Wedding Dress Hanging in Woods

Trash the Dress Shoots | Everything You Need to Know

Fun ways to get the most out of your wedding gown

If you want great wedding photos that are unique and that rebel against traditional bridal norms, then consider a Trash the Dress shoot. The concept of trashing the dress began a few years ago when a Las Vegas Wedding Photographer developed the distinctive idea of posing brides in unusual settings. The resulting images were stunning and fit for a glossy magazine. Photographers who could pull of Trash the Dress shoots quickly became sought after.

Traditionally, the wedding gown symbolizes purity. Trashing the dress allows the bride to turn that concept of purity upside down and show a bit of her wild side. Many women find relief in rebelling against the time-honored image of the angelic bride –there’s an enjoying sense of freedom in discoloring, ripping or soaking their innocent whites.

Many brides also want to get the most out of their dress before its indefinite sentence to the back of the closet or attic. Trashing the Dress is one more way to create a memorable set of photos in your wedding gown.

What Does Trashing the Dress Involve?

The Trash the Dress photo shoot usually takes place on a day after your wedding. This is to give you enough time for the shoot but more importantly, so you’re not a complete mess at your reception!

Trashing the dress can involve water, sand, mud, paint a rustic setting (like and old barn) or the great outdoors. Depending of what you choose to do, your dress won’t necessarily be ruined but you’ll want to map out your theme or medium for the photo shoot. For example, get shots rolling around on the sandy beach before you leap into the water.

In fact, many couples choose to swim in the sea, or jump into a statuesque water fountain wearing the dress. Don’t worry, your gown will dry out eventually! However, if you opt to have paint tossed at you, or to roll around in the mud, you might find the stains harder to remove.

Planning a Trash the Dress Shoot

To plan your Trash the Dress shoot, first arrange a meeting with your wedding photographer. He or she will be able to advise you of what’s possible and the sort of props you’ll need. You’ll want to consider location and the practicalities of your shoot. For example, for water photos, you’ll need to find a photographer who has underwater camera equipment and experience shooting in this environment.

Choose a setting that is accessible and that somehow relates to your personality. For example, as a Colorado based photographer, I work with many couples who love the wilderness. I may recommend a hike through a forest or a muddy ride on a 4-wheel ATV for their photo shoot. I’ve even photographed couples on their way down a ski slope while the snow was still falling!

Trash the Dress Ideas

Again, the most obvious place to start in your quest for inspiration is with you. What do you like? Can you think of a theme that’s important to you? Also think of elements that will make the shoot more cinematic or visual.

Many couples choose to recreate scenes from their favorite films. Others decide to use props that define them. For example, if you’re into gardening, grab a wheel barrel, throw your groom in and wheel him through the dirt for some fun photos. Or, if you have a colorful personality, get an array of powdered paint and have it tossed in the air as you run through the misty rainbow.

Here are some other popular ideas:

  • Express your artistic side: There are many mediums of paint to choose, from latex, to spray paint, to powdered paint to even paint balling. Whatever you use, just make sure it’s non-toxic.
  • Get wet: Adventurous couples might opt for an underwater kiss in a pool, or for jumping off a cliff. You can also float in a serene lake or have a water fight in a city park water fountain.
  • What’s on the menu: Whether you’re throwing glasses of wine into the air, shaking up a bottle of champagne or eating desert off of one another, this is one option that may permanently trash the dress!
  • Go all natural: If you love nature, consider lying on a bed of moss, stomping about in the mud, leaping through a pile of leaves or even rock climbing.
  • Get greasy: If you like the look of old trucks and machinery, find out if there’s a junk yard in the area that you could crash for a couple of hours. You never know what you’ll find!

The possibilities are endless and have huge potential to create dramatic results. Your biggest limitation is how far you’re willing to go. Whatever you choose, the important thing is to have fun and be playful!

Remember, the idea isn’t simply to destroy your dress, rather it’s to create stunning pictures, so unique they make your friends and family stop and say this photo looks like it came from a magazine! Therefore, booking the right photographer for your Trash the Dress shoot is essential. You need to know how far your photographer is prepared to go and how capable he or she is to pull off a photo shoot with a higher degree of technical difficulty.

I have a lot of experience in photographing Trash the Dress shoots. If you’d like to discuss ideas for your Trash the Dress shoot, contact me at 720-460-0668.