The ‘Fearless bridal’ post-wedding photoshoot has been a growing trend for over 15 years. The former bride gets to enjoy her dress one last time, and destroy it completely at the same event in a dramatic photoshoot. The pictures often involve paint, paint balls, water (rivers, waterfalls and beaches), really gritty dirt, and even fire (but please don’t try that at home!)
Photographer John Michael Cooper is credited with starting this craze, apparently because he was bored with contemporary wedding pictures. These ‘dress unfriendly’ pictures have inspired a generation of photographers to think about their art differently, as well as changing the expectations that many brides have for their wedding photos.
So what would make it worthwhile to destroy a wedding dress that costs tens of thousands of rands? The current trend in photography in general is for authenticity. Real pictures with textures and life have replaced the delicate perfection sought out in the past. Maternity shoots of babies with angel wings are out; and tears, food, colours and mess are in. The same applies to wedding pictures. But while couples are not yet ready to give up their picture perfect day, having a trash the dress event gives an opportunity to create those grungy shots with tangled hair and raw passion – a vogue type picture to show the grandkids one day!
But it’s not all about the grunge. A lot of brides choose romantic, mysterious poses in mist or under waterfalls – a moment to make any young women feel like a supermodel. There are also the joyful varieties- such as couples diving into lakes, or running through the waves on a sandy beach. Beautiful moments captured in beautiful clothes that will never be worn again.
Would you do it? What is better – keeping the dress in a box to haul out every few years and reminisce on your beautiful day, or smiling at the pictures of the day where you destroyed the most expensive, most beautiful clothing item that you ever bought?