"Trash The Dress" is a recent and growing popular concept in the USA. It's a wedding craze that's taken hold with many brides in America, where they want to get best use out of their wedding dress and create a range of conceptual photographs that would be inconceivable on their wedding day. Many brides are now getting extreme wedding photos by "trashing their dress" after the wedding.
WHAT??? Does that mean "trashing" my wedding dress?? Unless you have heard of this concept before, the chances are that your eyes have opened wide, your jaw dropped, and a resounding "WHAT??" has just screamed through your mind as you have conjured up images of your beautiful and expensive wedding dress being wrecked beyond belief.
Trash The Dress photo sessions are not for the faint-hearted. It's a photo session done AFTER the wedding and honeymoon are over, where the bride (or bride and groom) come back for more "interesting" and stylised photographs. Some brides see this as a way to symbolically show their husband that they will NEVER need the wedding dress again. The purpose of the photo shoot is to get some very creative and different photos of you in your wedding dress. The perfect place for this type of photo shoot is at the beach, in a park, in a forest or an industrial area. Yes… it sometimes involves rolling around in the sand, surf, mud, grit and grime, and the dress may be 'trashed' - but only temporarily in most cases as, most often, it can be hung to dry and then cleaned before being preserved.
This recent concept in wedding photography is best described by US Wedding Photographer, Lori Adalsteinsson of Mystique Photography, Cheney, WA:
"The concept of Trash The Dress is that these girls get more than one use out of a very expensive gown….. The reality of a wedding dress is that you wear it for two and a half hours, or so, depending on your reception. Then you take it off and you hang it up in a closet that night, and it's sad, and it's lonely, and it has echoes of cake and laughter and drinks on it's mind. It lays there weeks, forgotten, sad….. Have fun! Wear it! Make your dress happy! It's all about the dress, have a good time, have fun - wear the dam dress!"
Lori's Trash The Dress video is at the end of this page, illustrating the concept of using your wedding dress for post-wedding photography.
Trash The Dress sessions are now offered by many photographers in the UK for newly married brides or couples to enhance their wedding pictures with fashionable, stylish shots of the wedding dress. Some have re-named the concept as "Love The Dress", because the whole concept is about getting best use and great pictures from your beautiful wedding dress - not necessarily about trashing it. It's about utilising your dress to have great photographs with some stunning images of the wedding dress, in an environment that you wouldn't be able to use on your wedding day, posed in a way that wouldn't be practical on your wedding day.
It's fashion-style wedding photography, using your wedding gown with you as the model. Capturing you as the blushing bride and preserving your effervescence and great natural looks for the future. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, don't let it pass you by, you can't ever regain your youthful looks and vitality! The locations and the stress that the dress undergoes doesn't have to be extreme and doesn't have to create deliberate harm to your wedding dress, unless that is what you choose to have!
Of course, there is a greater risk that your dress may become marked or collect some dirt, it may become wet if you are using water as a part of your photo session and there is always the risk of accidental damage. But you will be able to take your wedding dress into areas and locations that would be simply impractical during your wedding day and you will be able to gain impressive pictures showing your dress in a youthful and vibrant way that hasn't been available to brides before.
First came the traditional wedding pictures, posed shots mounted into an album as a record of the wedding day. This concept has remained the same since cameras were invented and is still used as the foundation for most wedding photography today. There's nothing wrong with it, it provides a good record of the occasion and the guests.
Then came the more creative concept of capturing the occasion of a wedding by photo-journalism (reportage style). Most often mixed with the traditional pictures (concept style), this is a good record of the wedding day presented in a story-book of photographs.
Trash The Dress (which we believe will undergo a name change as the concept is accepted by more brides) is the next leap forward in wedding photography. It allows for all of the wedding photography, formal and informal pictures and the traditional album presentation afterwards. But instead of the wedding dress being redundant after the wedding, it can now be utilised a second time to show off the beauty of the creation and capture the true vibrancy of the bride and groom. These additional pictures are taken after the wedding day (normally after the honeymoon), and so the pressures of the day are gone, the strict time-table doesn't have to be considered, the guests aren't there and the risks of the odd mark or dirt getting onto the dress are not as critical. However much, or little, you decide to risk damage to your wedding dress, these additional vibrant photographs will be worth the time and effort, as well as adding further use of your beautiful wedding dress.
A derivative of the Trash The Dress concept is the "Love The Dress" session (now being adopted by UK photographers). Where the post-wedding photography session is based on having more freedom with your wedding dress:
So the "Love the Dress" session is almost the same concept as "Trash The Dress" session with one difference: Getting wet or dirty to get awesome photographs is cool, but completely damaging the dress is not cool.
To see what a "trash the dress" session is all about, play the video below.
With grateful acknowledgement for this Trash The Dress presentation to US Wedding Photographer, Lori Adalsteinsson of Mystique Photography, Cheney, WA