from the desk of Hope Ann

Anne Marie Bridal Designs Winston Salem NC

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Destination wedding & portrait photographer fascinated by stories & people. This blog is the home for some of my favorite things — from weddings, engagement sessions, branding & more personal things. 

Grab your favorite cup of hot tea(or coffee), and stay a while. 

Hi! I'm Hope!

I am very excited to share with you this collaboration I did with Anne Marie Bridal Designs. The dresses you are about to see below are very vintage inspired, and we felt like they would be perfect in a downtown setting.

Downtown Winston-Salem could not have been more perfect to showcase these!

But before we get to the images I would love for you to meet the woman behind the business, Anne Pembaur.

Anne Marie Bridal Designs

“Anne Marie Bridal Designs is located in Winston-Salem, and makes custom wedding gowns & evening wear. She even does custom veil & accessories for brides to suit their gowns.”

Anne stated, “I love collaborative design. That is where I sit and talk with a person & they verbalize and show pictures of what their dream dress is.

Each person is my muse. Talking with each bride about their dream dress gets my brain buzzing with ideas. My design high comes from ideating with my clients.

I personally, don’t really have a favorite style. Although, I do tend to have a vintage flair in my designs. I like mixing modern with vintage twists such as using lace from their mother’s wedding gown.

If you would like to get in touch with me, you can book a free consultation on my website, or contact me directly at

The Inspiration Behind The Dresses (See Photos)

“I was inspired by vintage styles of the 50’s and 60’s.

I wanted these gowns to be simple with a hint of seductive, and I loved the idea of having cutouts that used fabric that was sheer. Highlighting areas but still being modest.

Using sheer geometric fabric panels at the front of one dress and then using it on the back of another gown, makes these gowns similar, but highlighting different areas.

And I liked the idea of being able to mix and match the two different skirts. Letting you have two gowns in one. These gowns are perfect for that special elopement downtown or courthouse wedding.”

The History & Humble Beginnings of Anne Marie Bridal Designs

My very first designs were actually for my Barbie’s.

I used to cut up old tights that I had as a kid and make bandage dresses before that was even a trend in fashion. In high school, I told my parents that I wanted to be a fashion designer.

My mom told me, “You’d better learn to sew then.”

She signed me up for a sewing class where we were going to make a basic skirt. I asked the instructor if I could make a prom dress instead.

Instead of shutting me down, the teacher told me to go for it.

I am so thankful to that teacher for not scolding me, or telling me I was too ambitious. She encouraged me, and that’s when I fell in love with making dresses.

From there I went to college for my BS in fashion design at Virginia Tech, & then I set off to Heriot Watt University in Scotland for my Masters of Design in Fashion with Commercial Applications.

My first job was in NYC as a technical designer for a children’s wear company. It wasn’t my passion, but I had spent my time learning and refining my skills in the corporate world.

In turn that only made me a better designer and pattern maker. During those 10 years working in NYC I made wedding gowns on the side for different clients and now that I have moved to NC my passion has become my full time career.

The Plan & A Lesson

In high school I was told to make a 5 year plan, a 10 year plan and a 20 year plan.

Our teacher said she would mail these letters to our house at our 5 year mark so we could see what had changed and where we were on our plans.

Well………I was on target for my 5 year plan that I had set, but my 10 year plan was a little too ambitious.

In the letter I stated I would have a successful business and be living on a beautiful horse farm in Virginia with an amazing studio that I would walk down to every day as I passed my beautiful horses, and lush pastures (I was quite the reader of romance novels in high school.)

I would have 4 beautiful kids and dogs running around. A fantastic husband. I only have the dogs currently.

But even in high school, I knew that one day I would have my own business.

Life takes us on unexpected paths so even though it’s taking me longer than I had planned, the life experience I have had along the way I would never change.

I lived in 3 different countries and 3 different states. I have had a lot of fun on my journey so far.

Who Is Your Biggest Fashion Inspiration

“I love Anne Barge. That company is one of my favorites for bridal wear.

They have very classic designs that I appreciate.

I also love Christian Siriano. I think he is one of the most talented designers right now and I love that he is inclusive of everyone no matter their size, gender, sexual orientation.

Fashion should be about helping you feel amazing in whatever you wear no matter who you are.

Dreams, Future, & Exciting Plans

I am currently looking for a bridal boutique/studio space. I can’t wait until I find that perfect home for my brand and designs.

As for dreams & goals, I want to be creating for my brides.

Each dress that I make is like my child. I put my heart and soul into the designs and I want them to make me proud.

The way they do that is by seeing my amazing brides wearing them on such an important day. I just hope I get to continue doing what I love. That’s really my only dream right now.”



If you loved this blog post make sure you check out these:

Downtown Winston Salem Prom Session

Cottage Core Sweet 16 at The Little Chapel

Audrey & Noah Engagement Session at Hanging Rock


© Hope Ann Photos, 2023