Wednesday, July 6, 2016

After a good rest on vacation in Gatlinburg we were ready to start visiting some local shops. Where should we go first? We started out at The White Room located in the heart of Mountain Brook Village. I was a little nervous sending that first Facebook message to Cathy Kelley, one of the owners , trying to explain exactly what I was doing. What response would I get? Would it be similar to my families? Nope. Cathy was very receptive and we had an appointment to meet her and the get a tour of her store two days later.
It was a beautiful morning in Mountain Brook and Talmadge was wearing our new fitted white Providence notch tuxedo, after Labor Day I know, but we were visiting The White Room. Right?
As we were taking a couple of photos outside Cathy came out the front door and got a picture with our sharp dressed man. When we finished outside, it was time to see what the White Room was all about. 
When you walk in the front door you are immediately greeted by beautiful things. A curio full of sparkling jewelry and a few mannequins of their own adorned in the prettiest of dresses. As you make your way into the main showroom you are met with a feeling of style and sophistication. The dresses line the walls hanging from custom racks, a comfortable seating area, and one of the coolest chandeliers I have ever seen. Cathy was nice enough to give me a grand tour of the place and it is larger inside than you think. Every nook and cranny is decorated elegantly and the break room is to die for! I’m a guy and I would shop for a dress here! I sat down with Cathy and Carolyn in the showroom to get an insight on how the business got started and a little background. 
Carolyn Kelley started altering dresses for the only couture shop in Birmingham at the time. Ladies from Birmingham would go to Atlanta and pick out their dresses then come home to get altered. As her work became recognized Carolyn became the name in town for wedding dress alterations. After a while Carolyn realized that this was a successful business to be in and has not looked back. Seeing the need for alterations and the majority of ladies flocking to Atlanta for wedding gowns, the next step was a no brainer, to open a bridal shop. All the lines that the ladies were bringing back were designers that were not yet offered in the state of Alabama. Carolyn decided to offer those designers right here in Birmingham. Having that idea in mind, Carolyn placed an ad in an upcoming bridal magazine connecting her name with it, even before she had actually opened a store. This was very successful seeing that her name was well recognized in the business. The publication came out in 2004 and the first store was opened January 2005 in Old Town Helena, Alabama where Cathy came in as an owner/manager. After 5 years there they moved The White Room to Cahaba Heights and after 5 years there saw a great opportunity in Mountain Brook.  They have been at the present location since June of this year. 
In the short time I spent with these two ladies it was apparent their genuine passion not only for the business but also for the bride-to-be’s satisfaction. Their personalities are infectious and I left the shop with a smile on my face. Just a note, their semi-annual black tie event with gowns up to 80% off is in full swing and will end September 30th so hurry in. Thanks to Carolyn and Cathy Kelley for the chance to visit with them and we hope to see them soon.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Talmadge? Talmadge who?
That is a very good question. Some of you who follow Mr Burch and my personal Facebook page may have noticed some posts including a well-dressed (most of the time) mannequin we have named Talmadge. Where did he come from? He was hiding in the warehouse, deep in our shipping department. Amongst all the other mannequins he was the one with a smile on his face and a 3 inch layer of dust covering his entire form. The idea came to me while making plans to take a vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennesse. Why not take a mannequin with me and not only show the beautiful sites but also showcase some of the great looking tuxedos and suits Mr Burch has in inventory? The plan was in motion.
The name Talmadge was my Grandfather’s name and seemed appropriate, meshing an old name with the world today. It is also a very unique name that people will not forget. 
Once I got approval from the bosses, which took a little convincing, I was quick to put in tuxedo orders for Talmadge to wear on our trip. Trying to explain to my family that I would be bringing a mannequin with me on our trip was met with laughter and a couple of “have you lost your mind?” looks. After I explained the idea they were more receptive but still had their reservations. I was especially worried that Talmadge might scare my nephew, 5, and my nieces, 4 and 1. Surprisingly they found him quite interesting and fun and helped me with him. The looks that I received as I was walking down the sidewalk in Gatlinburg are priceless and a huge thanks to my sister, Mary Dillard, for doing most of the photography.
We had a blast with him on our trip. We went to the Smoky Mountain National Park, The Apple Barn, downtown Gatlinburg, and many other places. (See Facebook for our family vacay photos.)
Since our trip he has been relaxing for a bit but he has plans on visiting local businesses, landmarks, and other wedding vendors. Where will he be next? Who knows. He might show up at your door soon. 
Would you like Talmadge to visit you?  Let us know.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Homecoming is here and most parents can't wait to break out the camera.  You want to be certain to get a few pics that you (and the kids) will be proud of.  Take a look at a few tips listed below.
Try to get a good background:  Your backyard will probably make a good background for your photos.  If it's getting dark outside, don't forget the flash.
Get individual shots:  Most parents take photos of the couple or group before they go out but you might also consider individual shots as well.  This way you'll have a great momento even if the couple isn't dating later.
Get different group shots: You definitely want to photograph the entire group, but you might also want to get varying group shots like just girls or all the guys together.   Don't forget to get a shot of each couple as well.
Sweat the details:  A lot of time and money goes into getting ready for any formal event.  Be sure to capture the details like the corsage, vintage earrings or special hair do.
Everything doesn't have to be planned:  Kids will be kids.  Let them have fun and capture a few images of them playing around.  These spontaneous (not posed) photos will probably be some of your favorites.  Plus most kids will want fun, individual shots for their Facebook profile.
Hopefully, this will help you capture the moments before the formal and give you some great momentos.  Don't forget to contact Mr. Burch for all your formal fashion needs.  We are here to help.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fall is here and football season has started.  That can only mean one thing - time for HOMECOMING!  For those of you who might not have attended before, don't worry, we're here to help.  Take a look at our do's and don'ts listed below.
Dress up:  While not as formal as prom, homecoming has become an occasion to break out a formal dress. Whether long and elegant or short and sassy, just make sure your dress is comfortable. It’s going to be a long night. This applies to you gentlemen as well.  You can dress up in a tuxedo or wear a suit but make sure the fit is right and you're comfortable. 
Coordinate:  Some girls go as far as giving their date a color swatch to assist them when tie shopping. As a rule, tie/dress should be in the same color family. 
Wear comfortable shoes:  Super high heels look great, but won’t feel great after a while. Many girls pack ballet slippers or flip flops for a quick change before hitting the dance floor.
Take time for proper grooming:  Get a mani/pedi. Get your hair done. Gents, get a haircut early in the week to give your style time to “grow in.” Pack mints. Trust me.
Wear a hat:  Who do you think you are?  Ducky from Pretty In Pink
Coordinate multiple articles of clothing:  This is too matchy-matchy and a definite DON'T.
Get your date a nose-gay:  Do you even know what that is? Girls prefer a small wrist corsage.
Overdo the make-up:  There’s nothing worse than seeing a smear of base or blush on your date’s shirt collar after a slow dance.
And most importantly: DON’T sweat the details!  Have fun and enjoy yourself. That’s what high school is all about.  Contact Mr Burch for all your tuxedo rental or suit needs.  We're here to help!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

We've been taking a look at some of the biggest wedding trends of 2014.  For additional trends, please see the previous post.
Warm Shoulder 
Lace covered shoulders are a big bridal trend.  Whether you have cap sleeves or 3/4 length, a little more coverage can be a great thing.
Remember:  You don't have to have your shoulders covered the entire evening. Talk to your designer and create a removable accessory for the reception.  
Photo from The White Room
All in the Family
Try serving dinner family style for a greater variety with your menu, especially when it comes to the sides. Sharing food can also be a fun icebreaker for your guests to get to know other attendees.
Remember:  You'll need additional servers on hand if you want to offer family style for a more formal affair.  They will be available to assist in the passing of plates.
Image from Happy Catering Company
Merry Maids
Your bridesmaid's body types probably aren't the same it can be difficult to find a dress that looks good on everyone. No worries.   These days traditional bridesmaid dress designers are offering collections that allow for multiple variations on the same general style.
Remember:  If you want a more cohesive look, limit the number of styles your bridesmaids can select from.
Photo by White Rabbit Studios
In Living Color 
Since radiant orchid is the pantone color of the year, it might finally be time for pastels and muted tones to take a back seat to their more vibrant counterparts.
Remember:  If you favor a more subdued color pallet, you can always add a pop of color to your rehearsal dinner or farewell brunch.
Image from Lillie's Flowers
No matter the trend, customer service never goes out of style.  Mr Burch is always here and ready to help with your wedding or formal event.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

So far, 2014 has been a big wedding year and we're not done yet.  Let's take a look at some of the hot wedding trends this year and what you can expect for the rest of 2014.

Back In Black

Formal black tie affairs never go out of style.  But this year couples are opting for all the dapper extras.  You'll see white gloves and bow ties whether they're celebrating in a ballroom or backyard.  There is a tuxedo for every occasion.

Remember:  Your guests need guidance for the dress code.  You should provide attendees with examples of fashion do's and don'ts on your wedding website.



Once Bitten

Your guests won't have to worry about balancing a signature cocktail and appetizer plate if you serve delicious selections that can be eaten with one hand. 

Remember:  Work with your caterer to customize your menu and create small, playful options.


Photo by B&A Warehouse

Make it Personal

Personal touches are what make your wedding unique and showcase your personality.  Whether it's the monogram on the dance floor or guest's names on the tables, those additional details make a big difference.

Remember:  You don't need a big budget to make a big impression.  A chalkboard display with your dating history or a pictorial timeline are great and inexpensive personal additions.


Image from 2 Hearts Weddings Blog

Let The Flowers Flow

You can't have a wedding without flowers and bouquets are having a big moment in 2014.  Let your floral designer breath new life into your displays with more fluid, asymmetrical arrangements.

Remember:  Balance is important.  If the bridal bouquet is overflowing, you might keep your bridesmaid's flowers in a tighter bunch.



Image provided by Lillie's Flowers
Twinkle Twinkle Little Chandelier
Chandeliers are big right now.  No ceiling?  No problem.  You can hang a chandelier from a tree branch or tent.
Remember:  Less can be more.  A single chandelier can make a big impression while creating a focal point for the I dos.
Image courtesy of Lillie's Flowers
Stay tuned.  More to come in our next post.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The next day I was with Wayne, Lonnie and Greg checking out the new tuxedos and suits from a variety of vendors. Here are some of what we saw at Market. 
David Tutera
This was the first booth we stopped by and took a look at the brand new line of tuxedos by David Tutera. This diamond Ice tuxedo has a great look for a destination or outside wedding. The multicolored bowtie really sets off this tux and reminds me of an old southern wedding.
Michael Kors                                                                                            
Next stop was the guys at Michael Kors. We all know that with a name like Michael Kors it's going to be a very hot item with brides. We purchased the grey Passion tuxedo by Michael Kors and it has been a hit. But what about a black one?
Ike Behar
Ike Behar was next. The offering of a Navy Tux was surprising at first but Navy is on the way back. Hard to decide which one looks the best.
Allure Men
We ended the day with Allure Men. Allure has had huge success with their bridesmaids and prom dress line but now they offer formal wear for men. Allure men has a great line of tuxedos. This is the new cement tuxedo offered in both a notch and peak lapels. We really like the light grey look and mixing and matching coats and pants with accessories gives you so many choices.
That trip was a very enjoyable and enlightening one that gave me an insight into another facet of the tuxedo rental and sales industry. Check back soon for our announcements on what we purchased from this trip. We are still trying to decide so give us feedback if you would like. Follow us on social media and let us know. The customer is always right! It was a great time and I look forward to next year.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The time of year is here when we make the short trek to Atlanta to meet and talk with others in the industry and see what new products will be available for next year. I was honored to be asked to tag along this year and experience the process of shopping and purchasing formal wear first hand.
The first day for me was all about dresses! I accompanied Geneva, our Trussville store manager, and Brittany, also from Trussville to the morning meeting of IPA (International Prom Association). It was a great opportunity to see the plan for this upcoming prom season and the awesome ways in which technology can help us market our products. After that it was my very first runway show featuring Madison James prom and bridesmaid dresses. I am far from an expert on dresses but believe me, prom 2015 is going to be the best!
After the show it was up to Geneva and Brittany to review what we saw at the show and determine what they think will sell for homecoming and prom next year. All of the dresses that were featured on the runway are hung up all along the walls in the studio space so you can it see and inspect them more closely. We went down the list and gave our opinions. After that it was time to reconnect with the others and enjoy a tasty dinner.
Next blog post - all about the tuxedos!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Your marriage is the beginning of the rest of your life with your spouse.  Your wedding is how you celebrate that beginning.  The little details are your chance to reflect your personality and show off your style.  Don't miss an opportunity to embrace your uniqueness.  

While wedding traditions are there if you require some guidance, rules are made to be broken.  The traditional guest book is a lovely idea but few couple display their book after the nuptials are over.  Why not create a keepsake that become a daily reminder of your wedding?  Take a look at these 10 alternatives to the tradtional wedding guest book.

1.  Thumb Print Guest Tree:  Each guest puts their thumbprint on a branch and signs their name.

2.  Wishing Stones:  Each guest writes a wish for the new couple.


3.  Balloon Art:  Each guest signs a balloon and attaches it to art that will be framed and displayed.



4.  Love notes:  Guests write a message and insert into an envelope.



5.  Key to success:  Adorable concept and easy to understand.



6.  Life is a puzzle:  Guests sign puzzle pieces for future assembly and display.


7.  Tree of love:  Write your special message to the couple and hang on the tree for display.


8.  Map it out:  Guests sign on the destination they suggest the couple visit.



9.  Getting to know you:  Ask your guests to write a story of how they know you.


10.  Love songs:  Guests sign the vinyl version of your special song.



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

When attending a wedding, keep in mind that it’s better to be overdressed (only slightly though. Don’t show up in a tux to a semi-formal wedding!) than under-dressed. If you want to dress down during the wedding, you can take off your jacket if need be. Additionally, suits can be rented if you don’t want to break the bank on a suit in an obscure color.  You can usually find a close enough double and at a fraction of the cost.
Now, here are some up and coming suit trends for the groom to be that bring a modern day twist to the classic tuxedo.
Just as pink is the new white for brides, grey is the new black for grooms. Lately, there has been an increase in tan or beige suits for summer weddings, and grey suits for fall or winter weddings. Another popular trend is to incorporate an accent color from the bridal party into the groomsmen’s attire.
Suspenders are the perfect way to add a funky and modern, yet subtle, twist to any groom’s outfit. Also a great option for groomsmen and ring bearers!
Bow ties are trendy and stylish, the perfect way to make a splash on your wedding day. Embrace your funky side!
Pretty snazzy huh? The great thing about these trends becoming more popular is that there are more choices and bargains for menswear than ever!


This post originally appeared in The Wedding Party and was written by by Kaitlin Perata