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Terri Fugmann with Mirabelle Gourmet Catering talks food with guests during the Bridal Show at the Calumet Club in New Albany on Sunday. (By Jenna Esarey, special to The Courier-Journal) February 23, 2014.

From catering to photography, custom-made jewelry or a loan to pay for it all, brides-to-be — many joined by their future grooms and bridal parties — explored two floors of wedding service options Sunday during the ninth annual Bridal Show at the Calumet Club in New Albany.

Brittany Johnson and Robert Ross were looking for ideas, even though their wedding is more than a year away. “You have to start really early,” Johnson said. “A lot of the venues we’ve looked at are already booked for May 2015.”

Natalie Holder agreed, as she and her fiancé, Brett Cornett planned for their June 2015 wedding. “There’s a lot to do. We’ve been engaged two years. If you get everything a little at a time it’s cheaper.”

More than 90 brides pre-registered for the event, with more buying tickets at the door. “That’s just the brides,” said Mark Bliss, Calumet Club owner. “That’s not counting the mothers, best friends, and grooms.”

The first and third floors of the club had a total of 34 vendors, including nine caterers.

The Calumet Club opened about 10 years ago after being restored by Bliss and his father. The circa 1920 former athletic club can accommodate more than 300 guests in the Bliss Ballroom, or an intimate gathering of 40 in the Hoosier Room.

Allison White, owner of ANW Designs in New Albany displayed a table filled with her customized Converse sneakers. “It’s a really huge trend on the Internet,” she said. “A lot of couples like to change into sneakers for the reception so they’ll be comfortable.”

Customized glassware was also on exhibit from Whimsy, where Allison Schalk and Barb Ehinger, participating in their first bridal show, were showing off their colorfully painted drinking vessels.

“We started at craft shows and got a lot of bridal party orders, so we decided to try a bridal show,” Schalk said.

Bliss said that he has seen a trend in recent years of couples holding the wedding and reception in the same venue. “It used to be that you got married in the church, then held the reception in the basement or rec hall,” he said. “Then receptions started moving to other venues. Now they’re heading back to the same place as the wedding.”

Keisha Robb and Brad Norrington, however, were looking only for a reception venue for their June 2015 wedding. “We’re getting married in St. Lucia,” Robb said. “We’ll only have about 12 people there. Then we’re coming home and having a party for around 200.”

Written by
Jenna Esarey
Special to The Courier-Journal – article reprinted from Original Story