So, you’ve spent a small fortune on your wedding dress. You’ve painstakingly kept it crease and dirt free until the big day, and you may even have had it professionally dry cleaned afterwards. But now what are you going to do with it?
Well, you could do what most of us do, and store it away in the attic. You could save it for your offspring. You could sell it on eBay. Or you could completely trash it – soak it in water, cover it in mud, attack it with scissors – even set it on fire. And you could hire a professional photographer to take pictures of you doing it.
This is the new tradition of “trashing the dress” and it’s becoming increasingly popular in the States, where brides pay for a photo shoot in which they set about destroying their pristine wedding dress in a variety of different ways. Why? Well, some do it to demonstrate that the trappings of a wedding are just that – meaningless trappings which are of no real importance. Some do it because they enjoy the irony of destroying something that has been so important, and some just do it for fun – and because the resulting images can be absolutely stunning.
Not all “trashings” are as extreme as the one pictured above, by photographer John Michael Cooper, who is credited with coining the phrase “Trash the Dress” and who’s fabulous images can be seen at his website. Some brides prefer to keep their dress more or less intact, and be photographed in a non-bridal setting, such as a grungy old alleyway or a muddy barn. Others take the trashing seriously, and completely destroy their gowns.
While the images I’ve seen of dress trashings are almost without exception, stunning, I still don’t think I could quite bring myself to destroy my precious wedding gown, though. Could you?