The other day I stumbled across this series of engagement photos with a zombie apocalypse theme, which at this point is just one of many available for your perusal online, and I decided after looking at it that I officially hate the “epic” wedding/engagement photo trend. Now, this may just be one of the many early signs proving the fact that I am becoming “an old,” but I don’t think it’s just that – if for no other reason that I am really not that old. Regardless, one can be a curmudgeon at any age, but I don’t think it’s that, either. It’s that, unlike Guns N’ Roses, I have no appetite for destruction. (Now, if anything proves that I am an old, it’s that Guns N’ Roses reference, thank you very much.)
At least in this 2011 zombie engagement shoot – the first one, as far as I can tell, that went viral – the woman is a very active participant in saving the couple from their doom. She is a hero, as is her male counterpart, and together the couple save not just each other, but so it seems humanity, from destruction. Subsequent zombie shoots (if not every one online, certainly several) show only the man being a hero, the woman standing idly by, looking pretty and/or helpless, a typical Princess Bride. Excuse me for a second, but (hurl).
Feminism and equality aside, though, there’s another reason I’m sick of these “epic” or “extreme” wedding photos, and that’s because they just seem so grandiose, so self-aggrandizing, so narcissistic, so showy, so Hollywood. That may sound ridiculous coming from someone who performs and writes for a living, but allow me to explain. In performance, there is an exchange between the performer and the audience. The same is true of the writer/reader relationship. And while I suppose that you could argue even traditional wedding photos have a somewhat showy quality to them (“meh, look at us, we just got maaaaarieeeed”), they have also always been – at least as far as I see it – inherently imbued with some kind of homage to the whole. The message being, here we are, two people joined as one, surrounded by friends and family in an attempt to celebrate and capture the Universal Love that connects us all. Look at us kissing in an intimate moment. Isn’t it darling? Doesn’t it take your breath away and provide you with hope that goodness and purity still and always will exist?
Do we really want to ruin that transcendence with, OH DUDE WAIT ZOMBIES ARE COMING TO KILL US NEVER MIND?
Call me humorless (you’d be wrong), but I just don’t get it. I don’t see the appeal of sullying a wedding or engagement photo (and really, when did it become mandatory to start doing engagement photos anyway?) with our national obsession with death and the ever-looming apocalypse. Weddings, love, romance, these things are supposed to be the antidote to the entropy we’re all subtly feeling trapped by. But maybe that entropy can’t be avoided. Maybe the zombie apocalypse is coming, and we won’t live long enough for your grandkids to look at your bloody engagement photos and go, “What? You’re so weird, Grandma and Grandpa,” via a text sent silently from their Google Glass to yours.
Photo credit: iStock