Photo: Elizabeth Hoard Photography
Shelby Swink, 23, met the love of her life in college and got engaged. The couple started planning for their wedding ...
"I poured my heart and soul into the wedding plans to try and make it the best day it could be. It was going to be a celebration of our love and commitment ot each other, so I wanted it to be absolutely amazing. A few weeks before the wedding I had everything planned out to a T and was so excited for our big day," Swink said to Offbeat Bride.
And that's when the unthinkable happened. Just five days before the wedding day, Swink's fiance told her that he was not in love with her and did not want to go through with 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 vanished," Swink told Buzzfeed. The next couple of days was filled with frantic calls to calling guests and to cancel services, but thankfully Swink's friends and family rallied around her.
But what of the dress? Swink said that a few people brough up the idea of trashing the wedding dress. "My mother spent so much money on the dress and alterations, so I was nervous to even think about destroying it ... but after thinking about it, I knew that doing something to mark the occasion was the perfect thing for me. I was not going to let my ex-fiance's mistake of letting me go take away my happiness."
On what was supposed to be her wedding day, Swink and her friends and family had a different kind of ceremony - all captured in photos by Elizabeth Hoard:
"The moment the paint hit my dress ... I was free. All the disappointment, all the hurt ... I just felt it leave me. I can't even describe how liberating and cathartic the experience was for me. I let go of all the hurt and became myself again," Swink said.
Even Swink's mom and dad got in on it!
And she saved the best photo for last:
Read the rest of the story over at Offbeat Bride.