COLUMN: A better explainer for ‘Trash the Dress’

Lynn McPherson | Dress Dialogue

I feel like the recent article on The Log’s Community page missed some major highlights about the attraction of Trash the Dress for the couples who I photograph.

No. 1: Trash the Dress photos typically take place on a day after the wedding. On wedding day, you are so worried about the timeline and making sure that your guests are not left unattended that you rush through the photos. Taking photos on a totally different day allows you to spend more time focusing on each other rather than a timeline.

No. 2: On the day of the wedding, you normally wear your hair up and more formal, but on a different day you can choose to have a more relaxed style for your Trash the Dress photos.

No. 3: Taking photos on a day other than the wedding leads to a reduced stress level, which can mean a more relaxed expression for your photos. Weddings take a lot out of everyone when you are having to deal with too many personalities and opinions.

No. 4: You can still use your dress more than once — you pay a lot of money for your dress and wear it only one day. If you choose to store your dress, you run the risk of dry rot and moths ruining the dress, so why not take this opportunity to be photographed in your dress on another day. Plus we are only getting it wet, not destroying the dress. All of my brides have had it drycleaned and the dress was as good as new. You tell me what is more useful: Only wearing the dress one time and stuffing it away in the attic or getting to wear it a second time for a private romantic session with your new husband?

No. 5: If you have an expensive dress or do not wish to get your dress wet for any reason, I have loaner dresses in many sizes that my brides can borrow for the session. I think this is a great option and it was never mentioned in the article.

No. 6: After the wedding, you have guests that tend to linger on the beach while photographers are shooting your photos and romantic photos are hard to come by when you have an audience. I spend an hour with my bride and groom getting some awesome formal style photos, only spending the last 20 minutes of that session in the water as the sun is starting to touch the horizon.

Hopefully, this provides readers with a better explanation about why brides want to do this, and that we are NOT really trashing the dress..

We need to make people understand that there are good reasons to do what these couple’s are doing. And it’s not destructive. Rather, it’s a perfect opportunity to get some incredible photos of new love when it’s passionate and firey!

I have been married for 15 years, and I am still in love with my husband but there is nothing like the feeling of being a newlywed. It’s a time in your life where you can look back on those photos and see the passion in your eyes — even if these photos are for the eyes of the bride and groom only. Looking at these photos can be a great firestarter for couples.

I hope that this helps you understand why these sessions are very important to me — not only creatively, but I love capturing emotion, and this session is one of those that speaks to me.

Lynn McPherson is owner and primary photographer of White Sands Photos.

To read the trash the dress story by The Destin Log, click here.