The percent of marriages that end in divorce continues to go up. Around 50% of all marriages in the US end in divorce or separation, and 41% of first marriages are over before ‘death do us part’.
So, it only makes sense that people are starting to view divorce differently – some people are even choosing to celebrate their divorce in unique ways. Take Illinois-native Katylynn Mokee for example.
The red-headed young woman decided to put back on her $1,500 wedding gown after getting out of a four-year marriage. While wearing the gown, she splashed around in muddy waters before setting it on fire.
Katlynn said the act of destroying the dress set her “free” after spending four years in an unhappy marriage.
The couple spent 10 years together, including their four years as husband and wife, before calling it quits.
Katlynn reached out to her wedding photographer to document the last chapter of the couple’s story. We are sure that was a unique request for the photographer, who usually captures the love shared between two people.
After playing around in muddy waters, Katlynn took off the pricey gown and set it on fire. As the dress turned to ashes, she sipped on a bottle of wine in her underwear.
“My relationship wasn’t a good one, so it was a relief to finally be free,” Katlynn openly shared.
It wasn’t an easy decision, of course, considering the couple had been together since they were in high school. Spending 10 years of your life with the same person is no small feat, although, the divorcee is happy to be free from the bad relationship.
“We’d been together since I was 16 and married for four years,” she said. “We grew apart.”
Katlynn and her ex share one daughter together.
Katlynn is pictured below on her wedding day wearing the now famous gown that has since gone up in smoke.
The idea for the photoshoot was inspired by researching Trash the Dress – a concept that is growing in popularity amongst both divorcees, as well as happily married couples.
Katlynn decided she wanted to trash her dress and then burn it, all while drinking a bottle of wine and smoking a cigarette.
“I did a bit of research but all the ideas were my own and it was exactly the way I wanted to do it,” she said.
“It actually ended up being quite sexy,” she said, since she stripped down into a white corset and matching thong.
“’It was like my rebellion against the marriage, my way of saying I’m free. We went out to this little area with mud and water and I had a bottle of wine and a gas canister in a basket.”
“I got into the water in my dress so it was really dirty, then started ripping it up. I cracked open the wine, took it off and then set it on fire. I watched it burn while I drank the wine.”
While the photoshoot might seem extreme to some, Katlynn found it healing and empowering. It also helped to boost her confidence, which was naturally shaken after going through a divorce.
“It was very liberating, exciting and empowering,” she said.
Photos of Katlynn wearing the wedding dress on her special day are in stark contrast to the photoshoot that took place four years later.
If you’re wondering what her ex-husband had to say about this… he didn’t have any hard feelings.
“He was surprised that I was going to do it because I’m not really like that,” she shared.
In fact, after she told him what she was planning to do, he even offered to be a part of the photos. “He joked that he should be in it and I could punch him or something.”
Katlynn declined his offer, she wanted these photos for herself and she didn’t feel the need to include him in them. “I wanted it to be just me,” she said.
When Katlynn isn’t planning elaborate photoshoots where she trashes her wedding dress, she’s just an ordinary woman who works as a hairdresser.
She’s gotten a lot of good feedback from her ‘trash the dress’ shoot. “My friends thought it was awesome and I had loads of people getting in touch saying they wish they’d done the same thing.”
At the end of the day, “I was really happy with it all and I loved the way it turned out.”