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Trash the Dress – Embracing the Unusual

Does the idea of wearing a white gown to your wedding not seem quite you? Do you want to embrace something extreme and anti-tradition? Would you like to avoid the posed wedding pictures like your parents possess? Why not try trashing your dress; a hip new wedding movement that has brides all over the world destroying their dresses after their wedding. Now that you are married, you are never going to need it again, right? So break free of the standard tradition and live a little.Trash the Dress - Bus

The trash the dress movement began in 2001 when John Michael Cooper, a Las Vegas photographer, wrote an online article about the concept. A photographer in New Orleans, Mark Eric, read the article, and was instantly hooked – coining the phrase “trash the dress”. What was Cooper’s article about? Well, he was tired of shooting traditional wedding photos, so he prompted some of his brides to be daring – and as a result, he began taking unusual wedding photos instead.

Why was Cooper’s idea so successful? Well, brides have had a longstanding iniquitous relationship with their wedding gown, struggling for months to find the perfect one, spending a small fortune when they finally slip on the dress of their dreams, and then having it altered so it will fit magically. Brides go to great length and endure countless sleepless nights over a dress that is, usually, worn once. Some brides do say that they feel a bit nostalgic at first about trashing their dress, but they then realize they are going to have one-of-a-kind photos, rather than a wedding dress sitting perfectly in a box collecting dust and smelling of moth balls.

If completely trashing your dress doesn’t seem like you either, you are able to opt for less of a beating. Some brides get their dresses wet, dirty, or even light them Trash the Dress - Cityon fire, but others don’t – they might just get their pictures taken in a field, in an alleyway, at an amusement park, or along railroad tracks. Even for these brides there is an unlimited number of ways to “step outside the box”. When a bride chooses to trash her dress she is able to decide what type of atmosphere she wants, but the ultimate message any photographer will try to exude through the photo is the love between the bride and groom, and that the dress is not going to be warn again (likely, although some brides choose to sell their dress after they have it dry cleaned, so someone will wear it, just not them). The overall focus is on the bride, not the dress; it is creative photography to express the bride’s personality, and sometimes the grooms too, if he chooses to be involved.

Location really affects what kind of trash the dress session is possible. However, any locale, from cities to the country, offers creative possibilities.

Trash the Dress  - Bride and GroomThese trash the dress photo sessions usually take place in the week following the wedding. Since the ceremony is over the bride is able to relax and have fun at the shoot. These photo shoots give the bride and groom awesome imagery from their wedding, resulting in fantastic (and unique) memories for the rest of their lives. More and more couples these days are favouring the un-styled, un-planned moments of their wedding rather than the prescribed agenda of highly organized groups of people staring at the camera.

If you consider yourself to be an unconventional bride, a unique photo shoot like trash the dress might be a great way for you to relieve any leftover stress from your wedding.

What have you done with your wedding dress? If you have any ideas on what to do with a wedding dress that will never be worn again, leave us a comment! Or have you trashed your dress? Share your stories with us.