I recently asked some friends what they looked forward to at their own weddings—the things they dreamed about and couldn’t wait to experience when they were about to be a bride or groom. I heard answers such as, “For me, it was just the vows. Just so excited to publicly announce/explain my love and to hear his,” and “seeing both our families all together,” as well as “getting married in the beautiful church I grew up in.” Others added, “the churro truck at our wedding reception,” and “seeing my soon-to-be wife walking up the aisle.”
All of these moments captured the spirit of a wedding in one way or another. Taking the vows of the religious ceremony that bind you together in God’s eyes and declaring for everyone to hear that this is the person for you, forever. Merging two families with the traditions they each bring, and the celebration that comes after.
An important part of celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime day are the photos taken during the ceremony and celebration. These photos become one of the key ways to remember the wedding day. Couples seek out a photographer who best fits their personal style and they take shot after shot. The couple, the family, the wedding party, shots at the reception—for most couples a wedding is the most meticulously documented day of their lives together. (Not counting social media use, of course). Wedding pictures are the official portraits that are usually put into an album that will be shown to one’s children and grandchildren, passed down for generations. What will your wedding album say about you?
I’m a pretty traditional kind of girl, so I’m not into edgy or silly wedding photos in general, but there are some that work. There are photos that might not be to my particular taste, but I can see why people do them. I don’t get the photos of the bride “forcing” her groom to marry her, or this equal-opportunity variation in which the friends are trying to pull the bride and groom apart. They’re not inherently offensive per se, just off-message for a wedding. More questionable, however, is the trend of official portraits wherein the bridesmaids flash their panties for the photographer. That’s just in poor taste. You wouldn’t want that in your wedding album, it’s not particularly thoughtful to your bridesmaids, and why would you want a photo of your friends’ behinds at all, ever?
However, that is downright chaste compared to what a couple recently did in the worst wedding photo of all time. When I tell you about this photo, I want you to keep in mind that this is an official wedding photo taken by a photographer with the people the couple presumably love the most milling about nearby (their parents, grandparents, likely some children).
Or maybe you should forget that. Maybe that would be better, because the couple decided to do a photo from a bit of a distance so it looks slightly voyeuristic. You see the groom from the back, pants around his knees, as his bride kneels in front of him in her gown. That’s right. It’s a wedding photo simulating oral sex.
The photographer shared the snap on his Instagram (I’m going to link it here but don’t click it. You clicked it, didn’t you?) with the caption, translated from Dutch, “Some newlyweds cannot wait for the party to be over so they can quietly retreat to their suite for a smashing wedding night. Luckily they already exchanged their wedding vows and they were officially married.” Since the photo has gone viral, he says he’s getting requests from other couples to recreate it, and calls people who find the photo to be over the top to be out-of-date prudes.
Well, if thinking that a wedding is something to be respected, that sexual acts belong in private (even if you’re pretending), and that this photo is in extremely poor taste makes me a prude, so be it. Let’s hope more men and women planning their nuptials will embrace such prudishness so that weddings—and the photos we remember them by—can still be something dignified and meaningful.
Image: Photo by Kaboompics // Karolina from Pexels