‘Trashing the dress’ photo and video shoots have grown steadily in popularity over the last couple of years. For those of you who may not have heard about it, this trend of sartorial destruction (also sometimes called ‘rocking the frock’) involves the newlywed couple taking to the beach, rooftop or other outdoor location to be filmed and photographed intentionally mistreating the bride’s wedding dress. Here’s one example:
Why do people want to do this? Well, the reasons for this could be many. It could be a last chance to indulge in a little post-wedding exhibitionism, a jokey snub at the formality of the actual event, a way for couples to express their offbeat sense of humour, or even just something more creative or funny to remember the wedding by.
One thing I can say with certainty is that I’ve seen some interesting approaches to trashing the dress, but I’ve seen even more completely unflattering examples of the craze. My personal take on trashing the dress is this: It’s not for everyone, and if you’re going to do it, do it well. So here are three simple pieces of advice which I’d give to couples considering rocking the frock.
Many trash-the-dress videos try to incorporate some kind of a narrative element and sometimes this involves the couples ‘acting’ out staged scenes. If you’re not actors or performers, then this already makes the resulting video inherently weird to people who know you; and it also means that it’s probably not going to look that good. My advice is avoid trying to act unless you know you really can and people expect it from you.
Only do it if you’ve got the confidence for it
i.e. If you don’t have the cojones for it, don’t do it. For one thing if you’re not a naturally outgoing and incredibly confident person, all the attention and the unnaturalness of the experience is going to make you feel nervous and uncomfortable. If you feel this way during the shoot then chances are people will notice, and it won’t look good. Part of this whole rock the frock ‘deal’ is that you’ve got to really sell it, and if you can’t, people won’t buy it.
Be your real selves
Remember that this isn’t an international music video, this is something for you and your friends and family. Music stars can afford to ‘fake it’ because their videos are going out to teeming masses of strangers who don’t know the real them. Your video is going to be watched by people who know you and who won’t really ‘get’ why you chose to adopt a different personality for your video, if you do.
If you’re doing this for vanity, own it.
If you’re doing a trash-the-dress video, let’s face it, there’s a good chance you’re doing it for vanity. And that’s just fine with me! Everyone likes to feel extraordinarily beautiful and photogenic sometimes, and if you want to show off a little, go for it. Why not? A little indulgence every once in a while is healthy. But, (and this is a big but), if you’re going for vanity at least be honest about it and don’t try to mask that vanity with humour. You can look awesome, or you can be hilarious, but it’s incredibly hard to do both at once.