Trash The Dress

Yesterday, in conjunction with the warmest 30th September for +100 years (apparently, only in England), my mother, husband and I went a-walking on Yellowgraig Beach, near North Berwick.  Glorious.

Who’d have thought that I would have had the chance to stroll along in a t-shirt at this time of year – in Scotland?  I’m absolutely loving it 🙂  The water was warmer to paddle in here than it was at Shark Bay. Not what I had expected, at all.

As we were making the most of this Indian Summer spell, we encountered a phenomenon I had never before witnessed, nor heard of, before in my life.  It is, however, becoming quite the tradition.  Hard to believe in the current economic climes, but hey – like, whatever..

What's she thinking? She's going to ruin that dress, she is...

First initiated as some glamorous photo-shoot-esque-magazine-spread-fad, brides around the world are adopting this as some sort of “art-work” that goes way beyond what traditional wedding albums might encapsulate.

"Spotted" - I see you... ("What are you doing???")

To quote Wikipedia:

Trash the dress, also known as fearless bridal or rock the frock, is a style of wedding photography that contrasts elegant clothing with an environment in which it is out of place. It is generally shot in the style of fashion and glamour photography. “Trash the dress” is the art of destruction or deconstruction of a brides wedding dress to create a new artwork that the bride would be proud to display on their wall. The new masterpiece is formed in the creative destruction of the dress. Trash the dress is all about limitless expression. This will normally be portrayed in a sequence of images or simply a single image. The form of destruction should reflect the brides personality, however the bride has to have complete confidence with the creative process as well as the skill and expertise of the photographer to brave such an act of finality.

Usually brides decide to have pictures taken on a beach, but other locations include city streets, rooftops, garbage dumps, fields, and abandoned buildings.

Some sources claim that the trend was originally started in 2001 by Las Vegas wedding photographer John Michael Cooper.[1] However, the idea of destroying a wedding dress has been used in Hollywood symbolically since at least October 1998 when Meg Cummings of the show Sunset Beach ran into the ocean in her wedding dress after her wedding was badly interrupted. Since then the style has spread around the world and most notably in the UK, with photographers like Steve Gerrard[2] and Mark Theisinger,[3] amongst others, shoot their unique ideas of Trash the Dress.

Brides are increasingly expecting more from their weddings photos, and trash the dress is an example of these expectations. Brides and grooms want to feature in the art on the walls of their homes. A type of extreme “sport-art” captured in all its beauty and opulence for the family to frame and memories to exude of their younger days, as they grow old together.[citation needed]

A model often wears a ball gown, prom dress or wedding dress, and may effectively ruin the dress in the process by getting it wet, dirty or in extreme circumstances tearing or destroying the garment.

It may be done as an additional shoot after the wedding, almost as a declaration that the wedding is done and the dress will not be used again. It is seen as an alternative to storing the dress away, never to be seen again.

Pose... hold it... hold it... There!


Wooo! Gotcha! (Woops - I didn't mean to get the camera wet!)

I have to note here (for the ladies, at least…) Nice thighs, by the way… Clever lad – he left his kilt, neatly folded up, on the beach. This is NOT “Trash the Kilt”!! – It could have been a rental, of course.  The dress clearly was not a rental; she’d never get her deposit back after all this malarkey 🙂

Three! Two! One!

Incidently, the island in the background is known as “Bass Rock“. It looks white, not because of the colour of the gannets that have colonised this island, but because of the amount of…well… bird poo that covers the island, which is volcanic, by the way…

Interestingly enough (from my personal perspective) – these gannets have been ringed and can be tracked. They spend their time migrating between Scotland and the west coast of South Africa.  I’ve even visited their South African home, which is much more easily accessed!

Ha! Fooled ya!

This lovely bride certainly got lucky with the weather. I’m not so sure it would have been quite so much fun had there been a howling gale and lashing rain!

Fidra Island Lighthouse

I’d be tempted to go for something a little more volcanic

Trash the Dress (image from - click on image to open link)

but would have to employ a spot of photo-shop-editing to ensure that I survived the ordeal (the photograph – not marriage, that is…)

You live and learn…

How would you Trash Your Dress? – Have you already Trashed The Dress?

Near North Berwick – September, 2011

10 thoughts on “Trash The Dress

  1. Great post, very informative. Where in Scotland is this East or West. i had the greatest Christmas in the western Isles 20 or so years ago-no hotel guests, no family,no friends just me the hotel owner and her daughter,for a christmas turkey dinner on christmas day in the hotel kitchen on the Isle of Mull-magic!

    1. Hi Adrian – Yellowcraig Beach is on the east coast – about a 15-30 minute drive to the east of Edinburgh. I can imagine your Isle of Mull Christmas would have been brilliant – the folks there are wonderful 🙂 – I worked at a hotel for a few summer months, back in 1991 and have some great memories – not necessarily of the place where I worked, but rather the other hotel that we used to hang out at!!

  2. I saw a TV segment about trash the dress in the US not long ago .Apparently the big trend in the American South is to go and trash your dress at the county fair — eating messy ice cream cones, playing in the mud with the pigs, etc. Funny concept, but I think it’s really just another way for wedding photographers to haul in more cash 🙂

    1. Eurgh… in a pig pen??? I’ve seen some other photos on the web where a number of pots of rather colourful paint are involved… that also looks like fun!
      Think you’re right about the photographers trying to cash in on it though 😉

  3. I love Trash the Dress shoots but I don’t think I have the heart to do it to my wedding gown. Hehe. I did have a Trash the Dress shoot wearing a cheaper gown before hubby and I got married…

    1. Ooh – I couldn’t do it, even though my dress isn’t a “fancy” one… I might dye it a different colour though… and try not to trash it in the process!
      Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment 🙂

    1. “Frock” is a fabulous word! I don’t often wear dresses, so for a big “do”, one has to get all “frocked” up 🙂
      Super happy to be home, although the weather is a bit bleak now. 😦 But hey, you don’t move to Scotland for it’s sunshine 😉

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