Something old, something new, something borrowed, something … with little hands and feet?
When Dalton Mort, 22, wed Jimmy Joe Mort, 23, on July 28 in Steubenville, Ohio, she made an extra special addition to her wedding attire: her 2-year-old daughter Ellora.
Photos of the ceremony showed Mort happily walking down the aisle with the bouncing little girl wrapped on her back.
“I chose to wear my daughter, because I knew it would keep her calm on a very hectic day,” Mort told Inside Edition. “Wearing her also allowed me incorporate her in the ceremony in a way that was normal for both of us.”
Photographer Laura Schaefer (of Fire & Gold Photography) shared photos from the ceremony in a Facebook post, calling Mort a “stunning baby wearing bride!” The post has been shared more than 4,000 times, with several brides sharing their own babywearing wedding photos in the post’s comment section.
“When Dalton appeared from behind the doors and began walking down the aisle with Ellie, you could just tell the guests were in awe,” Schaefer tells PEOPLE. “Everyone was smiling and you could hear quiet murmurs of ‘so beautiful’ and ‘oh look at Ellie.’ Everyone loved it! Ellie looked absolutely adorable and Dalton looked like a stunning bride and mother.”
Schaefer told WKMG that she learned of Mort’s babywearing plan when she asked Mort whether she planned to wear a veil during the wedding.
“She said, ‘No, actually I’ll be wearing [my daughter],” Schaefer recalled. “I told her that I thought that was a great idea, both practically speaking and that it would make for beautiful and unique photos.”
And they did. The shots showed Ellora, nicknamed Ellie, wrapped in the colorful cloth during the ceremony. The toddler couldn’t help but play with the flowers in her mother’s hair as Mort walked down the aisle. Soon, Ellie fell asleep less than 30 minutes into the Roman Catholic Mass ceremony.
“I bought that wrap for the wedding and she went on a bit of a babywearing strike the most before the wedding,” Mort told WKMG. “Ellie was actually great though. I think with all the people around, she was relieved that I wore her. She gets overwhelmed around large groups. The reason I chose that wrap was because it loosely went with the colors I used. I didn’t plan on how well it went with the church.”
Mort had Ellie when she was 19 years old and the couple has never made a major decision without the little girl in mind, Mort told Inside Edition. She said Ellie even went on their honeymoon.
“I am used to wearing her for extended amount of time,” she said. “I love wearing my daughter, so it just seemed normal for us.”