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Why You Should Get Your Dress Dirty

Mothers are scowling at me. In fact my own mother is reading this thinking "The heck you will!"

But here's the thing ladies....

Dry cleaning.

Yes m'am you heard right. Dry cleaning is the answer to all of your worries.

Alright, alright. You need more convincing why you should do an after the wedding spontaneous, adventurous, living on the edge, completely out of your element like shoot. I get it.

It's not you. I mean, it kinda is. You're a little wild. Sometimes you have a reckless soul but for the most part, you maintain some type of conservative nature. A modesty. You like to keep things neat. Orderly. You can barely commit to hanging decor on the wall yet alone putting on your dress and jumping in the water with your dress. Right?

My friend Jayme inspired that last part.

There's nothing wrong with it. At all.

But here's why I think its worth getting your dress a little dirty.

My friend Jayme invited me to her wedding in South Dakota of Labor Day weekend this year. While I could have purchased some new tea towels or champagne glasses, I offered her a photoshoot instead.

An "After the Wedding" Shoot.

Jayme asked me a few questions about what all the shoot would entail and I explained to her how it works. We could go either the day after or that Monday morning. We'd find a spot in the Badlands or somewhere with killer views at sunrise. Her newly pronounced husband Chris would put back on his tux and she'd slip into her gown.

After deciding to stick to somewhere closer by instead of going to the Badlands, we found a beautiful located nearby called Pactola Lake.

The night before I shot her a text, "And if you want to jump in the water in your dress..."

I waited by the phone, waiting for her to say "heck no." But curious to see how spontaneous she might be.

"Can I wear my chucks?," she asked.

That's the kind of cool girl Jayme is.

So after celebrating their wedding on Saturday, eating a whole lotta cake and even doing some of our own fun version engagement photos (we had just gotten engaged week before!), we met Jayme and Chris on Monday morning for an After the Wedding adventure shoot.

Now let me back track, their wedding was perfect. It was by a babbling creek with a beautiful backdrop. The wedding reception set was darling with twinkly lights and joy. It was intimate. We loved every minute.

As it turns out John makes an excellent assistant (meaning he's opinionated and bossy - hehe) and helped me walk around to find some beautiful spots to capture the newlyweds at. The sun shined brightly on our spot, bouncing of the water but I loved how the "Hills" had this fade in the background. Almost like it was foggy, but delicately there. The water was one of the most beautiful shades of turquoise that you rarely find outside of the Caribbean or Southern states. It was unreal! It was a quiet morning, the fisherman were out and the crowd began to pick up by 930 am.

They walked down the path holding hands and ready to just go with whatever I had planned. I felt nervous, wondering if they might be tired from already taking so many during their wedding day. As a main wedding photographer myself, I didn't want to overstep my boundary of their wedding photos. I just wanted to offer my friends another fun option, something we both would enjoy.

The fit couple they both are, Chris had no problem lifting and swinging Jayme around. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if Jayme returned the favor and lifted Chris up as well. Did you not see her guns??

Jayme's parents came along and together we all shared some laughter. Her Dad the jokester and her Mom helping in any way she could. We finished with our dry land photos and at last decided it was time to ditch the shoes and head in the water. Jayme grabbed Chris' tie and gave him a pull.

The rocks were slippery but they kept walking in. I feared they'd fall and dunk their heads but neither seemed to mind at that point. They laughed, they splashed water at one another, they kissed. I snapped my heart away and we laughed as the fisherman came up nearby, wondering what on earth we were doing. Eventually I walked into the water thigh deep, praying I wouldn't fall with my camera in my hand.

Anything for the shot, right?

I couldn't quite hear what the two said to one another throughout the whole session, you know, with the splashing and all. But every now and then, I'd take my focus off my shot and just pay attention to the way they would look at one another. I notice a sense of whole. They had been but married a day and yet, it felt like they had been connected for an eternity. Jayme would giggle and tease, and Chris would confidently grab her arm and pull her in close. I felt a sense of security and admiration all at once.

I went through my guidance of poses but it appeared the candidness of their romance was unraveling before my lens. A first the water. A jump into the arms. A dip.

It was beautiful. All of it.



I was so thrilled that not only would my friends have a beautiful collection of the before the wedding, during the wedding but now they would have keepsakes for after the wedding.

So here's my reason.

On a day as vulnerable as your wedding, when your heart is racing with emotions, why worry about something as silly as your dress getting dirty?

Savor the moments and cherish the rhythm.

Congratulations to the Johnsons!

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