When artist Mercedes Gertz got divorced 11 years ago, she quietly put her wedding pictures away in a drawer and slumped into a depression. Getting divorced was so painful, it was almost embarrassing to see the picture of herself at 25, a smiling, naïve young girl in a poofy white dress. But over lunch with half a dozen friends a few years later, Gertz realized she was not alone. They were all divorced and yet, they still hung on to those wedding pictures.
“None of us ever had the guts to get rid of our wedding pictures. We were raised to see our wedding day as the most important day of our lives—to fantasize that for one day we were princesses chosen by a wonderful prince, and that we would live happily ever after,” she writes on her website MercedesGertz.com.
Read Related: How to Throw a Divorce Party
Gertz threw out an idea: what if they turned those pictures into ornaments? Her divorced friends and relatives began sending her their discarded wedding pictures and pretty soon, Gertz had her next project. “It was like these pictures had been the survivors of a shipwreck,” said Gertz, who was born and raised in Mexico City. “I needed to create a universe where the pictures could exist on their own, separate from the groom.”
Read Related: The Brighter Side of Divorce