For the eyes. For the heart. For the ears. For the feet. For the soul.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tradition gone a mess - Trashing the dress (TTD)

As any bride can attest, planning her wedding can be one of the most trying and stressful times of her life and a true test of her relationship, patience and ability to bite her tongue.

I am a non-traditional person by most standards and have always lived my life dancing to my own beat. When I presented the idea of marrying my true love on a beach in the tropics, not a soul tried to dissuade me but deep down I knew it wouldn't be entirely fair to our families and friends who could not make it to Mexico for one reason or another.

Our simple wedding of 2 turned into 9 months of furious planning of two very detail-required venues. Between working at an extremely demanding job with long hours, buying our first home, and the regular hectic pace of life, there seemed to be little time to tend to our ever-growing list of things to do, people to see and places to go relating to our wedding. The plans started to progress and then the inevitable happened all at once: my wedding coordinator in Mexico, my wedding coordinator at home and the coordinator of a hall we had booked for our company Christmas party all moved on to different positions at once.

I was entirely responsible for the Social Committee events alone at work and had to start from scratch with the new planner for the Christmas party. The coordinator for our at home reception moved on to a new position so I met with the new planner to ensure there were no miscommunications. I had literally sent dozens maybe even safe to say, a hundred emails to our coordinator in Mexico. When planning a wedding abroad, you need to trust that things don't get lost in translation (literally). Just as I was comfortable that things would go off without a hitch, I was presented with a new coordinator who promised that we could leave the details in her hands. It took everything inside of me to refrain from reading reviews about weddings at our resort and how the last couple our coordinator married, totally messed everything up. If it wasn't bad enough that it was pouring rain on their day, the coordinator showed up with one umbrella, for herself, letting the guests get soaked and not informing the guests of the Plan "B" rainout location. The new couple, Bill and Karen were wed in the basement of the fish restaurant, with no music, missing guests, a stench to remember and their monogrammed linens Bill and "Karys".

In hindsight and reflection, I am truly thankful that the things that went wrong during our day were minor and mostly unnoticed. Everyone was healthy, had a great time and at the end of the day, we were married without a hitch. (Pardon the ridiculously bad pun!)

The above mentioned scenarios are mild compared to some of the disasters that take place during the wedding planning process. Friendships are lost, families fight, the weddings are called off, drama unfolds and weather ruins. The day becomes more about what everyone else wants and as you nod your head in agreement, you can understand the latest trend.

Trashing the dress or otherwise acronyme-d "TTD" has become a post-matrimony custom for many brides. The white dress throughout the process is carefully preserved, guarded and cherished until the day of reveal. Once the big day has come and gone, the dress is wrapped, saved or displayed for perhaps a day when her daughter will carry on her mother's legacy.

Enter the Trash The Dress phenomenon.

Symbolic of the frustrations and stresses a bride (and sometimes the groom but let's face it, a bride) goes through during her planning, neverending lists, ever-increasing demands of family and usually a number of budget-bursting expenses, choices and decisions to make, it becomes cathartic and almost ironic to take it all out on the one thing that represented the whole headache to begin with: the dress.

From a fun and creative photo shoot after the wedding to an all out ruining of the dress, TTD, is anything but traditional. I got to thinking, what a great way to celebrate your divorce too! (I'm really not a cynical angry person but MAN did it feel good to cut up that dress and dive into the ocean!) Here are a couple of images and a video I am posting (with permission) from the amazingly talented Still Motion which captures a bride and groom in Coney Island and Times Square ruining her dress. You do not want to miss this!

One of my favourites was shot in California. Fun, sexy and great.

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