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Trash the Wedding Dress?

The Knot
Updated Oct 26, 2018

Few things represent a wedding better than a bride in a white dress. And after all of the salon visits, fittings, and alterations, it's no wonder that many brides opt to preserve their gown after the wedding day. But some brides are taking a decidedly different approach: They're wearing their wedding dress once more in a much less careful manner (no bridesmaids carrying the train here) for a dramatic photo shoot, better known as "trashing the dress" (or TTD). Here's the scoop on this growing wedding trend.

Is the wedding dress ruined?

Not necessarily. Should you decide to give this trend a try, you (and your wedding photographer) will discuss beforehand just how badly you'll trash your gown. The concept is to relax (finally!), let your creativity flow, and enjoy wearing your dress one last time in a fresh, liberating way. Some take a subtle approach for their photo session with a walk through the woods or a swim in a pool or pond, while others go a step further by heading to construction sites, changing greasy car tires, or wading through muddy puddles. Brides who have embraced the trend say that a TTD shoot gives the gown new life in lieu of simply sitting in the closet. Plus, they'll have photos in their wedding album that can look as though they're straight from the pages of Vogue.

Who "trashed the dress" first?

Las Vegas wedding photographer John Michael Cooper is credited with staging the first TTD shoot. After becoming bored with more traditional wedding photo sessions, Cooper began asking brides to pose after their wedding day in unusual (and less pristine) settings. The sentiment among many photographers who offer TTD shoots is the same: Given the unique photos that result, it's a win-win opportunity for brides and photographers alike.

How much does it cost?

Prices vary among photographers and can depend on how many scenes you shoot, how far away the location is, and how many hours you spend shooting. If you know beforehand that this is something you want to do, find out if your wedding photographer offers a TTD shoot as part of a package deal.

Where can I find a photographer?

If your wedding photographer doesn't do TTD shots, there are other options. Some photographers who offer these photo sessions will work with a couple even if they didn't shoot the wedding itself.

How should I trash my dress?

Hit the Internet for inspiration. As the trend spreads, many photographers are posting their photo sessions on their websites with the rest of their portfolios. Others are blogging about the latest ways they've had brides trash their dress, and videographers have joined the fun, uploading footage from TTD shoots onto YouTube.

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