Rhode Island Wedding Guide

Trash the Dress

Article and Images Contributed by Kristin Griffin Photography

Have you heard the terms "trash the dress," "rock the frock," or "drown the gown" and wonder what they mean? These fashiocapture unique images for your wedding album in locations you couldn't visit on your wedding day. Often scheduled for a date after your honeymoon, you'll put on your gown one last time before it's cleaned and sealed. Symbolically, "trashing the dress" shows that you won't need another gown, since you just married your perfect mate.n-forward photography shoots are great opportunities to

Now before you worry that the beautiful gown you just spent thousands of dollars on will be ruined beyond recognition, let's talk about the future of your dress after your wedding day.

1. Once you take your dress off, it's unlikely that it will ever get worn again. How formal is your wedding gown? When have you worn a long, white dress to an occasion other than your wedding? Are you planning to dye or shorten your dress so you can wear it again?

2. Styles go out of vogue. Did you consider wearing your mother's gown? If you chose your mother's heirloom dress, did you make alterations so that it fits your style better? Even if you plan to pass down your gown to your children, what if you only have sons? Have you tried on your future mother-in-law's wedding gown? Was it in the running for your one-and-only dress?

3. Chances are good that your beautiful gown will have one glorious day in the limelight and then get packed away with the rest of your wedding mementos. Why not get one more wear out of it?

What happens at these shoots? Typically, the bride and the photographer pick a location that suits the style of the couple. Popular locations include: beach, city (especially “gritty,” urban locations), fields, or other rural locales. Consider places that say something about you as a couple. The place where he proposed - very romantic. Where you had your first kiss - extremely nostalgic. Your favorite vacation spot – fun and relaxed. Do you ride horses? Pose for photographs at the barn! Are you spontaneous and easy-going? Try roller coasters at an amusement park. Do you love to hike? Find your boots because climbing a mountain in a white dress should be a breeze for you! Are you athletic and sporty? Go tailgating, participate in a scrimmage, or play paintball in your dress. Are you creative and artistic? Use your dress as a canvas or recreate the pottery wheel scene in “Ghost.” Do you share similar hobbies, did you meet in an unusual location or are you regular visitors to a particular venue? Scenes that speak to your personality and tastes will be great ways to remember this special time in your life.

Talk to your photographer about your expectations for the shoot.

1. How dirty are you willing to get? Your photographer can protect your dress by having you sit on clear plastic tarps that can be tucked under your dress and out of the shot.

2. If you need to walk a distance to get to the location, consider wearing sneakers under your dress. A long hem can hide them, or you can change once you're in place.

3. If you're driving yourself to the shoot, or you're planning to get wet, wear a bathing suit under your clothes so you can change on-site. You can tuck the straps into the bodice of your dress once you arrive.

4. Start with the clean photographs first. Ask your photographer what he or she thinks about the shoot as you are posing - did you get the shots you discussed? Once you go into water/mud/paint, there's no going back!

5. Do you want flowers for the session? Ask your photographer if they have silk bouquet props available, talk to your florist, or pick up a simple bouquet at a grocery store.

6. Do you need hair & makeup appointments? Many brides choose a more relaxed DIY feel for their "rock the frock" shoots in contrast to their wedding day look. Remember, the fun of these sessions is the chance to get away from stiff, traditional poses and stress of the wedding and aim for unscripted, spontaneous, creative photographs.

7. When planning the location, think about your personality. If you're shy and introverted, you may prefer a quiet, rural location or a place that's off-season (i.e. New England beach in the winter). If you love being the center of attention, soak it all up by planning your session in a place that's more likely to attract crowds.

8. Do you want your future husband in some or all of shots? Tuxedos can be rented again (talk to your tux shop about deals for multiple days), or he can dress in a suit. For contrast, ask your guy to wear jeans and cowboy boots, or some other casual outfit. Want to indulge your inner fashionista for a day? Leave your guy at home and surprise him with your awesome photographs later!

Not sure that "trashing the dress" is right for you? Some brides purchase a less expensive white dress or light colored prom gown to use in these sessions. Visit online auctions or thrift stores for choices. If you plan to preserve your dress after the shoot, talk to your cleaner before the session. Ask about care of your dress - they may recommend that you soak the muddy gown in your bathtub immediately following the session, or that you bring it to them on the same day.

You can preserve your dress in a box in the attic, or by posing for beautiful photographs. Talk to your wedding photographer for more ideas about “rocking the frock!”

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