Bride Left at the Altar “Trashes” Her Dress in Cathartic Photo Shoot


With less than a week before their wedding, Shelby Swink’s then-fiancé called off their November 2014 nuptials. He told her that he wasn’t in love with her, didn’t want to marry her or spend the rest of his life with her. Just like that, their four-year relationship was over. But a pity party was the last thing Swink wanted after calling guests and canceling wedding services.

So, the idea of a “trash the dress” photo shoot came up. Swink decided that it was the perfect way to mark the occasion of their non-commitment and let go of the pain. Her parents and bridesmaids were supportive, too, and participated by trashing their dresses and suit as well.

Photographer Elizabeth Hoard captured the event on the originally-scheduled day of the wedding. But instead of walking down the aisle, the group of seven convened at a grassy field in Collierville, Tennessee. Armed with paint, confetti, champagne, and cigars, they let loose. The results are colorful, joyous, and highlight the bonds of family and friendship.

Did this whole thing make Swink feel better? “The moment the paint hit my dress… I was free,” she writes on Offbeat Bride. “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.”












Elizabeth Hoard: Website
via [Offbeat Bride and PetaPixel]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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