Trash the dress photo sessionBride and groom jumping in the pool at Now Larimar resort Punta Cana

Punta Cana Trash the Dress

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Bride and groom at a market in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic by Edmonton wedding photographer Chrystal Stringer

Also called “day after wedding” or “adventure” sessions, the trash the dress  is one of my absolute favourite to photograph.  Celebrate your marriage or your first anniversary after the stress of wedding planning is over.   Let the honeymoon begin with a session focused solely on the two of you!

What is the purpose of Trash the Dress?

Imagine this…you spend a year planning your wedding.  You plan the decor, your flowers, and that perfect dress or suit; You imagine your guests enjoying the meal and party that you put so much thought into; and, you spend far too much time fretting over writing your own vows and the obligatory speech.

The day finally arrives and everything is running as smoothly as it should.  Thank goodness you put all of those plans into place because the day is moving faster than you imagined it would!  It’s a beautiful but total whirlwind of a day with timelines and expectations.

Now picture putting that dress or tux back on a day or couple of days later and heading out for a celebration just for two!  The day is over and the stress is off.  It’s time to enjoy each other and start that honeymoon phase!

I was a destination bride once. So I understand how stressful it can be to plan a wedding abroad.  I also get the responsibility that you feel to ensure that your guests needs are being met and that they are enjoying themselves in a location picked by you.  The morning that we trashed my dress on the sandy Dominican beach I let all of those worries go!  I want to help you feel the same way.

What to expect?


Especially in the case of a resort destination, expect to leave the resort.  It’s always a beautiful thing to incorporate the local culture, colours and scenes into these photos.  Usually there’s no time for this on the actual wedding day.  But you picked this Country for a reason – let’s highlight it!

We didn’t have to go far for Moriah and Shane’s adventure session to find the sweetest and most wonderful human beings.  A market just a short walk down the beach from the Now Larimar Resort was a perfect location.  The locals let us into their little shops, they walked through my frame when I asked them to and were “Snapchatting” our photo shoot.  One local even directed them a little for the perfect snap – she was quite proud of that photo.  Although we spoke different languages – love is love and we all understood.  I still get goosebumps thinking about that moment!

Carefree Fun!

Make out like newlyweds and like no one is watching. Roll around on the beach and get sand in your hair. Let the waves of the ocean wash over you. Then jump in the pool to top it all off!

These two did it all. And at the end of their session they jumped into the pool where their friends and family were waiting for them. Then the most wonderful thing happened. Moriah and Shane’s guests made a circle around them in the pool and sang a Newfoundland song “Music and Friends”. It was a very special way to finish off a memorable morning.

But is the dress really trashed?

In the case of a beach after wedding day photo shoot, not at all. If anything it’s cleaner than it was when we started!

There are many different ways to “trash the dress” though. We are only limited by our imaginations. The level of trashing is really up to you!

Some things to consider for your trash the dress photos:

The time of day. Consider where and when the sunrises and sets. In this case we chose early morning because Punta Cana has the most beautiful sunrise over the ocean. And the sky did not disappoint! Also, the beach was clean and quiet at this time of day.

Location. I’m all for adventure, but first things first, stay safe. A beautiful location is important but not at the risk of your safety! Now that we have that out of the way, other important things to note about location:

  • Where is the light coming from in relation to the desired backdrop? Full sun at mid day in a tropical location can be very strong and very, very hot and uncomfortable.
  • Is the location busy with tourists? Sometimes this is awesome! I love working other people into photos…but not for every photo.

Have fun! Let it all go and just enjoy, you won’t regret it! When Shane came out of the ocean on this day, he was so excited. He said “that was so liberating!”. These two were just so into each other and carefree. That’s what this is all about!

This is my third and final blog post about this wonderful wedding story. I enjoyed every second spent with these beautiful people. I could not have imagined a better group to spend a week with and a better couple to work with. They are truly special people and I am a lucky gal to have met them!

See more of Shane and Moriah’s wedding story here:

Edmonton Winter Engagement Photos

Edmonton Winter Wedding

Punta Cana Destination Wedding Celebration

Do you have other questions about destination weddings and/or adventure sessions? I love talking all things weddings. I’d love to chat! Also, sometimes I talk about weddings and answer questions on my Instagram TV Channel.

See other destination weddings and adventure sessions:

Charmaine + Chance | Adventure Session in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Lorrie + Martin | Las Vegas Destination Wedding

Kyla + Kyle | Veradero, Cuba Destination Wedding

Charmaine + Chance | Now Larimar Destination Wedding

Kerrie + Lee | Trash the Dress in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico


Hi, I'm Chrystal (she/her) and I'm so happy you're here! 

If you're looking to feast your eyes on couples in love, raw emotion and vibrant scenes, you've come to the right place.

I'm an Edmonton wedding photographer for couples madly in love, and those who love to laugh right from their hearts (and bellies).  Over the past 10 years I've been very lucky to photograph weddings of all kinds and sizes including Christian, Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Fijian, Chinese weddings and all sorts of fusions.  I've photographed teeny tiny elopements to grand celebrations, LGBTQ+ weddings and inter-racial weddings, as well as destination weddings in places like Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Las Vegas, Canmore, Banff, and Newfoundland - in addition to the beautiful Edmonton weddings and Fort McMurray weddings I've had the privilege to be a part of.  

I would love to here more about you.  LET'S CONNECT!