Saturday, July 19, 2014

Trash the Dress

Seven years ago, a friend of mine began seriously pursuing her passion for photography. She was still new to the industry and had wonderfully creative ideas for her budding business. I had met her through her mother. I used her mom's bridal shop (formerly Bonnie's Bridal and Prom Boutique) as my wedding depot. I found my wedding dress there, ordered my bridesmaids dresses there, and ended up doing my internship for my bachelor's there. I was a bride-to-be working in a bridal salon. It was heaven. She couldn't exactly pay me for my services, so she compensated me with free invitations, garters, and anything else I needed for my upcoming wedding. I became friends with her daughter because she was planning her wedding too. We had joined the website "the knot" and hooked up with other girls in the area planning their weddings to swap ideas and enjoy our pre-married life.

After our respective weddings she and I kept in touch. When she started seriously pursuing photography, she approached me about being a model for something called "Trash the Dress". Women wear their wedding dresses, then do fun, goofy, and messy things in them while being photographed. It's a way to commemorate the dress besides putting it in a giant box in the closet to be forgotten. I didn't have my own wedding dress (even though it had been three years since our wedding.) It was still hanging in a closet at my parent's house.

Since I didn't have a dress to wear, Bonnie gave her daughter some dresses from her shop for me to use. She had two dresses that were from seasons several years old. One of them was large and beautiful, but too big on the bust. Another was simple, and it fit. I ended up in both of them, at the same time. I wore the small one underneath to pad the chest area of the bigger one, which I wore over it. It was a heavy outfit, but I managed to pull it off. 

We started out heading to a storage area across town. We were stopped by a train passing through when I spontaneously hopped out of the car and started posing in front of the passing cars. It was an exhilarating beginning to a tremendously fun day. I climbed on top of a dumpster, hopped in the fountain in the middle of town, climbed a tree in my in-laws' back yard, and even had my mother-in-law throw tomatoes at me from her garden.

We finished the shoot at the creek behind my in-laws' house. It was freezing cold, but the pictures of me laying down in the creek were totally worth it. The ten pounds of wedding fabric I was sporting quickly turned into 20 lbs with the added weight of the water. I look back at these pictures and remember how much fun it was to get dressed up, then get dirty.

The story doesn't end here. The next installment of Fun Dollars, begining July 21 will bring the tale of Trash the Dress full circle.

Here are some of the highlights from Trash the Dress: 2007.

Hit with a tomato by my mother-in-law.

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