Colleen Dejno, 33, of St. Paul, MN, asked for a bridal shoot like no other. It all started when she found out her mom had her great-grandmother’s wedding dress from 1910.
“I had no idea that we had it and my mom just had it in a bag in the closet for years,” she told ABC News. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we have a dress that’s over 100 years old. I have to see it.’”
Once she’d seen the dress, Dejno decided that they had to do something special with it; it couldn’t just sit in the closet untouched any longer.
Dejno works at a children’s museum, but she is also a hobbyist performer and costume designer, so she decided she’d do a photo shoot with four wedding dress. She knew her mother still had her wedding dress from 1973, and her aunt had the wedding dress her grandmother, Edith Jane, wore down the aisle in 1947. The final dress was her mother-in-law’s 1950s wedding gown.
Dejno hired a wedding photographer to photograph her in all four wedding dresses, plus her own, at Minneapolis’s Semple Mansion. A few weeks later, Dejno would have her own wedding reception at the Semple Mansion.
“It was unbelievable,” said Jeannine Pohl, who took the photographs. She also noted the multi-generational photo shoot was a first in her 10-year career, but she’d love to do more.
She also said, “There was the fact that they were still in their original form and that people who’ve had them for so long knew they were unique and an heirloom.”
To accompany each gown, Dejno styled wigs to match the hair from the era, and she did period-appropriate makeup. She says of the experience:
“It was amazing when we would change each outfit, and I’d look at myself in a mirror I thought, ‘I look like an entirely different person…You could picture what it’d be like to be those women, just a little bit, to be in their shoes. That was a lot of fun.”
Colleen and her husband, Adam Dejno, tied the knot on June 3 at Holy Spirit Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, and they displayed the photos from the photoshoot at their reception.
Dejno has plans to keep the dresses preserved, and she hopes that someday her daughter might want to the continue the tradition.
"If I have kids I want them to see this piece of family history," she told People Magazine. "And if I have a daughter, I wonder if she will think I'm a lame mom, or maybe she'll want to carry on the tradition!"