Barker, in a rhinestone studded strapless gown with a ruffled skirt, said she and Crane looked everywhere for their gowns. It was their first time attending an inaugural ball.
"We picked out our gowns together," Crane said.
"We went to multiple places," Barker said. "We looked everywhere."
Barker found her gown at Barbie's Formal in Milton while Crane, in a soft maroon strapless floor-length dress, picked hers up at Nandel's in Eleanor.
They were enjoying looking at the other women in their finery.
"Everybody looks so beautiful," Barker said.
The biting cold and later the sleet and rain, kept women's gowns under wraps, sometimes made of fur, until they made it inside to check them.
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant pulled off a fur coat that she said was older than she was to reveal a short, flowy royal purple dress. She attended with her husband, Sen. Erik Wells, who looked dapper in his tuxedo.
The coat, which she said wasn't sure was real, belonged to a close family friend and was on loan for the evening. Tennant said she bought her dress at Macy's.
"This is just a great celebration," Tennant said. "This is about West Virginia. We work hard and when we get the opportunity to celebrate with family we take it and enjoy it."
Tennant was one of those sworn into office Monday afternoon at the state Capitol. In addition to her husband and daughter, her five brothers and one sister joined her at the ceremony.
The party was expected to last until 11 p.m.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.cr...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.