Many girls spend years dreaming about their fairytale wedding dress – and countless hundreds or even thousands of pounds paying for it.
But, over the last few years, there has been a trend for some brides to totally obliterate them – even while the ink is still drying on their marriage certificate.
It’s called ‘trash the dress’ and, thankfully, it is mainly in the home of craziness – the USA – where it’s been happening.
Some destroy their ‘cherished’ gowns with paintballing or food fights, while others roll in mud or rip the dresses.
One Canadian girl drowned in a waterfall during a ‘trash the dress’ ceremony.
An Israeli bride set ablaze her gown on a beach – while it was still on her back – making sure, of course, she smiled serenely for the cameras before dousing the flames in the sea.
And that’s what it’s all about – creating that moment of notoriety and possibly becoming famous.
Well, what wanton waste – of the dress and, yet more drastically, possibly even a life!
Over in this country, brides seem to be much more sensible – and our version is ‘rock the frock’, a far tamer idea, where brides go for a more edgy shot than those that normally fill a wedding album but certainly don’t want their gowns destroyed.
Photographers offer the service, posing the newly-weds against grimy industrial backdrops, on railway lines or in cornfields – but over here, the dress is protected from damage by strategically laid cloths.
For my own register office wedding, 32 years ago, my frock was quite modest, costing about £60 from a non-specialist shop – it was pleated blue, just below the knee, with my ‘heir loom’ cameo brooch fastening a matching scarf around the neck.
I got many more ‘wears’ out of that dress in the years to come – and it was thrown away only when I couldn’t fit in it any more and it was well frayed, many years later.
Find out what the rest of Lou’s Women say on the subject – and add your own comments – below.
Social worker Stacey Senior says: “Gone are the days when you make your first child’s christening gown from your wedding dress. Now climbing a tree in muddy yellow wellies and your great big dress seems a far more modern and contemporary thing to do! Let’s face it, you don’t get much for them on eBay these days and it’s almost an extension of your wedding day photo album but with a bit more 'carefree' edge and recklessness charm about it. A chance to say 'look at me I'm not a bridezilla, I can have fun'. I think it’s very brave. The extreme examples however are just taking it too far and spoils the spirit of it all.”
Student Alice Durant says: “I'm not married, but when I get married I would never trash my dress! You may as well burn hundreds of pound notes! Also, the most important thing a woman will wear will be her wedding dress - why would you want to ruin it? I could understand it if you were getting divorced(!), but why would you want to lose such a precious memory for the sake of a photo?”
Jacqui Edwards, from Stourbridge, says: “I still have my wedding dress and my wedding ring and engagement ring even though I have been divorced nearly seven years. It would never occur to me to destroy it purely for the sake of a photograph! I think I will eventually sell the dress but what these women are doing is extreme. Regardless of whether you are still together or not, it should be a reminder of a really happy time in your life. Personally I think the women are bonkers.”
Graduate Holly Dodd says: “There’s something a little anarchistic about deliberately ruining something that represents so much of that; begs the question, what are you trying to say with this act? I guess I like the idea of doing something out of the ordinary and can see the allure of unusual settings and roughing it up a bit, but risking life and limb all for the sake of a split-second shot seems to sit at odds with the concept of marriage itself. I understand that wedding dresses often never see the light of day after the event but there are plenty of options (donating it to charity or someone who can’t afford the dress of their dreams or even saving it for your own daughter) without trying to drown, burn or generally obliterate the gown with yourself inside it!”
Former Halesowen language coordinator Irina James, now living in South Korea, says: “I hate extremes -. My first wedding dress was an expensive, formal dress, not the typical white wedding dress, so I could wear it afterwards and have done, for many years. The second outfit was a lemon coloured silk trouser suit, so I never a problem with that one either. The trend of women burning / trashing their white wedding dresses is a weird concept. If women felt compelled to by an expensive white, traditional wedding dress, why not give it to charity afterwards, if they don’t want it any more? There are many women out there who can’t afford this type of thing. So, I say-let’s share it sisters!”
Zumba teacher Lou Thomas says: “Completely barmy! I will probably never wear my wedding dress again or do anything with it, but I certainly wouldn’t want any harm to come to it. This sounds like exhibitionism gone mad. I blame the Facebook mentality – putting stuff online to attract attention or to shock. Makes no sense to me but perhaps I’m just getting old and boring?”
Conservationist Sheena Hamilton says: “It would be much better if these women donated their wedding dresses to charity, rather than sending them up in smoke.”