On July 3, 2015 I married my boyfriend of 10 years. We had a long engagement and an even longer dating history. Like every fiance, I could not wait to try on dozens of wedding dresses and listen as my mom and best friends oohed and aahed. We made days out of traveling to bridal shops, sipping champagne, and pretending to be real-life princesses. I said yes to the dress in a very surreal moment as my mom shed tears of joy, and my grandmothers watched me twirl and laugh in excitement.
Being a total girlie-girl, my dress was covered in sparkles while the bottom half was whimsical and flowy. I loved every second I got to wear my favorite dress of all time. When my husband saw me walk down the aisle, he was in awe and told me afterward he couldn’t have envisioned a more perfect dress.
After hundreds of pictures, hours of dancing, and a full night of partying, I unzipped the dress and put it away…never to be worn again, right? Wrong!
Whose idea was it to spend a pretty penny on a wedding dress to be worn for a total of six hours and then be preserved and stored in a tight, sealed container, never to be opened again? Going to save it for your daughter to wear one day? Going to make a christening dress out of it someday? I have news for you…the chances of your daughter wanting to wear a dress from 30 years ago it improbable. Sure, it can happen, but I have many friends, and no one I know has worn their mother’s wedding dress.
So why not skip the wedding dress preservation and enjoy your dress EVERY YEAR?
On my first anniversary in 2016, I started a tradition I plan to continue for the rest of my life. I woke up on that sunny morning, rolled out of bed, and put on my wedding dress. I walked downstairs, and what did I do next? I made pancakes, of course! My husband walked into the room with the biggest smile on his face. First, he asked, “What are you doing?” and then we laughed and danced around the kitchen like it was our first dance.
Four years later and I continue to keep the tradition alive. This has been a tough feat, may I add, because I had just given birth to our first daughter two weeks before our second anniversary! See the photo for a very exhausted, emotional, yet hopeful new mom.
And to make it even harder, on our third anniversary, I was 9 months pregnant with our second daughter! I gave birth a short three weeks later, but it did not stop me from squeezing into that dress.
My fourth anniversary was the first time I could zip the dress up in three years. It was a special moment, seeing my two-year-old’s face as mommy walked down the stairs in her “princess dress.” She stared in awe and called me “Tinkerbelle” about twenty times. All four of us danced around the kitchen and took lots of pictures.
We were making memories. Memories none of us will forget.
Preserve your dress if you have plans for it. But if you don’t, I say, whip that thing out every single year and dance around in it like it’s your wedding day. You will never wear a dress as special or beautiful. Why should we only allow ourselves to feel that type of joy once in our lives?
You will be surprised about how memories come flooding into your head as you step foot into your gown. You will feel young. You will feel vibrant. You will feel beautiful. And you are.
The anniversary wedding dress pictures will start to show wrinkles, gray hairs, and saggy skin as I age. But what will never change is the love and happiness that day brought me, my husband, and our entire family.