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

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

Mr Burch Formal Wear has the distinct privilege of working with some of Birmingham’s best wedding vendors and and venues.  We would like to take this opportunity to spotlight:  The White Room.
Carolyn  Kelley, founder and owner, is the driving force behind The White Room.  Carolyn drove by a building in Helena in October 2004 and saw it was for rent.  She called her daughter Cathy to share her thoughts about opening a bridal salon.  January 2, 2005,  The White Room opened with dresses in the store.  Cathy continued her corporate day job for a while and worked with Carolyn nights and weekends.  The two worked side by side seeing brides every Saturday.  Eventually, Cathy transitioned to work at the bridal salon full time and became the customer service expert while Carolyn remained the talented seamstress who makes ALL the alterations.    The two have a  unique relationship and love working together.  
What makes you different?
The White Room is all about the bride.  They invest profit back into the shop in order to give their brides more options and a greater quantity to choose from.  Carolyn is the alterations department and constantly gives so bride will feel extra special and really love what she has.
How / when should a bride select a dress?
Most girls get engaged and then the best friend calls 6 shops to schedule appointments  The bride might not be ready and  you shouldn't force her.   The bride will get to the dress in her time, usually after she has selected a venue.
What are the most common mistakes a bride makes when shopping for a dress?

A common mistake when shopping for a wedding gown is bringing too many people.  If the bride has more than 3 people with her, her opinion tends to get lost.  Another mistake is not putting any 
thought in the style or type of dress she wants.  What does the theme or venue dictate?  Do some research.   Have a few ideas so you know what you're looking for.  If you're having a beach wedding, a full length, long sleeve formal gown, might not work.
Of course you also need to have a firm grasp on your budget.  It will be difficult to shop if you don't know how much you have to spend.  Once you get a vision for your dress, it should be right for your body type.  If you are 5 feet tall, a mermaid style might not be the best for your body shape.  If you're working with The White Room, prepare for honesty.  Were going to tell you what looks good and what doesn't. 
If you're getting dress from us, you're going to be spectacular in it.

If you haven't had the opportunity, you might want to check out the new Sale Room.  It's for any bride who wants a couture dress but doesn't have $7,000 to spend.  The Sale Room is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10am-6pm with no appointment needed.  If a bride is willing to buy a dress off rack and have alteration, she can save thousands of dollars.

If you're shopping for a wedding dress, we suggest you visit Cathy and Carolyn at White Room.  We promise, you won't regret it.