This Engagement Session Reinterprets All Those Oh-So-Familiar Couple Poses

All reinterpretations photographed by Malia Moss.

All reinterpretations photographed by Malia Moss.


Ever thought about how hilariously gendered the standard engagement photos are? Offbeat Bride blows apart all the stereotypes with these funny photos. 

By MARIAN SCHEMBARI for Offbeat Bride

When my fiancé Elliot and I got engaged, we didn’t have any plans to take engagement photos. But when we started our wedding research, we had a bit of a chuckle seeing the same series of photos again and again:

  1. Woman looking daintily up at her intended while he looks broodingly into the distance
  2. Couple holding hands in an awkward position so the shiny bling was obviously front and center
  3. Couple kissing on the beach with pre-wife lifting one leg and pointing her toes

…you get the picture.



So, as a joke, we started talking about doing spoofs of these photos — some gender-swapped (how would Elliot look with his leg cocked while kissing me?), others just extreme takes on traditional photos (what if, instead of leading me gently down a grassy meadow path, Elliot was snapped dragging my body into the woods?).

Elliot and I started a Google doc for fun, highlighting our most ridiculous ideas. When my dear friend, Malia, saw the list, she insisted on taking the photos.


For the rest of the story, and more hilarious engagement photos, visit Offbeat Bride.

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Photos and text property of the original publisher


single eng photo

About Offbeat Bride

Offbeat Bride is the world's most popular weird wedding blog, cheerleading 700,000 people a month with inspiration for those who dare to walk off the beaten aisle — or skip the aisle all together! We're part of the Offbeat Empire network, which also includes Offbeat Families, and Offbeat Home & Life.


  1. John Doe says:

    This is an example of an “incorrect” gender swap.

    It wasn’t even done well– woman does look happy when she carries her bf/hubby, and in the photos in which one partner holds their head in their partner’s bosom, the guy looks serious and the woman looks stern and annoyed.

    The only one I like is the first one. The photographer avoided screwing it up only because it didn’t involve any facial expressions.

    Seriously. If you’re going to do a gender swap, do it right.

  2. Samantha says:

    The woman in the reinterpretation photos doesn’t look happy.

  3. wellokaythen says:

    It would be great to compare the sound effects, too. I’ve gotten in trouble for grunting or grimacing with effort when holding up a woman. (Never been my idea to do so, by the way, only hers.) A man is NOT allowed to show that the woman he’s carrying is the least bit heavy. I would hope the women carrying men will show the same courteous illusion?

    • I’d love to see one step further: a woman on one knee holding out a ring that cost her a couple paychecks.

      [No, not bitter, just curious.]

      • wellokaythen says:

        Does the guy get to keep it and sell it on eBay even if he says no? (only slightly autobiographical….)

  4. Not that I against gender equality, but the “cliches” that are shown just happen naturally since men are generally stronger and taller than women on average.

  5. Well done, Offbeat Bride! May I suggest one more to work into your prenuptial reportoire: A sendup of those ridiculous, come-hither portraits of brides-to-be, posed in the suggestion of filmy lingerie, with the fingers of one hand spread demurely under her perched chin. (Who started that, anyway?) How about an unshaven, disheveled groom-to-be in a wife-beater, with one hand in the “blushing bride” pose and the index finger of the other halfway up his nose?

  6. Alyssa Royse says:

    Of course, I had to post a photo of me lifting my husband up in my arms on our wedding day! 😉 Right here on GMP, because, well, that sums us up so nicely.

  7. Great piece that made me chuckle!


  1. […] After publication, other editors and producers started emailing with requests to re-publish the set. For example, The Good Men Project has a partnership with the Offbeat Empire, so it was picked up there as well.  […]

  2. […] Gender-flipping the engagement photo clichés. […]

  3. […] love the photos that we just posted about a photographer who playfully reversed the genders on all those (weird, in my opinion) engagement photos that are popping up everywhere. (Really, when […]

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