There's a new wedding trend that has been emerging the last few years, often referred to as "Trash the Dress". I'm not quit sure what to make of it. A quick google search of the trend yields a few different opinions on how the fad got started, with some consensus that it took off after wedding photographer John Michael Cooper promoted it. Regardless, the trend consists of the bride, and sometimes the groom, meeting with the wedding photographer the day after the wedding to take artsy pictures, usually involving destroying the wedding gown by submerging it in water, mud, or ripping it.
My initial distaste for this new fad is that it reeks of conspicuous consumption. According to Knot.com, the average price for a wedding dress is about $1,100. This expense is for a dress worn once. ONCE! And, now it's becoming popular to just destroy the expensive dress. I concede some of the popularity of this trend is to get more for your buck- brides don't just wear the dress once and put it in a box in the closet, but put it on again the next day to at least get some artsy photographs out of it. Wikipedia echos this rational and offers that couples use it as a pronouncement that the wedding is over and the dress will never be worn again. (Although, aren't couples now paying the wedding photographer more for their time and printing of the photos?) Good Morning America on ABC suggests that "....some brides are celebrating the end of their wedding (and the stress associated with it) by mutilating and trashing their dresses after the ceremony". I have to wonder if maybe a better solution would be to question why the wedding ceremony was so stressful in the first place (planning it alone, pressure to be perfect, consumerist nature, etc.).
Also, this fad screams of Facebook-esq documentation. As if the wedding ceremony were not already objectifing of the bride, now women are pressured to produce artsy photos the day after the wedding as well. Must everything be documented these days? I also wonder how much of this new trend is part of the current social practice of appearing to not be a "bridezilla", showcasing how much you can be NOT into having everything perfect (see my previous post on Bridezilla's here). And, is it just me, or does the thought of spending the day after your wedding with your wedding photographer, rather than romantically with your partner, sound both a little tasteless and vain? In fairness, some brides are taking up Trash the Dress events as a fun thing to do with their new spouse as a celebration of the previous day and as a fun event to do together.
However, some of these photo shoots take a turn from the fun and artsy to the dark and creepy. Who wants a framed photo hanging in their hallway of themselves with dead looking feet sticking out a trunk of a car? What about posing next to bullet holes? This is not "new", "artsy", "interesting" or "original" art; it's simply romanticizing violence against women. Nothing says "I Do" quite like it!
Check out the video below for some "real time" images of a Trash the Dress photo-shoot. And, take a look at this website for more images of Trash the Dress photography and come back here to let me know what you think of this new fad.