are a celebration and observation of commitment, and if a guest is in a relationship that they're not quiiiiite sure about, there's nothing like thinking about commitment and love non-stop for several hours to bring in some perspective and clarity.
Furthermore, Big Life Events (weddings, graduations, funerals, births) just tend to shake up communities. Sometimes relationships can be the casualties of these enormous life shifts. Perspectives can change quickly, and stress (even the good YAY WORLD kind!) has a way of pulling things into focus.
Possibly, couples who are already a bit iffy put on a good face for your wedding because they don't want to make things awkward at your celebration. “Oh, why am I here without your Uncle Bob? Well, Bob and I separated last month and uh, I moved into a studio apartment downtown and, sniffle, well, he's keeping the dog and … [starts crying].”
There's also the chance that your wedding had nothing to do with it: people break up all the time, and it happening after your wedding may just be a coincidence. Or you may just notice with a little bit sharper acuity because you just made a big commitment.
It's a weird phenomenon, the post-wedding guest break-ups. It totally happened at my wedding too, something I wrote about in my book. I'd love to know if readers have any of their own theories about why break ups tend to come in clusters after weddings.