Young girl wears the dress her mom wore when she and her dad went to the prom.

Daddy-daughter dances can be very special events for both parties. Little girls, starry eyed for their fathers, bask in their fathers’ attention, which is all theirs. They dress up, do their hair, and get ready to show their handsome daddies off to the world.

For fathers, it’s a cherished moment that they will look back on as their daughters grow up and take on different dancing partners.

One mom in Oklahoma made such a dance even more special when she decided to alter her prom gown so that her daughter could wear it. 

Why One Mom Decided to Alter Her Own Dress for Her Daughter

man dancing with his daughter
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

Lexi Donelson was shopping around for a nice dress for her five-year-old daughter to wear to the daddy-daughter dance but was having trouble finding anything suitable or affordable. As she was looking through the racks, she remembered her old prom dress sitting in a closet at home. Could she alter it, she wondered, so that her daughter Sterling could wear it? 

She had reason to think that Sterling would be on board with the idea. Her daughter had already seen the prom dress multiple times. Sometimes, Lexi would try it on for fun to show Sterling. The little girl was always awed. She called the blue dress “mommy’s Elsa dress”. 

Lexi loved the idea of Sterling wearing a dress that she once wore. Not only was it a dress from her youth — it was also the dress she had worn to the prom when Sterling’s father was her date. Though they had gone to school together for a decade, the two had just started dating a few months prior to the dance. Little did they know at that moment how long they would be together. Four years after the dance where Lexi wore the blue dress, she and Dewey were married.

Excited by the idea that her daughter would wear the dress that she herself had worn on a date with Sterling’s father eleven short years ago, she called her mother. After all, it was thanks to her mother’s tendency to hold on to things of sentimental value that Lexi even still owned the dress in the first place! Bringing her mother into the plan would make it even more special. Sterling’s grandmother was on board.

How One Prom Dress Brought a Relationship to a Full Circle

Lexi and her mom let Sterling in on the plan. But when Lexi told the little girl, “This is going to be your dress now,” she didn’t understand at first. How could she fit in her mother’s beautiful dress? The two women got pinning, cutting and sewing, and very soon, Sterling caught on. She was thrilled by the idea that she would have a chance to wear the beautiful dress!

Lexi and her mom shortened the dress and brought it in to fit Sterling’s small frame. It was a true labour of love for the two women who knew that Sterling would look beautiful in it — but not one that took much time. The two experienced seamstresses had it done in two hours.

“When she tried it on,” remembers Lexi, “she didn’t want to take it off. It looked adorable on her.” She still gets emotional thinking about that moment.

The day of the daddy-daughter dance, Dewey presented his young date with flowers and the two posed for pictures. “Remembering our prom,” said Lexi, “I couldn’t have imagined he would be such an amazing dad.”

Giving new life to the old dress and bringing their relationship full circle, this daddy-daughter dance will be one that they remember for a long, long time.