Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Trash the Dress!

This is awesome. This is soooo awesome. AWESOME! (<---okay that was an inside joke for anyone who ever heard the spoof of the musical "Big" by those wacky satirists from "Forbidden Broadway" or for anyone who used to get my voicemail message when I was in college.)

Ahem. For everyone else (I'm lookin' at you Lauri and Katie), I am thoroughly inspired by this website. Essentially, it's for recent newlyweds who want amazing photographs in their wedding attire and don't care AT ALL what happens to the dress. I'm talkin' about newlyweds splashing in the ocean, brides in mud, couples in freshwater ponds in caves for cryin' out loud, these photos in particular are so amazing it makes my brain weep. (Photogeekers, watch the video!)

Can you tell I'm thoroughly inspired? I bet you couldn't tell.

I love "underwater" photography (my normal mammajamma camera in a 10-gallon fish tank, long story), and I've wanted to shoot brides on trampolines for a looong time, but 1.) contemporary trampolines come with all kinds of crazy safety fences and stuff that would get in the way and 2.) I don't know anyone who would let me do this.

The night AFTER Manda's wedding, I was still at her house editing photos and helping her close up the apartment. A few hours before she and Tom left for Hawaii at stupid o'clock in the morning, Amanda grabbed her wedding dress off the hanger and hopped up onto the guest room bed next to me and the laptop. She was sort of hugging the dress and said, "I married my Tommy in this dress!" which sounds completely nauseating but so wasn't in that moment.

The thought of her laying in gritty, stainy sand in that dress makes ME want to cry, and not just because I got blood off of it before the ceremony AND whip-stitched three inches of the skirt back on during the reception.

So, any volunteers? (NOT MY SISTER, OH HELLS NO).


Becky said...

Considering I got married 13 months ago, and the dress still hasn't been cleaned, I might be up for it. It would have to have a minor repair, though. I accidentally cut the thread that held the thing together in the front. Trashing the dress, ok. Exposing myself, not ok.

Lauri said...

That's friggin' awesome! Oooh, now I just need to find me some willing subjects....(taps fingers together a la Mr. Burns)

Manda said...

Even if I wanted to I couldn't fit IN my dress today ... SAD!

mark eric said...

You're hillarious! Shoot me an e-mail, we'll get you involved with a TTD party-

mark eric

becky said...

i've already said that if i can ever get to that point, it's going to be the lowest low-key wedding ever recorded. i am happy to trash my imaginary dress for the sake of photography, as it gives me an excuse to change into another something fabulous to party later.

Michelle said...

I hate to be a bubble-buster, but I saw this website the other day when Julia sent it out in an email, and my first thought was about how disgustingly wasteful Americans are. My dress, I will admit, was WICKED cheap in the world of wedding dresses - $650 - but I still almost threw up when I spent that amount of money on it. The dresses on that website look like they cost thousands of dollars and now people are "trashing" them. I think it's deplorable (and I still love you Angie even though we might have to agree to disagree about this website). I haven't gotten around to it yet, but I know there is a place in Seattle that "recycles" wedding dresses and sells them to those who can't pay more than like $100. I'm donating mine.

Honestly the first thing I thought about when I saw this website was how we are judged (as Americans) around the world. Last year, there was a huge food fight (400 kids involved) at my school. These two boys were sobbing after it was over. Once they were talked to, we found out why they were sobbing - they had just moved to the US from Africa. They had family back in Africa who were starving to death (at that very moment). The lack of respect that they witnessed in that cafeteria upset them to the point of hysteria. That is what the website made me think of.

Sorry to be a downer :(

Katie said...

I'm so excited we got a shout out! I do love this site...I must admit. My friend recently became obsessed with it (among many other photography blogs) when we started our blog. She sent the link to me and I've been checking it ever since. I know there are better things to do with a wedding dress once it's used. But so many people keep their dress and just put it away and never look at it again. I think this is a great way to get one more use out of it and make one more set of wedding memories. I love it!

Chunky Photojournalist Barbie said...

Dear Michelle,

You make an excellent point, from a socially conscious perspective that I'm usually connected to by a cord that practically plugs into the base of my spine. You're absolutely right, and I applauds you for donating your gown.

Yes, there are many dress recycling options, including but not limited to Brides Against Breast Cancer, the Cinderella Project (more for attendants' gowns) and everyone's favorite, eBay.

On the other hand, the majority of the brides on Trash the Dress say they would be holding into the gown for purely sentimental reasons. People who intend to donate and "recycle" the gowns are still doing exactly that, I'm thinking.

The truth is, the majority of weddings are rife with unnecessary expenses, decadence and wastefulness. I'm thinking about the women and children in sweatshops who made the gown (and the bridal party gowns, and the shoes, and the pashminas or opera gloves), the wastefulness of wrapping paper and invitations, the flowers grown in South America, flown in and wilted, the carbon footprint of the guests who traveled to the event, the tested-on-animals makeup used by most women at the wedding, the mining for the diamonds and jewels, the large meal from the salad grown with pesticides and harvested by migrant workers, to the chicken breast main course from birds that were raised in deplorable confinement.

Hey look! I can suck the fun out of everything! Yay! :)

It's not often that my Feminist Antennae gets overrun by my Artistic Inspiration. They usually work hand in hand. I thank Michelle for speaking up.

Something for us to ponder... Is it worse to destroy a used wedding dress in the creation of art for art's sake or hang on to an expensive garment that will never be used or seen again after being dry-cleaned with harmful chemicals?

I have lots of thinking to do, and I also see Katie's perspective. By all means, talk amongst yourselves and discuss. (Please play nicely and disagree respectively or I'm taking everyone's wedding garments and sending you all home. :) Then *I* will have ALL the dresses! MWA HA HA HA HA!

Carl said...

By far, the most wasteful feature in the western marriage ritual is the diamond engagement ring. It's supposed to symbolize a promise but the ring's constituent materials, for most of history, came at the cost of great human suffering and oppression.

Forward-thinking ladies should shun diamond engagement rings and other little gemstone baubles. I suggest ladies instead insist the love tokens offered to them should be handmade by their suitors, with materials such as gold Krylon and macaroni. Only then will our collective karma be mitigated (and a bunch of us guys might be freed from the terrors of ring shopping).

Chunky Photojournalist Barbie said...

I'm ALL about macaroni jewelry, Carl. :)

Kelly said...

As fun of an idea as it is, there is no way I'd even think about doing that in my dress. I just could not do it.