Saskatoon brides trash wedding dresses to raise money

A group of brides in Saskatoon raised over $25,000 through the fundraising event Trash the Dress.

Trash the Dress raised over $25,000 for Children's Hospital Foundation

One of the bride participants gets comfortable in the river. (Memories by Mandy)

A group of brides got together this weekend to trash their wedding dresses.

As part of an annual fundraising event Trash the Dress, six brides met with seven photographers for a unique photo shoot.

"This idea with it is this: it's all the stuff you wanted to do on your wedding day but you couldn't do it," said one of the professional photographers involved, Grant Romancia.
Grant Romancia and a group of five other photographers take part in Trash the Dress every year. (Victoria Dinh/CBC)

The Saskatoon fundraiser began six years ago by one of the six photographers involved in the project, Mandy Harding. 

"She had heard of people trashing their dresses so she thought, well, she'll go and trash her dress too," said Romancia.

The following year, a group of six photographers including Romancia and Harding decided to recruit more brides to take part in the trashing to raise money for charity. The other photographers were Danielle Stasiuk, Gina Yesnik, Vanessa Savage, and Lisa Krystchuk.

This year, the group raised over $25,000 for the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan.

"We just felt that the Children's Hospital Foundation was one that would probably touch almost everyone's heart because no matter whom you are, no matter whether you have kids or not, or whether you're a grandparent, it really can affect everyone," Romancia explained.

A group of six brides pose before they trash their dresses. (Danielle Stasiuk Photography)

He said a prize package is put together from donations from a variety of vendors as an incentive for brides raising money to raise as much as they can.

"We've had individual brides raise $5,000, $6,000, $7,000 (each) and even one year, we had a bride raise almost $10,000," said Romancia."The brides [host] steak nights and, you know, fundraisers of all sorts. They get pretty creative."  

How it works

"We each go and get one of our brides that we've previously photographed," said Romancia.

For the 2015 photo shoot, Romancia approached a bride who had just gotten married last weekend.
Behind the scenes of the Trash the Dress photo shoot. (Danielle Stasiuk Photography)

"One week after her wedding she goes out to trash (her dress)," he laughed.

This year, the group travelled to three locations. At each location, a photographer photographed two brides and switched between brides every 20 minutes. This year, they ended their final session in the Saskatchewan River.

"Let's face it, on a wedding day you're probably not going to get a bride going in the river (and) you're probably not going to get her completely covered in mud, or in a junk yard or places where their dresses get trashed," said Romancia.

The brides set out to raise thousands of dollars for the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. (Vanessa Savage Photography)

So, what happens to the dresses in the end?

"They get them cleaned," Romancia answered.

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