My Very First Wedding…

People always ask me how I got into making wedding dresses, have I always been obsessed with weddings or something? Not that I could think of; I never even considered bridal design as a career until my senior year at Parsons (even though I had made a couple of wedding dresses for family friends in high school and college).

But last week I was sorting through a box of slides from my childhood and realized maybe there was some longstanding precedent for my eventual career path. I found these photos of me playing dress-up with my sisters and cousins at my Grandma and Grandpa Komm’s house; I had totally forgotten that one of our favorite childhood games was to play “Tarzan and Jane’s Wedding” in their front yard. I was always “Jane”; my cousins, Brandon and Justin, would take turns being “Tarzan.”

I wish I could claim these photos as evidence of my first attempt at bridal design or at least bridal styling, but I’m not sure how much of it I can (or want) to take credit for as I was only three, and my sisters and cousins — my bridal attendants, as it were — had probably been fighting over who got to drape me with this table cloth or that. Plus, the dress (if you can even call it one; it looks like it might actually be a curtain) really doesn’t fit that well, as you can see by the fact that instead of holding a bouquet of flowers from Grandma’s garden — she grew the most beautiful peonies, roses, snapdragons, dahlias, etc. — I’m holding up my dress so I don’t trip.

I don’t know how we came up with the idea of “Tarzan and Jane’s Wedding.” It must have either been because my grandparents had this massive, beautiful weeping birch tree on their front lawn which had vine-like branches that drooped down low enough that we could swing from them like Tarzan, or because there were no clothes for boys in Grandma’s dress-up trunk and so we needed a creative and intentional reason for my groom to be shirtless… Maybe it was a combination of the two. In any case, it was a pretty cute premise for a pretend wedding, and clearly what set me on the path to become a bridal designer twenty years later…

P.S.: This last photo, with my sister next to me, makes me think how 25 years later we would all be playing “wedding dress-up” again; this time, she would be the bride, it would be a real wedding, and I would be responsible for the “costumes”…

4 thoughts on “My Very First Wedding…

  1. Colette, those pictures are priceless. I can remember you guys dressing up like that as if it were yesterday. Hilarious!

  2. I believe it was the tree that made it Tarzan and Jane. I also believe that your dress was a curtain draped over you Flinstone-style, that looked very Jane-ish! Regardless, those are some of my favorite childhood memories!!!

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