This Just Might Be Our Most Favorite Trash-the-Dress Shoot Ever

I saw this story while we here at PW were out over our holiday break, and I made a note to share it with you all when we returned today.

You’re all, I imagine, pretty familiar with the concept of the whole “trash the dress” photo session, in which a bride, after her wedding, dons her dress and does something that will most likely ruin it—jump around in the ocean, roll around in mud, etc., etc.—but that will make for some pretty cool photos.

I don’t personally love trash-the-dress—I attach near hoarder-level amounts of sentimentality to things like wedding dresses and can’t imagine not having that to look at and touch for the rest of forever—but not only am I making an exception for this particular shoot, I think it is just flat out awesome.

To boil it down, 23-year-old Shelby Swink’s fiancé called off their wedding the week before it was to happen. Friends and family supported her and helped her call guests and vendors to let them know there would be no celebration taking place that Saturday—but no one really knew what they could do for her on the day that was supposed to have been her wedding day. But when her photographer, Elizabeth Hoard, floated the idea to Shelby to do a trash-the-dress shoot (she couldn’t return her dress, and Hoard’s services had already been paid for), Shelby not only took her up on it, she suggested they do it that Saturday.

Her bridesmaids and parents joined her, they had a paint party, and these were the results. (You should also read her photographer’s account of how this all went down.) The pictures are awesome, to be sure—but I just cannot get enough of how this bride handled this situation. I think she kicks ass. I love the female friendship that you can feel just by looking at these shots, I love that her parents were all for it, and I love the way she decided she was going to control how this played out in the end, and then did it—literally with flying colors!

You are one bad-ass bride, Shelby. And we love it.

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