A woman threw a ‘burn the dress’ ceremony to celebrate her long-drawn-out divorce, saying she finally feels ‘free’.
After a violent eight year marriage, five children, and a prolonged separation, Alexandria decided to officially say ‘I don’t’.
Alexandria, 27, wanted to show the end of her marriage didn’t signify the end of her life, celebrating her new found freedom in the best way she knew how.
The 27-year-old got engaged to her ex in October 2011 after finding out she was pregnant with their first child, who was born in 2012.
The couple tied the knot in September 2012, after which they ‘had the four other kids in five years’. It was during those five years cracks in the marriage started to show.
Alexandria, a retail assistant manager, explained:
2014 is when our marriage became rocky. We started arguing all the time and things started becoming violent.
In 2017, when their youngest child was four months old, Alexandria says she finally moved out and tried to get her husband to sign divorce papers, but he wouldn’t.
However, during that time Alexandria says things started to improve, with the family even going on holiday together last summer.
It didn’t take long for the problems to resurface though, with the retail assistant manager stating, ‘in August 2018 he became violent once again’.
Her ex was arrested for domestic violence and Alexandria ‘finally broke completely free,’ although the divorce was long and drawn out due to his pending criminal charges.
The couple eventually filed for divorce in October last year, with it being finalised in April.
The mum says she did her best to make it a quick divorce so she could leave her violent past behind her and start afresh with her children.
I tried not to fight on to many issues because I mostly just wanted out of the marriage and to be done with the situation.
To symbolise this and celebrate the start of a new life, Alexandria teamed up with photographer Tarah R. Hamilton to stage a ‘burn the dress’ ceremony.
Alexandria explained how burning her dress was something she had always wanted to do since she and her ex originally separated, but that it was ‘even more important’ to her after the divorce.
Explaining how she was ‘finally free after so long of being unhappy and miserable,’ the 27-year-old described this as a new starting point in her life.
Photographer Tarah was approached by Alexandria after her divorce to burn her dress, stating that although she had seen many ‘trash the dress’ shoots, she’d never come across an actual burning.
We decided to tell a story because she never got photos done by a professional when she got married. We went with opposite colours to show the stark difference.
I think the setting was perfect for what we wanted and telling it like a story shows the change in her personality.
The photographer did have a word of warning for other people wanting to throw a ‘burn the dress’ ceremony, primarily to make sure safety precautions are in place.
Noting they were ‘very prepared’ with fire safety equipment and personnel on hand, Tarah urged others to do the same.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).