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Jilted bride has an unforgettable ‘trash the dress’ party

She turned a canceled wedding into something even more fun.


Rae Votta


Posted on Jan 1, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 9:01 pm CDT

When bridge-to-be Shelby Swink’s fiancé called off their wedding the week of the event, instead of stewing in her misfortune, Swink found a creative way to move on with a camera and a bunch of paint.

Though her wedding dress could have been an expensive reminder of her disappointment, she enlisted her parents and her bridesmaids for a festive photoshoot on the would-be day of her wedding to throw a “trash the dress” event, where everyone could get our their frustrations and celebrate Swink’s new life path by throwing vibrantly colored paint on the white palette.

The result is exhilarating. Even her bridesmaids and parents joined in trashing their own wedding attire, and the group drank Champagne and smoked cigars. According to Swink, it was a liberating experience.

“The moment the paint hit my dress… I was free,” she wrote. “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.”

The bride’s father compiled the day into a video slideshow, including some in-action clips of the gang splattering her in paint, set to Pink’s “So What,” which starts with the appropriate lyrics “Guess I just lost my husband / I don’t know where he went.”

Swink’s dress will be on display at The Barefoot Bride in Memphis, Tenn., where a a portion of proceeds from each wedding dress purchased will support a nonprofit for women learning to find inner strength.

H/T OffbeatBride | Screengrab via Rennaisance/YouTube

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*First Published: Jan 1, 2015, 10:24 am CST