News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 4, 2014

Planning for the big day

Large crowd turns out for The 2014 Winter Bridal Showcase at The Woods

TERRE HAUTE — Bride-to-be Courtney Smith is about to marry the man of her dreams, and Saturday she attended the 2014 Winter Bridal Showcase to get ideas for the big day.

More than a week since she got engaged — her man popped the question on Christmas — she has already picked out venues for the ceremony and reception of her September wedding. She chose Sept. 20 for her wedding day, which was her grandmother’s birthday. Her grandmother passed away in December.

“We thought getting married on her birthday would be a good way to honor her,” Smith said.

Although the wedding is still months away, the wedding planning is already in full swing.

“We just wanted to see the different options,” she said of attending the 2014 Winter Bridal Showcase, accompanied by her mom and future mother-in-law. “We want to try to get some stuff done.”

Muti-tier cakes, music, food, drinks, bridal gowns — and their models walking around — filled O’Shaughnessy Hall at the Providence Center, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, as brides, grooms, family members and friends checked out dozens of vendors at the event organized by the Wabash Valley Bridal Society.

Organizers estimated about 300 people attended the annual event.

“This is ... [a chance for] one-stop shopping for brides and grooms,” Cathy Azar, president of the Wabash Valley Bridal Society, said.

Vendors offered their services to brides and grooms for different aspects of the wedding, everything from alterations to photography, from venues to cakes.

“Everything you need to plan your big day,” Azar said, adding that the group — whose members include professionals in the wedding industry — tries to anticipate what brides need for their big day and “try to provide that.”

It is also about supporting the brides, said Dayle Jenkins, secretary of the Wabash Valley Bridal Society.

It is also an opportunity to let brides know they don’t have to leave Terre Haute to plan their wedding, Jenkins said. There are many services available in the area, she said.

But one new addition to the event this year is the “Groom Room,” which organizers thought was a way to make it more attractive for grooms to attend the event with their brides, Jenkins said.

Inside the Groom Room on Saturday, some men — grooms and dads of brides and grooms — enjoyed chicken wings, meatballs, beer and TV.

One groom, Brandon Simmons sat comfortably on a chair “just taking a break from the crowd,” he said.

“It gets hectic,” another groom, Joseph Cheeseman, said as he ate.

The men thought the Groom Room was a great idea because it allowed them to be there for their brides and take a break, as well.

“It’s kind of like a safe haven,” Cheeseman said.

Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or

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