OCEAN CITY, Md. — Prom is a night many high schoolers start planning for months. However, after the pandemic put many proms on hold, Sandals Bridal is making sure this year’s event is a night to remember.
The clothing store received an overflow of prom dresses and held a Trunk Show. So owner Maria McEvoy thought it would be a perfect opportunity to add some sparkle to the local high school girls on their big day. “We’ve been down this road for two years and it doesn’t seem normal anymore, it’s kind of like a new experience to come back to it,” says Lauren Hoffman at Stephen Decatur High School (SDHS). Another SDHS junior, Mackensie Martinez adds, “After missing a homecoming, I haven’t been to school for a year, so it’s very exciting to experience, even our prom that we can do, I’m very excited.”
McEvoy tells 47 ABC that local beauty and photography businesses stepped in to help organize a pop-up fashion show where high school girls could try on dresses, have their hair done and do their makeup. “Every woman-owned business is coming to help these girls plan the day they’ve dreamed of all their lives now that they can finally have it again,” McEvoy says.
Along with Sandals Bridal, the other companies helped host a prom pop-up where high school girls could plan their entire prom night and get ready to dazzle on the dance floor. “It was definitely more nerve-wracking to have someone here, but it was really nice to know they were all supporting you,” Martinez said. Hoffman adds, “I feel like this whole week I was really scared of what to expect, but I think it turned out really great.”
Business owners tell us it wasn’t just a chance to showcase their inventory and services, “It was great to be able to network and talk to different vendors and see what everyone has to offer in beauty industry,” says Tiffany Hoffman, owner of Tifferson.
We are told that it was also about empowering young women. “They did such a great job they were gorgeous and I had to be the photographer to capture it, so it was fun,” said Amanda White, photographer and owner of Arbor Lane Studios.
Business owners say it was empowering for them to have a day of celebration and planning for girls who didn’t have the ‘normal’ luxuries of prom and high school experiences, and the fashion show encompassed these feelings. “I think just watching the parents light up was the best part of seeing this whole fashion show,” White says. T. Hoffman adds: “I loved seeing the girls on the catwalk and it shows how well things can come together.
McEvoy also says the day was more than just helping the young women plan their prom, it was about giving them a taste of a new normal. “These kids not only missed prom, they missed sports, missed school, and being with their friends every day. So it’s time to get back to some normalcy and put them back together.” let live what they dreamed of, all their life.
The Trunk show at Sandals Bridal in West Ocean City will run through March 6, and dresses and tuxedos are on sale at a discount.