Adam & Barbara’s Day of the Dead, Cemetery Trash the Dress Photo Shoot

Adam & Barbara’s trash the dress shoot is like nothing I’ve ever seen! Day of the Dead make up fused with an awesome cemetery location made for something pretty special. The bride did the make up “It was a trial and error process,” she explained. “I looked up make up designs online and tried different ones to see which would look best with my (and my husband’s) facial structure, without looking too cluttered.  Since it was right before Halloween, I could find cream makeup almost anywhere, and picked up a few tubes, and some extra just in case I ran out.  I applied it with paint brushes, which helped so I could layer it on without it looking too thick. I had to apply three layers of white to give it a true white appearance, and if I hadn’t run out of time, I would’ve applied more.”

The couple, who said their wedding was a bit of a ‘toned-down’ version of them, wanted to do something really dramatic and something they’d always remember for their post-wedding shoot. “Our wedding was very calm, very pretty, very “toned down” from the route I would normally go,” Barbara continued. “We met at a Hot Topic store, started dating at a Halloween party, and got engaged at a rock Concert in California, but I wanted our families to feel comfortable, so I opted for only a few things that were on the darker side (mainly, the table that held my seating chart, which had Beetlejuice figures of “Barbara” and “Adam” and a twisted looking votive tree).”

“I wanted to do a Trash the Dress shoot because… well… you only live once, and I wanted to do something that I could remember, and look at the pictures down the road, and say “I’m glad I did that, that was so much fun”.  The Day of the Dead seemed like it would be really fun to do.  We wanted to do something completely non-traditional, something a little off-the-wall, something with a bit of shock value (which we definitely got when we went into town with the makeup on, plenty of stares, scared children, it was really funny), and this was the perfect opportunity.  We were actually planning on changing out of the Day of the Dead stuff and do a normal Trash the Dress shoot halfway through, but… it was too much fun, so we decided to stick with it.”

Thanks to Adam & Barbara and their photographer Mike for sharing these today!

Photography Credit: Allebach Photography
Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal


  1. Annie-Blake Lavender

    i understand each bride strives for uniqueness and wants their day to be awesome & rock n roll; however, a cemetry is a place in which dead bodies and cremated remains are buried, and i feel it is an inappropriate place for bridal shoots, now matter how ‘cool’ or ‘trendy’ it seems.

    it seems disrespectful to me, especially when i see couples posing around random graves. Cemeteries are usually a respected area, not a place to carry out a bridal shoot.

  2. This is seriously cool, the photography is amazing as well. I bet you are so pleased with the results. I am now really interested to see what you guys look like normally without the make up on.

    In regards to the comment by Annie-Blake Lavender, I do understand your concern but at the end of the day it is their choice for a wedding, and its not harming anyone so leave them to it. Everything has been done tastefully and doesnt disrepect any of the graves or people memories.

  3. Barbara G.

    Hi, I’m the girl in the pictures here…
    in response to the only negative comment on here, I do not find it disrespectful that we took these pictures in a graveyard, in fact, we made sure to take pictures in an area where the front of the stone looked the same as the back, so we wouldn’t have anyone’s name in the pictures (in an effort to respect the dead).
    there were people visiting their dead relatives that same day, and no one came up to us and expressed any sort of disgust or feelings of being disrespected, and if they had, we would have left.
    I understand your comment, but please first think that the people who go about doing the shoot make an effort to be respectful while still being artistic.

  4. Danielle G.

    Here Here Barbara!!!!

    I think these pictures look amazing! It was such a different and interesting concept and they turned out great!

    <3 your sister

  5. Seriously, very cool photos! Barbara, you and Adam rock! What an amazing idea and concept. And, as a person who loves to visit old cemeteries, I didn’t find it disrespectful at all.

  6. perséfone

    Love it!
    For the ones who think it´s disrespectfull, its just a matter of culture.
    We need to respect different cultures. Different doesn´t mean disrespectful.
    Day of the Deads is a celebration of respect with the deads, we here, in Latin America, celebrate going to cemeteries and being happy, because remember our loved ones brings us good memories.
    So, I think, the american culture need to see death as we, latin americans do: less drama, more happinnes and going to cemetery, sitting down the floor, relaxing and talking with our deads.

  7. Aimee

    This might be the coolest shoot ever! I’m so jealous. I really dig that you chose to celebrate life and love in a cemetery. Also, I totally second everything in perséfone’s comment (above).

  8. Adam R.

    (The Husband in these photos) i want to say Thanks for everyones great comments and a big one to Persefone. Yes, I agree as well America is a bit uptight at times with culture and with art.
    We wanted to do something that has never quite been done or in that fashion before.
    My wife and I are very much involved in the arts and like to do things for Arts sake or better yet, Our sake of creativity. We do things differently not “Trendy.” (last i recalled walking down the street with face paint wasn’t a trend.)
    We are who we are and thats what makes us unique.

  9. Love the concept and love the shots. Also want to add that not all Americans have the same viewpoints (about anything). Lots of us love art and culture, and definitely want to push the envelope as often as possible. 🙂

  10. what i love most is how the couple is doing exactly what they want. after all, isn’t the wedding supposed to reflect the bride + groom? fun fall colors, theme, and photos!

  11. Lola

    I think this wedding is awesome and an inspiration and although i can understand where the person is coming from about being respectful my own feelings conflict with this. Life is to be celebrated. I can honestly say if, once i am dead and buried if an amazing couple like this came along and used my resting place as a backdrop for there special day I would be dancing in my grave for them.

    I can not see one single disrespectful things about these pictures or the concept, I mean if they we urinating on the graves well yes but look at these pictures!! You guys should be very proud of yourselves for refusing to be anything other then yourselves. Best of luck for the future from Lola in Nottingham UK

  12. Miriam

    I totaly agreewith Annie-Blake Lavender. I love offbeat-things but to my mind this isn’t artistic or cool or anything like that doing a shoot at a cemetry. It shows that the people (photograper, couple…) didn’t think about it. “Just do it” isn’t the right way anytime. You could have done this shoot in a castle or sth. like this – why a cemetry? The people there – maybe they just didn’t say anything because they thought: Oh my god, what’s that? Maybe there were persons who lost a loved one days ago – what do you think they thought?

    I understand your comment, but please first think that the people who go on a cemetry want to mourn without any artistic things and grinning skulls around. And this cemetry doesn’t look like a cemetry with another culture to me (@persefone: That’s something else entirely!).

    Art can’t be art, where it violates ethics rules. And it doesn’t matter if you are what you are. A cemetry is a place for deads and mourning people, that’s all.

  13. June

    Im not sure if a boundry lies here… I mean there have been hundreds and thousands of animals and people who have died and lay right under us… streets, graves, homes, schools, playgrounds, castles without markings…

    and those who have been marked; crosses, statues, photos, art, sticks to rocks… I think celebrating love in a non harmful way is just that… love. Wether people jump out of airplanes, on beaches naked, in cemetaries or the circus, its those sorts of things in this world who help make us smile and remember to have no fear in this world.

    btw, congrats on your marriage… seeming so happy, and sharing life with someone who gets you!

  14. I think this is such a cool and different way for a wedding! It totally rocks! As for the 2 negative comments, GIMME A BREAK! For christs sake were all going to end up dead anyway, I’m sure the dead really minded…PLEASE! The whole concept of marriage is to celebrate LIFE AND DEATH, Why not start where we will end… Come on isn’t life too short to be ‘offended’ by something so ridiculous! Here today, gone tomorrow RELAX and enjoy it while you can!!! Kudos to Adam and Barbara~~

  15. Chelsea

    If you remain ignorant to other cultures and the meaning of the Day of the Dead, you would say those things.

    I absolutely LOVE everything about these photos. The lighting is gorgeous, the positioning of the bride and groom is perfect, I just love the concept.

    Beautiful, beautiful photos.

    Best wishes for a long and happy forever together.

  16. Michelle

    what i think the negative responder on here DOESN’T know is that day of the dead is a celebration of relatives and friends that have passed on. a CELEBRATION. kind of sounds like a wedding, huh?

    i think these photos are stunning and very tastefully done. nothing disrespectful here at all – just a celebration of two unique individuals and a photographer willing to push the envelope…well done!

  17. I think it’s a little presumptuous to assume what offends the dead, personally. I mean, YOU might not like it, but the thought that my loved ones would find such a beautiful spot for me that in a few hundred years someone wanted to use it to preserve a beautiful memory? Heck, that’s an honor. They didn’t destroy the area or build a condo, they commemorated a moment of true love, and looped the birth-life-love-death cycle back to it’s inception. Congratulations to the lovely couple!

  18. fdh

    I’m surprised no one has thought of it before. There’s no more appropriate place for wedding shots than a cemetery! Or as Ambrose Bierce put it, “marriage is an institution consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two.” Good luck, kids!

  19. In Texas, it’s a growing trend to have weddings actually held at cemeteries as a symbolism of the death of their ‘single lives’ and the birth of their new lives as a unit. Besides, it’s Holy ground. This is an idea I’ve been holding onto for years!


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