Magazine: All in the Family
Differing from other bridal salons in many ways, Becker’s is just one of the pride and joys in the faith-filled community of Fowler, Michigan.
“Typically when I tell people where I am from, they have a puzzled look on their face,” bride-to-be and daughter of former Most Holy Trinity 2257 CR Joy Stump, Lauren Stump said. “Once I ask if they have heard of Becker’s Bridal, then Fowler becomes [more] familiar to them.”
Having worked at Becker’s Bridal in high school and for some of her college years, Lauren never considered purchasing her dress from any other store. Employees couldn’t agree more on this: Becker’s is something everyone should experience.
“It’s a beautiful place to work,” employee Leah Grice said. “[Seeing how] so much good can come out of a garment.”
Approaching its 85th year, Becker’s Bridal officially began in 1934 when Frank and Eva Becker transformed their general store into a wedding gown business. Eva started the business almost by accident after traveling to Chicago and purchasing a wedding dress for her niece. Each time she traveled back to Chicago, she couldn’t resist buying more and more dresses.
“Before they became completely bridal, we would go there for Easter bonnets,” Cathy Rademacher, wife of Agent John Rademacher, remembers of her childhood. “There’s a lot of history there. It all started as a grocery store [in 1908].”
Since then, five generations have owned or worked within the store, and Becker’s has served over 100,000 brides. One bride even flew 22 hours from the city of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, to purchase her dress at Becker’s!
Today, the great-granddaughter of Eva Becker, Michelle Becker Mueller, is the President of Becker’s Bridal. Michelle’s daughter Alyssa is the Vice President.
“All seven children were members of COF,” Cathy said. “Sharon and Clark, [who are] Shelley’s mom and dad, were members, and many of the grandkids are.”
In addition to the store being run by COF members, many members, like Lauren, have purchased their wedding dresses from Becker’s.
“Because of my friendship with Shelley and Alyssa, the co-owners of the store, and the value the business places on the bride, I knew they would make it extra special for me,” Lauren said.
“As the dresses were carried into the dressing room, Shelly carried out a Justin Alexander gown she had just received the night before,” Lauren, whose November 12 wedding is pictured below, said. “As I walked out of the dressing room, my mom just kept repeating ‘Wow. Wow. Wow.’ And that was it.”
One of the most unique things about Becker’s is the famous Magic Room. Transformed in 2005 from an old bank vault into a viewing room, the Magic Room is now one of the most memorable experiences at Becker’s. So memorable, that even a book was written about it!
Today, Becker’s has more than 2,000 gowns in stock, making it one of the largest inventories of bridal gowns in the country. It is also one of the longest standing bridal stores in the US.
Becker’s, with its philosophy of walking in a friend, but leaving as family, hopes to continue as a special bond between grandmothers, mothers and daughters who have all found their dresses at this special place.
For more information, visit beckersbridal.com.
Article by Alyssa Strickland.