RICHLAND -- Bruce and Carolyn Jorgensen can eat in their dining room again. For a year and a half that part of their house was serving up taffeta, lace and ribbons rather than supper.
But business at Formal Couture was good enough that they've reclaimed their home and gained a store front in Queensgate Village in Richland.
"I love the shop. It gives us much more room and it has a cute boutique look with a loft that's devoted to our on-staff seamstress," said sales manager Michelle Bodine.
"No matter what the occasion anybody can look gorgeous. You don't have to be a perfect size four to look great," she said.
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With more space, the Jorgensens have added a line of lingerie in addition to carrying everything to dress the females in a wedding party from gowns and veils to jewelry, shoes and even flower girl baskets.
"Our slogan is, 'Everything but the man,' " Bodine said.
Formal Couture carries gowns from a handful of designers. Their off-the-rack stock is limited in number and size, but Bodine said, "If it's from one of the designers we carry, we can get it. Most of our sales are specially ordered."
Typically an evening gown takes one to four weeks from ordering to delivery, three to four months for bridesmaids dresses and four to six months for a bridal gown.
To check out the new shop and see some of what's available, go to www.formalcouture.com or look for them on facebook.com.
On Dec. 29, Formal Couture is planning a free prom preview fashion show featuring next season's styles and some in-stock merchandise. The show runs from 2 to 4 p.m. at the store.
"The show gives the girls a chance to purchase ahead of time for their proms. Plus their input helps us make selections for next season," Bodine said.
If you're going to be in Hermiston on Nov. 7, you can stop in at Hermiston High School's Holiday Bazaar and check out the gowns at the Formal Couture booth. The bazaar runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Formal Couture also is participating in Brides 2010 on Jan. 10 at TRAC in Pasco. They'll have another prom show in March and are planning, along with the Autism Society, a Sweetheart Ball sometime in February.
"We hope to sponsor more dinners and dances to give we ladies a reason to get dressed up. There's not many times you can," Bodine said.
The store is at 1950L Keene Road in Queensgate Village. It's open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The phone number is 509-531-1800.
-- Loretto J. Hulse: 509-582-1513; firstname.lastname@example.org