Trash The Dress - A Fad That May Be Dangerous, Wasteful and Probably Illegal

The "Trash the dress" photography sessions are becoming a popular fad in wedding photography lately, and is becoming more and more popular.  It requires the bride (and groom many times) to pose for artistic photos in water or the surf which are more than likely going to destroy her wedding dress. The "Trashing of the wedding dress" is supposed to symbolize the deep and lasting commitment of the marriage and says to the world, "I won't need this dress again...ever".

It Can Be Dangerous

While a simple photo of you doing the From Here To Eternity beach kissing scene probably won't cause you more harm than having sand in your underwear, some photographers are having brides pose in deep rushing water off of slippery rocks. Without proper lifeguards or support crew around, once your fluffy dress gets filled with water, it can weigh 100's of pounds, and you won't be able to control what it wants to do. At least one bride was brought to her death during her "trash the dress" photo session. The 100 lb. 30-year-old bride did not anticipate that her dress would take on so much weight in the rushing waters of a Canadian river. She was swept away as the photographer tried to save her, but the weight of the dress was too much for either of them to do anything.  She died trying to get a beautiful picture.

It's Wasteful

Although some brides have a thrift-store wedding dress that they have purposely purchased just to trash, most use the dress that they bought for their wedding. Sometimes they trash the perfect dress that they spend hours pouring over, not to mention thousands of dollars spent on the dress, why would you want to trash it?  Imagine how pissed her mother would be after she spent a few thousand on a dress for her daughter just to have her destroy it for a photo! In this day and age of a downed economy, should we be throwing away the cost of an expensive dress for an unnecessary photography trend?

It's Probably Illegal

Here in Hawaii, a Beach Wedding Permit or a Hawaii Film Office permit is required to have a wedding or photograph on the beach.  According to the Hawaii Film Office, in order to qualify for a permit, the photographer must meet the following criteria:...4. No water activity.
The DLNR (Department of Land & Natural Resources) says in their Beach Wedding Permit rules, "No accessories, apparatus or equipment of any type whatsoever shall be placed on the beach including surfboards, windsurf boards, kayaks or other ocean recreation equipment "(i.e. boogie boards). 

So photographers, even if you have a bride that understands the risks involved in the trash the dress photo shoot, and you have adequate staff to help in case of an emergency, and she doesn't care about the costs in loosing her expensive dress, as a photographer, or wedding coordinator arranging such a photo shoot, you are opening yourself up for penalties and perhaps prosecution. If you are prosecuted, you will definitely loose your Beach Wedding Permit privileges and your insurance company will probably drop you. My advice is, don't do the "Trash the dress" photo session.


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