There’s a lot of pressure for people these days to live the perfect Instagram-worthy life. People place so much emphasis on their social media image that it ends up running their lives. This social anxiety is keenly felt by young couples planning their weddings.
A U.K. survey from 2019 found that 42% of couples feel the pressure to make their weddings look great on Instagram. Social media has pushed people to spend more on their weddings so that they can look gorgeous as a couple and make sure there are plenty of Instagrammable moments for their guests.
The pressure is probably why a TikTok video of a couple who took their engagement photos at an Olive Garden has more than 260,000 views. The couple’s photos were so good that they fooled a lot of people into thinking they were shot at an exotic locale, but for those who got the joke, it was hilarious. It’s a total win-win.
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According to BuzzFeed, Tennessee-based photographer Shea Cravens thought that a local Olive Garden would be a perfect stand-in for an exotic Italian photoshoot, and fiances Carlsey Bibb and Caden Mills thought the idea was fantastic. The exterior of an Olive Garden is designed to resemble a Tuscan farmhouse with painted pottery, lots of exposed wood and cypress trees. What’s more Instagrammable than that?
“I asked Shea—our photographer and longtime friend—if there was anywhere she had been wanting to shoot but hadn’t yet,” Carlsey told BuzzFeed. “That’s when she mentioned Olive Garden!”
“A little over a year ago I had the idea of doing a session at Olive Garden, I mentioned it to some friends but never got around to doing it,” Cravens wrote in an Instagram caption. “Fast forward to today, it finally happened and I am so happy with the outcome.”
What’s great about the photos is that they look like they were taken in Italy instead of at a chain restaurant. The photos were taken at 6 a.m. so as to not disturb the business and so they have wonderful sunrise lighting. It also helps that the couple looks incredible.
“If you threw those on the gram and tagged Italy I honestly wouldn’t even give it a second thought! I would just think it was a cool garden?” Madison S. wrote. “I would’ve never known! gorgeous,” Krista Stevens agreed.
“May your love be as endless as soup, salad, and breadsticks,” a well-wisher named Emily commented.
Most importantly, the couple was over the moon with the tongue-in-cheek photos. “They were way better than we could’ve ever imagined,” Carlsey told BuzzFeed.
In the end, it isn’t about whether the photos were taken in Italy or at an Olive Garden, it’s about the couple themselves. Couples that are truly in love don’t need to mask their relationship by posing in a romantic locale, they can find love at a chain restaurant. As anybody who’s been married for a while can tell you, things aren’t always pretty in a marriage, but if you keep your sense of humor you can get through anything. Carsley and Caden are certainly starting off on the right foot.