Good Morning America recently had a segment on dress trashing.
In case you haven’t heard of it before, it’s when the bride (with or without groom) does a ‘unique’ photo shoot after the wedding. Most are NOT actually trashing the dress but rather just not worrying about getting it slightly dirty or wet. Most of the time the dress can actually be cleaned and reused afterwards, except in some extreme cases (like those shown on the Good Morning America episode). On their wedding day Brides tend to be picky about where they sit and what they do while getting pictures taken , so trashing their dress after the honeymoon allows them to get the pictures they really want. Although the name suggests these women are trashing their dresses, it's not totally true. Most of the dresses can be taken to the dry cleaners and come back looking just like new.
This new trend is both an exhibition of freedom from the stress of wedding planning as well as an art form unto itself! One of the pioneers of this type of art is John Michael Cooper (out of Vegas). It’s becoming quite popular now, and this national exposure only further solidifies it as a new form of expression.
With the vows taken and the honeymoon over, most brides shake down their wedding dress, wrap it in acid-free tissue paper and pack it away, never to be seen again. But there is another option. A growing number of adventurous brides have chosen to throw caution to the wind and their big-day dresses to the elements. The idea behind Trash the Dress is simple - instead of letting your gown fester in the back of a cupboard, slip it back on for a photoshoot where you can let loose and have some fun and you end up with some distinctive photographs that are a world away from traditional wedding portraits. These type of pictures have struck a chord with women all over the world, revealing the complex feelings they have about the wedding dress – after all the fuss, fittings and huge expense, you are left with an item you wear only once. The popularity of the Trash the Dress website suggests that it’s more than a passing fad.
It's more apparent than ever that Brides and Grooms are looking for unique images of their wedding experience. A wedding album filled with pose after pose is classical but perhaps stale compared to Trash the Dress session. Today's wedding photography is about capturing the actual experience, the emotion, and some creative pictures that represent the personality of the couple. Trash the Dress is more than just a fun filled photo opp. It represents the mind set of many of today's couples, as well as today's photographers and videographers. Couples want to capture their unique experience in fun creative ways.
Yvonne Barrett, a vivacious 33-year-old jewellery designer, married in November 2006 and trashed her dress on her husband's farm in Norfolk. “My wedding photographer suggested it, and I thought it was a wonderful idea,” she says. “I had such a good time in the dress, I really wanted to put it on one last time. Before the wedding, I was so precious about my dress, and worried about getting a mark on it, but afterwards, it sort of lost its value. It did its job and I wasn’t sentimentally attached to it. My friends and family were shocked when I told them I was planning to wreck it, though. I think we all have this idea of the dress being sacred.” Barrett walked though fields, petting cows and sheep, and ended the shoot by lying in a brook. “It was liberating and lots of fun,” she recalls. “After it was all over, I was quite prepared to do it again. We did the shoot on our farm, which was special. It is great to have pictures of me in my wedding dress where we live as man and wife.”
Galina Walls, who photographed Barrett, says a shoot is a fittingly dramatic way to say farewell to the gown you may have spent your life thinking about. “Brides spend a long time preparing for their wedding and, when it’s over, they want to extend the magic. It’s a way of saying goodbye,” she says. She adds that, “on the wedding day itself, you are so time-restricted, you have to grab photographs when you can, and the images are often quite generic. The dress can become a hindrance. People always say ‘Watch the dress’, or ‘Don’t stand on the dress’. This gives you the chance to relax and live in the dress, and that freedom makes for beautiful pictures”.
HOW TO GET TRASHED
- Slide down a big, twirly slide in a children’s playground.
- Walk in your favorite running brook.
- Walk along the surf of your favorite beach
- Lie in the sand on your favorite beach
- Climb a photogenic tree and swing from the branches.
- Run through a field of flowers, corn...
- Take a roll in a hay barn
- Go horse-riding.
- Go on all the rides at a country fête, especially the rotating swings, the Ferris wheel and the merry-go-round.
- Walk thru a fountain
- Walk down a dusty road, even lie down
- Stand in the water next to your favorite waterfall
- Visit an urban area
- Walk along the railroad tracks
- Walk thru the grocery store in your dress.
- Dress trashing can be as tame or as wild as your imagination.
These are the images you can't get on most wedding days but would be so cool to have. If you are intrigued by the possibilities, contact us and we can work out a unique shoot just for you. We are currently offering FREE trash the dress sessions (simply purchase a print credit for your own album/enlargements). Remember a trashing doesn't always mean a trashing, often just a dry cleaning that you were going to do anyway ;-)