January 18, 2013 11:30 AM | By Andrea Lown,
To Trash or Not to Trash?

Trash the Dress vs. Fearless Bridal

Trash the Dress vs. Fearless Bridal (© Courtesy of Limelight Photography / Liam Hennessey, Applehead Studio Photography)
  • Trash the Dress vs. Fearless Bridal (© Courtesy of Limelight Photography / Liam Hennessey, Applehead Studio Photography)
  • Trash the Dress vs. Fearless Bridal (© Leslie Spurlock/Leslie Spurlock Photography)
  • Trash the Dress vs. Fearless Bridal (© Liam Hennessey/Applehead Studio Photography)
  • Trash the Dress vs. Fearless Bridal (© Casie Raines/Gatlinburg Photo/John & Jeanette Studios)
  • Trash the Dress vs. Fearless Bridal (© Sharmil Elliott/Cherished Photography)
  • Trash the Dress vs. Fearless Bridal (© Liam Hennessey, Applehead Studio Photography)
  • Trash the Dress vs. Fearless Bridal (© Eugenio Wilman/The Wedding Traveller)
  • Trash the Dress vs. Fearless Bridal (© Liam Hennessey, Applehead Studio Photography)
Courtesy of Limelight Photography / Liam Hennessey, Applehead Studio PhotographyShow Thumbnails
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For several years now, brides and photographers have debated whether great photos and an afternoon of laughs are worth ruining the most expensive dress they'll likely ever wear.

The good news for brides is that the trend is evolving. Halifax photographer, Liam Hennessey, recently dropped the term 'Trash the Dress' in favour of 'Fearless Bridal'. He thought the new term better suited what brides were truly after, a wicked photo shoot in their wedding dress during which they didn't have to worry about every little spill, watermark, tiny tear or dirt on the hem.

"'Trash the Dress' just started to sound so destructive," says Liam, "and the type of shoots became cliché." His clients are excited too. "'Fearless Bridal' opened up a whole new way to think about the shoots by creating storylines and involving clients in the creative process. Everyone wants to be fearless, not everyone wants to trash a dress."

So what's new? Instead of actually trashing the dress with everything from flames, paint and mud, brides are electing to pick a meaningful theme or location and really go for it. Check out some of's favourite themes from extreme sports and recreating terrifying movie scenes, sultry boudoir-esque shoots and more!

Vote for your favourites here!

Planning a Destination Wedding or Honeymoon Photo shoot? Trash the Dress and Fearless Bridal shoots are extremely popular with destination brides. Check out the SmartBride Destination Wedding Guide to get ideas and inspiration for your own destination wedding and post-wedding photo shoot.

Jan 30, 2013 12:42AM
Brides, please be aware that you could lose your balance and be dragged down by your heavily soaked gown. Jumping into the lake or sea is very dangerous - you could be dragged down too. Why not share your joy and the beauty of your gown with someone who yearns to be a beautiful bride but can't afford it.
Jan 30, 2013 6:03AM

How creative and original is it when so many people are doing the same thing?  Personally I think it is the epitome of selfishness.

Sell the dress for less than you paid for it to some girl who isn't as fortunately blessed monitarily.  Or give it to an organization such as   who will sell it and the profits go for breast cancer research.


Jan 30, 2013 3:03AM
While there are people starving and homeless,some people have enough disposable income to buy an expensive dress and then ruin it. Some of these dresses could not even be salvaged and handed on to someone who can't afford a pricey wedding dress.Real cool. NOT!
Jan 30, 2013 7:27AM
50 years ago I wore a beautiful weddng dress.  I am thankful we didn't have such stupid ideas in those days.  24 years later my daughter wore the same dress and it is now stored for future use, if any.
Jan 30, 2013 6:51AM
What a waste.

The only winners are the bridal shops.

Jan 30, 2013 6:21AM
its all wasteful, some poor bride could have rebought the dress and been is trashing the dress so don' t call it fearless  it is WASTEFUL
Jan 30, 2013 9:51AM
Last summer a 30 year old girl drowned in a suburb of Montreal when she decided to trash the dress two months after her wedding. It seems that no one realized how heavy a wedding dress gets when wet and it pulled her down to the bottom of the lake where she was taking her pictures.  The photographer tried to keep her from going down but was unable to as the dress got heavier and heavier. TRAGIC is an understatement.
Jan 30, 2013 12:47AM
Jan 23, 2013 1:55PM
Seems like a risky idea - her heavy water soaked dress could drown her!  Great photo - but idiotic all the same.
Jan 30, 2013 9:51AM
When someone drowns because of a weighted down dress (as has happened) or that stupid bride on the back of the motorcycle catches her dress in the moving wheel and is hurt or killed, others have to pay the price for their stupidity. You had your day to be a Princess ladies, now grow up and get on with it.
Jan 30, 2013 7:30AM
I don't understand why you would buy a beautiful dress, just to ruin it after its use. The first time I heard of 'trash the dress', I assumed it was some angry, jilted ex-wife sticking it to the marriage. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Wow. Stupid article and stupid people. Calling someone "fearless" for ruining a dress they will only wear once in your life is clearly "morals-gone-wrong". As the saying goes: focus more on the marriage and less on the wedding and you'll have a better life.
Jan 30, 2013 8:30AM
Jan 30, 2013 10:07AM
A beautiful bride North of Montreal DIED in August of 2012 in a Trash the Dress photoshoot.  Since hearing this, I am not a fan of Trash the Dress! 
Jan 30, 2013 11:42AM
That's such a waste.. I'd rather donate it to someone who can use it than pay an extensive amount of money to wear one night then be so negligent..
Jan 30, 2013 11:26AM
Brides beware, this past summer in the Montreal/Laval area a young beautiful woman did just that, wading into a body of water with her wedding dress on, she was a tiny thing and the gown she was wearing was full, unfortunately the gown absorbed the water, pulling her in, despite the best efforts of the photographer, the young woman was pulled under and drowned.   So instead of beautiful memories and a promising future, this young woman lost her life because of a "trend".  What is so wrong with traditional photos?
Jan 30, 2013 11:39AM

Is it worth taking the chance to loose your life over trashing a dress ? It happened, tragically.  Unbearable to think, this beautiful woman had not thought of that possibility.

She left the love of her life, to start a life without her.

She left her parents and family in agonizing pain. Her parents are inconsolable.

Drowning at the bottom of the reserve, the weight of the dress sinked her to the bottom.

No one could get to her for hours, it took divers to finally get to her. 

The photograph tried to save her, but she was dragging him down as well, so she let go of him, so he wouldn't drown with her. 

Unbelievably sad.  She didn't know, she hadn't thought of that possibility.

She just wanted beautiful pictures to give to her new husband. 


Reporters, please stop advertising this as glamorous and a beautiful thing to do, stop posting great shots of beautiful pictures, and putting ideas in woman's head that it's the 'IN' thing to do.

Talk about the tragedies that could and does happen instead, discourage woman to do this.


Warn them of the immediate danger.  The potential death.

It's real, it happens.





wedding days sure aren't what they used to be, nor are the marriages; hope the marriage lasts longer than the dress. common sense and committment are what are needed in relationships not "stupidity"
Jan 30, 2013 10:28AM
It would be fun, but all i would be thinking is buh bye mooo-la....i think id do a few fun pics in water or on my parents farm in the hay or on my horse but not TRASH it...i think making your dress into beautiful throw pillows or ring bearer pillows for your childrens weddings out of your dress is a better idea. :)
Jan 30, 2013 10:25AM
People can do whatever they want with their damn dress. Maybe this trend will cause them to spend less on a dress, too. They do it for fun. Obviously, some people go a little overboard and put themselves in a dangerous situation. What some people find stupid, others don't. Just like handing down your wedding dress is considered a tradition, this is a new one for some people. I, personally, was happy to choose my own dress and not feel bad about not wearing the one my mom "saved" for me. This trend might also symbolize that it's okay to ruin the dress, because who needs to keep it? Unless you do want to store it in the smelly attic, or unless you're planning for a divorce in the future. But who ever wears their wedding dress twice?
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