My best friend’s custom wedding dress: Introducing Loula!

The dressmaker and her best friend back in their college days
Loula and Brooks Ann in 1996

The custom wedding dress I’ve been working on recently is one that is very special to me and I can’t wait to share its story with you!  I’m currently creating the dress for the upcoming wedding of my best friend from college.  Meet Loula!!!

Where do I even begin??? Loula and I met in 1993 when we were freshmen at Centenary College in Shreveport Louisiana.  It was one of those situations where we became best friends in an instant and were inseparable all four years of college.  We shared a dorm room, a lot of laughs, and pretty much our whole lives with each other. 

She stood by my side at my own wedding back in 2008 as my only “attendant”, and threw one hell of a bachelorette party.

Brooks Ann's wedding day
Brooks Ann’s Wedding Day – Shane Snider Photography

There’s never been a moment in the past 20 years that I have not loved this woman, and now I have the honor of creating the dress that she will wear on her wedding day!  I couldn’t be more thrilled.

The dressmaker and her best friend back in their college days
Brooks Ann and Loula in 1996

Loula is Louisiana born and bred.  She currently lives in New Orleans where the wedding will be held in late September.  She’s a funny bookworm who is marrying someone that she met back in our college days, but had lost touch with until recently.  As soon as Loula and Austin were reunited, it was clear that they were meant for each other and got engaged only a few months later!

They also lucked out as far as wedding vendors go.  Not only does Loula have a couture custom wedding dressmaker as a best friend, she also has a musical family.  Her talented brother J (from the band FIGHTS) will be performing at the ceremony, and her Dad’s band Lousiana Red will be playing the reception.  Austin is good friends with renowned wedding photographer Luke Edmonson (who went to college with all of us!) who will be bringing his camera to the event.   With this lineup, Loula and Austin are well on their way to an incredible wedding day celebration to go down in the history books!

The dressmaking process has been fun and different, as we giggled though my questionnaire, because I already know all about her!  It would be a blast to design a custom wedding dress that is perfect for someone who already completely trusts you and whose style and body you already know really well.  We’ve been giggling together for 20 years now!

The dressmaker and her best friend back in their college days
Loula and Brooks Ann in 1996

Fast forward….

The dressmaker and her best friend
Loula and Brooks Ann in 2012

Loula and I started designing her dress late last year.  After several phone chats, countless emails, and many late night pinning sessions, I visited the new house she and Austin had bought in New Orleans for our very first Design Consultation.  That’s when this photo was taken.  Yes, we had on T-shirts in December!  I love New Orleans!  And Loula and Austin!

This blog series will be very special.  I can’t wait to share our journey with you!


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4 Responses

  1. Fantastic! So great to read about the big event — and to see pictures of two of my all-time favorite students. Congratulations and best wishes to Loula and Austin.

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Hi there! I'm Brooks Ann.

I’m an independent designer and couture dressmaker for one-of-a-kind bridalwear located in Hillsborough, North Carolina. I also teach the sew-curious both in-person and online.

My blog follows along with the couture process of how each heirloom-quality custom wedding dress is made from idea to wedding day, as well as other interesting tidbits related to sewing, weddings, and body positivity.

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