Trash The Dress Wedding Photography 101: Our Epic Guide & Ideas

Post Created: 25.03.2021 - Posted in Ideas

After the wedding is over so is the wedding dress. Some choose to keep the dress for sentimental reasons. Some choose to sell it. And some choose to trash it. Trash the Dress photography is when the couple has one final photoshoot in the dress. Doing something that will inevitably ruin it. This is like a final hurrah. One more time in the dress before it is no longer needed. Or wearable in this case.

To get some stunning shots of trashing the dress. It’s important to have a plan. That’s where we come in with our guide to trash the dress wedding photography.

bride and groom walk into sea in wedding gown and suit

When to trash your dress?

Obviously, you need to do this AFTER the ceremony. Once the dress has completely served its purpose. After the big day, there’s no situation in which a wedding dress would be needed. Although I’m sure keeping it for sentimental reasons is tempting, having the massive thing taking up precious space is not. And selling it just feels wrong. So make it into an art project. Destroy it in some beautiful and magical way and make sure to get a good picture of the process.

Where to start?

The photographer who took your pre-wedding shots will more than likely be happy to do a trash the dress shoot. If you were happy with their work then it’s a good idea to reach out. This will also mean that all your wedding shots will have a clear style to them. So that they can be displayed together well.

For anyone yet to book a photographer at all it’s a good idea to discuss this with them. As long as you’re sure you want to trash the dress, planning a date with your photographer well in advance is the best idea. It means not only are you sure you’ll get the photographer you want. But you also won’t have to wait for months after the wedding to finish the shoot.

How to trash your dress

You can’t just go and chop the dress up. The idea (typically) is that the bride wears the dress whilst ruining it. The groom will also be wearing, and therefore ruining, his suit. So any destruction to the dress has to be safe for a person. Here are some of our favorite trash the dress photoshoot ideas:

Muddy/Sandy Walks

Have a shot of you both trekking through mud or running along the shoreline. Make sure to opt for sensible shoes otherwise you may sink. And this goes for every trash the dress idea, bring a change of clothes! You don’t want to be stuck driving home in a barely wearable wedding dress. For this to work, you need at least a floor-length gown, bonus points for a train. This ensures it will get absolutely caked in dirt and be completely unsalvageable. A shot of the couple running through the mud, holding hands and smiling. Just generally having fun, Makes for a wonderful photo.

Taking a Dip

We’ve all heard of skinny-dipping, But here’s the direct opposite. Diving in with your entire wedding dress on, again, minus the shoes. Delicate fabrics are dry-clean only. So you can be sure a long soak in any body of water will do some proper damage. It’s up to you where you choose. Swim with the fishes in the deep blue. Do laps in a swimming pool. Or relax in a natural rock pool. The perfect shot is of the couple kissing in the water. Wet head to toe as if they’ve just come out of the sea. Definitely not one for a winter-time shoot. Bring some towels and maybe a helping hand or two to help you tackle a dripping wet wedding gown. And to hold the towel around you as you change (we’ve all been there).

Food Fight

Food fights sound fun. It’s rare to actually have an excuse to start one. So pile up some plates and get throwing them at your partner. You won’t need to think about posing for the camera. The photographer will have no trouble getting shots of genuine laughter and smiles. They may struggle to stay clean, however! If you ended the wedding with a mountain of uneaten cake then this would be even more ideal. The fun colors of a wedding cake are far better for a photo than most things. If not maybe choose some of your favorite dishes or just something cheap. If you can opt for things such as cakes, ice-cream or sweets. As these are often nicer colors and will look better in photos.


Some people may not like the idea of this one. Paintball can be a bit painful if you’re hit up close. But the many layers of a wedding dress should add some protection. Each picks a weapon and starts shooting. This may be harder to photograph as you’ll be separate whilst paint balling. You could either go for a shot of each of you aiming. Or just an after shot of you both holding your guns in the ruined garments. The bright splatters will look amazing on an elegant white dress. For a lower risk option. Fill water balloons with paint and chuck them at each other. Not only do they hurt less. They’ll leave a far bigger splatter. You could also do the same with powder paint. This creates a truly magical effect. Powder paint is very popular to photograph alone so you can be sure you’ll get some gorgeous images at the end of it.

Snow Angels

For a lot of us, snow angels are an integral part of winter. Everyone has made one at some point. If you are going for a winter wedding them frolicking in the snow is a must. The technique for getting this sort of shot is to wrap up warm before the shoot. Once at your location, quickly strip and get into position. Once the photographer snaps the perfect snow angel shot quickly gets up and back into those warm clothes. This is another one where a helper could be great.

Now you know how you’ll be trashing your dress after the wedding and getting some great shots whilst doing it. Don’t feel pressure to keep your dress. Have fun with it and trash it!