An increasingly popular trend in wedding photography, called trash the dress, exposes a new concept in formal picture taking. Daring to wear the hallowed white dress in a non-traditional setting such as a back alley, on a railroad track or in a grassy meadow, brings shrieks of horror to some and squeals of delight in others.
Chelsea Beck, of Bartlesville, who launched her professional photography career about a year ago, says it's really a fun way to get a more relaxed, casual shot of the bride.
"The pressure is off after the wedding and the bride has a second chance to get some good photos that she may have missed on her wedding day," said Beck.
Beck said some brides take the concept to the hilt and climb into fountains or ponds. Some even get down and dirty in the mud.
While it may be hard to grasp irreverence of a cherished, and usually quite expensive, bridal gown, more and more couples are taking the plunge.
Beck said she learned about the idea from her own wedding photographer about a year ago. She then searched online and found the trend was picking up, especially in California. Beck plans to indulge in the concept herself before she stores her own wedding gown from nuptials last year.
After the wedding, a bride has few options for the gown she may have dreamed about since being a little girl.
"I think it's up to the individual bride on what to do with her dress after the wedding," said Beck. "Regardless, since actually 'trashing' the dress is completely optional, this is a great way to get some awesome pictures and memories before the dress is stored away, sold or donated."
And there's no time limit on when to trash the dress.
"It doesn’t matter if you're newly married or have been married several years you can still trash your dress," she said.
Imagine pulling out the dress five or 10 years after the wedding and capturing a whole new mood while wearing the matrimonial symbol of innocence and elegance.
Nicole Ellis of Caney, Kan., who posed for a trash-the-dress session, said she wanted to get some photos that were out of the ordinary. She already had plenty of traditional wedding pictures and this was a chance to wear the dress one more time.
The photo shoot in Bartlesville took her to some non-traditional locations.
"I sat on stairs in an alleyway, sat down in the middle of a deserted street and even posed on a railroad track," said Ellis. "I also climbed into a tree at Sooner Park."
Ellis, who has been married four years, said she wasn't afraid of ruining the dress even though she lounged in the grass and on the street. And climbing the tree was her idea.
"Chelsea was really good to work with; she had good ideas and was willing to go with my ideas, too, and just have fun," said Ellis.