What is Trash the Dress?

Trash the dress (also known as "drown the gown") refers to a photographic session in which you quite literally, trash your wedding dress by any means you choose. Popular trash the dress sessions can include going underwater or frolicking  beach side in the sand and sea with your honey. However, the sky is the limit on what kind of session you choose. You can make it a personal experience by choosing to trash the dress with something that is close to your heart, or lets your personality shine through. Some brides and grooms see it as a chance to create art and have a once in a lifetime experience, rather than stick their dress in a closet for decades. Trash the dress sessions can be the bride alone, but usually include the groom trashing his suit as well. 

Where Do Trash The Dress Sessions Take Place?

The location of your trash the dress session depends on what type of session you want to have. For underwater photo sessions, you'll need clean, clear water with little to no sand, silt or currents. This is why swimming pools, the crystal clear cenotes of Mexico or calm, clear, ocean bays are ideal places for underwater photography. Places with clear water like Hawaii, the Caribbean or Southeast Asia are great places for ocean trash the dress. However, your trash the dress can take place anywhere you'd like, whether it's skiing on a snowy mountain top, riding atvs in the forest, playing with paint or smoke bombs in the desert, or hiking on your favorite trail. 

When Do Trash the Dress Sessions Happen?

Trash the dress sessions generally do not happen on your wedding day, but typically two or three days afterwards. This gives you time to rest after your wedding day fun, before a day of adventure during your trash the dress photos. However, you can schedule your session anytime after your wedding. Some brides and grooms book it as an anniversary photo session years after their wedding takes place. For underwater sessions, we rise early in the morning to start your day because a lot of sunlight is needed for underwater photography. Rainy days are not recommended because of the sunlight issue, so alternate days to schedule your shoot, just in case, are needed.

Will Trash the Dress Ruin My Dress?

No, it doesn't have to! Some brides and grooms like to "trash the dress" in an exotic or favorite location of theirs, and the dress and suit don't get ruined at all. For example, if you've always dreamed of your wedding photos at Joshua Tree, but didn't have time to go on your wedding day, you can still book a photo session there later. One of the benefits to that is you can skip or shorten your couple's session on your wedding day, spending more time with your guests. On the trash the dress day, you and the photographer have more time for creative shots, and there's no need to worry about keeping your dress and suit pristine. For underwater sessions, fresh water is perfectly fine for most wedding dresses, and even gives them a good cleaning after the wedding day. Dresses and suits are usually in good condition after salt or pool water as well, after giving them an immediate rinse in fresh water. 

Do We Have To Wear Our Wedding Clothes?

This is the best part- if you don't want to trash your wedding dress, you don't have to! You can pick up a used dress or suit at a thrift store or online. Another option is to wear a simple white top, and buy a cheap tulle skirt online. You can find long (or short) white tulle skirts on eBay for $10... and they look great underwater! 

Tips for Underwater Photography

Underwater photography is it's own beast, and safety during the session is key. Underwater photography requires that you are comfortable in and around water, and that you are a strong swimmer. You will need to be able to hold your breath underwater for 15-20 seconds at a time. We are PADI certified and have years of experience in the water whether it's diving shipwrecks or taking photos underwater.

Choosing a photographer with underwater experience and safety training is imperative, your life could depend on it! There is a lot know for underwater photography, and we'll be there to guide you safely throughout the day. We would never suggest that you jump into water in your wedding dress, as you could become entangled in the fabric and possibly drown. Staying calm, being safe and having plenty of patience are important factors to your session. We are ready with flotation devices as soon as you come to the surface and have a second pair of eyes watching you as you're underwater. 

Also, eating a light meal beforehand to give you energy, but not make you feel weighed down is also important to get your day started right. Snacks and drinks are also available throughout the shoot. 

We want you to have fun during your session and enjoy a once in life time experience while creating unique pieces of art.


Pricing for trash the dress sessions will vary depending on the length of travel needed to the destination, what kind of specialized equipment is needed and the type of session you would like. Contact us at info@bohemiadelmar.com to discuss ideas and for more information on your customized trash the dress session.