After Getting Divorced, Woman 'Trashes' Her Wedding Dress in Epic Photo Shoot

divorce photo shoot
Jaimie Maynor

What are you supposed to do with your wedding dress after the big day? Wrap it up and let it sit in your closet to preserve the memories? Donate it? Save it for your children? Well, how about when your marriage ends in a way you didn't see coming back when you said "I do"? For recently divorced Kristen Jewel Costner, a North Carolina–based hairstylist at Ulta Beauty, her wedding dress became the perfect prop for an empowering photo shoot called "Trash the Dress."

  • After nine years of being together, Costner and her partner unexpectedly split up and she needed a means of closure.

    Enter: her wedding dress -- and fire, dirt, mud, and middle fingers.

    "[It] was for kind of myself," Costner tells CafeMom. "I have seen kind of other people doing it too on the Internet. It was more like closure for myself."

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  • Her home in North Carolina provided the backdrop for her photo shoot.

    "I actually did it at my house," she says. "Everything was just around my house."

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  • To Costner, the breakup was one-sided. "I was kind of left without even a conversation of like anything," she says.

    "Besides text messages," she adds.

    So while the photo shoot was, of course, meant to make the other person a little upset, it was mainly for her to get the proper closure she was never given. 

  • It was also a reminder for her "not to ever get back to that or allow things like that to happen," she explains.

    It must have worked. "I feel a lot better since then," Costner says about the shoot.

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  • Costner didn't expect her images to go viral, but many other women began relating to it, saying her photos were an inspiration.

    "Sometimes shit just happens, you know," she said. "And you just gotta not let it tear you down. Just be positive about bad things [that] happen."

    Amen to that.