Wedding trends I don't understand: Part 1

Last updated 08:15 29/08/2012

I'm sure many of you read with horror this week about the newlywed woman who died in her wedding dress during a trash the dress shoot. Trash 4

A colleague, who read the story, turned to me (as the one-stop knowledge shop for all things bridal, it seems nowadays. I can talk about non-wedding stuff too, guys!) and asked "So why do women trash their wedding dress?"

I actually had nothing.

"They umm... ahh, you know, you've got this dress and err... yeah nah, no idea actually."

And I really don't have any idea.

I get that wedding dresses are very sentimental. I get that they are often expensive and seen as "pure" or "special" or whatever.

I don't, however, get the need to "trash" it - except for maybe if the marriage went sour.

According to Wikipedia, it's art - daaah-link. You know, taking things out of context. Yada, yada. That's all well and good and I'm the first to admit I don't understand all art forms.

But there are different types of trash the dress shoots, though, so I think it's important to differentiate. One of the favourite ones I've seen was in Rarotonga and it involved the couple and they were swimming underwater in their full gears. It was hot and sexy, and most of all they looked happy and so clothes-tearingly in love.

I've also seen this awesome set of photos where they did bombs into the water from a big rock.
I get that. I get the need to want to do a bomb. (Insert "taking the plunge - literally" pun in here.)

But then there are these dark, moody, melancholic trash the dress shoots which look like a mix between scenes from Twilight and Edward Scissorhands. They look SO depressed; a bride, coated in mud and sitting in a tree above a murky creek with spooky lighting and cobwebs in her hair.

They look, and excuse my phrasing considering the opening line of this post, like corpse brides. How is that hot?*

Then there are the just "WTF" ones, like this: "Behind you! Look! There's a train coming and you're looking emo while sitting on the tracks!"

Trash 2

And this:  "Um. lady, you're lying on train tracks and there's a creepy dude creepin' up on yo'."

Trash 3

There's no way I'd ever want that image of me blown up and put on a canvas to hang in the lounge of our home.

But somehow I think I'm in the minority because a whole lot of brides-to-be are asking me "OoOooo are you gonna trash the dress?" and I always politely say "I don't know? Um, maybe?"

I love the thought of symbolically trashing it as a "goodbye to pureness" but it's fair to say those days are, *cough*, well gone. Hah.

And I like the thought of having a lot of fun doing it - whether it's doing some bombs, or throwing paint at each other, like below. But hold the mud, please.  

Trash 1

Would you or did you do a 'trash the dress'? Seen any great or terrible ideas?

* Rhetorical question. Please don't answer, that's sick.

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53 comments
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Hanspan   #1   08:47 am Aug 29 2012

I do not get this at all, I would never dream of trashing my dress, some people have more money than sense me thinks.

amp50   #2   08:57 am Aug 29 2012

I don't understand doing this unless the marriage didn't work out and you wanted to trash the traditional bride's dress then. What about having it packed away for use (with alteration if needed or wanted) for the next generation, or using parts of it for making a quilt - am I too sentimental for this day and age? It seems a waste of money - better getting a wedding dress you can alter (eg shortening, dying, adding to or taking parts from) to wear again, especially if money is tight. I haven't added to ideas on how best to trash - perhaps just burn it as you would money if you had that much!

Lucky#13   #3   09:06 am Aug 29 2012

My dress is second-hand - bought off Trade Me. I absolutely would not trash it because I think it is a real waste of money and a shame.

There will be someone else out there like me who wants a lovely dress but wont be able to afford one and would probably be happy to use my dress after my wedding. How are they supposed to do that if I've gone swimming in mangroves or something!?

dragonzflame   #4   09:34 am Aug 29 2012

Having worked with wedding photographers in my day job, it's more a) a chance to put the dress on again, and b) a chance to experiment with some other settings and photography styles that you couldn't on your wedding day, for fear of messing up your hair and makeup, or just for time constraints. And dare I say, it's a chance for the photographer to show what they can do without wedding-day limitations, and get a nice portfolio piece into the bargain.

It's not something I'm into, but I do get why other people do it. I've seen some beautiful TTD shots - but I don't think they're worth risking one's life over!

Haley   #5   09:36 am Aug 29 2012

I absolutely cannot imagine trashing my dress. I LOVED it - never felt so pretty as I did in that dress, so why would I ruin it? I'm a bit sentimental about it. I could imagine doing something thoughtful (using bits in a quilt, or whatever) but never trashing. At the moment it hangs in a cupboard and gets regular visits from me...

meez   #6   09:40 am Aug 29 2012

I've never understood it... beach shots where the dress gets wet/sandy are one thing (and dry-cleanable), paint and tears is just a waste. Maybe I'm a bit sentimental, but isn't it nicer to keep the dress (and maybe a daughter or even granddaughter might wear it one day - how nice is that?).

Spacette   #7   09:41 am Aug 29 2012

I do love the sense of fun and (relative) spontaneity in the swimming/bombs/skipping/sandy type pics - I guess that would be the focus for me if I was in that position rather than the 'trashing' per se.

Geoff   #8   09:57 am Aug 29 2012

As far as I can tell it's "just" a photo shoot with a theme. Not much different to the glamour type shoots where the subject is photographed against something very much in contrast with their beauty. eg, derelict house, graffiti covered subway etc. I did a mock wedding shoot with an already married couple who got re-dressed up in their wedding gear. We gave up trying to explain to well-wishers that it was't actually their big day, just went with it and had a lot of fun.

Jo   #9   09:58 am Aug 29 2012

We did a trash the dress (more of a drown the gown) in Rarotonga the week after our wedding!

The photos are amazing and my husband and I did it together so it was like an extention of wedding pictures really. We got some amazing pictures under the water and around the island and had a once in a lifetime experience.

The dress is fine, it just needed a dryclean to get the sand out of it, and it was an fun experience and we got to dress up in the dress again. I wouldn't have done a paint one or anything that ruined my dress, so this was a fun experience to get some arty photos in our wedding atire.

RedRulesAll   #10   10:05 am Aug 29 2012

I have seen some beautiful/fun 'trash the dress' aka 'rock/shock the frock' shoots. Some for brides who, for one reason or another, got rather traditional shots on their big day. When clearly they wanted to swim or lay in a field in their dress ... each bride to their own I guess! PS I'm not married. Don't think this would be for me actually but as I say have seen some awesome photos esp those in water ...


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