To Trash Or Treasure?
Posted by Cate on July 23, 2008
I’ve recently heard about a relatively new phenomenon: “trashing your wedding dress“. The idea is that the bride (and very occasionally the groom) gets arty snaps taken of them in their wedding dress rolling in mud, submerged in water (via Infinity Studios), ripping, or even burning their dress (via AltF Photography).
I originally thought the trashing might be some kind of ‘farewell, good riddance at the end of a bad marriage, but according to Adam Cavanagh, of Cavanagh Photography,
“the idea behind it is you are committed to your husband, you are not going to get married again and this is a symbol of committed you are going to be.”
It’s based on the premise that your wedding dress is the most expensive dress you’ll ever own and rather than have it sit mouldering in a storage cupboard you can pop it on for a second wearing and get photographs of your sexy self rolling around getting your dress dirty.
I like the idea but why are so many of the shots all about the woman? And if marriage is meant to be not just about the wedding and the dress, why is it the focal point of attention yet again? And why does the Age’s video of a photo shoot have to include the bride flashing her undies to the world? Depictions of one’s true self or simply photos sexed up by a wedding industry that have found another way to make money? Getting photos on the beach is hardly new and there’s a whole industry in ‘alternative’ weddings. Is it better to donate your dress to charity to make someone’s day special who can’t afford anything nearly so lavish?
Personally, I don’t see why you can’t incorporate some of these ideas into your wedding day pics anyway. Maybe not the getting the dress filthy aspects (unless there’s a bout of vomiting after too many red wines) but the idea of fun goddamit! Wedding commemoration doesn’t have to be limited to photos of people standing in formation and sickening dvds set to acoustic music. Why can’t your wedding depict who you are (who you both are-since there’s two people in a marriage) and your own style without the bucks? I say do it yourself with a bunch of friends and a big bottle of vodka. And if you’re short for inspiration, the UK times has some DIY ideas of how you can ‘trash’ your dress ( I can imagine some of these would go down very well after a few beverages when you leave the wedding to start the real celebrating):
Slide down a big, twirly slide in a children’s playground.
Climb a photogenic tree and swing from the branches.
Get your new husband or, if you are feeling brave, the bridesmaids and pageboys to spray-paint your dress.
Run through a field of heather, mud, corn…
Get a sloppy DVD and a takeaway, then let the chardonnay do the work during a night on the sofa.
Go on all the rides at a country fête, especially the rotating swings, the Ferris wheel and the merry-go-round.
Sure beats getting your photos taken on the steps of Parliament house or in front of a tram.
Edit: Even though I wrote this article a few hours ago, I still feel rather horrified by the photo of the burning bride. It brings a really strong reaction in me. I can’t stop thinking about Bride Burning and honour killing in India and South Asia. Hardly things I’d want to associate with my wedding dress.