Mother-of-five poses while burning her wedding dress in a photo shoot

A woman decided to host a ‘burn the dress’ photo shoot to honor the end of her violent marriage and drawn-out divorce.   

Alexandria Taschwer, 27, a Retail Assistant Manager from Louisville, Ohio, teamed up with photographer Tarah R. Hamilton to stage a burning the wedding dress shoot to signify the end of her marriage and celebrate the start of a new life.

Alex got engaged to her ex-husband in October 2011 after finding out they were pregnant with their first child Abri, who was born in July 2012. The pair were married on September 29, 2012.

Liberated: Alexandria Taschwer, 27, from Louisville, Ohio, decided to have a photo shoot to mark the end of her marriage

Liberated: Alexandria Taschwer, 27, from Louisville, Ohio, decided to have a photo shoot to mark the end of her marriage

Moving on: The photo shoot, which was staged to honor the end of her eight-year-long marriage that turned violent, saw her lighting her wedding dress on fire using alcohol

Moving on: The photo shoot, which was staged to honor the end of her eight-year-long marriage that turned violent, saw her lighting her wedding dress on fire using alcohol

Moving on: The photo shoot, which was staged to honor the end of her eight-year-long marriage that turned violent, saw her lighting her wedding dress on fire using alcohol

Cheers: Alexandria posed in the dress, while swigging from a bottle, before removing the design to set it on fire

Cheers: Alexandria posed in the dress, while swigging from a bottle, before removing the design to set it on fire 

Stripping down: During the photo shoot, Alex started in her wedding dress before taking it off for the last time

Stripping down: During the photo shoot, Alex started in her wedding dress before taking it off for the last time

Stripping down: During the photo shoot, Alex removed her dress for the last time 

The beginning: The woman got married to her ex-husband in September 2012, just after their first child was born

The beginning: The woman got married to her ex-husband in September 2012, just after their first child was born

The beginning: The woman got married to her ex-husband in September 2012, just after their first child was born

‘We then had the four other kids in five years,’ Alex said about the marriage. 

She described how a few years later, the cracks in their relationship started to show.   

‘In 2014 while pregnant with Trenton is when our marriage became rocky,’ Alex continued. ‘We started arguing all the time and things started becoming violent.’

Alex decided to leave her home when one of her children was four months old to escape the violence. 

‘In 2017, when Christian was four months old, I finally moved and tried to get him to sign divorce papers, but he wouldn’t,’ she said. ‘But during this, we were able to remain amicable with him to the point we even vacationed together last summer.’

‘In August 2018, he became violent once again and with the help of good friends he was arrested for domestic violence, and [I] finally broke completely free,’ she continued.

‘The divorce was long and drawn out due to his pending criminal charges.’

Alex’s husband eventually filed for divorce in October 2018, and it was finalized in April 2019.

Let it burn: The couple had five children together, but they ultimately separated in 2018

Let it burn: The couple had five children together, but they ultimately separated in 2018

Breaking free: The divorce was finalized in April 2019, which then inspired Alex to have her own photo shoot to symbolize the end of the marriage 

The end: ‘Burning the dress was something I had wanted to do since we originally separated, but it was even more important to me after the divorce,’ Alex said

The end: ‘Burning the dress was something I had wanted to do since we originally separated, but it was even more important to me after the divorce,’ Alex said

The end: ‘Burning the dress was something I had wanted to do since we originally separated, but it was even more important to me after the divorce,’ Alex said

Alex said she did her best to make it a quick divorce so she could leave her violent past behind and start fresh. 

‘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,’ she said.

Hosting a photo shoot where she burned her dress became a symbolic act for the mother.   

‘Burning the dress was something I had wanted to do since we originally separated, but it was even more important to me after the divorce,’ Alex said. 

‘I was finally free after so long of being unhappy and miserable. It was like a new starting point in my life.’

Hobbyist photographer Tarah said it was Alex who first approached her about taking pictures while she burned the dress.   

Sentimental: The photo shoot then showed Alex dragging the dress through the mud after she burned it in the woods

Sentimental: The photo shoot then showed Alex dragging the dress through the mud after she burned it in the woods 

Over it: She and the photographer decided to make the photo shoot a story instead of simply just burning the dress

Over it: She and the photographer decided to make the photo shoot a story instead of simply just burning the dress

 Over it: She and the photographer decided to make the photo shoot a story instead of simply just burning the dress 

Renewed spirit: ‘I was finally free after so long of being unhappy and miserable. It was like a new starting point in my life,' Alex said

Renewed spirit: ‘I was finally free after so long of being unhappy and miserable. It was like a new starting point in my life,’ Alex said 

‘I had seen many “trash the dress” shoots, but to burn it? I had to think this over,’ Tarah said. 

‘We decided to tell a story because she never got photos done by a professional when she got married. We went with opposite colors to show the stark difference.’

Tarah, who knows Alex as a fellow baseball mom, said the shoot came out exactly like they wanted it.

‘I think the setting was perfect for what we wanted and telling it like a story shows the change in her personality,’ she continued. 

Despite the success of the first shoot, Tarah did have advice for other former wives and photographers committed to conducting their own burning the dress photo shoot.   

‘Do not do this in the woods without safety precautions in place,’ Tarah said. ‘We were very prepared with fire safety equipment and personnel on hand.’ 

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