A woman has revealed the unorthodox event she held after finding out her ex cheated and the unexpected twist that was to follow.
A bride-to-be who called off her wedding has photographed the moment she trashed her dress.
When Meredith Mata’s four-year relationship ended after her partner cheated, the 27-year-old refused to lose the photographer’s deposit and instead organised a glamorous photo shoot for herself.
Meredith, from Washington in the US, said it was about finding “strength and beauty” in a situation that was “so heartbreaking”.
“Something like this gives women a chance to get dolled up, and do something fun instead of sulking in the misery,” she said.
“I had seen divorce parties and trash the dress shoots and always thought it was really cool but I never thought I’d be in that situation.”
Despite the unusual event, everyone close to Meredith, supported her decision to do the photo shoot, which took place at a venue she had considered for her ceremony.
“Everyone was very supportive and once they understood the concept they thought it was pretty cool,” the dental hygienist said.
Meredith said that while she wanted the empowering shoot, she stopped at trashing her $4000 gown and instead decided to buy a gown she wanted, but was pressured not to buy.
“When I picked my dress, my ex told me not to choose something revealing.
“It’s a beautiful dress but it wasn’t something I had necessarily envisioned, so for the shoot I chose a gorgeous dress I would have preferred over my real dress. It only cost $US278 ($A375).”
Asked why after breaking up, she would want to have photos taken in a wedding dress, Meredith said: “A lot of women dream of their wedding day, and to have that completely crushed is really hard.
“I spent months seeking answers. Trying to separate myself from the life I created with this person. Life doesn’t always go as planned.
“I didn’t feel a whole lot of sadness putting on a wedding dress. I was just excited and a little nervous to be doing it, but I absolutely felt empowered.
“After this shoot I truly felt beautiful, like a badass. It was a power move.
“To me, it says, ‘Hey, I’m not afraid to walk this world alone. I am not broken and you will regret this.’”
Meredith celebrated her ‘un-engagement’ with friends and said: “It was important to me to have my girls involved.
After a series of photos which show Meredith toasting her new ‘unengaged’ life, she wore a sheer black outfit to paintball the dress.
Meredith filled water guns with paint to trash the dress.
“There are many ways a dress can be trashed. I’ve seen women go mudding or in the ocean or set it on fire.
“This is what makes a shoot like this so unique because you can go in so many directions with it.”
Meredith got engaged in September 2020 and says they had bought a house together.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
“Things had taken a turn in the relationship and it was over in June.
“I had a gut-wrenching feeling and later found out he had cheated on me so I know it was for the best.”
Meredith managed to get the deposit back from the venue and luckily not much else had been paid for in full when she cancelled.
Meredith does still have her $A2700 dress and decorations, but said she will sell them in time.
Now happily single, she said: “I’m the kind of person who faces my fears head on, and I allow myself to feel everything, but never let it keep me down.
“At the end of the day, life goes on and is what you make it. This is just another chapter in my story.”
Meredith was thrilled with the photos and has shared them on her social media.
She said: “They tell a good story that’s for sure.”
She is unsure if her ex and his family are aware of her unorthodox celebration as they are no longer in contact.
However, in a strange twist, Meredith is now in contact with the woman her ex fiance cheated with.
“We talk every day. We went out and got drunk and shared stories,” Meredith said.
“It’s too early to tell, but I may have gained a friend through this terrible situation.”