18 years, 1 Wedding Dress, 1 Beautiful Girl – One More Year

Another birthday gone by, another year with my treasure!
Each year, I have so much fun celebrating Charley, whether it’s on a trip across the country or a simple party at home. When the suitcases are unpacked and gift bags are put away, my next favorite tradition is getting out my wedding gown like I have every year since she was born.

“Charley… it’s that time!”
She loves looking at the photos of herself that we’ve taken in my wedding dress every year just after her birthday. And every year I gasp at how much she has grown.

My girl has so much personality (as you can see)!
She is so sweet. She is quite the elegant princess. And she is also a bit goofy and loves to make silly faces as a part of the photo shoot (gets it from her momma).


I wrote a post about this tradition last year when Charley turned 3 – sharing the photos from each year moving backwards in time including photos of me in the dress from our wedding! It is shared below.

When I took that very first photo of my tiny, smiling baby girl next to my wedding dress, I could not have imagined what a beautiful, sweet, brilliant little girl I’d have by my side just 4 years later. And while it makes me sad at how quickly she’s growing, I also know that 4 more years from now, I’ll continue to marvel at what a treasure I have in her.

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 2.49.09 PM


If you’ve followed me for any amount of time or know me in real life, you’re probably already aware of how sentimental I can be. In my house are shadowboxes of the kids’ coming-home-from-the-hospital outfits,  teddy bears made from my late grandparents’ clothes, bouquets from my wedding that are made from fabric from clothing items of different family members, & the list goes on and on.
(I’m sure my husband is currently reading this and rolling his eyes at the extensive list of ways I’m overly sentimental. Hey sir, you chose to marry me!)

Some of my favorite ways of expressing my sentimentality are photos.
Every year Chris and I recreate a photo from the day he asked to pursue me (we’re now up to 7 photos)!
Every month until my babies were a year old, I took their photo with the same(ish) background.
I take photos every day to capture these moments that feel so special to me and use the Charley’s Circus Instagram page to document these days. I know they’re going by fast and I will appreciate having all of these memories saved.

But one of my very favorite traditions I have maintained since Charley was 1 month old involves not only photos, but one of the most sentimental pieces of my life – – my wedding dress and accessories!


When Charley was a newborn, I had the idea to take a picture of her with (or in!) my wedding dress every year of her life until she turns 18. I anticipate that these photos will make a beautiful gift to give her some day on her wedding day. They simply are a gorgeous, fun, and sentimental way to capture how much she grows and changes from year to year.

After her birthday a few weeks ago, I casually mentioned to Charley that that it would soon be time to take photos in mommy’s wedding dress. And the other morning, without another mention, she spontaneously came to me practically begging to “wear mommy’s wedding dress!”

Yes baby yes!!

We had so much fun taking these photos.
I love how much she appreciated new things this year – – not only her excitement to wear my dress, but the feel of its fabric, the pretty little details on the veil, and how she even wanted to hold my garter and bouquet! (The garter actually ended up on her leg!! haha!)IMG-0927

I absolutely LOVE this tradition.
It captures my girl at all her beautiful stages.
It gives me a chance to get my wedding dress out every year, run its silky fabric through my fingers, and remember that perfect day.
And most of all, it reminds me that all of these beautiful gifts are all thanks to the goodness of God.

IMG-09293 years old

IMG-11342 years old


IMG-11331 year old


IMG-11321 month old



One Comment Add yours

  1. Diana Ingram says:

    Precious story! What a treasure you have in the sweet girl, just as I have a treasure in you😍. Love you bushels!

    Sent from my iPhone



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