When planning a wedding, it’s important that everything is just right, from the flowers to the venue, and especially the dress. Every bride wants to look their very best when they walk down the aisle, and that is why -- for more than 50 years -- many brides from northwest Indiana and Chicagoland have chosen Catherine’s Bridal Boutique as their ultimate wedding destination to find the perfect dress for their perfect day.
Originally located in Hobart where it was known simply as “Bridal Boutique,” the shop was renamed in honor of its current owner, who relocated to the Valparaiso area in 2010, but recently felt the need to expand its footprint, due to increasing customer demand.
“I worked for Bridal Boutique before going away to college,” said Catherine Brown, owner of Catherine’s Bridal Boutique. “When I returned, I worked there again part time until the previous owners decided that they wanted to retire. They offered me the chance to buy the business. I did, and shortly after, we made the decision to move to Valparaiso.”
Brown says that the opportunity for increased foot traffic and Valparaiso’s vibrant downtown were what originally attracted her to the area. They had several good years at their original Valparaiso location but felt that they had outgrown their shop on Lincolnway across from the courthouse.
“It was cozy, but a bit dark and cramped,” said Brown. “This new location allowed us to grow to better serve our customers with a bigger, brighter shop, more inventory, and more dressing rooms to provide a better experience for our customers.”
Brown says that the new shop is roughly twice the size of the old one, and features a total of three viewing areas, each set up with comfortable chairs and couches for friends and families of the brides to rest on while they help in picking out the perfect gown.
“I have never regretted the decision to move here,” said Brown. “From the very first moment we moved to Valpo, everyone here has been very welcoming. The business community has been wonderful and the traffic here is just amazing and has allowed us to continue to grow.”
Sales consultant Samantha Hertl loves the bright, airy feeling of the new location.
“Compared to the old shop, it’s just awesome. It’s spacious, the dresses are arranged better so that customers can see them more easily. It’s such a gorgeous place,” said Hertl. Hertl says she loves working at Catherine’s.
“There’s so much to learn here, and Cathy’s really great at teaching us skills like seamstress work. It’s kind of a full-circle opportunity here,” said Hertl. “You do a little bit of everything.”
The grand opening for their new location, now directly across from Blackbird Cafe, saw crowds of visitors stop by for free refreshments and a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by members of the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce.
Jennifer Vega of Merrillville was trying on dresses for her upcoming wedding with the help of her mother and twin sister.
“This is the first place that we came,” said Vega, who heard about Catherine’s shop from social media.
“Cathy was very good at figuring out my style, and was terrific at finding dresses I liked,” said Vega, who is excited about her upcoming wedding.
“It’s December 9th, hopefully,” she laughs. “But it’s not set in stone yet.”
With a full line of accessories, bridesmaid dresses, and wedding gowns to fit any budget, brides-to-be are sure to find exactly what they’re looking for at Catherine’s Bridal.
Catherine’s Bridal Boutique is located at 113 Lincolnway in downtown Valparaiso, Indiana. Appointments are recommended. For more information, visit them online here, or call 219-462-7433.