Unfortunately, I'm not talking about that sort of delicious cheese today (mmm cheese). Instead, I'm talking about engagement photo cheese. And the wedding wedsite cheese. And the sort of kissy, gaze-into-my-eyes posed photos that go hand in hand (pun indented) with wedding-related announcements. Because these sorts of things make my skin crawl. Maybe it comes from my years as an independent single lady, but I still don't love the public celebration of schmoop that happens leading up to weddings (on the wedding day, however... totally acceptable. Obviously). And engagement photos, partially because they're so polished looking, feel like my old online dating days when I'd screech "Did he get a professional to take his dating profile picture? Is that a headshot? Noooooooo!" I always preferred context and honesty. Maybe a picture of him with his friends. Maybe a snapshot at the beach. It didn't matter, so long as it hinted at a person who had real experiences, a personality, and looked cute enough without a professional's help.
Part of my issue with engagement photos as wedding advertisements has been that a) they seem contrived and b) they also seem to focus on the wrong thing. Because to me, a wedding isn't a MeMeMe or UsUsUs day of running around downtown Los Angeles gazing longingly into each others' eyes (which we did during our photo shoot. And which was a lot of indulgent fun). If that's what were important to us about a wedding, we'd elope. Instead, for us, a wedding is about a ceremony and an amazing celebration that's much bigger than our individual or coupled desires. We've been warned that there won't be much schmoop time, except for our 15 minutes alone after the ceremony, because we'll be both hosting a celebration and partying our little feet off to the music. This is about building a new family. This is about sharing something with them. This is about having and excuse to see so many people who matter to us, in a way that we'll probably never have an excuse for again. It's not about us and our schmoop.
And yet, we decided to put our schmoop front and center in our save the date and wedsite, since we have some really great, albeit schmoopy, engagement photos that actually capture something of who we are and places in Los Angeles that we love. Yes, there might have been more kissing than usual, but there was probably the same amount of hand holding as on any other day. And, as much as I wanted to dismiss engagement photos as cheesy, I'm realizing that it's nice to have a few decent photos so our far flung families can all exclaim "why, he's such a handsome man/pretty woman, I can't wait to meet him/her in person." And so, despite having never loved the idea of plastering our schmoop all over our save the dates or our wedding website, that's exactly what I did. Because it was easy. And at this point, easy trumps almost everything else.
Photo by Rachel Chapman Art in the Union Station train tunnels