Trash the Dress Without Trashing It

We’ve all seen the trash the dress photoshoots where the bride is rolling around in a marsh somewhere, thoroughly muddying her wedding gown and looking like a waterlogged fairy with naughty deeds on her mind. There’s one set where a stuntwoman bride lit her gown on fire while wearing it, post-wedding of course. Then there are the trash the dress sessions where the now married bride tromps through dust and grime, perhaps even letting a few brambles tear at the hem of her gown. I’m glad those brides were able to afford a second session with a photographer and, one hopes, got the photos they wanted.

But trashing the dress isn’t for everyone, and especially not those brides who feel a strong sentimental attachment to their wedding dresses. That said, these same brides might also feel the inclination to take their gowns out into nature without ripping it apart or staining it beyond recognition or wetting it through or burning it to a crisp. Can they trash the dress without actually, well, trashing the dress? After doing a quick survey of trash the dress photos, I think the answer is yes. Many of not most of the photos that purport to trash the dress really don’t do much in the way of wear and tear. Here are three ways brides who want to take interesting post-wedding photos and come away with an intact wedding dress.

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Take a chair into nature. Just because you’re out in the fields doesn’t mean you have to subject your wedding dress to the ravages of mud and animal droppings. A stool is just as out of place in a forest as a wedding dress is, so you’re not taking anything away from the photo other than astronomical drycleaning bills after the fact.

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Stay on your toes. There’s no trash the dress rule that says you have to writhe in the dirt. Want to pose in an abandoned factory? Do it — just walk around, maybe with the hem of your wedding dress in your hands instead of on the ground. Boots are optional, but be careful of going barefoot where there might be nails or broken glass about.

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Think urban. Take your wedding dress for a jaunt in the closest city and have fun watching the expressions on the faces of people you pass. You may get a bit of a dingy hem, but this can be cleaned or trimmed or even cut completely off if you’re thinking of turning your wedding dress into a kicky party frock.

(Photos via Jeanette Verster Photography)

5 Responses to “Trash the Dress Without Trashing It”

  1. Sarah C. says:

    I trashed mine on the beach and in the dunes- the train did end up in the water, but I left it on the line to dry and brushed the sand off before bringing it back in. It’s wearable, and looks like new. There’s probably some salt still in it (does polyester satin hold salt?), but I have no plans for it anyway. The pictures are gorgeous, and that was the whole idea. I will say, I didn’t care if it got ruined, though- we trashed it a year after the wedding (I had been planning to trash it since before the day, but we took it on vacation for some specific settings), and after a year of it sitting in its bag in the attic, my viewpoint really went from “MY WEDDING DRESS” to “oh, yeah, there’s my dress, I should do something with that.”

    Everyone I knew who was planning a wedding FREAKED at the idea of trashing their dress, so these are great suggestions. I’d also suggest waiting a while- it’s FUN to get back into the dress and run around in it.

  2. Chiken says:

    Those pictures are ridiculous. Why would you sit like that? And why why why would you want to get pictures taken in an abandoned factory?

  3. Who knows why people do what they do, Chiken? There are plenty of weird wedding photos out there… much stranger than these.

  4. Twistie says:

    I have to say that I’m completely in love with that last pic. It’s always wonderful to see a picture with a bride looking so unabashadly joyful.

  5. Sarah C. says:

    It’s so much fun! And if your dress is just sitting in the attic/closet/etc, why not take it out, dress up, and PLAY?

    My husband did our pictures- we’re both pretty serious with our photography, and it cost us nothing but a couple of afternoons finding odd places to contrast heavy white formal dress with natural/industrial/etc. backgrounds.