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Businesses show off wedding, prom fashions at Duneland YMCA

Fashions for weddings proms were display DunelYMCA Sunday April 7 2013 as part an event co-sponsored by Contessa’s Bridal YMCA.

Fashions for weddings and proms were on display at the Duneland YMCA on Sunday, April 7, 2013 as part of an event co-sponsored by Contessa’s Bridal and the YMCA. | Michael Gard~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 16, 2013 6:07AM



The beat of pop music thumped in the gym of the Duneland Family YMCA in Chesterton on a recent Sunday as children walked a runway, modeling wedding party formal wear.

About 15 vendors’ booths lined the gym as well, offering jewelry, accessories, event planning, photography and other necessities for brides and prom-goers alike.

This was the first year for the prom and bridal show, held April 7 and sponsored by Contessa’s, a formal wear shop in Chesterton.

“It’s to help promote local businesses and to generate donations for the Y,” said Sabrina Remm, a bridal consultant at Contessa’s.

Jessica Violanti and Jillian Evans, both of Chesterton, wandered into the fair when they came to the Y to work out.

Violanti, who is getting married within a year, took advantage of the opportunity by picking up information on a photo booth and a sweets table.

“I didn’t know we had this,” she said, holding a handful of flyers and business cards.

At a table draped with shimmering animal print fabric and candles, Stephanie Choucalas displayed clear glass containers filled with different kinds of chocolate candy. She was promoting her business, Sweet Bling, which offers candy buffets for weddings.

She had been offering the service through a friend’s business and recently went out on her own with her home-based business. Choucalas has done a few other bridal fairs in the area.

“I do it just to get my name out there. I’m fairly new,” she said. “I want to create an ambiance for a wedding.”

The fair also was good for established businesses, like Kim Eldridge Special Events also based in Chesterton. Eldridge has been in business since 1995 and handles a full range of event planning.

Her clients come from the area, as well as surrounding states. She even had a client who lives in California but has family in South Bend and was getting married in this area. Eldridge also was selected to help decorate the White House for Christmas last year.

“I think the focus (of the fair) is great. We definitely need to focus on local vendors,” she said.



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