Trash the Dress, Rock the Frock, etc.

Have you ever heard of a "Trash the Dress" session? How about "Rock the Frock"? Or "Rock the Dress"?

When I first heard of "Trash the Dress", I saw extreme photographs of women in wedding dresses, effectively ruining them. Dresses on fire, covered in mud or paint, drenched in water, and so on.

Photo by John Michael Cooper

I've always loved the contrast of beautiful, new, fine things (like wedding dresses or fancy clothing) against an old, worn out, decaying setting. So this "TTD" trend sparked my interest. These daring, creative, edgy photo shoots drew me in because they were unique and they had that interesting contrast.

The symbolic idea behind trashing a wedding dress was that you wouldn't be needing that dress anymore. You're married, you're committed, the dress has served its purpose, so you trash it.

I love the idea of getting beautiful photos of a bride in a wedding dress.
I love the freedom of shooting the wedding dress without the wedding day concerns about getting a little dirt on the dress. I also love putting the bride in a setting you may not expect or that you probably wouldn't have the opportunity to do on a wedding day.

But I'm not all about trashing the dress.
I'm about cherishing it- creating beautiful photos that will be cherished. Beautiful memories that remind you of your wedding day. Photos that show off the beautiful dress you chose to wear on that important day.

I just felt the need to explain my take on this trend.
It's been on my mind a lot lately because of a couple of stories in the news about accidents when shooting brides in or near water. It's also been on my mind because my sister and I have been looking forward to the nice weather this year so that we could get out and create some special photos of her in her wedding dress after her Fall wedding last year.

In discussing our goals for her session, we agreed that sometimes these "Trash the Dress" sessions end in the water just for the sake of getting wet or saying that you truly "trashed" your dress. So, we set out to create photos that meant something to us. Daring, unusual, unique? Love it. And if she wanted to "trash" her dress (for real) in some way that had a meaning & purpose? I guess we would've done it. But that wasn't our goal for this.

I hope we succeeded. We had so much fun with it! I'll be sharing a sneak peek at the photos soon!

And I've decided I'll be calling this session a "Cherish the Dress" session. :)


  1. Did you hear about that bride who recently drowned during a trash the dress session? She waded into the water, the soaked dress was too heavy and she was pulled under in the current.

    So sad.

    I also totally agree with you about the whole trend. I even wore my mom's dress and I am so happy she cherished it and saved it for me. I don't mind (even appreciate) photos of brides in unique places/locations, but the intentional destruction of a dress seems bizarre to me.

    Great post!

    1. Yes! That's the story I was referring to in my post (among a few others that I've heard about since). SOOO sad!! It has been on my mind for days.

      Thanks for commenting, Kim!

  2. I'm with you, I think. It seems wasteful (to me) to trash a dress for no other reason than "just because." Someone else could wear it, it could be handed down, or revinvented into something new. But I never wanted a big "special" dress or wedding, either. My husband and I eloped to WDW, and we couldn't be happier about it. :)

    1. Right! What I did with my sister only got her dress a little dirty- not much more than happened on her wedding day (outdoor ceremony & barn reception, so it wasn't pristine after that ;) And it'll be easy to get it back to clean!

      If you're reading this, what is WDW? Maybe I should know, but I can't figure it out just now!

  3. Walt Disney World, I am quite sure :)

    I plan to use my dress to either make something for my girl(s?) some day, or maybe they may even want to wear it themselves! I could never bring myself to throw paint on it after all the thought and work I put into choosing it. I wish I could still wear it :)

    1. Ah, thank you! :)

      My grandma made my blessing dress out of my mom's wedding dress train. Then my mom's wedding dress served as a temple dress. And my blessing dress has been used for both of my girls. I love that! :)

  4. Totally with you! Cherish it, don't trash it! New follower from hop- cute blog!


  5. i agree with you although i have seen some breathtaking shots of brides in the water or laying across a log. but then i have also read about a few brides drowning or having to be rescued after the weight of the water soaking into their dresses brought them down.
    i dont think i could personally "trash' anything that held such value plus what if one of my girls wants to wear my dress or alter it or use some of the beading to put on their own?
    found you through the moms monday mingle. glad to be following and will come back by. come visit me if youd like!

    1. Yes, I'm totally with you. Actually, in my post tomorrow you'll see that we did a "lying across a log" photo- and it's my favourite from the session! :)

      Thanks for commenting, Kendra! :)

  6. Heather,

    I loved our "cherish the dress" session. My main goal was to get some really neat photos with -my amazing dress that I love and won't really have a reason to ever wear again-. I love the idea of having photos in unique locations in my favourite dress that I wore on the most wonderful and special day of my life :) Can't wait to see the photos and I couldn't agree with your explanation more. Love you!

  7. Hi Heather! I'm following you on G+. Stopped by from the Naptime Review hop. Would love you to follow me back. My blog is Looking forward to getting to know you!

  8. Such a tragedy that that bride drowned. I don't mind the ones of the bride in water (those can be cleaned!) BUT I have to agree with you - I don't get the trashing of the dress. First, they're expensive (or an heirloom if passed down). And second, they symbolize something sacred and precious. I don't know, call me old-fashioned!

  9. I just heard about this recently too! I'm not sure if I'm willing to do it or not though! Found your blog on the blog hop and started following. I'd love if you could stop by mine sometime :)


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment- I love reading them! :)
~Heather Lynne