One year ago, my book, 101 Uses For My Ex-Wife's Wedding Dress, was published. It is a combination of photographs of odd uses for a wedding dress and my story of getting through a really challenging time in my life.
I got the idea to start a blog, myexwifesweddingdress.com, when I inherited my ex-wife's wedding dress after she moved out over three years ago. I encouraged her not to leave the dress with me, but she refused, telling me to do whatever I wanted with it. Fortunately I could count on my family to find humor in a challenging situation, so when I told them I had the dress and asked them what I should do with it, they gave me offbeat answers. It was quickly suggested that the dress would make a lovely doormat and my brother thought I should wipe my a** with it. I couldn't help but crack up at the thought of the dress I inherited being used in those ways -- or to wash my car or cover my grill. We brainstormed potential wedding dress applications and wrote them down. And we laughed -- something I hadn't been doing much at that time.
I am still amazed at what the dress was capable of. Once we started putting it to use, the potential applications grew as we discovered how strong it was. The dress held up as a hammock, a tow rope, a jump rope, and a toy for playing tug-o-war with my brother's dog. This dress was made to last, even if my marriage wasn't.
The blog was a success, which led to my publishing the photographs and my story in a book. A copy of the book sits on my living room bookshelf and when I look at it, I can't help but reflect on the unexpected adventure I took with one amazing wedding dress. What was really great about the journey is that my best friend, my brother Colin, was a huge part of it. Laughter really is the best medicine and I was able to heal from my divorce with a wedding dress turban on my head and my brother along for the ride.
Even though I am still in possession of the world's most versatile garment, I have moved on from where I was when I inherited it. I married my wife, Ashley, in June of last year and look forward to every day that I spend with her. We stay very busy with our blended family of five. Our kids are now 12, 10 and 4. We are hopeful that our story will one day be about mine, hers, and ours -- if we are fortunate enough to grow our family down the road.
Here, 14 of my favorite wedding dress uses. Enjoy!