Cutest Blog Layout

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Decisions of Divorce: Wedding Memories

What did you do with your wedding dress?  All those photos?  The unity candle, goblets, or all the other memorabilia?

By the time my ex had moved out, all wedding photos had been closeted away.  The hope of  my wedding day had been replaced with the reality of something much different.  On the day our divorce was final, I burned all the senitimental cards he had given me throughout the years.  They were empty promises and vain words to me now.  It felt good to let those go, as if I had been holding onto the words when his actions demonstrated his true heart.

Soon after, I cleared out my hope chest, tossed the unity candle and napkins, stored photos and videos to share with my children someday and packed it all away in the attic. 

In a back closet, my wedding dress still hung, preserved and stored like the treasure it was to me.  I have such sweet memories of the day my mother and I shopped together for it.  I remember how grand and beautiful I felt in the esquisite lace.  But I was ready to let it go.  It was a tie to the past, and I am intentionally walking away from my past into an unknown but hopeful future.  So I donated the dress to a resale shop.  It was hard to do, but I haven't regretted it for a moment. 

I saved the simple veil and I hankie I carried on my wedding day, just in case my own daughter would want something for her own special day, though I somehow doubt she would. 

My identity changed the day I married, along with my name.  I did not like the woman I became and letting go of the symbols of that day was part of taking back myself.  My wedding and marriage are forever part of my past, but not what defines me.

What did you do with your wedding stuff?  Do you regret spending so much on the ceremony?  What is the best thing you take away from that day?


  1. Same as you....boxed them up into one convenient box and preserved wedding dress. I burned a huge box of love letters in the backyard, but cards and notes, jewelry, etc, all went into the box and into the far corners of the attic. And eventually I got over it...but I won't ever get rid of the box.

  2. My divorce was final in 2010, after 23 years of marriage (even though 2 of those already separated). I have not donated my wedding dress yet. It is still in the very back of a closet, vacuum-sealed. My girls are now 17 and 15. My wedding ring I gave away, mostly due to the empty inscription inside. Most love letters I threw away. I kept some, plus the unity candle, for my 3 children since it is part of their parents history. I kept my married name, because I have been married longer than not ... and I always wore my name with pride and enjoyed being part of this crazy, big family. But eventually that was no longer enough reason to stay in a dysfunctional marriage.

  3. My divorce isn't final yet, but I've been wondering about this. I have tons of letters from our courtship, a preserved wedding dress, and my bouquet that I've been using for a Christmas decoration. I was saving my dress for Doodlebug, but seriously? Who's going to want a cursed wedding dress? I haven't decided what to do yet, and I appreciate this post a lot.

  4. I am still married to the love of my life and I thank God for this, because I too have been divorced before. I threw my wedding dress away in the large dumpster behind our flat. It's the wedding dress that I used to walk down the isle to meet my current husband. I'm not a saver of things, I hate clutter! My wedding dress was worn out! There was no preserving it! You could tell that I had a great time in it and the pictures and the memories stored in my head are forever there. I don't need to hang on to a piece of clothing to remember that day. I threw away the candles, the ring pillow, etc as well. The only thing I have left are the cake cutting set and I still use it to this day for cutting cake or pies :)

    I remember when I went through my first divorce. It was very hard to take the pictures off the walls, throw away the cards and love notes, because I was in denial. I eventually packed away the pictures for our two sons, and gave him my wedding rings back. I still have every one of our happy moments stored in my head and have moved on and forgiven. Him and I get along just fine now and his new wife and I are as close as we possibly can be!

    I have to say, you are one amazing fighter! You are such a strong woman and a great mother! Keep up the great work...I mean that!

  5. I like that you saved your wedding dress and pictures. As a child of divorce, those things may not have the memories to my parents anymore but to me they are still important and remind me that I came from love.

  6. touching post. must have been an agonyfilled time. take care.

  7. I've just begun the divorce process. So fresh it is that I am still boxing away his things from our separation over a year ago. I come across the old love letters I wrote to him and think to myself, "How could I have been so blind?" Burning them would make me feel worlds better, but I've decided to box them up with the rest of his things that are left and give them to him. Maybe one day he will look through those old letters and it will finally hit him about what exactly he was missing when he was unfaithful to me. The twisted mind is way works, I doubt it, but it certainly would make me feel better having him look at those years later and feel that sting of regret, because by then I will have completely moved on.

  8. I'm just reading your blog for the first time today. I want to say, you will be glad you kept the veil and hankie and you may be surprised that your daughter may like to have them on her own wedding day. Of course, I am very, very sentimental. I have kept pictures of my first husband and pictures of his wife because for our children that is still their family. We've had our moments, but I try in every way possible to be kind to her when we have to be together. Your children are so young, but in the years to come, they will have many, many "things" that both you and their dad will be together. Just a very few are graduations, surgeries or illnesses (God forbid), weddings and births. We have been through every one of those things I mentioned. I managed to pray and God kept me for the most part :) calm and able to stay in control of my words. Many times the scriptures have saved me from being outright hateful......I'd pray, put a hand over my mouth oh, Lord! I won't say I've never said something I regretted, especially to my own ex, but I've learned that it does nothing but hurt and never helps the situation.

    God be with you, bless you and help you as you bring your children up to know and love Him!

  9. Well, if you think that taking away all the things can help you move on from your divorce, then there’s nothing wrong with it. Yes, the memories are special, but they do come at a price: experiencing the pain you felt when you divorced your husband. Getting a divorce can be a really sad and painful experience, but you have to find yourself again and move on with your life. Losing your partner isn’t the end, but think of it as a new beginning for you and your kids.

    @Janay Stiles

  10. was in the same position like you years ago. I had a great relationship with my college girlfriend and I never thought it would end so suddenly. 4 months after being married, I decided to file for a divorce. Yes, I do regret on spending a hefty amount of cash for our wedding. I kept all my wedding stuff to remind me every day that I have to stay strong focus on what I can do to improve my life now that she’s gone. I know you can do it too, just hold on to the fondest memories you have without her, and hopefully, it would take all the pain away.

    Jermaine Gardner