TRASH THE DRESS
Why it’s a good idea to soak and destroy your wedding dress and make a party out of doing it.
Traditions die hard, but most deserve to die. If we held to all traditions we’d still be making virgin sacrifices to the ancient gods and painting ourselves in Woad.
A popular wedding tradition was for the perpetual preservation of the Bridal wedding dress. After the ceremony, it would be stored in mothballs or passed on lovingly from mother to daughter over several generations, or it would end up gathering dust as few brides can think of good reason to ever put it on again.
The trend has largely gone out of fashion, as few daughters match the size and shape and weight of their mothers. Some brides-to-be will hire wedding dresses, but for many, the one-off occasion gown still has to be made to measure, a unique outfit for a unique bride. The question then is what to do with the dress after it comes off, if not for the reception, certainly for the honeymoon night.
Brides have several choices. They could store the gown aside in a box, or the back of the wardrobe, and look at it longingly, remembering their happy day, but with the photos, ring, husband, and children, it’s unlikely the bride could forget she is married. She could sell the dress, on e-bay or to a charity shop, to brides less affluent than herself.
Alternatively, and best of all, she could have a ‘Trash The Dress’ party and photo / video session. There is a growing trend for this. The dress is worn a second time, but instead of keeping it clean, stopping the train getting dusty from trailing the floor, and hoping no drunken cousin spills wine over it at the reception, the bride cheerfully takes the dress for a swim, in the sea, a river or a pool. Some brides find swamps, mud holes, an army assault course, or go paint balling in the dress. The aim is to slowly cheerfully destroy the dress completely, rendering it unwearable. It’s a bridge burning exercise – a way to promise again that this wedding will endure. In the unfortunate event of matrimonial division, separation and divorce, a white wedding is generally not applicable to a second marriage.
The trashing of the dress is usually a big showcase event – the bride will often get the groom and some other guests to dress up and join in, and have the proceedings filmed & photographed – an additional chapter to the wedding album. The event usually happens a few months after the honeymoon when the guests can get together once again. Some brides might prefer to keep the event discreetly between themselves and their husbands, but generally, the bigger a splash, the better. Many brides get the destruction of the dress sponsored as a charity supporting event, and it’s a lot more fun than leaving the dress airing in the attic forever.
Ruined wedding gowns are a staple image in Hollywood and pop videos. The Guns & Roses video for November Rain, the Ken Russell film, Crimes Of Passion, a TV episode of Sunset Beach, etc. Trash The Dress seems to have started as a trend from fashion shots taken by John Michael Cooper in Vegas at the turn of the century.
There are professional TTD fashion shot teams in most countries but there is no reason why brides can’t organize their own events more economically with friends and a willing photographer, camcorder user
As well as bridal wear, many kinds of clothes can be trashed at TTD events, prom gowns, bridesmaid-wear, cocktail dresses bought for office parties, etc.
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