Monday, 6 August 2012

Trash the Dress

Summer is the season peppered with weddings, actually salted heavily. There was one summer when we were at a wedding every weekend during July and August. Over the past about 10 to 15 years, brides (not that many in my experience) have also taken the liberty to enjoy a "trash the dress" photo opportunity.

Wikipedia tells us that, "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"(Retrieved August 5, 2012). Since then professional photographers have capitalized on a second round of photographs from the same bride. Through the process, some brides and photographers began calling it an art form, a new expression against a traditional obligation. OK? First you go through the expense of tradition and then you trash. Hmm? It is a dichotomy.

Mind you, what happens to wedding dresses? They hang in either the bride's closet or her parent's closet until, well, until . . . (you can complete this sentence). My wedding dress is still packed in a cedar lined chest, which was my "hope chest" before getting married. I don't have a daughter or any nieces who would be interested in wearing it for their nuptials and so there it lies. 

Some brides trash their original dress and then others buy a dress specifically for trashing.

Trash the Dress Photo taken by Leslie Porter
Marjorie was one such bride who chose to buy a specific "trash" dress. She said, "I really enjoyed the trash the dress shoot and would recommend it with a bargain type dress if the bride wants to keep her original one as a keepsake." In fact, a number of guests at the wedding decided to take turns at trashing Marjorie's "trash" dress.

This got me thinking. What other "trash the dress" symbolic opportunities are there?
  • Retirement: The destruction of a "suit" or "uniform" on your day of retirement. Now that makes enormous sense to me. You have worked at a job for 30 years and on the official day of retirement you trash the dress required by your work. I like that!
  • Divorce: Now's the time to trash the wedding dress!
  • Graduations: The graduation gown or cape is a perfect trash-able item since graduations traditionally suggest that you are leaving a student life and transferring to a working life. And that in itself has a certain amount of irony.
Perhaps, my ideas are more akin to the 1960's "bra burning" symbolism than to the bride's "trash the dress" symbolism.

So what other possible "trash the dress" photo opportunities could there be? 

1 comment:

  1. I think this trend is a little crazy and you are so right about it being a dichotomy. I think it's a bit of a jinx on the marriage to immediately trash the dress, but I suppose to each their own!


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