I didn't grow up dreaming about getting married. In fact, at the ripe old age of ten, I swore I never would. After observing the pain and muddiness of my parents' divorce to one another, I told myself that would never be a part of my life and that I'd merely have a strand of lovers who came and went with no strings, attachments or obligations. Then, I fell in love.
I went shopping for a dress with my mother, and in the end, she purchased a thousand dollar dress just for me; just for one day. The thing is, I realize now that it wasn't about the price which I was extremely uncomfortable with; it was about the dress. The beauty, the flow, the sparkles that awoke amidst the light. It was about the vision, my mother's vision, and her maternal desire to create that 'dream day' for her daughter. This was her gift; even if it was in a barn strung with Christmas lights.
But recently it occurred to me that the thousand dollar dress was merely going to hang in an expensive bag for the rest of its life. This seemed ludicrous and ineffectually temporal. Amidst my ongoing curiosity about the very nature of marriage, the business, the presence of the politics surrounding it, and my own connection to it, I knew I had to do something with that dress. Thus, the project, Thousand Dollar Dress.
It is my goal to photograph 1,000 individuals wearing my $1,000 wedding dress within the context of their own or chosen environment. I plan to travel with the dress, video camera, and camera to build upon this idea while showcasing it at www.thousanddollardress.com. At the project's end, I aspire to have 1,000 portraits and a documentary including interviews from individuals of all ages, backgrounds and diverse marital situations speaking to the concept of marriage and its politic. I seek to create an open dialogue regarding the institution of marriage and explore the diverse views attached to its conception amidst the current culture war regarding its exclusive definition.
Thus far, some of the photographs deliberately satisfy the tropes that accompany the dress while others refute it. Ultimately, the outcome is dependent upon the singularities of the participants. Some of the photographs are fantasy based while others a clear document. It is my hope that the ensemble will illustrate the multiplicity of responses attached to the approach of wearing the dress while both confirming and challenging the stereotypes that accompany its loaded existence.
If you are interested in participating in the project, I encourage you to contact me through this site. Eventually, I will be traveling your way...