The West Clinton Mennonite Church “Beauty Comes From The Heart” event had a big two days, Friday, Feb 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9.
The event became more than just a prom dress affair. It turned into a wedding dress and bridesmaid boutique as well.
“Our first-day numbers over-tripled last year,” said Lori King, founder.
She said 160 shoppers “signed my book and 194 dresses went.”
Of those 160 shoppers, “80 came through the doors in the first 20 minutes,” King said. “We even had several knocking at the door well before the event happened.”
“We had three or four wedding parties come through, where they took more than one dress,” she said.
To compare, last year 48 attended the first day of the event, taking 65 dresses.
This year, dresses were taken for more than just proms.
Dresses were found for graduation, weddings– including wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and mothers-of-the-bride and – groom dresses– and upcoming dances.
The event accepts donated dresses, then offers them to girls for a donation. Those who can’t donate take the dresses for free.
At one time, King had as many as 1,500 dresses in stock, so there should still be a good selection for future events.
“One lady drove here from Cleveland!” King said.
“She was the first one in line on Friday, and she came the farthest.
“I asked how she found us, and she said, ‘I did a search on Facebook, and your event popped up. I thought, two-and a-half hours? It’s supposed to be a nice day. I can drive that far.’
“She left with dresses for her whole bridal party! She gave me a big hug before she left, saying, ‘This is so awesome!’”
Lines for trying on dresses snaked throughout the church, and waits for changing rooms got long.
“Everybody that was in line– they were all talking and laughing, joking with each other. No one got impatient with the wait,” King said.
Some who did get impatient found ways to try on a dress right in the room with the dresses.
“They would go behind the rack of wedding dresses, and try on the dress they had chosen,” King laughed.
“Most of them at least left a T-shirt on when they did this, but some of them didn’t seem to care that there were guys in the front of the fellowship hall.
“They hid themselves as best they could and just tried their dress on.’
“We had a lot more Archbold girls here than normal,” King said.
“I try to ask each one how they heard about it, and many say they saw it on Facebook, or the Buy- Sell-Trade sites. I definitely think the article (in the Feb. 6 edition of this newspaper) was huge in getting more local girls here.”