Shelby Swink was left at the altar by the man she had committed the last three years of her life to, but she found the perfect way to cope.
When Shelby’s then-fiancé called things off the week of the wedding, she quickly had to call guests and vendors to cancel just about everything.
She was in such a devastating situation that would leave anyone shocked and heartbroken that her family and friends didn’t know what to do or how to act on the original day of the wedding.
Shelby says, “A pity party was the farthest thing from what I wanted or needed.”
With the help of her photographer, she came up with the perfect plan for them all to celebrate the day that would have been her wedding—throw a “trash the dress” photo shoot!
Shelby says, “Nov. 1 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.”
The day with filled with laughter and excitement, allowing everyone to enjoy each other’s company on a day that could’ve been somber.
No one held back.
In a way, it was cathartic and exactly what Shelby needed.
“The moment the first bit of paint hit my dress I was free,” said Shelby.
Her dad brought champagne and cigars for the event.
The dress even wound up looking pretty great after the paint job.
It will be on display at a local bridal shop in Memphis at the beginning of January and a portion of the proceeds will go to Be Free Revolution, a nonprofit organization that helps educate and empower youths in in Kenya and Uganda.
In the end, everyone had a great time.
And to her ex, she says, ““Thank you for sparing me greater pain and loss down the road. Thank you for pushing me to realize my own strength…”
“…Thank you for teaching me that no one can take away my happiness. Thank you for letting me go so I can one day experience true reciprocated love. THANK YOU!”
All photos by Elizabeth Hoard Photography