A Texas woman decided to creatively end her 14-year-marriage with a divorce party that ended with a huge explosion of her wedding dress that was felt for miles.
On Saturday night, 43-year-old Kimberly Santleben-Stiteler celebrated her divorce from Henry Jordan Stiteler with her family members and close friends by filling her wedding dress with 20 pounds of tannerite ($200 worth), an explosive target material used for firearms training, on the family's farm in LaCoste, 25 miles west of San Antonio, KSAT reported Sunday. Santeben-Stiteler then shot at the dress with a rifle from around 200 yards away, blowing up her wedding dress on her very first shot.
"I wanted to remove all things from our marriage from our house," Santleben-Stiteler told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Sunday. "Photos in the attic, ring in the safe (but probably going to sell it), and the dress I wanted to burn."
"I had a lot of advice and suggestions from friends and family, like donating it for premature babies and baptism gowns. However, to me, the dress represented a lie. I wanted to have a divorce party to burn the dress," she added.
"We've had several people wondering what happened. The divorce wasn't that bad, it was just a celebration!" Santleben-Stiteler's sister, Carla Santleben-Newport, told Sputnik Tuesday.
"Celebrating breaking ties. And her [Kimberly's] daughter wasn't there, there were no children present. Kim is an amazing mother and a teacher and explained to her daughter later after she had seen a video about divorce and how it's not bad and sometimes people like to celebrate and that's not a bad thing. But we are just happy to have had such amazing support for Kim from all of our friends and family and wanted to have fun and blow the damn thing sky high!"
A video of the explosion shared on Carla's Facebook page has been viewed almost 7,000 times as of Tuesday afternoon.
"On the one hand, it was like being on [the] set of some action movie. The explosion was huge," Santleben-Stiteler said. "It was liberating pulling that trigger. It was closure for all of us," she noted, also adding that it was her dad and brother-in-law's idea to use exploding targets to burn the dress.
According to the Santleben-Stiteler family, explosion could be felt and heard at least 15 miles away from the farm's location.
"We were all getting messages asking if that was our explosion people were feeling and hearing around the county, up to at least 15 miles away," Santleben-Newport told the Star-Telegram Sunday. "It was like, ‘Uh, is everything OK over there?'"