The selfless reason this backpacker is selling the wedding dress she never wore

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Kayleigh Dray
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There’s a reason that the #jiltedweddingdress is trending on Twitter, you know.

As previously reported, Katy Collins sold her house, her car, and almost everything she owned to go and “live the biggest life I could” after her husband-to-be called off their wedding just a month before they were supposed to exchange their vows.

Inspired to turn the situation into a positive, she hit the backpacker trails across Thailand, Dubai, India, and Brazil, travelling a whopping 30 countries overall and even securing a three-booking publishing deal thanks to her travel blog.

Now she's selling the wedding dress that's hung in her wardrobe since 2012 – for a very good cause.

“I have climbed an active volcano in Chile, slept in a Thai jungle, got covered in Holi paint in India, skydived in France, and even taken a flight past Mount Everest,” she said after given the go-ahead to start penning The Lonely Hearts Travel Club series.

“I've experienced things that I would never have dreamed possible but the highlight is being able to call myself a writer.

"Nothing compares to that.”

Now Collins says selling the dress is the last thing she has to do before she can put her former life behind her – and the proceeds will go to the families of two backpackers murdered in Australia recently.

Writing on her blog, Not Wed Or Dead, Collins explained that she “felt like a Hollywood superstar” the first time she tried on the beaded lace gown.

But since her nuptials were unexpectedly called off, the dress has been left hanging untouched in her wardrobe, “patiently waiting for its moment to shine”.

While Collins knows that she will never wear the dress again, even if she does get married in the future, she wants another bride to “wear it and feel what I felt when I first tried it on”.

More importantly, she wants to use the money raised to go to the families of Mia Ayliffe-Chung and Thomas Jackson.

“I’ve been deeply affected by the story of the horrific backpacker murders that happened in Australia recently,” she writes. “I just kept thinking that it could have been me staying in that hostel, I could have hung out with people like heroic Tom and made friends with Mia.

“Knowing what it’s like to travel and spend time with other backpackers I just knew I wanted to do something to raise money for their grieving families.”

Collins continues: “I will be selling my dress on eBay and all the money raised will be equally split between the families of Mia and Tom. Families who are going through hell knowing their child will never return from their travels, something that is unthinkable.

“As a fellow backpacker my heart has broken for them and this is something small that I can do to try and help.”

You can bid for the #jiltedweddingdress on eBay here before the auction ends 14 September.

Follow Katy Collins on Instagram and find her blog, Not Wed or Dead, here.

Images: @notwedordead


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.