Five days before her wedding, Shelby Swink’s fiancé told her he wasn’t in love with her anymore. The next couple days, she says, were a blur of calling guests, canceling services, and figuring out our living arrangements.
But then, the planned wedding photographer suggested she trash her wedding dress on the day, and Shelby decided that wasn’t such a bad idea.
The pictures have since gone viral and Shelby Swink wrote a blog post for Offbeat Bride to explain why she did the wedding dress trashing, though she didn't get married in it.
As the day that was supposed to be my wedding day approached, none of us knew what to do, think, or feel. I knew that a pity party was the farthest thing from what I wanted or needed. A few people brought up the idea of trashing the dress, and at first it sounded crazy. My mother spent so much money on the dress and alterations, so I was nervous to even think about destroying it, let alone try and pitch the idea to her. But after thinking about it, I knew that doing something to mark the occasion was the perfect thing for me. I was not going to let my ex-fiancé's mistake of letting me go take away my happiness.
The moment the paint hit my dress… I was free. All the disappointment, all the hurt… I just felt it leave me. I can't even describe how liberating and cathartic the experience was for me. I let go of all the hurt and became myself again."
Shelby said in an interview with CNN that she almost didn't do it, but now, she's definitely glad she did.
“First I thought I was crazy because it is an expensive dress and I didn’t really want to ruin it. [But then] I don’t want to just spend my would-be wedding day sitting at home alone eating ice cream and watching Netflix.”
“It doesn't matter what happens in life as long as you stay true to yourself and don't dwell on the negative.”
The trashed dress now hangs in a local bridal shop after the owner put the dress on display in hopes of inspiring other brides-to-be to not forget to love themselves. It's also part of raising funding for a charity that helps women.
“I saw what she did to kind of get her feelings out and celebrate the day that would have been her wedding day as the day that’s going to be the next chapter in her life. It just made me want to have the dress in the shop to kind of remind girls that that’s really what it’s about.”
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