SILVANA — The inaugural Bridal Dress Swap Meet at the Peace Lutheran Church in Silvana on Saturday, Feb. 22, had already drawn 20 shoppers to peruse its aisles of 150 dresses by noon, in spite of the day's dark skies and rain mixed with snow.
Jeanne Watanabe, owner of the Silver Hanger consignment store in Arlington, acknowledged that the touch of winter weather did deter turnout slightly, but she still considered the event a sales success for its first time, enough that she plans to return to the Peace Lutheran Church for another Bridal Dress Swap Meet on April 26.
"We knew going into this that this first event would be the launching pad for the rest to follow," Watanabe said. "There's always some kinks when you start a new event, but this actually went very smoothly, all things considered."
Watanabe was effusive in her praise for Terry Marsh and Arlington Hardware's Taylor Jones, who managed to assemble the racks for the dresses within five days prior to the event.
"We've got a great team and a lot of great dresses left over, so this will be a great momentum-builder for April," Watanabe said.
In the meantime, Watanabe is inviting the community to the fourth Prom Dress Exchange and Fashion Show on Saturday, March 22, at 1050 State Ave. in Marysville. The Fashion Show starts at 11 a.m., while the Prom Dress Exchange follows from noon to 2 p.m.
While a $10 donation is requested, if a girl is successful in finding a dress, there is no admission fee for the event, and shoppers don't need to prove they're from any particular school or city to check out the event's selection.
"We have models from Marysville, Arlington, Lakewood, Lake Stevens and Stanwood, who are basically acting as ambassadors for this event," Watanabe said. "We'll have everything from prom dresses to eighth-grade graduation dresses, and even tuxedos and ties for the boys."
Pazzaz Hair Design of Arlington contributed their services to a photo shoot on Thursday, Feb. 27, to help promote the Prom Dress Exchange and Fashion Show.
If you wish to donate dresses to this event, you can drop them off, in bags and in good condition, at either Trusty Threads, at 1515 Third St. in Marysville, or at the Silver Hangar, at 437 N. Olympic Ave. in Arlington.
For more information on the Prom Dress Exchange and Fashion Show, visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PromExchange. To learn more about the Bridal Dress Swap Meet, log onto www.bridalswapmeet.weebly.com.