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Yesterday,  my post (‘You spend all that money on a dress and then you want to… wreck it?‘) gave reasons to consider trashing your wedding dress. If it got you thinking, then this post is meant to help you mentally prepare for your shoot.

There are a few details to keep in mind when heading into a dress trash:

1) Are you hesitant to really TRASH your gown? Just looking for a few urban/street photography shots of  you and your  spouse? That’s not a problem (although it isn’t quite as much fun for us spectators :))! You don’t HAVE to destroy your dress. Keep in mind that the evidence of most things that happen on a trash the dress shoot could probably be erased with the help of a good dry cleaner (unless you involve squirt bottles of paint, which I am DYING to do).

Mitch and Ang had to do photos with the grandparents post-shoot, so the front of the dress was left as clean as humanly possible, bar a few smudges of dirt on the hem. They live in a farming community, so there was never any doubt as to what kind of location the shoot would be in and they were both realistic about what would be happening in terms of cleanliness. The back of the dress may have been grubby, but the front was picture-ready.

2) Keep an open mind. The whole point of the session is to get shots that you didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t get on your wedding day. If you want awesome results, listen to your photographer’s ideas, have some of your own and be willing to push the envelope.

3) It doesn’t have to involve water. I’ve seen hundreds of ‘trash the dress’ shoots that involve a soaking wet bride flipping her hair like something out of a Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar. It’s cool if that’s what you’re going for, but if you think that water isn’t for you, then speak up and make sure your photographer knows. Break out of the cliché and get yourself into something interesting!

Amazing shot. Great mix of grunge and glamour, which is what makes a dress trash so interesting.

4) Don’t be ‘precious’. While you don’t have to wreck the dress, chances are pretty high that you’re going to get at least a little bit dirty. Whether you’re down on the farm or out on the town, you’re wearing what is likely a full-length gown – it’s going to brush against the ground and that’s going to leave marks. That’s part of the process and a side effect to getting some amazing photos. Go into the shoot with a ‘whatever happens, happens’ attitude and you won’t regret it.

This location had potential to get very grubby, but it doesn't have to!

Make no mistake – ‘trash the dress’ is meant to be a fun way of getting down and dirty in your wedding dress, but any photographer worth their salt will be willing to work with you on ways to get the shots you want while keeping you as clean – or getting you as dirty – as you need to be.

All the fun, none of the mess, still a beautiful photo.

The clients who opt for a ‘trash the dress’ session are generally adventurous people looking for some edgy photos. Do you have to be adventurous or edgy? No! But break your own mould a little and try something different. If you show up ready for fun and completely non-traditional wedding photos, you’ll have the shoot of your life.

I would LOVE to hear from readers who have had particularly successful ‘trash the dress’ shoots! What did you do? What made it so successful?

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