What is that you say? You want me to do what in my wedding dress? are you crazy?
This is often the reaction a bride will give you when you suggest them jumping into a lake or climbing into that beat up old junkyard bus while wearing the dress that made them feel like a princess on that special day.
There is usually one extreme side or the other taken on this debate on 'trash the dress' sessions. It's either a reaction of sheer horror, or an enthusiastic 'hell ya'.
Being a photographer and an artist, I would love it if every bride wanted to do one of these sessions with me. And why not? It's just too cool.
I love the idea of placing a beautiful bride in a setting that would just not be expected or typical of a wedding photo. It simply makes art in an instant.
MSN recently featured 13 amazing Trash the Dress Wedding photos and I love them all!!! I only wish some of my own shots would have been featured. They also raise the question as to whether or not the end photos are worth potentially destroying your beloved wedding gown. I say most definitely.
Here's the thing though... 'trash the dress' doesn't necessarily mean literally 'trashing' anything. Sure it may get a bit dirty, but it probably did on your wedding day as well.
Here's some suggestions if you are considering it yourself:
1. Buy another gown to trash! Who says it has to be your actual wedding dress your trashing? I've had some brides find a suitable gown in a thrift shop at a cost of may $50. For that price, you could trash it a couple times and not worry about the dress you hope to pass onto your daughter someday
2. Find a location that won't be so messy. Sure, wading into a pond, or climbing around a junkyard may not be your thing. But how about a bride in the middle of a crowded downtown street, or against a graffiti filled wall. There is tons of locations that would be safe for a session, without much risk of the dress getting harmed.
3. Get your hubby involved. Have him dress up as well, and join you for some ultra-romantic shots, and a time you guys will never forget with photos to remind you for a lifetime. These shots can often be even better then your wedding photos, because there isn't the pressure of the day looming over your head. You can just relax and have some fun!
4. Use this as your moment to shine! Every woman loves to feel beautiful. And you feel the most beautiful when you have your wedding gown on. Let it show and get some amazing images of yourself looking your best! Again, you will have the images for a lifetime, and all your friends will be jealous when they see the framed photo of you on your wall.
5. Just go for it! Why not? What are you saving it for? It's highly unlikely the dress will be worn again by your daughter. Styles change, and peoples tastes are different. Give yourself the gift of wearing the dress again for you!! You love the dress, you bought it for you!! celebrate it and immortalize it with some fantastic and unique photos.
Interestingly enough, smartbrideboutique.com is having a live debate about this on June 23rd. I have to wonder how many photographers might join in the debate in an effort to sway more brides into doing a 'trash the dress' session. I'm thinking about it myself.