Bride Shelby Swink Was Left At The Altar – So She Had the Best Wedding Photo Shoot Ever

A wedding is supposed to be something that is the greatest day of your life and one that you’ve planned for up until that point. That’s exactly what it was for 23-year-old Shelby Swink, who was the bride-to-be that was going to marry her boyfriend of three years. She wasn’t going to let all her planning go to waste, so when he got cold feet, she had the wedding shoot of all time.

Yes, according to the New York Daily News, Swink’s fiancé decided it was best not to get married, and he did it just five days before the wedding. He also told her he didn’t love her anymore.

Needless to say, Shelby Swink was taken aback.

“I was in complete shock and had no idea what to think or do. I was numb.”

With just five days to go, she didn’t know what to do so some friends suggested trashing the dress. It took a bit of convincing, but eventually she thought that was the best thing to do and she did it in the most elaborate possible.

Shelby Swink trash the dress wedding photo shoot

As she tells in her Offbeat Bride tale, Swink met her ex-husband-to-be back in 2001 at their college in Tennessee. They hit it off big-time and very fast. They did the long-distance thing for a year and then moved in together in 2013.

In March, they got engaged and started planning for their wedding just this past November. Swink put everything into her wedding plans and wanted to make sure that it went off without a single hitch.

All was going well until the unthinkable happened.

“Five days before the wedding the unexpected happened. My fiancé and I sat down and he told me that he was not in love with me, and did not want to marry me, or spend the rest of his life with me.”

At first, Shelby Swink thought that it would be disrespectful to her mother to trash the dress for a wedding photo shoot after her mother had spent so much money to buy and have it altered. After some deep thinking, she knew that she wanted to end this part of her life happy, and trashing the dress was it.

So, with the help of her bridesmaids and her parents, Swink got some paint for everyone and they simply dirtied one another up.

Shelby Swink trash the dress wedding photo shoot

With the help of some feathers and a whole lot of paint, the family and friends made sure that the jilted bride did not feel any sadness about what had happened. Now, her paint-stained dress is on display at a store called The Barefoot Bride in Memphis, Tennessee.

“The moment the paint hit my dress … I was free. All the disappointment, all the hurt … I just felt it left me,” Swink said. “I can’t even describe how liberating and cathartic the experience was for me.”

A portion of every wedding gown sold at The Barefoot Bride while Swink’s dress is on display there through the beginning of 2015 will go to the nonprofit organization Be Free Revolution.

Shelby Swink may have thought that love was supposed to be forever, but now she is a “stronger and better person,” and not just because she got left at the altar. Trashing the dress and doing that wedding photo shoot freed her of her past and let her realize that “you can overcome anything life throws at you.”

[Images via Elizabeth Hoard Photography]

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