Yesterday, my colleague Jessica Ogilvie posted about bad engagement photos. That got me off on another tangent. I think engagement photos are stupid. I’m not sure if they’re more popular or prevalent in the South, where I’m from, but they sure seem to be. Engagement photos, in case you haven’t heard of them, are a photoshoot taken shortly after a couple gets engaged. They are usually designed to show off a) the ring and b) how happy the couple is. Here’s the usual formula for how they work:

1. Get engaged. Yay!

2. For reason I have never been able to suss out, pay a bunch of money to get a ton of pictures of you taken.

3. Pose in front of several “nature” scenes, such as “the covered bridge,” “the man-made lake,” “the trellis with flowers all over it,” and/or “the very nicely polished boulders.”

4. Choose an assortment of these poses: “looking lovingly into each other’s eyes,” “holding hands with fingers criscrossed so you can be in love and show off her rock,” and “he hugs her from behind and rests his head on her shoulder.” Bonus points if you already have a pet or child together who you can bring in to use as an accessory.

5. Some people go full throttle and do pictures of them kissing, which no one (including your grandmother, who loves every picture of you ever taken because you’re her special sweet punkin) wants to see.

6. Get about a hundred pictures taken.

7. Send one in to the newspaper along with your engagement announcement. Maybe  another one will work for your save the date announcement. What will you do with the other 98?

In a culture where people openly embrace being called Bridezillas and turn their wedding into a yearlong affair, engagement photos are just another example of uneccessary, overpriced shit that people will pay for because they think they need to.

Here’s a tip, budget-conscious brides to be: there will be a ton of photos of you and your beloved from your actual wedding. You’ll be in a beautiful dress, and you’ll have professional hair and makeup, and you’ll look great. So just fill your scrapbook with those instead.