White Trashed

Back in the days when we planned our wedding with phone calls, magazines, and pre-Pinterest thoughts, Mr. Gray and I got married. I knew I wanted small and simple. Quaint, if you will. We went by word of mouth for pretty much everything. 

We started with a local-ish photographer. We took our engagement photos, and I didn’t love them, but thought Mr. Gray and I must have had an off day. Nonna and Annie snapped away (with real film, y’all), and we got some great photos for the paper, showers, and whatnot. 

Engagement copy

I went back to the photographer to take my bridals, and when he gave me my (hard-copy, on paper) proofs, I cried all the way home. They were terrible. Mr. Gray liked one, and I hated them all. Every. Single. One. 


This was February-ish. Our wedding was slated for June 10th. My cousin’s lifelong friend Roxanne had taken some phenomenal photos of her that Christmas, so I got to emailin’ (yeah, we had that; it was primitive). She didn’t work alone, but she did do some work alongside Mary Sledd. I met with her, checked out her portfolio, and I was sold. 

Photo by Sledd Weddings

Our wedding photos were fabulous, the experience was marvelous, and before I ever even walked down the aisle in my white J Crew (that I ripped on the way into the church), Mr. Gray and I were projecting our next photo project: a trash the dress shoot.

Our original thought was that I would stomp grapes in my wedding dress at a vineyard somewhere. We planned it all out. Then promptly forgot about it as life happened. 

Fast forward several years. We were talking kids, and I was scared I wouldn’t fit into my dress after. I had a brilliant idea to do trash my dress as a birthday surprise for Mr. Gray. I never, never, never pull off surprises. I contacted a friend who’s a photographer, got her on board, made a hair appointment, got another friend to help my style the shoot, and then proceeded to tell little white lies to my husband to pull the surprise off. This was over a span of two months before Mr. Gray’s birthday. I was dying. Dying, I tell you. But I did it. I pulled it off, and I had a fabulous story to tell him when he opened the gift. It was amazing (cue lots and lots of photos; sorry; all photos taken by Photographi by Shelli). 

Jolie 001A

Jolie 019A

Jolie 040A

Jolie 051A

Jolie 062A

Jolie 099A

Jolie 123A

Jolie 147A

Jolie 197A

Jolie 223A

Jolie 255A

Jolie 274A

Jolie 279A

Nonna made Baby Gray a lovey out of my dress, and we have pieces left for future Baby Gray(s) as well. 


I’ve never looked back. Never. Until I saw this on Pinterest last week. 

Fun with friends in wedding dresses? If my dress were still in one piece, I’d totally be in! 
Even then, all I had to do was pull the photos out and remember how much fun it was, how awesome it was, how much Mr. Gray loves those photos, and how much Baby Gray loves that lovey to remember that I don’t miss my wedding dress one bit.


  1. I've thinking about doing a trash the dress. I think it would be so much fun! We just had a friend photograph our wedding and the pics are okay. She did a great job for never having done a wedding.

  2. I've been thinking about doing a ttd shoot since before our wedding. Bahaha. BUT. It has to wait until after baby #2. Right before I got pregnant, I got to my skinniest in 5 years. Isn't that how it always happens? Ha.

    Your pics are gorgeous. You're stunning!

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