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RAWDON, Quebec — A new bride was swept into a river and drowned while posing for pictures in her wedding dress.

Last week, 30-year-old Maria Pantazopoulos drowned while posing for “Trash the Dress” wedding pictures in the Ouareau River. When the subject of marriage ever comes up, I always suffer from a reaction akin to a vampire exposed to sunlight, so I was not aware of the “Trash the Dress” phenomena some recently married women partake in.

For those of you unaware, “Trash the Dress” is a a style of wedding photography that details a bride destroying her wedding dress instead of letting it rot in a closet while she slowly destroys a man’s soul. New bride’s will wear their dress one last time while on a beach, garbage dumps, fields, or abandoned buildings. A simple Google search pulls up tons of such images.

In the case of Pantazopoulos, the photographer she hired suggested a shoot at the Ouareau River. One account states she was standing on a rocky area in about a foot of water when her dress became so heavy from getting wet that she was pulled off the rocks and into the river. Another account states the dress got soaked after she got in the river so the photographer could take pictures of her floating in it.

Regardless of how the dress got wet, it quickly became so heavy that Pantazopoulos was unable to keep her head above water. Provincial policeman Jean-Michel Masse said the wet dress may have weighed at least 100 pounds. Unable to swim or pull herself out of the water, Pantazopoulos was pulled under the water and into the river’s current. The photographer, Louis Pagakis, says he jumped in and tried to save her.

“She was screaming and scratching and trying to stay above water,’ said Pagakis’ wife. ‘[Louis] tried to swim with her, but she was pulling him down. She was too heavy. He couldn’t breathe anymore.” Pantazopoulos’ last words before letting go of the Pagakis were reportedly,  “I can’t anymore, it’s too heavy.” I can only imagine that happening. The terror of knowing you were about to drown, mixed with the surrealism of it happening while in your wedding dress.

A scuba diver would retrieve her body two hours later, 100 feet from where she went under, in an area where the water was 20 feet deep. She had sunk to the bottom. The Daily Mail has a photo taken of Pantazopoulos’s high-heel shoes and wedding gown sitting on the rocks by the river.

Pantazopoulos’ family said that Pantazopoulos would have never put her life in danger, and had trusted the photographers enough to go with them alone and had followed their instructions. They are also demanding that the municipal council of Rawdon put up more safety measures to prevent this from happening in the future. Provincial police told QMI Agency that there are no swimming signs posted at that part of the river due to the fast currents.

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  • brandi

    This shit is just crazy, sounds like she drowned because one person tryed saving her at a time when there was more than one person there? and if so heavy, how could ONE scuba diver find her later at the bottom in the same dress mind you, and bring her to surface? a dead body is heavier than one struggling for life, this gives new meaning to the phrase “dead weight”. sounds like a bunch of weaklings to me. poor woman! she never had a chance apparently!

  • rensuchan

    Well, that’s a pretty shitty way to go down.

  • LilHoney

    Why not take it off once it got too heavy? She was trashing it anyway. Btw, where was her husband and why didn’t he try to save his wife,or did I miss something?

  • AliceinChainsman =]

    Cant trust bystanders to Save your life.. well Next Soul…

  • sugarpie

    This is why I don’t follow any trends…

  • Eliza Berntsen

    I guess you are not very familiar with wedding dresses? Because if you were you would know that you can’t just take it off- it takes absolute AGES and lots of help. So considering the circumstances it probably wasn’t possible to do at the time.

  • Eliza Berntsen

    That is one of the dumbest new trends I have ever heard of. And there I was thinking that SWAG was as bad as it gets.

  • tkaz

    Yeah, getting dressed is like a group effort…kind of like a throwback 200 yrs.

  • LilHoney

    Or maybe I’m not a fan of those that take more than one person to put on, or unnecessary yards of overpriced material…

  • tkaz

    So….I didn’t know this phenomenon existed. We’ve been married 6 yrs & I can’t sell my dress (too dated)….I kinda sorta want to do this. But, with less death.
    As a photographer I have to say….don’t trust us. I would NEVER intentionally endanger someone but we’re human too – go with your gut. This is why I don’t do awesome suspended baby shots – I’m scared to death they could fall & I’m not that proficient with photoshop (to shop out a supportive hand).
    Another thought – if you’re going in water, remove all the petticoats & added bulk. THis is a no-brainer, no?

  • tkaz

    But lighter with the support of the water. Gettingher on dry land would’ve been hard – but the retrieving not so much. THis is why my 8 yr old can “carry” his 14 yr old sister in the pool.

  • Athena

    Hear, hear.

    I liked Tkaz’s comment though. It IS like a multi-century throwback. Oh, how I long for archaic relics from a time when women were still considered property. Suckers.

  • brandi

    It says her husband and the camera man tried to save her but were going down with her, because the dress weighed them down as well, at the same time im sure she is trying to help herself while they are attempting to save her. with that being said, how can A (1) diver pick up a dead body from the bottom and put her on land, with the same dress on, and dead weight. but no one could save her? just seems off…..

  • Pyncky

    Off Topic: Is anyone else getting “image could not be loaded” when they click on a link for a picture? This has been happening to me for days on this site.

  • newstarshipsmell

    “They are also demanding that the municipal council of Rawdon put up more safety measures to prevent this from happening in the future.”
    I’m all for this if these “safety measures” involve educating children in schools about common sense and how to use it.

  • I completely agree! Whatever happened to consignment or donations? Letting someone else get use of it?

  • What a stupid, selfish, trend. It’s almost fitting… Too bad she died, it would’ve been better if she *almost* drowned…

  • Couldn’t he have tried to get the dress off?

  • brandi

    lmfao, i just clicked on the link to see more photos of this so called “trend”. did any one see the woman on fire in her dress? what an idiot! did the photographer have this idea too?

  • Abroad

    Getting her to the surface would be no problem. Getting her out of the water and onto the dry another matter entirely. Takes far more strength to do the latter. (Try filling a bathtub with water and dropping a towel in it, if you still have trouble believing this.)

    Also, it sounds like there was a strong current where she went in and drowned and where they dragged her up from was in deep water with no current where she’d come to rest on the bottom. Possibly people with knowledge of the currents in the area could predict where her dead body would be found.

  • Reen B

    Since there’s a photo of her dress and shoes sitting on the rocks by the river, I’m thinking the diver had to remove the dress before pulling her out.

    Can’t even imagine what was going through her mind at the end. Wet clothes can get so heavy…that’s how my father and brother drowned. Wool hunting clothes, boat tipped over. Sunk like a stone. 🙁 What a way to leave this world.

  • This “trash the dress” thing wasn’t a trend when I got married 8 years ago. I wouldn’t have drowned in mine anyhow. My dress was an empire-waisted Audrey Hepburn meets Kate Winslet/Titanic gown. It was chiffon and light and showcased the tiny waist I had back then. Everyone wondered why I didn’t have a huge gown but to this day I still love that dress. But what a terrible way to die, struggling to keep your face above water. I’m going to have nightmares now.

  • “For those of you unaware, “Trash the Dress” is a a style of wedding photography that details a bride destroying her wedding dress instead of letting it rot in a closet while she slowly destroys a man’s soul. ” I have never laughed so hard…or so maniacally. Thank you for that Morbid.

  • Her husband was not there. Also, trying to save a drowning person WITHOUT an anvil tied to them is hard enough.

  • Exactly, it was a river with a current strong enough that they do not allow swimming there. It’s not like she was in a bathtub.

  • Andyman

    “Maria Pantazopoulos” – is that her married or maiden name? What a crazy name.

  • JGo555

    Any comment going through my brain is not nice and her family and husband don’t deserve to hear it.

  • osteenq

    Imagine if she’d just bought something nice to get married in that she could actually wear more than once.

  • JGo555

    It’s greek.

  • Gee

    I was thinking the same thing….. Shouldn’t common sense just prevail here. Unfortunately you can’t teach common sense. I believe the money would be wasted.

  • Andyman

    No kidding? Lol

  • newstarshipsmell

    Well, I was being sarcastic, but in all seriousness… you can teach people to think about safety. I would think that No Swimming signs posted near a fast river would clue someone in that standing in the current in a heavy wedding dress is prone to danger. If you must do it anyways, some simple safety considerations that probably would have saved this fool’s life would’ve included wearing a harness underneath the dress, with a rope running between it and a tree, so she could be hauled out quickly in the event she lost control like she did (which may have required more than the two others present to manage, but certainly would have been easier than trying to grip her in the river and pull her out, and would’ve allowed both of them to haul at the same time in the same direction.) Or she could’ve rigged the dress so she could tear out of it easily, which if she was planning on destroying it anyways, would’ve made sense. The problem here wasn’t that it was an inherently dangerous and moronic stunt to pull, but that no thought was given to what risks were present and how to mitigate them.

    I just find it unbelievable (well, not really) that the family is demanding more safety measures – do we not have enough adult hand-holding in society as it is, already? While this whole “Trash The Dress” phenomenon sounds wholly retarded to me, I wouldn’t ill-wish any of the idiots who choose to follow this trend – their dresses are their property to do with as they please, after all. But considering what a wastefully destructive self-indulgence it is, when there’s no shortage of destitute brides who’d doubtlessly greatly appreciate a donated gown, the family shouldn’t expect my fucking sympathies. I’m saving them for more generous victims. If anything they should take their anger up with the photographer. When I go to a park/preserve/etc., I want to look at Nature, not a bunch of signs warning dumbasses about all the ways their stupidity could possible injure or kill them.

  • newstarshipsmell

    Thank God she didn’t breed, right? With a name like “Pantazopoulos” you know her kids would’ve just been begging to be pantsed on a daily basis throughout their entire school lives.

  • Gee

    I thought it already said no swimming ? Aside from teaching people to read…..

  • newstarshipsmell

    The way I’m reading the writeup – yes, there were “No Swimming” signs posted nearby.

  • LeaveMeBe

    Smart sugarpie.

  • LeaveMeBe

    Me, too! That was epic Morbid.

  • Snickering x Hydra

    A textbook tragedy.

    “Her clothes spread wide,
    And mermaid-like a while they bore her up……But long it could not be
    Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
    Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay
    To muddy death.”

    “Too much of water hast thou, poor [ Maria ],
    And therefore I forbid my tears.”

  • kimbev69

    She looked so smart in the pic I guess not

  • BEastDuo

    I’m getting married soon, within a year ( Yeaaaa!!! He finally proposed!) and I thought for about 10 minuets of doing a trash the dress, then I remembered…I’m a small lady, ( I wear teenagers sizes) and when I was young I would have killed for a beautiful prom dress in my size, but couldn’t afford it. I’m going to donate it to a group who gives them to girls in need, and try and talk bridesmaids into doing it too. I have a better idea, the bridal party and I are going to do “crazy shoes” basically, just craft the hell out of some plain white shoes, with whatever they want. It’s gonna be fun!

  • JohnQknowitall

    Pantazopoulos’ family said that Pantazopoulos would have never put her life in danger, and had trusted the photographers enough to go with them alone and had followed their instructions. They are also demanding that the municipal council of Rawdon put up more safety measures to prevent this from happening in the future. Provincial police told QMI Agency that there are no swimming signs posted at that part of the river due to the fast currents.

    I feel for the woman. The comments and requests sound like the kind that people make when they are in pain and cannot make sense of the situation.

    I don’t understand the “trash the dress” thing. Wouldn’t giving it to a poorer person so she could have a nice wedding be a better -and safer- idea?

  • Andyman

    Apparently – since Darwin seems to have struck again. First thing I thought about when I head that name was the 80’s show Webster with Popodopolous being their last name. Made me laugh.

  • She was fine as hell. The photographer should have his dick chopped off.

  • Couldn’t she just rip the dress or have someone throw paint at her while wearing it…i watched a wedding type show on tv the bride was getting the trash the dress photos done and the photographers idea was to bathe her in chocolate type syrup …that would be safer all day than to risk drowning in an ocean…

  • EveryVillainIsLemons

    You’d be surprised. There are plenty of brides-to-be who are too poor to worry about fashion–they just want a pretty dress for their special day at an affordable price.

  • EveryVillainIsLemons

    I agree–it’s a stupid and wasteful trend.

  • EveryVillainIsLemons

    That’s awesome!

  • BEastDuo

    Thank you!

  • Abroad

    Thanks, Morbid. The bathtub suggestion was for the physical difference between moving something drenched through water, versus lifting it out of the water again. Currents are something else again to contend with.

  • Vixen19

    The Mary Madeline Project takes wedding gowns and turns them into burial clothes for stillborn babies. Infinitely less selfish and wasteful than “trashing” the dress.

  • Good for you. This trash the dress thing is disgustingly crass.

  • Slutry Divine

    Teenager size with some older lady size parts too???

  • Slutry Divine

    And everyone wondered why you wore white!!!! Come on!!!

  • Slutry Divine

    That’s why the greeks are in so much financial ruin. Everyone has to take too much time out of their work day to sign their names! In the US, everyone is named Jones or Smith. Easy in, easy out, sign in, and get to work.

  • Slutry Divine

    As you’re sinking down a fast moving river, good luck with that.

  • BEastDuo

    um…all the important parts are? I have a 28 in waist, and wear size 3/4 jeans.

  • Slutry Divine

    Keep heading north……. Those parts. If you went to the neck, that’s too far.

  • BEastDuo

    I wasn’t so much hugely blessed in that department.

  • Slutry Divine

    That’s ok, because they won’t head south when you turn 40. You still sound yummy. Take care of yourself.

  • Put the dress on ebay for $50. Give it to the Salvation Army. Give it to St. Vincent de Paul. Give it to Christian Layman’s Corps. Give it to Good Will. Contact a local shelter and see if there are kids who’d like to cut the fabric up to make doll clothes. Donate your gown to Brides Against Breast Cancer. Give it to a little theatre company or a college or university theatre department. Give it to the little girl down the street to play dress up–she’ll love you for it. Find a consignment shop and put it up for sale at whatever price they suggest. Donate it to a sewing school. They can play with it and learn alterations. Cut the damned thing up and make little pillows for doll beds. Just don’t “trash” it thereby announcing to the world that you are so selfish you won’t share something you don’t even want anymore.

  • So… wedding dresses have the opposite effect to Dorian Gray’s picture? Dye the damned thing purple, get a red hat and go to those Red Hat Lady’s meetings.

  • Miss Sleeze-bag Divine

    Hi all. Has anyone heard from Yeti lately?

  • Jean Valjean

    My guess is that “trash the dress” is a convenient substitute for the deflowering that 99.9% of women don’t experience when they get married. The wedding dress becomes a proxy for the loss of innocence which was never really lost but given away (repeatedly) years ago in the back of a ’84 Toyota Corona.

  • That’s a terrible photo for a “photographer”! Camera man needs to be charged with stupidity. What kind of moron instructs a wedding dress-clad broad to go into a river where the currents are the strongest? What kind of idiot thinks it’s totally safe & complies? One last thing, why the fuck are so many women so incredibly stupid that they’d rather ruin their dress beyond use instead of selling it and getting a few hundred profit out of it?? Derp.

  • restlessvagabond

    ” Just don’t “trash” it thereby announcing to the world that you are so selfish you won’t share something you don’t even want anymore.”

    I’m pretty sure they can do whatever the fuck they want with their dress and not be considered selfish for it.

    You know what Maria? Give me your fucking car. No? Why not? Selfish bitch.

  • Nathan

    I’m sorry

  • Nathan

    Wtf, tons of other women are standing in water in their pictures. Hopefully this is enough to kill a stupid fad and who knows if it’s a miracle this hasn’t happened more.

  • Da Mac

    Not bad!

  • flying rabbit

    Could she not reach around to the back of the dress to unbutton or unzip it and take it off? Too panicked probably.