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Should I Trash the Dress and The Suit?

Should I trash the dress?

I spent so much money on it, does it get ruined?

What does trashing the dress even mean??

If you have asked any of these questions, well this blog is for you. Check out these two Trash The Dress stories below and see how you can have some epic, not so clean or dry photoshoots, but still have an immaculate dress afterwards…. Or not! Either way, we love these stories almost as much as we love these photos!!! 😍

So there's a lot of polarizing information out there, a lot of negative blogs about why you shouldn't trash the dress. Today, I wanted to bring you two experiences that were nothing but positive. Aubrey (Seas Your Day Events' Grand Party Overlord) and bride Shauna Vaughan both did very different “Trash The Dress” shoots. Aubrey and her Hubs are water babies so theirs was all about the lake-life they love so much while Shauna's Hubs is a fireman so their shoot was hottttttttt and spicy! Aubrey got INTO the water for an Orlando Lake Trash the Dress option and soaked the dress down!! While Shauna got dirty and dusty in the Las Vegas Boneyards while giving an amazing nod to their climbing and canyoneering hobbies.

There are so many ways to do fun photoshoots in your dress and give it a second life. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to totally ruin your dress in order to have a fun Trash the Dress shoot. Aubrey's came out cleaner than her wedding day and Shauna's was able to be cleaned and preserved. I interviewed both ladies and have shared their answers below. Aubrey is in blue and Shauna is in red. Enjoy!

What made you decide to trash the dress?

Aubrey: “A couple of reasons, the Hubs surprised me with a photographer for the actual engagement. So we got lots of photos from that day (of me in my finest neon green sweatpants!) and we aren’t really the “pose pretty” type of people. He proposed on our boat, we got married on the lake, so it just seemed fitting to do a the trash the dress in the water. Our photography package included an engagement session, and since we'd already had the engagement covered, Castaldo was more than happy to do a post wedding session!”

Shauna: “At one point in my planning I was thinking about a vintage Vegas theme in Las Vegas since that’s where we got engaged. When I was searching I found Chelsea’s photos of other trash the dress shoots that she did and I knew right away that I was going to hire her and do one. She is based out of Vegas, insanely talented and I knew I wanted to hire her immediately — and I truly had nothing else figured out. She was the first decision I made for our wedding planning. Aside from deciding to marry Dustin of course.”

When planning a Trash The Dress, how did you find the photographer?

Aubrey: “Our venue recommended a few photographers and I loved Costaldo’s style. I still scoured the Knot for comparisons and we talked to a couple different options. I was just obsessed with the way Costaldo captured colors and light.”

Shauna: “I found her before I found anything else. Before the dress. Before anything.”

Shauna had love at first sight with her photographer, and we LOVE it when couples vibe that well with their vendors. It’s so important to help create the exact image you have in your head when it comes to how your photos look.


There are two options for finding a photographer to do your TTD shoot. You can either go with your wedding photographer or you can find someone completely different.

Pros of using the same photographer:

  • You’re comfortable with them and you already know how to work together. They can pose you, joke around with you, and you’ll be comfortable getting intimate in front of them because they were already there for your most intimate moments during your wedding.

  • There’s some continuity between the edits from your wedding album and your TTD shoot.

Pros of using a new photographer:

  • You get a whole new outlook on you and your hubby’s look and you get a whole new styled portrait series

  • You get to get comfortable with a whole new photographer who may pose you differently than your wedding photographer, giving a whole variety of photo appeals!!

Did you have any feedback from the hubs about getting on board for yet another photoshoot?

Aubrey: “Our shoot was super fun; out on the boat, all around the lake, jumping into the water. It’s all stuff we love doing anyways so it wasn’t too painful. I think by the 6th or 7th boat jump Hubs was a little over the reenactment… but the pics were worth it!! I’m pretty sure we like our TTD shots better than actual wedding day. Also, BECAUSE WE ARE DUMMIES and didn’t hire a full day-of coordinator, we missed our “tie-the-knot” ceremony we wanted to do because no one asked us specifically for our timeline details. So having this shoot allowed us to recreate that moment.”

A collective Seas Your Day team GASP!! Tsk, tsk Aubrey! Luckily she knows better now and gets to help so many couples avoid the same mistakes!

Shauna: “He didn’t really care either way. I am blessed because he likes to make me happy. (Insert our girly awe here!!) (heart emoji) The one caveat was that there was an idea floated around about doing something with grease and he vetoed that idea. Too messy for his OCD tendencies. Haha!”

How funny when the bride is the one who wants to get dirty, but the groom doesn’t want to mess up the money maker! How the tables have turned!!

How did you choose the theme on how to do the trashing?

Aubrey: “Our favorite past time together is a party on the water! When it came to our wedding, we wanted laid back but classy, tropical mixed with nautical vibes. So getting to don our wedding threads on the boat with a personal photographer was a no-brainer.”

“Im on a boat” gif? Not sure how that would work out with the photos mixed in

Shauna: “We enjoy rock climbing, hiking, and canyoneering and we love the red rocks out west. So we hiked at Red Rock Canyon for part of it and then we went to the Neon Boneyard for the other part. We were the last photo shoot at the boneyard before they closed it to reopen it as a museum.”

When your dream wedding photographer knows the ins and outs of Las Vegas, and your favorite hobbies with the hubs are desert sports, Vegas Boneyards and Canyoneering is a no brainer! We love it when these things line up perfectly!


This is your chance to do something completely different than your wedding… in your wedding attire! This is an opportunity to truly showcase who you are as a couple without the formality of a wedding setting. There are so many poses that are saved for wedding day portraits, even engagement shoots - ring shots, veil shots, serious shots, family portraits. TTD throws all of that away and allows you to have fun and be creative with your photographer. Get wild with it - throw the paint, or the mud, or the dirt and the dust!

Did you buy a second dress?

Aubrey: “Nope! I wore that thing AS LONG AS AS POSSIBLE! Shoot, I’d still have it on if it wasn’t frowned upon to wear the same thing every day.”

Shauna: “Nope!”

We love the commitment ladies!!! Almost as much as you loved your dresses, it sounds like!

How much did you spend on your dress and was trashing it a factor in your budget?

Aubrey: “$1,000, I actually had my dress made because apparently I’m too high maintenance to just buy one and alter it. Though whether my dress was $10 or $10,000, I absolutely would have jumped in the water with it. Actually to be fair, I only was dead set on 1 thing. A COMPLETELY open back. After my 8th dress appointment, I started stepping into 5 figure priced dresses and I realized finding the look I wanted without touting something that looked like it got puked up by a lace factory, was going to be impossible. Impossible to find and/or impossibly expensive. I absolutely did not want a ton of lace and heavy detail, so my dress was already suited for submerging. If I had chosen something with more layers and was heavier I probably wouldn’t have done quite as much “trashing”. But that’s not really my style so it worked out perfectly! I did factor in having my hair redone though (B U 4 Me Services), even down to the blue orchid I had on my wedding day but I did my own makeup for the shoot.”

Aubrey noted to shout-out her dress maker, even though she is sadly no longer making wedding dresses. She said Prestige Couture was amazing to work with and gave her every detail that she asked for. If you’re looking to have your wedding dress made, or maybe some significant alterations, she now recommends using Eugenia out of Groveland, FL (

Shauna: I never intended to spend a lot of money on the dress. My dress was less than $1000 including alterations. I found it on the clearance rack and had it altered from a size 6 to a size 0.

Can we get a “HECK YEA” from all our fellow vertically challenged ladies with those #shortgirlprobs!


Consider the weight of your dress when trashing it. Literally for your own safety. Girlfriend, a photoshoot is not worth drowning for. If your dress has tons of layers and is super heavy and long, consider a paint battle vs jumping in a pool. The last thing you want is to be dragged down by your dress. We want this to be a fun BUT SAFE experience. There are plenty of ways to trash the dress without putting yourself in danger. Safety first!!

How long into your shoot before you actually trashed it? How did it go down?

Aubrey: Maybe 45 mins? We planned all the above water shots first and then deeper and deeper until we finally jumped!

Shauna: We trashed it gradually as we walked around in the canyon rocks, just getting covered in dirt and dust. Actually, I was mostly worried about preserving my shoes.. which are indeed, for the record, TRASHED.

Having a conversation with your photographer about the type of dress trashing is important so they know how much time to allot for your shoot. Aubrey’s photographer met them on the dock, and they got to knock out all the stops they wanted to make in about 2-2.5 hours.

Shauna’s photographer was sure to plan for two different locations and hiking around the Red Rocks Dessert, though they raced the sunset the whole way to get those epic shots, so still got it done in about 2 hours!

What did he wear?

Aubrey: “The Wedding Day Suit! With no shoes of course.He also had his suit made, which came out to be almost the same price as renting one, and he often has to wear suits for work so it just made sense to do so”

Aubrey’s husband is suuuper Italian. OF COURSE he has a suit guy… and of course that guy is in New York! So unfortunately this vendor doesn't work for our Orlando couples but if you're interested, reach out and we'll give you the info!

Shauna: “For the Red Rock Canyon shoot he wore the same slacks and button down he wore at our wedding in New York City. He put on his firefighter bunker gear for the shoot at Neon Boneyard. Oh boy, was he MELTING in that.”

Now that’s true love right there, there’s nothing like getting hot, sweaty, down and dirty for your bride! Whoa.. get your minds out of the gutter! The man was in the 120 degree desert in Firefighter’s bunker gear. You’d be sweaty too!

Did he have any concerns trashing his suit or wedding day attire?

Aubrey: “No not at all,. The water where we are is very clean, so he wasn’t worried about getting it wet and then having it cleaned after. “

Shauna: “Oh, no way. When I asked him if had any concerns about it he said “My shoes. We were scrambling through the gravel and red rocks and I didn’t want to wreck my shoes.” His bunker gear, on the other hand. That had seen MUCH worse than a hike through the desert.”

It seems as though Shauna’s hubby’s shoes made it to strut through another day, unlike Shauna’s shoes that she mentioned earlier…. were very, very trashed.

Was your dress totally trashed afterwards or was it salvageable?

Aubrey: "It was actually cleaner after the shoot than it was after the wedding!”

Shauna: It wasn’t totally trashed. It was ripped and filthy. It could have been worse. I wore my red heels (same ones I got married in) for part of the shoot and those were pretty beat up from the rocks. Eventually I changed into approach shoes, made for scrambling on rocks.

We love a girl that’s into fashion AND function! This is a great idea to bring multiple pairs of shoes on an adventurous shoot like this, especially if one those pairs are high heels. As for Aubrey, what do you think happened on her wedding day that trashed her dress worse than a jump in the lake?? Drop a comment below with any ideas ;)

What did you do with your dress after trashing it?

Aubrey: Cleaned it back up and saving it for an anniversary celebration where I can bust it back out!

Shauna: My mother insisted on having it cleaned and preserved. So now I have a dress in a box.

Before you trash, consider what you will be doing with your dress afterwards. Research local cleaning and preservation companies BEFORE you start trashing. Think about giving them a call and explaining what you’re planning to do and if they think they can salvage the aftermath. These companies are magical and have saved white dresses from red wine but it is doubtful that they’ll be able to recover any tearing, burning, or certain stains. If you want your dress to be salvaged after, talk to your cleaning crew and find out what’s on the no-go list.

Any surprises on shoot day?

Aubrey: “We had a surprise shark dog crasher! He was the cutest and we loved having him photobomb. Also, when we scheduled the shoot our photographer’s admin left out the tiny detail about us getting in the water so they were surprised when they realized exactly what the plan was. They were absolute champions about it and hopped right in with us no questions asked!! We also got to create our unity ceremony because it got forgotten on wedding day, as mentioned earlier”

Shauna: “We had to rush to get to the boneyard before sunset to catch the lighting so we had a fun car ride through the canyons. And it was HOT outside. Vegas in mid June so it was about 110 degrees. Dustin was melting in his bunker gear. But those photos were worth it!!! Am I right?!?”

Yes, why yes you are, Shauna!!! Just like wedding day, things can go a little sideways or not quite according to schedule and things need to be adjusted on the fly to make the end goal work! Having an amazing photographer like these two, who are dedicated to the cause makes for the best memories as well as the best photos!

Final Thoughts:

Aubrey: “10/10 recommend this type of trash the dress shoot. I loved being able to do something super fun that was so special to us and still be able to keep my dress intact (because I am DEFINITELY wearing it again!)”

Shauna: “We went viral on Pinterest afterwards. Our photos were very popular for firefighter themed weddings and photo shoots. It was Dustin’s idea to pin our last name to the back of my dress, and that has since become a very popular thing to do in firefighter weddings. We started that trend and Dustin is responsible for it. Huge shout out to the incredibly talented Chelsea Nicole. I will forever be grateful for the beautiful photos she gave us. Please feel free to check out our album at this link to our page on her site”

Thank you Aubrey and Shauna for this peek into your post-wedding celebrations and sharing these amazing moments with us!

We hope this blog has given you some valuable insight on this option and encourages you to have a Trash The Dress photoshoot! Find a photographer who is willing to have fun and take chances, and don’t forget research a good wedding dress restoration specialist if you think you may need one. This is a once in a lifetime chance to make an amazing memory! work it into your If this sounds like something you definitely want to do, outline inclusions with your photographer and don’t forget it in the wedding budget if needed. This is a chance to show a different side of you and your partner. Show the world who you are and most of all, have FUN with it!

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