Wedding Couple’s ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Cosplay Pic Caused A Viral Backlash Online

Lots of wedding couples use their ceremony as an opportunity to reference their favorite parts of pop culture, like Harry Potter or Star Wars, or some other normal thing to nerd out about. Stuff you learned to love as kids or that make being an adult feel fantastical and fun. Sure, maybe it’s a little silly to dress up as a wizard on your wedding day, but it’s ultimately harmless.  But what does it mean when you dress up your wedding as a dystopia?

Writer Caitlin Van Horn shared a screenshot of a wedding ceremony posted on someone’s Instagram that shows the couple kissing while surrounded by handmaidens from The Handmaid’s Tale.

You know, the book and TV show about women being forced to serve as baby incubators by the government, where they get tortured and raped? Stuff that serves as a really great metaphor for the current rise of fascism in America. Maybe not so great for a wedding.

The image seems to have been posted by the photographers Van Daele and Russell, and the caption reads, “Praise be! Kendra and Torsten are married! If there’s any The Handmaid’s Tale fans out there, you’ll know most of it is filmed in Cambridge! So, as fans of the show, it only seemed fitting for there to be some Handmaid’s in K&T’s wedding photos along the ‘hanging wall’ in Mill Race Park!”

Then there are a series of emojis, including a laugh-crying smiley face.




Seems right after mentioning the “hanging wall.”

So, it seems like the company photoshopped handmaidens into the image, rather than Kendra and Torsten forcing their actual bridal party to dress up as imprisoned women. That’s a silver lining. People still can’t believe what they’re seeing here:

The photographer’s Instagram account has been flooded with comments, and they’ve tried to respond by saying that they created the image to call attention to the issue in The Handmaid’s Tale that mirror our reality. It’s a commentary. About society. And… marriage?


They’re pretty pissed that people are offended by the image to begin with and are accusing everyone of responding in the way “Gilead” would want. Get on the streets and march about it! It’s a pretty wild ride.

Hey, it’s your wedding. If you want to include representations of patriarchal oppression and enslavement as a part of your special memories, go for it. Maybe just ask the photographer to give you a framed copy instead of having it on the Internet.