Great news! It’s no longer necessary to keep up with the time-honored tradition of hoping your best friends break their backs to get you into a nail salon for a totally inconspicuous manicure before you get engaged. And no, it’s not because the planet is literally on fire and we’re probably just a few short years away from never having to worry about Instagram ever again. It’s because I just accidentally stumbled upon the greatest life hack of all time, and am pleased to report that getting engaged with an ugly manicure is the best thing you can do for your relationship and your personal brand.
Now, I know that every little girl dreams of the day she’ll be able to post a photo of an engagement ring on her hand, writing “I said yes!” as the caption, leaving her loved ones (read: group chats of sorority sisters she no longer speaks to) wondering how she knew to get her claws perfectly groomed for the surprise occasion. But after recently getting engaged with a manicure that was the exact same color as Shrek, I’m here to challenge that standard. If the nail technician isn’t palpably disturbed by the color chip you’ve presented upon sitting in the chair, you’re not doing enough. Hear me out.
You’ll Immediately Have A Unique Instagram Caption
Second only to which engagement ring style you will choose to send your significant other subliminal messages about until they’re finally forced into popping the question, the most important decision you can make as a future bride is the caption you will choose to announce the fact that it’s time for your followers to buckle down for your official shift to wedding content. If you’re hard-pressed to think of something smarter than “Today, I said yes to forever with my best friend,” let your ugly manicure do the heavy lifting. For example, I went with: Do you think there’s anything on Etsy that says “she said, ‘OH MY GOD MY NAILS ARE GREEN, BUT YES!’”
There’s An Easy Answer To The Dreaded ‘Were You Surprised?’ Question
If there’s one thing I’ve quickly learned as a newly-engaged person, it’s that people ask a lot of the same ridiculous questions, one of which being, “Did you know?” While everyone sporting a rock on their left ring finger probably had some inkling that the day would come eventually, it would be truly unhinged to expect your partner to drop down on one knee every time you enter a remotely photo-worthy space. Although I did not wake up thinking, “Might f*ck around and get engaged today,” convincing nosy people that this particular life event caught me by surprise has proven to be difficult.
Luckily, if you have unsightly nails when it happens, you won’t ever have to waste your breath explaining why you just so happened to be having an incredible hair day and wearing an actual bra when you said yes. You can simply point to the messy heap of slime green SNS powder that was slopped upon your nail beds and quip, “Did you see my nails? I obviously wasn’t expecting it.”
You’ll Seem Like A Quirky Risk-Taker
Nothing signals that you are the antithesis of cheugy quite like a bold manicure. Sure, the words “dog mom” are in your IG bio and you’ve purchased Tory Burch Miller sandals as recently as last month, but a calculated shellac color choice can really cancel that out if you play your cards right. This will also dupe people into thinking that you’ll be making some similarly wild decisions for your wedding, motivating your followers to prioritize watching your Stories every time they open the app. Not to mention, a scared bridesmaid is a loyal bridesmaid. If your girls can be tricked into thinking you’re reckless enough to select a heinous color for your wedding, they’ll be so relieved when you tell them they’re wearing blush dresses, that they’ll hardly bat an eyelash when you reveal how much they’re expected to cough up for hair and makeup.
It’s An Excuse To Post At Least One More Ring Photo
Engagement rings beg to be photographed, but the last thing you want to do is clog the timeline with too many photos from the same occasion. (Although this used to fly… you can thank photo dumps for destroying your right to double post.) The simple fix for this, of course, is to get a redemption manicure, which would technically qualify as a separate posting event from the proposal. “Don’t worry guys, I have a pretty manicure now!” just might be the new “So a lot of you have been asking about my skincare routine…” in the sense that both statements require the speaker to hold quite a bit of naivety in regards to how much other people actually care.
Next time a friend invites you on a trip to the salon or you find yourself torn between two manicure options, my advice for you is: choose the worst option. Reach for that weird yellow bottle of polish that looks like it’s never been opened. Say yes to the nude that clashes most with your skin tone. Visit the spa with over a dozen horrible Yelp reviews. It’s the number one best thing you can do for your engagement. (Your Instagram engagement, by the way. Not your relationship status.)
Images: Lyuba Burakova /Stocksy.com
If Stacy and Clinton taught us anything, it was to not be fat, poor, or shittily dressed. Those same What Not To Wear OG show rules can and should be applied to your upcoming engagement photo shoot. If you don’t want to appear tacky in your save the dates (and future Facebook/Insta/Twitter profile pics AND holiday cards for the foreseeable future), there are lots of like, rules for what not to wear in your engagement photo shoot. To avoid looking fat, like a tablecloth, poor, or generally not cute in these v important pics, follow these rules and do not commit these fashion offenses.
1. Outfits You’ve Literally Never Worn Before
Now is not the time for fear for you to try on a brand new puffy shoulder trend or cold shoulder shit you’ve never seen yourself in. You want to look like you in your pics, so it isn’t the best time to break out the brand new shit you just bought. Wear something in which you feel comfortable, confident, and like yourself.
2. Matching Shit
Don’t. Nothing photographs worse than two people in matching plaid, or denim, or his and hers outfits. No one finds that shit cute. That shit is TACKY. Plus, according to photographers, if you and your SO are matching, it can be hard to discern who’s who in a photo—morphing your bodies into an amorphous blob capable of ruining small cities.
3. Six Different Outfits
You’re going to be tired and stressed and trying to remember to smile and getting real overwhelmed with the photographer telling you to stare at your SO and try not to laugh or sneeze or burp or whatever. Changing several times will give you way too many different photo looks and will stress you out. Having two to three outfits is perfect—don’t go for more than that.
4. Big Patterns
If you’re petite, you already know the rules about big, loud patterns. Do you want to look like you’ve been drowned in a 70s curtain? Nope. Also, a big pattern will move the focus from you and your SO and more onto the loud Anthropologie printed dress that may have worked for someone with Emily Ratajkowski’s body but like, not yours, sweetie.
5. Anything With Logos
The things you wear in your engagement photos should be things you wouldn’t be embarrassed to walk around a trendy European country in. If you know anything about, say, Parisian street style, you know that they find logos and graphic tees loud, tacky, and quintessentially American (and not in a good way). Apply these rules to your engagement photos, and pretend you’re trying to impress a bunch of snotty French style watchers. Plus, you’ll look like a walking advertisement for GAP or Nike in 10 years when you look back at them. Nobody wants that.
6. Ill-Fitting Clothes
Don’t think that this is your big moment to break out the high school jeans you still pretend to fit into. Likewise, don’t wear something you know swims on you in an attempt to look skinny (I feel you, but don’t). The camera captures everything, including your muffin top. Don’t embarrass your parents (again). And as far as too-big shit is concerned, if it needs to be hemmed at the leg, folded over your wrist, or constantly adjusted so as to not fall off, skip it. If you want to look 10 pounds heavier, be my guest.
Unless you two met at yoga and now own a yoga studio and like, literally live and breathe fucking yoga, please don’t wear your athleisure outfit to your photoshoot. Lululemon can wait till after the shoot is over. These pics are the harbingers of your wedding. They are destined to be on fridges, coffee tables, garbages, and other places of honor in people’s homes. Don’t ruin the integrity of these expensive snaps with leggings.
8. Neon Anything
This went out of style several years ago (thank God), and you should have donated it all to the poor and unfashionable anyway. If, for some reason, you really need to wear neon yellow or green in your engagement photos (are you in a laser tag arena?), rethink it. They create weird colors on your skin, making you look oddly pale or orangey tan. If you’re going for a “vampire that likes to rave” thing, though, go for it.
Just don’t. Photographers say it’s literally the most unphotogenic color. Plus, you’ll look like prisoners which, if you are, maybe go for it, and I can’t wait to see you both on an upcoming episode of Prison Wives.
Images: Giphy (3)
There’s nothing I love more than when my friends tell me they’re getting married. I so look forward to spending money on an outfit, hotel, travel, and gifts—the thought of spending a cool two grand on the wedding weekend alone just delights me. Being hit by such crippling loneliness that I’m left crying into my wine at the end of the night, only to be consoled by the bartender (until his shift ends) gives me life. And the real high point of my life is the day after wedding hangover buffet where I can decide between gorging myself to death on bacon or inhaling the not-so-short stack of pancakes (spoiler alert: I choose them both). And what brings about this beautiful chain of events? THE ENGAGEMENT SHOOT. Engagement photos are the newest way to showcase your love and devotion for the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and are also the reason why I drink. It’s not enough that I have to watch you gush over your #mcm on Instagram every goddamn day, but now you want me to have a permanent memento of your love and, like, what? Hang it on my fridge? The most sacred spot in my home aside from my bed and the couch? You monster. I have enough engagement photos hanging on my fridge rn, judging me with their happiness every time I contemplate eating a jar of icing and drinking a bottle of wine for dinner. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. So if you want me, the person who will be permanently stationed at the open bar and will probably drunkenly make out with your fiancé’s much younger brother, to come to your wedding then here’s the six things you need to stop doing ASAP.
1. Wearing Matching Outfits
Honestly, I understand the thought process behind matching outfits for the engagement photos. You’re trying to send a message like, “we’re a unit now” and, “I have forfeited all of my individual thoughts and opinions to be with this person.” It’s v romantic. But when I see two adults in cream colored ensembles posing on a beach all I can think is “siblings posing for the family Christmas card.” It looks less romantic and more as if behind the scenes, their mother is threatening to take away their data plans if they don’t SMILE AND LOOK LIKE THEY’RE HAVING A GOOD TIME. This isn’t Game of Thrones, incest vibes don’t hold up here. They are neither appreciated nor accepted on my fridge, so cut that shit out.
2. Costume Themes
I will never understand why two grown adults think it’s a good idea to dress up in cosplay to show the world they’re mature enough to get married for their engagement photos. It ranks right up there with the matching outfits thing. Do you think you’re unique because you have a wand in your photo and “always” is part of your wedding hashtag? Do you know who else owns a wand and is incorporating lines from a children’s book into their wedding vows? Anyone who was born between the years 1985-2000 and had working eyes and ears, that’s who. Newsflash: broadcasting how much of a Potterhead you are in your engagement photos does not make you unique or quirky, it just makes me want to take shots.
3. Intimate Poses
People who treat their engagement photo like a personal ad for Playboy are the fucking worst. First of all, if your favorite book is 50 Shades of Grey, that’s embarrassing enough. Why must you now recreate it for your closest friends and family? It’s like you WANT me to claw my eyes out or something.The last thing I want to see when I’m deciding between pints of ice cream is you and your fiancé engaging in foreplay in with the words “save the date” below your groping hands. If I wanted to see alarming levels of PDA I’d replay the finale of The Bachelorette. NOPE. I’m not here for it.
4. Anything With Camo
I can’t with a couple who wears camo. When I see camo all I can think is “budget wedding” and “there will be a beer run halfway through the ceremony.” Srsly can’t wait. They usually caption their engagement photo with something like “the hunt is over” which leads me to believe that their engagement came about after they ran out of matches on Tinder and reconnected with each other through a 2am Facebook DM. I, mean, the hunt is over? This isn’t The Hunger Games, it’s your love story, for God’s sake. Quit being so fucking dramatic. I already know that if I attend this wedding I can expect the venue to be exploding with mason jars and people who hate Obamacare but love the ACA. Sounds lit, will 100 percent be there.
5. The Psycho Stare
You know the one I’m talking about. The close-up shot where he’s either looking at her or off into the distance and she’s staring straight at the camera with her ring pointed like a deadly weapon. She’s got that look in her eyes that says she may or may not have killed for this ring and if you don’t show up to her wedding with a mid- to high-priced item from her registry you’ll be next. It’s fucking frightening. Also, when the bride-to-be inevitably makes every single one of her Facebook friends want to unfriend her puts up all 250 photos from the engagement shoot, the guy always looks like a prisoner of war. Always. It makes me want to be like, dude, blink once if you want to be here, twice if you’re being held against your will.
6. Animal Props
We get it, you have a fiancé AND a dog and I’m still buying crop tops at Forever21. Congratu-fucking-lations. You win at life. If you have a dog, FINE, I guess you can put him in your engagement photos. I can pick my battles here. My real issue is with the people who get fucking elaborate with their photos and add, like, a horse into the mix. The whole setup is extremely awkward. They’re always leaning on the animal or feeding it a snack while looking at each other and laughing like they have a fucking secret. It’s v unsettling. And the girl who would use an animal as a prop—let’s call her Jennifer—is usually the same girl who held a special meeting during sorority recruitment to blackball the horse freak from making it to the next round because Jennifer had a feeling that she “wouldn’t fit in.” Oh, how the tides have turned, Jennifer. HOW THE TIDES HAVE TURNED.