Old gowns were pulled out of the closet for a good cause on Saturday as a farm in Bright, Ont. invited women to come out to wreck their dresses in support of the Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region.

People found closure after losing loved ones and others found the strength to move on from difficult pasts – all while managing to have some fun.


“I thought what the hell, let’s go and wreck the dress,” said participant, Sharon Trent-Docherty.

Udderly Ridiculous Farm Life in Bright, Ont. invited women and allies to get down and dirty for a good cause and trash an unwanted wedding or special occasion gown.

“This was a riot, an absolute blast,” said participant, Melissa Gissing, wearing a dress she said she almost married someone in.

Each participant had a unique story behind the gown they were trashing. For some, it meant celebrating a recent separation or putting an abusive relationship in the rear-view mirror.

“It was more than just fun, more than just being out. It was to send a message that this dress is trashed and that chapter of my life is over,” added Gissing.

For Melanie Jaycock, whose mother died 11 months ago, it was an opportunity for closure.

“I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye in the way I wanted to and yet, I got her dress when she passed,“ she said. “She rode shotgun with me. She would have found it hilarious and an amazing send-off.”


Cheryl Haskett, a domestic abusive survivor, is behind the event. She said the funds raised will go towards a new program through the Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region called the Moving Forward Scholarship Fund.

“Yes, I’m a survivor, but for me, the scholarship is about how we can help women thrive.”

The fund will give women and children coming out of shelters money towards education.

As for the Wreck the Dress event, Haskett said it “creates an opportunity that’s joyful, not just about relieving trauma.”

“If us women don’t look out for each other, who is going to,” said Trent-Docherty.

Editor's note: The broadcast that accompanied this story did not intend to, nor did it, infer that the father of Melissa Gissing’s children was abusive