Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 25, 2014

New vendors added to winter bridal gala

Sunday event expected to draw more than 500 people.

By Lindsey Ziliak
Kokomo Tribune

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When brides-to-be shop for that perfect dress for their wedding day, they often have a vision of what they will look like in it.

Sometimes that vision includes a skinnier or more toned body. But how do they make that a reality?

A team of personal trainers from Club Fitness 24 hopes to answer that question during this weekend’s Greater Kokomo Bridal Gala.

They will join 34 other vendors at the annual event.

Organizer Jeff Hodson said he was trying something new when he invited them to the show. This is the first time in eight years he’s had gym representatives for engaged couples to talk to.

“I’ve never met a bride who doesn’t want to look her best on her wedding day,” Hodson said. “And it’s not uncommon for the guys to hit the gym, too.”

Personal trainers will help couples come up with personalized packages to fit their needs and their visions for the big day.

Some might want to lose 40 pounds, and the trainers can help them do that, said Club Fitness 24 Business Manager Chris Bishop.

It will be much easier to help couples if trainers catch them early in the wedding-planning process. If a stressed-out bride comes to them a month before the wedding, there may not be enough time left to help her achieve her goals.

“We can do wonders in a month,” Bishop said. “We can’t do miracles.”

The gym will join other local vendors. It will be a who’s who of the local wedding industry, Hodson said.

There will be cake decorators, photographers, venue managers, caterers, photo booths vendors, videographers, DJs, wedding planners, and dress and tux shop representatives.

This is the bigger of Hodson’s two bridal shows. It’s the perfect time of year to plan a wedding because many couples are just getting engaged. The time between Christmas and New Year’s is the most popular time to pop the question, he said.

The winter gala typically draws more than 150 brides and another 300 or so people they bring with them.

Some will be frantically trying to plan a wedding for some time this year.

“There’s definitely more urgency at this show,” he said.

As a wedding D.J., Hodson has been noticing a new trend that’s only increasing that urgency. He said long-term engagements are not common anymore. Couples, instead, are opting for a six-month engagement with a wedding that same year.

It can make things tricky for the couples.

Hodson said his services book up quickly. He’s very close to being full for 2014 and is already booking weddings for 2015.

But at the show, vendors are prepared to answer questions and help every couple, even those facing a time crunch.

He knows that many won’t be at the October show.

“A lot of these brides will be married by the fall show,” he said.

Lindsey Ziliak, Tribune Life & Style editor, can be reached at 765-454-8585, at lindsey.ziliak@kokomotribune.com or via Twitter @LindseyZiliak.

WANT TO GO? WHAT: Greater Kokomo Bridal Gala WHERE: Celebrations Banquet Center WHEN: Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday COST: $5 per person at the door