- Taking engagement and wedding photos in stores is a growing trend.
- Couples who met while working at Target and Publix used the stores as the settings for their engagement photoshoots.
- Another couple met while shopping at Costco and posed in the aisles wearing their wedding formalwear.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A typical engagement photoshoot might take place on the shores of a beach or in an open field. But lately, couples seeking to personalize their pictures have been posing in grocery chains and superstores.
Engagement photos themselves are a “relatively new phenomenon,” Eric Lohman, professor of media studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, told Insider. Previously, it was only wealthy couples that staged additional photoshoots aside from the day of the wedding.
“For regular working-class people, before smart phones and social media, engagement photos were not a staple,” he said. “As for the why, I think it begins and ends with social media.”
Indeed, romantic photos of couples kissing over Target shopping carts and gallivanting through the aisles of Costco continue to go viral. And with an oversaturation of engagement photos flooding people’s feeds, couples looking to do something different for their pictures might just decide to pay a visit to their favorite stores.
Here are four couples who made fluorescent lighting look as romantic as any candle-lit setting.
Jessica and Brandon Brown took wedding photos at the Costco where they first met.
Jessica was debating whether or not to buy boxes of mac and cheese at a Costco in Waipahu, Hawaii, in 2017. Brandon overheard her and said “It’s good for you. It’s cheese – and it’s Costco.”
He made her laugh, and they exchanged numbers.
“I’ve literally spent the last two years responding to any compliment about Brandon with ‘Thanks, I got him at Costco,'” Jessica told Insider.
The photographer instructed Brandon to “hit on her the way you did that day,” eliciting laughter from the bride and groom.
They also fed each other Costco’s famous food court pizza and posed in the mac and cheese aisle where they first struck up a conversation. Their photos went viral when Costco shared their love story on Facebook.
“In regards to going viral, we had no idea it would gain such popularity,” Jessica said. “We really did it to commemorate our relationship and how we met. We’re a very playful couple, I think it contributes to the success of our relationship. He’s literally my best friend and we’re always up to some shenanigans.”
Alexandra Darch and Dylan Smith met while working at Publix and took engagement photos where it all began.
When their outdoor engagement photoshoot location got rained out, their photographer came up with the idea to take the photos at the Publix where they met as employees.
The happy couple posed in different areas of the store and incorporated some of the items on the shelves.
Darch told Insider that she couldn’t have been happier with how the photos turned out.
“I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said. “The session was so much fun and Jennifer did such a wonderful job of posing us and bringing out our genuine selves in all the pictures.”
Derek Smiley and Jessica Giromini Smiley met while they were both working at Target in 2011.
The couple started out as friends, then grew into more.
“At Target we kept it under wraps for a while, and then told all our friends and had to [work at] separate stores,” Jessica told Insider. “It was kind of a fun transition to being an official couple, that you have to tell your HR person about.”
The store played a significant role in their relationship – and still does.
“When you work at Target, especially with a significant other, it really is 40-plus hours of your life every week, and you have so much red and khaki laundry that you do together that it just becomes ingrained in part of your memory,” she said.
Target is something of a “second home” for the couple.
“I know where all the stuff is, I know my way around, it feels very comforting to me to be there all the time,” she said. “Even for my husband, it’s the place we’ve both known for the longest time besides our own homes.”
Their Target engagement photoshoot turned into a shopping trip.
“I started shopping in the racks, and he was like ‘We’re not here to shop, we’re here to take photos!’ And then our photographer was like ‘Those are really cute swim trunks, I might get those for my husband!'” Jessica said. “It was super carefree, and it very much brought back the memories of all the time I had spent wandering those aisles.”
Aaron Anthony Damron and Tony DiPasqua took their engagement photos at Target because they just really like the store a lot.
“We wanted it to be fun. We wanted it to be us. We’re not what you call outdoorsy,” Damron wrote on Facebook. “You won’t find us frolicking through the woods or over train tracks – but you can almost always find us at Target.”
Damron and DiPasqua incorporated some of Target’s wedding-themed paraphernalia.
The aisles made for a romantic backdrop.
“Engagement photos should be a celebration of who you are as a couple, and they wanted images that allowed them to be themselves,” their photographer, Erica Whiting, told Insider. “I think that’s what really shines through and makes these images work.”