When Diamonds Aren’t Forever…. Here’s Why Brittany Trashed Her Wedding Dress and You Should Too

Guest blog from Trash the Dress private online divorce support group member Brittany.

1002629_607747815942619_2071855550_nAs soon as I saw pictures of women trashing their wedding dresses, I knew that was something I wanted to do. After my divorce, I struggled to get closure, despite the fact that the divorce was my idea. I knew where he and I went wrong in our marriage. I knew what I could have done differently, as well as what he could have done differently, but there was still something that just didn’t feel right.

Shortly after getting married, I became a different person. So different that I didn’t even recognize myself. Within a year of our wedding, I gained 120 pounds. At one point during our marriage, I lost 80 pounds, but ended up gaining all of it back.

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Our divorce was finalized in August of 2012, and I began to focus on a whole new me. I lost 90 pounds. My entire attitude and outlook on life changed. But there was still something inside me that felt tied to the past. Something I struggled to let go of.

I realized that I had let my marriage and my ex shape who I was as a person. Somewhere in our eight years of marriage, I had lost myself. And I knew that part of getting closure would be figuring out who I was and finding myself again; finding the person I was prior to getting married. I had gotten so accustomed to being referred to as “them” or “his wife” or “Mrs.” that I just lost myself along the way.

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The first step was starting over with things we owned together. Despite the fact that he didn’t want to keep anything besides his clothes and a few random possessions, I knew that I didn’t want to keep any of it. To this day, over a year later, I still get confused looks when I say that I don’t want our china or our silverware. But for me, part of starting over and finding myself again involved putting as much of the past behind me as possible.

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The second step was doing something with my wedding dress. I had many friends tell me that I should donate the dress to a good cause. My family fought me when I told them what I wanted to do, but ultimately, I was the one who needed to take that step and get the closure I so desperately needed. In the end, they accepted that I was going to do what I wanted to do regardless of what they thought. I contacted a friend who is also a photographer and asked her if she would consider doing a “trash the dress” style shoot with me, and I got an extremely excited “Yes!”

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Prior to doing the shoot, I tried on my dress only to discover that it no longer fit. So instead of having me put it on, we came up with other ideas and ways to trash it. The feeling I got when pulling the dress out of the bag and dragging it through the mud and dirt and branches was so liberating. I was finally beginning to feel like I had the closure that I was looking for. After dragging it through the woods, we hung my dress up and I squirted it down with paint. And then used my fingers to spread the paint around. We then proceeded to set the dress on fire. Watching as the dress was slowly becoming unrecognizable was one of the greatest feelings in the world.

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The session as a whole was incredibly therapeutic and helped me get the closure for which I had longed. Had I listened to what others told me to do and sold the dress or given it away, I think I would still be struggling with closure.

I am to the point now where I can look back at the past and feel numb to it. Instead of feeling sad or angry at everything I went through, my marriage and divorce helped to make me the person I am today and helped put me where I am in life right now.

For any women out there who are struggling with their divorces, if you feel that trashing the dress is something that might help you to get closure, go for it, even if you get criticized for your decision.

1209248_607748742609193_1679412682_n(REMEMBER: BE SAFE WHEN PLAYING WITH FIRE! MAKE SURE YOU EXTINGUISH!)

No one else has been where you were.

No one else is standing where you are right now.

No one else can determine what it is going to take for you to be okay with your past and for things to not hurt anymore.

You are the only one who can decide that. So find whatever you think will bring you closure, and seek it out. You are worth it!

Trash the Dress Divorce Photoshoot Texas Style

Trash the Dress private support group member Jessie from Texas had a super fun and pin-sperational trash the dress style photo shoot. Love how she burned her dress at the end. And how adorable is that horse?!

If you’re in the area and want to celebrate your divorce with a trash the dress photoshoot, contact Jessie’s photographer, Photography By Shelli.

Seeing Red: Nicky’s Trash the Dress Photo Shoot

 

I’m excited to share Trash the Dress private support group member Nicky’s stunning photo shoot and the story of her marriage and subsequent divorce. Here is her guest blog:

On 28th January, 2012, I was 26 years old and thousands of miles from home in my suite at the stunning Zimballi Coastal Resort, South Africa. As I stepped into my beautiful wedding gown, I attempted supress my excitement and nerves long enough to appreciate my big sister being able to travel from Australia with me for my special day.

Wiping away my smudged mascara after seeing my mum and little sister through Skype, I got into the car and headed towards my waiting husband-to-be, ready to start the rest of my life as his wife.

An hour of standing in the sweltering heat of an African summer later, we were finally married!

Following the terrifying exercise of meeting my newly acquired family for the first time, we had a small reception for our 35 guests and shared our first dance as Mr. & Mrs. to “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica.

Why South Africa I hear you ask?

Two years earlier, I had met my husband and very quickly fallen in love. He had been living in Western Sydney, Australia for nearly five years so when he told me of his South African nationality, I was definitely surprised!

Head-over-heals in love, we started the long and stressful task of planning our wedding and visa application but the restrictions of his visa at the time, meant that we had to be outside of Australia to get married and so South Africa seemed a logical location.

In March, after two months in South Africa, I had to return home to work. My husband, whose visa was still being processed, had to stay on the other side of the world until it was approved.

It was difficult to get through the three months apart but our love was strong, so we learned to work around the nine-hour time difference and stayed in touch via Skype and daily phone calls.

In June 2012, he finally got to return home. We moved from my sister’s where we had been living, into our own rental property and while life was far from perfect, I had no complaints.  I was married, independent, enjoying my job and redecorating our new home, while my husband worked hard in a job he loved.

Finally, it was time to start that married life.

A few weeks later on 12th October 2012 – my world was smashed into a million pieces and my future all of a sudden disappeared as my husband told me he had been having an affair for three weeks.

Throughout the following weeks, he tugged at my heart-strings and played me like a puppet, giving me hope that he would return home and acting genuinely remorseful for the affair he claimed to be “only emotional.” However, while giving me the impression that he loved, cared and wanted to be with me, he had signed his own lease for a new apartment that he was sharing with his new girlfriend, who at 19 years old (he is 28) had cheated on her partner to participate in the affair that ripped my life to shreds.

Needless to say, I became a rather uncooperative puppet when I discovered the truth.

Engulfed in the agony of betrayal and loss, it appeared that my life had come to a complete halt and I spent my time wanting the world to swallow me whole. I never imagined it could get worse.

When he discovered the implications his affair had on his visa AKA he would have to leave Australia, he contacted the Minister of Immigration with three pages of false statements and outright lies claiming that he was a victim of domestic violence, in an attempt to stay here on a visa designed for genuine victims. His application also came with the added surprise of him attempting to obtain an apprehended violence order against me, which had he been successful would have left me with a criminal record.

OK, so now I was pissed off.

Here I am, married to a cheating, lying, manipulative “man” who has not only dishonoured our vows, played me for a fool, attempted to deceive my country’s government and left me with nearly twenty thousand dollars of debt from his immigration fees, now he was going to try give me a criminal record?

Oh yeah….did I mention that he bought himself a brand new motorcycle, too?

Anger became the driver of my life.

I was furious at this girl that thought that it was ok to be with a married man and I was livid at my husband for everything he had done.

Rage and hate consumed me to the point that I was rarely sobbing for the lost love or the pain of betrayal, I was crying tears of pure hate towards them both and everyone in their lives.

Then about a month ago, I realised that this was not who I wanted to be or how I wanted to spend my life feeling.  He simply wasn’t worth it.

And so my healing began.

I had been saving my dress for the daughter I was hoping to have with my husband but it felt like a ghost in my now empty and lonely home that was haunting me every moment of every day.

After the abomination that was my marriage, it seemed appropriate that my dress go out with the style that my husband and his new life lacked so I started to plan my trash the dress style photo shoot.

I loved the idea of paint and obviously since red is the colour of rage; it was a no brainer.

On the day of my photo shoot, my mum and little sister came along to watch the action and provide their support in what was an important part of my healing. We started by doing some “pretty” photos before the trashing begun and as my dress went from white to red, I got some release from the blood boiling anger I’d been harbouring for months.

Since then, I have gotten some new roommates and have been concentrating on work. I have reconnected with some old friends, who have introduced me to new friends, which is providing quite a social calendar!

Recently, I even booked myself into a ten-day silent retreat where I will learn the Buddhist skill of Vipassana Meditation through which I hope to get inner peace and to find forgiveness for both my husband and his newest “love.”

I have a long way to go, but I know that one day, not too far from today, I will be able to look back at this time of my life without regret or anger and say “I’m so glad I learnt that lesson.”

Before I become enlightened with inner peace, I’m planning my second and final trash the dress photo shoot, during which my dress and the remaining items linked to the life (and husband) that I am better off without, will be set alight in a blazing bonfire.

Stay tuned.

Coming Soon: Seeing Red (Trash the Dress Style Divorce Photo Shoot)

Twenty-something divorced women sure do know how to celebrate. Here’s one of our Trash the Dress support group members in the midst of a “trash the dress” style photo shoot. Bye, bye, dress!   Stay tuned to this blog for more photos and the full story.

Doggone Adorable “Trash the Dress” Style Photo Shoot

Wish you packed your suitcases instead of walking down the aisle? This might be your perfect “trash the dress” style photo shoot!  Bonus if you have an adorable beagle (or any other breed) to participate in the fun.

Trash the Dress Photo Shoot Inspiration: Paint

Turn the darkness of your divorce into color– bright, vibrant hues of the rainbow– by trashing your wedding dress with paint. Here’s some photo inspiration:

Don’t actually want to trash your dress? Trash the photos by smearing paint on them, as seen in the photo above.

You don’t have to wear your dress to trash it with paint!

Perhaps hearts would not be the most appropriate in our case!