A QUESTION for all married women: where is your wedding dress?

Is it packed away in a special box? Stored away in the loft? Gathering dust in the spare room?

Do you occasionally gaze at it and long to wear it one more time?

A growing number of women are casting aside the tradition of preserving their dresses and instead choosing to follow the American trend of having a “trash the dress” photoshoot.

Trash the dress is a relatively new style of wedding photography which sees the bride get her dress wet, dirty or, in extreme cases, destroying it completely.

It is seen as an alternative to storing the dress away, never to be seen again.

One bride who refused to let her dress gather dust in a cupboard is Nicola Bradley, of Great Harwood.

“After my wedding I couldn’t bring myself to put my beautiful dress away,” said Nicola, 43, who married fiance John, 45, last June.

“After all the planning, excitement and stress, your wedding dress is only worn for such a short time. I just couldn’t decide what to do with my dress — have it cleaned and sell it, wrap it up and keep for a daughter . . . but would she have the same good taste?”

Eventually Nicola opted to donate her dress to a charity shop — but not before she’d had a trash the dress photoshoot with Great Harwood photographers Studio 25.

“We went on some swings, under a bridge and we even walked through the river at Edisford Bridge, complete with wedding dress, veil and tiara,” said Nicola, a quality manager, of Harwood Lane.

“It gave us an opportunity to recapture some happy memories from our wedding day but without all the pressure. This afternoon was just for us. I actually prefer the photographs to my official wedding ones and I feel much happier now to let my dress go to a good cause because I really got my money’s worth from it.”

Photographers Debbie and Gareth Hardy, of Studio 25, began offering trash the dress photoshoots two years ago.

“You have very limited time on your wedding day and brides are always terrified of getting their dress dirty because they’ve spent so much money on it,” said Debbie.

“But because a trash the dress shoot takes place after the wedding, brides feel free to lie in the sand dunes, go on fun fairs, climb on a horse or paddle in the sea.

"It doesn’t matter if their dress gets dirty, and we can get these great creative shots that look fantastic as portraits.

“‘Trash the dress’ is quite a harsh term because you don't actually ‘trash’ the dress.

“I always say it’s better than the dress gathering dust in the wardrobe for ever and a day.”