Wedding Dress Cleaning, Preservation & Restoration Blog

Why You Should Think Twice Before Jumping on the Trash Your Dress Trend

Why You Should Think Twice Before Jumping on the Trash Your Dress Trend

If never you’ve heard of the “Trash the Dress” trend, you’re doing just fine. This crazy phenomenon made it big back in 2001 when a Las Vegas-based photographer decided that traditional wedding portraits were boring and began eliciting clients who were interested in getting down and dirty – in their wedding gowns. John Michael Cooper is credited as saying, “In fashion photography, they often put really pretty people in very ugly places. I’m applying that technique to weddings,” in a 2007 interview with the New York Times. Despite the lack of social media back in 2001, Cooper’s trend of trashing the dress became a huge hit, and it simply hasn’t gone away.

The trash the dress trend, if you’re not familiar with it, involves donning your thousand dollar plus wedding gown after your big day (Hey, you get to wear it again, right?) and literally trashing it. So much for preserving it for your future daughters, right? Photographers ask that their brides to play in the ocean, the mud, the lake, fire, the dirt, ride horses, dump frosting all over themselves, have water balloon fights and anything else you could ever possibly imagine. The point is to destroy your wedding dress for a photo shoot that’s highly-trendy and after all is said and done... pretty-ugly.

And surprisingly, a lot of brides love this idea. Now you’re probably sitting here wondering why on earth you’d spend thousands of dollars on a dress that you’re going to wear one time (two if you decide to destroy it) just so that you can put it back on and get it so filthy it might not be able to be cleaned. In theory, fine, whatever; it’s your dress to do with what you please. It looks like fun to play in the ocean with your now-husband while wearing your wedding dress (though this is a loose version of “trashing” your dress since you’re not really destroying it so much as getting it wet). However, if you stop and think about it, trashing the dress is pretty socially irresponsible.

Help a Bride in Need

There are hundreds of thousands of women out there in situations that will not allow them to purchase a wedding gown. By donating yours to them, you can give them a dream come true.  There are women who want to get married who are in such perilous situations financially that they cannot afford to spend even a hundred dollars on a wedding gown. These are women facing life-threatening illness or situations in which they are caring for sick parents or children and spending all their money on medical bills and could never dream of affording to buy a dress.

What about the girls who can’t afford to go to their own prom because the rising cost of dresses? While wedding dresses might not be appropriate for a prom, some are dressed down enough to make a lovely gown for a girl who wants to dance just one night away while pretending she doesn’t have adult-sized problems on her teenage shoulders. 

Finally, there is one more consideration to make before you trash your dress; it’s a dangerous photo shoot. In 2012, a Canadian bride was participating in a trash the dress shoot with her wedding photographer when her dress became so heavy from the water on the edge of a river bank that the current grabbed hold of her and pulled her away. The sheer weight of her large bridal gown made it impossible for her to swim and save herself, causing her to drown just days after her dream wedding. The incident made national headlines and lead to a barrage of questions and concerns surrounding this popular photo shoot.

Why Trash Your Dress When You Can Donate it?

Instead of participating in a potentially dangerous and socially irresponsible photo shoot, how about doing something that makes you feel good? How about donating your dress to someone who needs it? Imagine how good you’ll feel knowing that your expensive designer gown made some woman’s dreams come true or that it made her smile and feel beautiful after a round of chemotherapy or in the face of impending death.

Donate your dress to one of many charitable foundations that benefit women in need. Adorned by Grace sells donated wedding dresses to use the proceeds to shelter and support women rescued from sex trafficking rings. Brides Across America provides free wedding gowns to the women who’ve fought for our country in the military. Brides Against Breast Cancer sells donated dresses to women and uses the profits to provide education and wellness services to women and their families who have been affected by breast cancer.

Ask yourself this simple question: Do you want to trash your dress for a few pictures that you’ll look at only a handful of times over the course of your life that will lose their novelty once the “Likes” and retweets die down, or do you want to make a difference in the life of someone who so desperately needs it?

Already trashed your dress?  We can untrash it and help you donate it to an organization that will help a deserving bride in need.  Please contact us for our special pricing when cleaning a dress for donations.