Newlywed Colleen Dejno was so inspired by her great-grandmother’s 1910 wedding gown that she decided to pose in four generations of family dresses ahead of her own nuptials in June.
The bride, 33, called upon Minneapolis-based photographer Jeannine Pohl at Semple Mansion to create a nostalgic photo shoot. “My great-grandmother’s dress was the cornerstone of this whole idea.” Dejno said in a new interview with People. “My mom is interested in genealogy and tracking family records and had my great-grandmother’s bag in her closet for decades. I said, ‘I can’t believe we have a dress that’s over 100 years old! We have to do something!’”
In order to truly capture the essence of each decade, Dejno wore wigs and had her makeup done for each dress change. “Nothing would have looked right without the right hair,” she told the mag. “I got wigs and tried to get them more or less in my hair color, and we tried to style the wigs that matched that time period and the actual person too.”
First, Dejno, who works at a children’s art museum, channeled her late great-grandmother, Mary Lethert, by slipping into her stunning lace, vintage gown. “Mary actually made this dress and it has beautiful pleating and lace,” she said. “The fabric felt so fragile! I felt honored to be in it.”
Dejno then wore her grandmother Edith Jane Corrigan’s gown—a satin, long-sleeve piece worn in 1947.
It was her next transformation that was a truly memorable moment for her mother, Patricia Cotter, who accompanied her daughter to the shoot. “When I put her dress on, it was weird because everyone felt like they were in a time warp and looking at my mom,” Dejno said of her mother’s 1970s satin and lace gown. “It was definitely trippy. It was fun to see me as a representation of her.”
Along with her family member’s gowns, Dejno also posed in her mother-in-law Lucy Dejno’s dress. “She really appreciated being included,” the bride noted. “I wanted to represent her too.”
Every dress change brought a “sense of awe” for Dejno. “Each outfit was so different and I felt different too. I was truly honored to wear each of these amazing women’s dresses,” she told the outlet.
Dejno married Adam Dejno on June 3 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The couple’s reception took place at the same venue as Dejno’s nostalgic photo shoot. “We actually framed all of the photos and displayed them at the wedding,” she concluded. “As people walked around they could look at them. Our guests loved it!”