Their weddings are over now. I no longer have to save the date. I’ve got the hilarious photo booth sequence of myself plus the bride, some random girl and half of our friend’s face to prove it. It’s hilarious because we were wearing fake mustaches from the prop bucket and instead of putting hers on under her nose, the bride wore her mustache like a unibrow. So funny.
Anyway, into the trash they go. I have to wipe this magnetic canvas in anticipation of the new couples whose flannels I’m about to sear into my retinas. Somebody, quick, throw a pile of crunchy leaves into the sky — it’s Engagement Photo Season, motherfucker!
This is my favorite time of year, when those who said yes!!! to their best friends in the whole wide world hire photographers to take Christian rock band cover album-style photographs in the park. They will dress like off-duty mounted medieval knights on their way to a lumberjack convention, outdoorsy attire belied by full faces of makeup and diamond rings. They will stand in a few different formations:
– Normal hand-holding
– Hand holding but with at least one yard-stick of space between them, and no smiling (very casual)
– Quiet embrace
– Sunset laughter
– What can best be described as mating from behind while upright and mostly vertical, smiling because they’ve been caught
Their photographers will have them wait until the golden hour to kiss, and maybe there will be pumpkins in the background. When I think of pumpkins I don’t even think of Halloween anymore. I think of insulin-spiking lattes that cost a minimum of five dollars and decorative totems of eternal love.
Sometimes couples will get really wild and creative with their set design. Some will sit on hay bales. Others will pretend to be caught by gauzy lighting in the middle of an apple orchard while reaching up to a branch that just happens to create the most elongating body line possible. My favorite option (that not every photographer offers) is the Rent-a-Golden Retriever bonus shot, where couples pose with an aspirational dog.
These photos are an important part of the Can We Really Spend The Rest of Our Lives Together? Assessment. If two people can’t agree upon whether they are more Vineyard Scenic or Country Rustic for a photo that will announce their future forever partnership and seal their couple aesthetic (there’s no reversing it; this sets the scene for an imminent save-the-date card that has to live on my fridge for next six or so months depending how many reminders the groom needs to pick up the stamps), then how will they ever be able to take an actual wedding photo?
Of course, they always figure it out. I’d have a pretty lonely fridge if they didn’t. Besides, nothing resolves a lovers’ spat over the need for someone to shave their ironic growing-it-for-Movember ‘stache quite like the crisp chill of October air. That and a hot cup of something spiced. Pumpkin spiced.
Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.