In 2011, 23-year-old Shelby Swink met her ex-fiancé at college. The couple hit it off right away and were happily engaged by March 2014. They were planning for a November wedding when the unthinkable happened…
A week before the wedding Shelby’s fiancé announced that he no longer wanted to get married.
After months of planning the wedding, Shelby was devastated.
“I poured my heart and soul into the wedding plans, because I wanted the day that would celebrate our love and commitment for each other to be absolutely amazing,” she said.
“The next few days were a blur of calling guests and canceling vendors.”
Shelby’s friends and family were supportive, but no one knew what to do when the day of the wedding arrived.
However, one thing was for certain – Shelby did not want a pity party.
Luckily, the wedding photographer came up with the brilliant idea of having a “trash the dress” party. As a feel-good rebellion, they decided to ruin Shelby’s dress, taking non-traditional photos along the way.
Shelby initially found the idea crazy, but after giving it some thought, she knew it was the perfect solution.
As she explained: “November 1st was supposed to be a fun and happy day surrounded by friends and family who loved me. I decided that I would not let my ex-fiancé’s mistake of letting me go take that away from me.”
Shelby’s mother, who purchased the dress, was nervous about the idea.
However, both parents ended up particpating in the event.
Shelby’s bridesmaids were also present – and more than pleased to help her trash the dress.
All in all, Shelby’s friends and family had a great day.
Shelby’s dress was displayed at a local bridal shop in Memphis until January 1. A portion of each dress purchased during the display went to the non-profit Be Free Revolution.
The experience was a win for everyone involved, but no one enjoyed the day more than Shelby.
“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,” said Swink.
Instead of letting life trample her, Shelby decided to get up and face her problems with a sense of humor. Her story is an inspiration to anyone who has ever recovered from a broken heart – don’t forget to share it with your friends and family.