World-traveling teacher uses wedding dress to memorialize special experiences

Counselor and husband published a book featuring pictures of her wearing her wedding dress all around the globe.


Jeff Salvage

Photo shared from Jennifer and Jeff Salvage’s book “One Dress, One Woman, One World.”

Kaitlyn Ho '26, Copy Editor

Mrs. Jennifer Salvage (Evelynn Lin ’25)

On March 19, 2008, counselor and Strath Haven alumnus Jennifer Salvage walked down the aisle to where her husband-to-be Jeff Salvage was waiting. 

Ever since, she has traveled the world taking a series of wedding dress photos with her husband, who is a photographer. From climbing the Swiss Alps to walking in China during the 2008 Olympics, Salvage has experienced some fantastical things—all in her wedding dress.

Originally, the Salvages had planned a destination wedding to Easter Island, with the plan that Mr. Salvage would take pictures of her in a quick photo shoot fashion. However, once that was over, Salvage found herself questioning the quick use of her dress.

“After the wedding day, I continued getting in and out of the dress so that he could take some really cool shots all around the island,” she said. “I think it was on the flight home—I was having that feeling that I think so many newly married brides have. It was kind of like, wow, I’m not going to wear the dress again.”

From this feeling blossomed a simple idea, though the couple can’t recall who thought of it. What if they brought her wedding dress to just a few more places to take pictures?

“The response that we got was overwhelmingly positive,” Salvage said. “So many people were so excited about it that by the time we got home from that two months of travel, we kind of knew we were onto something, and it got bigger and bigger and bigger.”

News about their international wedding dress photos spread, and soon their story was in the Philadelphia Inquirer and aired on “Good Morning America.

They compiled their pictures into a book, “One Dress, One Woman, One World.” The book is filled with pictures of Salvage in her wedding dress across the globe, doing anything from riding roller coasters, climbing mountains, and playing with puppies, accompanied by descriptions of the trip.

“Jeff took all the photos, none of them are photoshopped,” she said. “They’re all real. If I couldn’t get to something, or we couldn’t make it work, we just didn’t use it. But most of the photos are still actually on the website. And they’re a lot of fun.”

They continue to take photos to this day, though they paused due to COVID. They accumulated more than enough over the years to update the book with more pictures and more descriptions.

Salvage recalled her time in Egypt, where she had been playing pool with her husband. She only knows a bit of Arabic, but was still able to enjoy playing with the kids there. The trip gave her a new appreciation for the perspective her wedding dress photo shoots had given her.

“We kept hearing little giggles, and then we kept seeing little heads kind of peering out from the door of the house,” Salvage said. “We welcomed them to come out and play with us. They were fascinated.”

Salvage painted a vivid picture of curious children. She was able to create a stronger bond with them thanks to her wedding dress, and both her and the children were able to learn more about each other’s culture through this exchange.

“At some point, my husband said, ‘Why don’t you go’—because we always have the dress with us—‘why don’t you go put the dress on, they’ll be blown away’…I came back out [in the dress], the kids went nuts,” Salvage said. “Before we left—there was a little girl and a little boy—the little girl came running and did like a leap into my arms for a bear hug. The shots with her are one of my favorite moments ever, because it was just such a genuine connection.” 

Genuine connections are something that many people feel they lacked during the pandemic, and immersing herself in many different cultures prior made Salvage feel that absence strongly.

“I wish more people could have these types of experiences, not necessarily with the wedding dress, but just getting out and seeing different people in different cultures and experiencing different food,” she said. “Because what it teaches you is, we’re more the same than we are different, even if we have different, you know, political beliefs or different religions. So I think it has definitely broadened my horizons. For me, that’s what feeds the soul.”

The business that had given them the wedding dress heard about what they were doing, and jumped on the chance to advertise a dress that could withstand international travel and exploits. They offered help.

“They gave us five for free, had them tailored. We’ve only ever used two of them, so there’s still three in a bag,” Salvage said. 

And how does Salvage keep a wedding dress that travels the world pristine white? 

“There’s [a] $1.99 dry cleaner in Cherry Hill… that’s where I take them to get them dry cleaned,” she said. “In all these years, even when I’ve brought in two dresses at once, they have never asked me why this wedding dress keeps coming back for dry cleaning.”