Her Fiancé Left Her At The Altar, So She Did THIS

Shelby Swink met her ex-fiancé in college back in 2011. The 23-year-old got engaged by March 2014, and planned to have her wedding in November.


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

“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 told BuzzFeed.


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

But things suddenly took a turn for the worse. When the week of the wedding arrived, her fiancé unexpectedly told her that he was no longer in love with her and didn’t want to get married.


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

“Bam. My dreams of marrying and having kids with what I thought was the man I would spend the rest of my life with vanished,” she said.


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

“I was in complete shock and had no idea what to think or do. I was numb. The next few days were a blur of calling guests and canceling vendors.”


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

Swink has expressed her gratitude towards friends and family that supported her during this time. Still, none of them were sure about what to do or how to act.


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

And that’s when she came up with the idea. She decided to have a “trash the dress” photo shoot where her friends would ruin her wedding dress, and take fun photos while doing so.


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

As Swink puts it: “A pity party was the farthest thing from what I wanted or needed.”


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

“At first it sounded crazy, but after really thinking about it, I knew that it was the perfect thing for me… After all, it was just a dress, a material item.”


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

“Nov. 1 was supposed to be a fun and happy day surrounded by friends and family who loved me,” she continued. “I decided that I would not let my ex-fiancé’s mistake of letting me go take that away from me.”


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

Both her parents were also involved in the photo shoot.


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

“My mom is the one who paid for the dress, so I was nervous as to how she would react when I told her what I wanted to do with it. But both of them were 100% supportive and wanted to be there for me.”


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

Her dad even brought some champagne and cigars.


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

Her bridesmaids gladly participated too.


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

“I couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends.”


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

Swink also put her dress up on display in a local bridal shop in Memphis. A portion of the proceeds from her dress sales will be going to a local nonprofit called Be Free Revolution.


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

“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.”


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

Despite her recent heartbreak, Swink remains positive.


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

“Instead of lying down and letting life trample over me, I decided to get up and face it head-on,” she said.


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

And here’s what she has to say to her ex: “Thank you for sparing me greater pain and loss down the road. Thank you for pushing me to realize my own strength…”


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

“…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!”


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard Photography

All photos are courtesy of Elizabeth Hoard photography. You can find more info on her website and Facebook.

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