By: Jessica Johnson
Let’s face it. Divorce happens. In addition to being incredibly complicated and terribly heartbreaking (maybe…) you were also left with a ton of stuff. Stuff that once had great meaning and memories to you are now just a reminder of your failed marriage. By stuff, I mean pictures of you on your wedding day looking happy with your new husband. Or maybe it’s a scrapbook with your bridesmaids, pictures with your family and loved ones you don’t see all the time. What about the paperwork like your marriage license? Where does your ring go once you take it off? I’ve seen apps where you can sell it. Maybe you turn it into a beautiful necklace or diamond earrings. What happens with your dress? His suit? Two years later, the divorce is final and it’s time to do something with all that stuff.
New Year, New Me.
As we enter the new year most of us set resolutions and intentions. Cleaning and purging the previous year from our lives as we start fresh. As we move into the new year, I’ve started obsessively cleaning, organizing and purging. As I do that I have been coming across all those marriage reminders. I found my marriage license and all of our wedding planning paperwork. His suite and my wedding dress still hung in the closet. Framed wedding photos. I have been working hard to let go of the past and move forward so the best way I’ve found to do that is to cleanse myself of all the clutter. Including all of the clutter that I once loved that now just reminds me that I’m divorced.
So what do you do with the stuff?
I gave him his suit back, even though he left it here on purpose. I shredded all of the paperwork from our wedding planning binder including our marriage certificate. I can’t bring myself to get rid of the wedding photos just yet so I labeled them in a box taped it shut and shoved in the attic. I also haven’t quite been able to bring myself to get rid of my wedding ring just yet. Then there’s the dress.
As I shredded my wedding paperwork I didn’t feel as bad as I thought I might. I cleaned out the files and drank a glass of wine while my wedding dress hung on the back of the door. My wedding dress is beautiful I loved it. My sister cried when I tried it on and I knew it was the right dress. So as my wine kicked in late last Wednesday I decided to put it back on. I truly love that dress it’s so pretty and it still fits two years later. #Winning. I thought I may feel bad if I put it back on but I didn’t. I felt beautiful as I wandered around the house cleaning. So, friends, I invite you to take a look around and process that stuff as you see fit.
To help you out here are 5 ways to use your own wedding dress as you move forward in the process of letting go and moving on from your divorce.
1. Burn It.
It’s incredibly trendy these days to trash your wedding dress. Light it on fire. Invite all your friends and family and have a bonfire. Document the whole thing in pictures and maybe frame them and put them around the house. I’m not sure if bonfires are legal in your area but it’s going to make you feel good to light it up. If a fire isn’t your thing. Drink too much red wine and spill on it. Go Jackson Pollock and throw paint at it. Roll around in some mud or throw on rain boots and stomp around in puddles.
2. Sell It or Gift it.
Maybe try selling it make some money. If you are anything like me, you may still have credit card debt from the wedding that your ex stuck you with to pay off. Pay off your credit cards by selling your wedding ring and your wedding dress. There are consignment stores, apps, and pawn shops everywhere for this exact purpose.
If selling is not quite right for you there are plenty of organizations out there where you can donate your dress or gift it to someone else. Check out these awesome causes.
- Brides Across America – You can gift your wedding gown a military bride in need.
- Angel Gowns – You can gift your wedding dress to be turned into an angel gown for stillborn babies.
3. Mail it to his new girlfriend.
If you’re feeling a tad salty? You could always mail it to his new girlfriend. I’m sure she’d love the reminder of her new boyfriend standing at the altar with you, pledging to love you until the end of time. I did tell you to gift it to someone. However, it may not be worth the shipping cost?
Doll up in your dress, hire a photographer, pose in your dress, then pose in your sexiest lingerie to show the world and your ex just exactly what he is missing out on. A hot goddess! Embrace this new moment in time and in your life. Frame those pictures and congratulate yourself on going from the blushing bride to divorce warrior.
5. Wear it around the house on Wednesday to spice up otherwise dull chores.
This is what I personally did with my dress the last week. Personally, I felt amazing dolled up in my wedding dress doing the dishes and vacuum the living room. I took to Snapchat and added a couple photos. Some of my friends thought I was having a mental break down. I received quite a few concerns phone calls and messages. However, a few of my friends and family actually got it. I wasn’t sad. I didn’t feel devastated. I simply found a new awesome way to repurpose my dress and spice up an otherwise dull Wednesday while looking amazing.
Friends, divorce is forever so it’s probably time to do something with that wedding dress and all the other stuff left behind. I don’t anticipate that you will be wearing the dress again at your next wedding and I doubt your daughter wants to wear the dress attached to a failed marriage. Enjoy the process. Find something fun to do with it and let it go when you are ready. And just think! When you do remarry you get a brand new dress and a brand new ring, hopefully way more karats than before.
Eventually, I will let it go and do one of the above. Okay, I’m not seriously going to mail it to his new girlfriend… I think.
But for now, I hope you will join me in #WeddingDressWednesday.
XOXO – J
What did you do with your dress? Send me your best pics for Wedding Dress Wednesday, trash the dress shoots, bonfires, or divorcee glam shoots.