A new business in New Albany wants to be a one-stop shop for brides planning their weddings.
Laurie Haag, owner of the New Albany venue The Loft on Spring, is delving deeper into the bridal industry with the debut of her new business Eventful 203, located at the corner of Main and First streets on the second floor of the former Aunt Artie’s Antique Mall.
“I love New Albany. I love all that is going on down here,” Haag said. And “I wanted to be really close to my venue.”
The antique mall closed about a year ago, and building owner Stacey Freibert has been searching for new renters. Freibert also operates Seeds and Greens Natural Market and Deli in the building.
The second floor was renovated for Eventful 203, which has its own entrance on the First Street side of the building. New gray laminate wood floors were installed on one side; the original wood flooring was restored on the other. Small rooms, including a dressing room, were added, and the brick was painted.
Haag described her new business as “a mini-bridal show year-round.”
“This is the place you can come and get all your ideas collected,” she said. “I will just be here to navigate them through.”
Eventful 203 has several components: The first is a wedding dress showroom called Laurel Wreath Bridal. The boutique stocks “special finds” and designers that can be difficult to find in the Greater Louisville area, Haag said.
Brides can contact Eventful 203 via its website for a two-hour private appointment to try on dresses. All of Eventful 203’s business is by appointment only.
The second aspect is Laurel and Lavender Beauty Lounge, which can serve as a wedding day preparation room. For $250, bridal parties can rent the lounge, with sofas and vanities, for four hours. That includes a continental breakfast and drinks.
The lounge provides an alternative space to someone’s home or a hotel room where there can be limited mirror space available, Haag said. Bridal parties can bring their own hairstylists and makeup artist, but Eventful 203 is building a database of cosmetologists that people can draw upon.
That touches on the third piece of Haag’s business, acting a resource for vendor information. Eventful currently works with 17 vendors, from deejays to event spaces to caterers, but is working to expand that number.
“We are being selective,” Haag said. “We want enough variety and options but …we want it to be the best of the best.”
Vendors can pay a monthly fee to rent one of six booth spaces — two are already taken — to set up a full display. They also can use the space to meet with clients.
Wedding vendors can pay $300 a year to be included in Eventful 203’s resource library, where they can keep information about their business and offerings for brides to peruse. Eventful 203 also lists its partner vendors online.
“They want the advertising; they want the connection to the brides throughout the year as opposed to just the yearly bridal shows,” Haag said.
Owning Eventful 203 complements her event venue business well, Haag said. Since a venue is often one of the first decisions a bride and groom make, she has a line to clients who may need other services. In fact, her first dress sale was to a bride who’s renting The Loft on Spring.
Eventful 203 is for brides seeking “upscale” offerings, those who want individualized attention, and those who may find bridal stores with hundreds of dress options overwhelming, Haag said.
“We are trying to make this an experience.”
In case you go: Eventful 203 hosts monthly “Bridal Mingle” open houses. The next is from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 10.