day after session


In Costa Rica

Trash the Dress: How to De-Stress After Your Destination Wedding


Have you seen them? Those photos of brides rolling around in the surf with their grooms, traipsing through muddy fields, or even setting their beautiful wedding dress on fire?

If you’ve ever asked yourself why anyone would destroy the perfect dress that they worked so hard to find, read on. Here, I’ll explain why couples love Trash the Dress Sessions and why you too will want to consider one for your destination wedding in Costa Rica.

What Is a Trash the Dress Session?

The first Trash the Dress Sessions started trending around 2001. Also called “rock the frock” or “fearless bridal”, Trash the Dress Sessions depict brides doing things you wouldn’t expect them to do in a wedding dress. You can also trek through the rainforest, climb a tree, or hike to a hidden waterfall and plunge into the water in full formal gear. The idea of Trash the Dress Sessions has evolved a lot since 2001 and you don’t actually have to trash the dress if you don’t want to. Nowadays, Trash the Dress often means an extra portrait session for the wedding couple that takes place after the wedding day. I refer to these sessions as Day After Sessions so they don’t sound so scary. By far, here in Costa Rica, Trash the Dress or Day After Sessions on the beach are the most popular. On the wedding day, we can take photos on the beach with a world-famous Manuel Antonio sunset behind them. Then on the following morning, we head on out again for some more creative photos.

Trash the dress in costa rica

Why Should You Consider a Day After Session?

Okay, so it sounds kind of fun, but you might still be wondering how anyone could ever have the heart to destroy their wedding dress.

1. It’s a Lot of Fun (i.e. Stress Relief)

A destination wedding is typically less stressful than a huge affair in your hometown, but it’s still a bit taxing. I always have fun with my couples when we take photos on the day of the wedding, but they’re often pretty jazzed up. There’s so much anticipation and excitement, they don’t really relax until the event is over.

A Trash the Dress session the next day gives couples the chance to slow down and enjoy some moments alone without worrying about where they need to be next. They can let their hair down, enjoy each other’s company, and just plain have fun.

2. Creative Photos

I work hard to capture genuine moments as well as be creative with my photos. I know you don’t want wedding photos that look like everyone else’s. However, let’s be realistic, there’s only so much you can do on the day of the event while we’re keeping your dress as clean as possible. 

Trash the Dress gives us the opportunity to do whatever you want to do without worrying about looking amazing for the reception later. It can get quite exciting!

Trash the Dress Sessions (without Actually Trashing It)

Keep in mind that not every Trash the Dress session completely trashes the dress. Many brides have their dresses cleaned and boxed up after rolling around in the surf and they look just fine. Also, some brides will buy a less expensive dress specifically for the Trash the Dress session. This is why I like to call these sessions “Day After Sessions” instead. Many brides are not quite so sold on destroying their wedding dresses but I don’t want them to miss out on the fun of a Day After Session. You can have your cake and eat it too, it all depends on how crazy you want to get. The couple typically gets dressed up in the same wedding attire, although some brides choose a different dress for this session. Some brides have the makeup artist come back for a highly polished look and others choose to have their friends help them. You can even ask your stylist on your wedding day for tips on how to leave your hair down the next morning for a more relaxed look.

The Light Is Gorgeous

Sunset is early in Costa Rica (around 6:00 pm) so many of the weddings I shoot happen close to sunset. The best part about that is that you get a brilliant Costa Rican sunset as the backdrop for some of your photos.

However, the soft morning light on the beach is so beautiful. By doing a Day After Session, you get to take advantage of that light and get a set of photos with a completely different feel to them. I promise, both are stunning and you’ll love them! You can check out this post to see how the photos have a different vibe.

We Can Explore More Locations

The beach isn’t the only breathtaking backdrop in Costa Rica. During a Day After Session, the party isn’t waiting for us so we can take more time to explore. I’ve taken couples to a stream in the jungle for some romantic shots or a local park on the water with rocky outcroppings that look very different from the beach.

I’ve even gone with the entire wedding party to visit a dramatic waterfall out in the Costa Rica jungle. We got some epic shots from that one that you can check out here.

The possibilities are endless and you can customize them to fit your vision for your wedding photos. Many couples that come to Costa Rica to get married are adventurous couples who love nature. The creative photos from a Day After Session in a stunning location show off that side of your personality in a way that photos from the big day just can’t quite do.

A Day After Session in Costa Rica

A destination wedding in Costa Rica is already pretty epic. And you can even take it one step further by booking a Trash the Dress, a.k.a, Day After Session the next day. 

Or maybe you didn’t get a chance to get married in Costa Rica like you wanted to because COVID got in the way. Give a nod to your original plans by coming here on your one-year anniversary and enjoying a Trash the Dress session. You’ll get photos that you’ll treasure for a lifetime. 

Ready to book your amazing adventure in Costa Rica? Check out my wedding packages here!