Brides spend hours, days and weeks online looking for ideas for their big day. Sifting through Pinterest boards and browsing Google images during these research sessions, the trend of “Trash the Dress” most certainly has shown up at least once. Though this trend has been around since 2005, when Las Vegas based wedding photographer John Michael Cooper created the concept, it seems like the spirit of Trash the Dress has recently gained momentum. If you are on the fence about diving into the water with the dress of all dresses, here are some things to consider when making the decision.

The Trash the Dress tradition tends to follow these rules:

  1. Discuss the session with your photographer ahead of time to be certain that you share a creative vision and that your ideas are possible and safe for everyone involved. Trash the Dress sessions usually takes place the day after the ceremony.
  2. Create chaos and capture the moment! The thought behind this concept is to put formal wear in an informal environment. The possibilities are endless!

“Trashing” the dress is relative to the bride’s comfort level. This could mean a gentle, controlled wade in the pool that tangles your train or a Jackson Pollock style canvas on organza. Take your time when making plans and also include others in your decision, especially if someone in the family purchased the gown for you. Decide if you would like to do this project solo, as a couple, or with your bridal party. If you are hosting a destination wedding, this could be a particularly favorable option for the entire wedding party so they can ditch their formal wear and keep their luggage light when returning home!


For as long as there have been wedding dresses, there has also been the notion of a bride wanting to keep her dress for many reasons- seeing the dress as a memento or keepsake; feeling like it was too large of an investment to lose it; or because the bride hopes to pass it down to her child someday. If you tend to hang on to items for memories, you might regret trashing your dress, but keep in mind that you will have photos galore. If the financial or emotional investment in the dress is keeping you from considering this trend, consider holding off on a session until you are certain you can part with the dress. If you are hoping to pass your dress down to future generations, save yourself some hurt feelings down the road and remember that every bride wants the dress to be their own, so instead, cut a large portion of the fabric that could be made into a sash or a coverlet to give as a gift.

Another popular option comes from the brides who decide to purchase two dresses for their wedding, a ceremony dress and a reception dress. Maybe the ceremony gown is the dress that you hold on to while the reception dress is one that you feel more comfortable trashing, because it really is your party dress, so why not have fun with it?

Whether you decide to trash or not to trash the dress, the most important thing is to be secure in your decision. Perhaps you will be swept away by your surroundings and make the decision on a whim, just follow your heart and get great photos!


Are you ready to begin planning a wedding that will allow you to get swept away? Remember, with help from Ever After’s Destination Wedding Experts, all of your guests’ travel details and group booking needs are taken care of, so you can focus on creating the perfect destination wedding, no matter where you choose to go! Contact an Expert today at, call us toll-free at 888.734.4787 or visit our website at

Photography by Melissa Mercado