A BRIDE-to-be who called off her wedding has photographed the moment she trashed the dress.
When Meredith Mata’s four-year relationship ended, the 27-year-old refused to lose the photographer’s deposit and instead organized a glamourous photoshoot for herself.
The Washington native said: “For me, 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.”
The dental hygienist added: “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 photoshoot, which took place at a venue she had considered for her ceremony.
She said: “Everyone was very supportive and once they understood the concept they thought it was pretty cool.”
Despite wanting the empowering shoot, Meredith stopped at trashing her $3000 (£2700) dress.
Instead, she decided to buy a gown she had originally wanted but was pressured not to buy.
She said: “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 $278 (£205).
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 bada**. 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 stunning shots which show Meredith toasting her new ‘unengaged’ life, she wore a sheer black number to paintball the dress.
Meredith filled water guns with paint to trash the dress.
She said: “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.
She said: “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 canceled.
Meredith does still have her $2000 (£2700) 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-fiancé cheated with.
She said: “We talk every day. We went out and got drunk and shared stories.
“It’s too early to tell, but I may have gained a friend through this terrible situation.”
Now Meredith wants to encourage other women who have canceled a wedding, got divorced, or been through a break-up to consider doing the same.
She said: “To all women out there, listen to your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, seek the truth. Don’t be afraid to reach out to each other. Men really do not understand the power of women, especially when we band together.
“Also don’t be afraid to be alone, to spend time with yourself, and truly learn what you want out of a partner.
“Love yourself first.
“Maybe one day I’ll meet my person and like I said on my would have been wedding day – maybe someday, but not today. “
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