Picture this: You've been dating the love of your life for several years.
Finally, you plan to marry. You're slaving away, doing your best to plan the dream wedding, when, five days prior the nuptials, your significant other gets cold feet — and leaves you.
It sounds like a nightmarish movie plot, but that's exactly what happened to Shelby Swink, who'd been on track to wed her boyfriend of three years until he suddenly called it off.
Most of us would react horribly. Swink didn't. In an amazing display of confidence and maturity, she embraced the truth and decided to make her would-be special day special in another way.
On the day of her canceled wedding, Swink called upon friends and family to celebrate the love and happiness she still has in her life.
With Swink in her wedding dress and her bridal party in their dresses, the group took to a park to have what can only be described as a paint fight.
The goal: To “trash” the dress in a symbolic show of her dedication to move on with life.
Photos from Swink's creative celebration show her having the time of her life, colored in paint, and surrounded by loved ones.
Of the celebration, Swink confirmed,
I am a strong woman who believes everything happens for a reason. I decided that I will not let this tragedy and heartbreak consume me and bring me down in life.
The offbeat celebration ended as it should: With a champagne toast in honor of the wonderfully independent and beautiful Swink.
Oh, and her paint-splattered dress? It's on display at the Barefoot Bride in Memphis Tennessee, otherwise known as the boutique she originally purchased the dress from.
And per her request, a portion of every dress sold while Swink's remains on display will be donated to a Memphis-based nonprofit organization that, as Swink explains, “helps other women learn how to find their inner strength.”
We couldn't think of a better way to symbolically break free from the ties to the failed relationship.
Breakups are hard, and this one is probably harder than most, but we have a feeling Swink, with her confidence and wonderfully positive attitude, will be just fine.