A recent article in the Washington Post about the unfortunate “Trash the Dress” trend lets us know that “Brides are breaking out their wedding gowns for a second wear in one of the newest trends to emerge from America’s wedding obsession: the Trash the Dress photo shoot. ” <!–more–>
Trash the Dress really isn’t new — it dates back to 2001, when wedding photographer John Michael Cooper began taking brides to unusual locations like tar pits and abandoned buildings post-wedding, so they could be photographed frolicking in and ultimately destroying their white wedding dresses.
Artistically, this concept works. The juxtaposition of a wedding gown against a gritty, dirty background makes for a striking image. But “trashing” a lovely, perfectly wearable garment is just plain obnoxious and wasteful. It’s as if these couples are saying “We’re so bloated with wealth that we can wreck things that we just bought! And get someone to photograph us looking hip and glamorous while we do it!” Didn’t statements of wasteful decadence like this go out of style with the Hummer?
There are many websites and blogs devoted to Trash the Dress photography, where you can glimpse pic after pic of brides waist-deep in sea water, surrounded by yards of wet white taffeta. What started as one photographer’s interesting and subversive creative statement has become a cliche. And the Trash the Dress photo shoot has become just another bizarre, unnecessary ritual created to exploit narcissistic newlyweds for a profit.
What I can’t figure out then is why so many people — including the Wash Post’s gushy reporter — seem to love Trash the Dress. What do you think? Is this trend alarming and yucky? Or should I lighten up and stop judging those who enjoy getting dirty in their finery? And while you’re at it, check out the Offbeat Bride’s witty post about TTD, the creepy “Why Trash the Dress” page on this TTD-promoting blog, and this video from the Today Show featuring strangely giddy dress trashers: