Porter County bridal expo allows vendors to unveil a slew of ideas
BY AMY LAVALLEY Post-Tribune correspondent January 12, 2014 6:52PM
Schererville wedding planner Chantal Richards samples a cupcake from Beck’s Crown Bakery in Crown Point Sunday during the annual bridal fair held at the Porter County Expo Center. Richards uses the event to network as well as develop new clients. | Post-Tribune
Updated: January 12, 2014 9:26PM
VALPARAISO — For brides who knew what they wanted — or didn’t — the Northwest Indiana Bridal Expo was the place to be Sunday.
More than 500 future brides descended on close to 140 vendors at the fourth annual event, held at the Porter County Expo Center. They found potential florists, photographers, limousine drivers, disc jockeys, rental halls and more.
The expo has grown each year, said Ruth Buczynski, whose husband Tom is one of the owners of Louie’s Tux Shop, which sponsors the event. Advertising isn’t the only thing that helps the show grow.
“It’s word of mouth. The vendors are happy, so we’re getting good feedback from them, and we don’t charge the brides anything,” she said.
Brides said they liked the variety, and the ability to compare different prices for the same services. The dessert samples, including numerous cupcakes, and a cash bar didn’t hurt, either.
Samantha Shea of Crown Point got engaged in September, and is planning an August 2015 wedding, “which is nice, because I’m indecisively picky. It’ll take me that long.”
With an entourage that included her fiancé, family and members of her wedding party, Shea took a look at everything the fair had to offer, and said she didn’t have anything in particular in mind she was looking for.
The fair at the expo center is one of a handful Shea is attending, and then it will be time for her to sort through all the information.
“That’s where the nerves come in,” she said.
Flanked by her two best friends, Brittany Dickens of Griffith knows what she wants for her August wedding.
“Glitter and sparkles. I want it black and white with pink and glitter and pearls,” she said. Her wedding day will follow her engagement by exactly one year.
She was looking for a disc jockey and a photographer, “and ideas for decorations. We’re pretty much doing it ourselves. I’m too much of a control freak.”
The expo was a boon for vendors as well. Catherine Livengood, owner of NWI Chaircovers in DeMotte, offers table linens and other accessories — including chair covers — for events throughout the region.
This was her second year participating in the expo.
“It is a lot of brides, and this is probably the best show in the region,” she said.