Shelby Swink was left 5 days before her wedding by the man she loved for three years. Gladly, she found a great way to cope. “A pity party was the farthest thing from what I wanted or needed,” she said. However, the wedding photographer thought of a great idea to have a “trash the dress” photoshoot on the wedding day.

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Not only Shelby completely ruined her wedding dress, but her friends and family did the same thing for their formal outfits too. The day when the bride was supposed to cry over her unfullfilled dreams turned into an awesome play-date with her family and friends, filled with laughter and excitement.

“I can’t even describe how liberating and cathartic the experience was for me,” she said on Offbeatbride. “The moment the first bit of paint hit my dress I was free.”

Way to go, girl! We wish Shelby all the best and sincerely believe she will never have to deal with such heartbreak again.

More info: | (h/t: buzzfeed)

Shelby Swink met her ex-fiancé in college back in 2011. They were engaged to be happily married on November 1st, 2014.

Just one week before the big event Shelby’s fiancé told her he doesn’t love her anymore, and called off the wedding.

“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 on Offbeatbride.

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

The wedding photographer suggested to have a “trash the dress” photoshoot on the day of the wedding, instead of crying over lost dreams.

“The moment the paint hit my dress… I was free. All the disappointment, all the hurt… I just felt it leave me”, said Shelby.

“My bridesmaids supported the idea 100% and even joined me in their own dresses”

Even her parents joined the photoshoot

Shelby’s mom was the one who paid for the dress, so she was nervous as to how her parents would react. “But both of them were 100% supportive and wanted to be there for me.”

Afterwards, Shelby’s dress was proudly displayed at The Barefoot Bride in Memphis. Each time someone buys a dress while it’s on display, part of the money will go to a local nonprofit Be Free Revolution.

“Always remember to remain true to yourself and believe in your own strength and you can overcome anything life throws at you”, Shelby advices.

If she had to say one thing to her ex-fiancé it would be “Thank you for sparing me greater pain and loss down the road. Thank you for pushing me to realize my own strength…”

“…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!”