Brides, I've totally been there before. You've spent countless hours scouring and searching for THE dress. The one that makes you feel like part Beyonce part Audrey Hepburn. You've spent hundreds, even thousands of dollars making sure that dress is yours and it fits you like a glove. By the time your wedding day rolls around, your wedding dress becomes this sacred entity that must not be touched, and has to be handled with the upmost care at all times. I mean it IS your wedding dress after all. I was the same way. Before my wedding day I treated my dress sooo carefully; I held it up so it wouldn't touch the ground. I was so delicate every time I touched it to make sure not to smudge dirt or a fingerprint on it. I treated it like the holy grail.
But something changed the moment I actually put it on the day of my wedding. I realised this was it. Every alteration. Every dollar spent was meant for TODAY. My wedding day. Now instead of trying to make sure I didn't move too much, sweat too much, or walk through the dirt, I welcomed all of that. Why?
Because your wedding dress is meant to be worn on your wedding day.
Yes, WORN. You my dear, are not a mannequin, and your dress isn't in a showroom anymore. To me it's a shame to treat your dress with such pristine care on your wedding that you become too focused on making sure not to ruin your dress to actually be present and in the moment on your wedding day. Guess what I've learned in my time being a wedding photographer? Bugs, sticks and dirt freaking love chiffon. They are probably gonna get in there whether you like it or not. So wouldn't you rather spend your day celebrating your new hubby with family and friends than spend countless minutes stressed over a little speck of dirt? I know I would.
Here are just a few reasons why I believe it's more than okay if your dress gets a little dirty on your wedding day:
1) It means you had fun.
When I saw the few grass and dirt marks on my dress the morning after my wedding, I smiled. Because suddenly those imperfections became marks of glory. They reminded me that I spent more time gazing at my new hubby than at the bottom of my dress. They reminded me that I had ran through an orchard laughing and giggling for our photos at sunset. To me, the dirt didn't take anything away from the dress. It made it better.
2) I PROMISE you no one will notice.
I'm serious about this one. I think the majority of the time when brides really care about not getting any dirt on their dress, it's because they don't want it to be ruined or look bad for the rest of the day. Here's the thing, unless you literally drag your dress through a puddle of mud, any amount of slight dirt on it is NOT noticeable to anyone. No one is going to be looking at the teensy tiny grass stain at the bottom, they're going to be looking at YOU looking gorgeous in it.
3) Your dress is not the main event.
It's the accessory that enhances your natural beauty, and makes you look like a goddess. The main event is you and the love of your life coming together forever as one. That should always be the main focus no matter what. Trust me, I wanted the perfect dress too. I don't doubt you do as well. By all means, get your dream dress. Feel like a rockstar in it. But understand it has its place. At the end of the day wouldn't you rather be PRESENT on your wedding day, and have that freedom to just play and be with your love? In my opinion that will always trump holding back and not doing something you love just so your dress doesn't get dirty.
As a photographer I'm always trying to help my brides have the absolute best day possible. So if everything I've just said isn't your jam, and you totally disagree, that's okay! I know not everyone will agree with this. I know people value things different. But to the current and future brides who are reading this and screaming "HECK YES!" you my dears are my people. You're who I'm talking to. You only get to really wear your wedding dress once. Your wedding day is literally THE day to wear that thing, and wear it hard. My advice? Be fully present. Have FUN. Play. Be silly. Frolic with your love in an orchard like I did. Or maybe a cliff. Or a desert. Or wherever you happen to love frolicking in pretty dresses. If you go into your wedding day prioritizing having FUN with you and your love, then I promise you won't give a damn whether or not there's a smudge of dirt on your dress at the end of the day.
Lindsey Roman is an adventurous, destination wedding and intimate elopement photographer based out of Oahu, Hawaii and available worldwide. She lives for outdoor adventures, intimate moments, and candid images. Her style is raw, passionate, and authentic. She believes in chasing sunsets, laughing too hard, and most importantly: capturing genuine moments that evoke feeling over perfectly posed photographs.