Life comes at you fast, and for Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Lauren Burnham, their lives are speeding towards their wedding. The most controversial couple in Bachelor history are keeping us apprised of their love story — after insisting on live television that they were taking a break from public life. Never mind that Becca Kufrin’s season of the Bachelorette is still airing. Arie and Lauren are living their love in all of our faces, and now they’re sharing their engagement photos on Instagram. Yes, you’re allowed to feel squicked out.
The photos are as innocuous as you’d expect from a couple who are, stylistically speaking, more L.L. Bean than Virgil Abloh. “This is what life is all about, sharing these amazing moments with her. Under 6 months until the big day!” writes Arie, with the hashtag #engagementphotos, in case you forgot that they are, in fact, engaged, and got engaged live on TV.
Arie and Lauren are posed in a meadow of tall wheat stalks. They’re sitting on the ground. Arie is wearing a striped T-shirt. Lauren takes great pains to show off her Neil Lane engagement ring — in a white dress, naturally. The photographer, Jennifer Perkins, is obviously skilled. The photos are lovely.
What is troubling, though, is that Arie and Lauren are not reading the room. And the room is screaming, “PLEASE STOP!” Even Charlize Theron wants them to go away. Much of Bachelor Nation is still rightly fuming over Arie’s appalling decision to film his breakup with Becca, so he could resurrect his relationship with Lauren. It’s hard to feel excited for this couple when Arie’s own actions cast a cloud over their love. Are they oblivious? Can Lauren and Arie sense the unease from the Bachelor fanbase? Do they care?
Given that they continually make television appearances and post on social media, we’re guessing that answer is no. Arie and Lauren have blessedly announced their their wedding in Hawaii will be private and not filmed for TV, so we’ll be spared that ickiness. But if they truly wanted privacy, they wouldn’t announce the location of their wedding (Maui) and the date (January 12, 2019). [Editor’s note: Um, isn’t that right around when the next season of The Bachelor airs? Hm…] Let the wedding bells ring, or something.