A woman whose fiance called off their wedding six days before the ceremony destroyed her wedding dress by spilling paint, glitter and feathers all over it in celebration of her “new beginning”.
Despite her suffering after the shocking news from her fiance, Shelby Swink, from Memphis, Tennessee, decided that she wouldn’t be “that girl who everyone had to tiptoe round”. The 23-year-old told Fox News:
[Six days before the ceremony], my ex-fianc├⌐ kind of sat me down and told me he was contemplating calling off the wedding. The next day came and he sat me down and was like, “You know, I’m just not in love with you and I don’t want to marry you, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
[But] I didn’t want to be that girl that everybody was tiptoeing around.
So when the wedding photographer suggested that they do a “trash the dress” photo shoot — an ever more popular ritual which sees jilted brides destroy their unused wedding gowns in various creative ways — Shelby loved the idea. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Shelby Swink, 23, refused to let heartbreak get the best of her and was determined to celebrate her new beginning in life.
2. The college graduate asked her bridesmaids to help her trash her dress using an array of brightly-colored feathers and paint.
3. Shelby was worried that her parents, who paid for her dress, would be against the idea of trashing it, but to her delight, they were thrilled.
4. The jilted bride didn’t want to be the girl that ‘everybody was tiptoeing around’.
The photo shoot was booked for November 1, which would have been the wedding day. Shelby said:
First I thought it was crazy because it is an expensive dress and I didn’t really want to ruin it. [But] I didn’t want to just spend my would-be wedding day sitting at home alone eating ice cream and watching Netflix. I would rather be doing something fun with friends and family which is what we did.
Photographer Elizabeth Hoard told The Daily Mail:
When I got the phone call that the wedding was call off I was stunned of course. While it seemed like everything was ‘over’ I just knew that this couldn’t be the end of my journey with Shelby. The Shelby I had gotten to know was a strong, unique woman with lots of spunk.
I had wanted to offer the idea right then and there for her because I felt like it might be something good for her but thought it best to give her some time to think. Two days before what was supposed to be her wedding day, I was messaging with Shelby and asked her if she had thought about doing a trash the dress session.
5. The ‘trash the dress’ shoot took place on what would have been Shelby’s wedding day.
6. Mr. Swink brought along cigars and Champagne, so that the group could toast their unique celebration.
7. Both of Shelby’s parents embraced the idea of the shoot with great enthusiasm.
8. Everyone couldn’t wait to get stuck into the task of destroying Shelby’s dress.
Shelby didn’t accept the idea straight away, but she eventually accepted. Elizabeth said:
I could see her typing, and erasing, typing, and erasing and I was worried I had offended her or brought it up too soon. But she replied and said something along the lines of: “Heck yes!”
She had told me a couple others had mentioned it to her as well and at first she thought it was crazy but decided that it was the best thing for her to do.
Shelby invited her bridesmaids and her parents to the photo shoot and offered them the chance to take part in the dress’ destruction. Shelby told BuzzFeed:
My mom is the one who paid for the dress, so I was nervous as to how she would react when I told her what I wanted to do with it. But both of [my parents] were 100% supportive and wanted to be there for me.
I can’t even describe how liberating and cathartic the experience was for me. The moment the first bit of paint hit my dress I was free.
Shelby’s multicolored wedding dress is now displayed at a local Memphis bridal store, The Barefoot Bride, which is donating a share of the proceeds from each dress bought while it is on display to a nonprofit called Be Free Revolution.
9. Shelby’s wedding photographer Elizabeth Hoard was the mastermind behind the shoot.
10. Shelby donated her once-pristine wedding dress to a local bridal shop in Memphis.
11. The 23-year-old says that she feels no resentment towards her former fiance.
12. The Barefoot Bride is donating a portion of the proceeds from each dress bought while it is on display to a local nonprofit organization.
And here is the Trash The Wedding Dress video:
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