When Luann's brother Brad Degroot became engaged to his fellow firefighter Toni Daytona in 2013, fans knew they were in for a saga that would surge through the strip's 30th anniversary and beyond into 2016. They've faced their share of awkward obstacles since meeting in 2002, but over the past two years Brad and Toni had to balance bigger stresses such as planning a wedding with the dangers of fighting fires. Fortunately, they didn't have to worry about one key detail -- they left Toni's wedding dress to the fans.
The results of a contest at Luannfan.com -- and the wedding dress -- are in. Out of 600 submissions, Philip Gust of Redwood, Calif. took home the majority of 46,183 fan votes to see his wedding dress design used by Luann creator Greg Evans in Brad and Toni's wedding. The dress debuted as the bride and groom had their first look on their wedding day on Sunday, December 4. Readers got an even closer look on Monday, December 5 and will be seeing plenty of it throughout the weeks to come as the couple celebrates their wedding day with their friends and family (and fans).
Evans, who plots Luann with his daughter Karen, had this to say about the contest and its results at thecelebritycafe.com:
When we decided it was time for Brad and Toni to tie the knot, we were both excited and uncertain: how do you make a wedding interesting and fun for readers? Karen suggested we do a modern version of a contest I ran for a fashion show storyline in 1995 where readers mailed in over 16,000 designs for characters to wear. With the internet, we could invite fans to submit a design for Toni’s wedding dress and then allow readers to vote. We created LuannFan.com to host the contest as well as collections of Brad & Toni’s long and complex dating saga for fans who may not have been reading all those years or who wanted to relive their story.
Philip Gust dress design submission:
An editor by trade and a costumer with his wife by hobby, Gust is a first-time wedding dress designer, as he explained at Luannfan.com:
I’m a computer scientist by training, but my wife and I are hobbyist costumers and enjoy creating and wearing both sci-fi/fantasy and historical costumes. I also edit The Virtual Costumer, a quarterly online costuming magazine, published by a chapter of the International Costumers’ Guild. Most costumers recreate existing designs from movies, TV, or history, so the chance to do an original design was very exciting and a little intimidating. My first reaction to Greg’s interpretation was pretty much like Brad’s: WOW!
Readers can see more designs, and sign Brad and Toni's fan guest book at Luannfan.com.