The Becker’s storefront expanded once again in 1986, when Clark and Sharon purchased an old brick building across the street from the bridal store. Once ‘Harvey’s Food', the building first sold street wear for several years before becoming a mothers’ and alteration department. Unfortunately, the building was lost to a fire and since then, the mothers' inventory has been gratefully re-homed to the Outlet location in Lansing, MI.
The Becker's Legacy
If there is anything odd or different about the Becker store, it is its spreading fame; a fame reaching from Muskegon to Port Huron, and Adrian to Cheboygan.
Now operating under its fifth generation, the miracle and energy of Becker’s Bridal is rooted deeply in the rarest of legacies. As one of America’s oldest bridal stores, Becker’s has become a family tradition for brides from far and wide.
The Becker family has operated a business in Fowler since 1908 when Frank Becker purchased the general store of Charles Day, which was then located in the building that today is Miller’s Tavern. A few years later, the store moved into a frame building at the main intersection, the same location as the present store. However, in 1917, the business moved yet again and the old frame building was torn down to make way for The People’s Bank.
Below: The Becker’s Department Store (left), Frank Becker, Sr. (center), the original Frank Becker store (right)
In 1922, Frank A. Becker, son of Frank Becker, Sr., assumed the business with his wife, Eva. Both were active in the store from the beginning. The general store became the Frank A. Becker Store and stocked shoes, clothing, dry goods among groceries, costume jewelry, and stationery. Eva became known as the stern, but powerful, “lady with apron and hat.”
After The Great Depression, The People’s Bank closed and on August 15, 1950, the way was clear for the Beckers to complete the cycle and the store returned to the corner location. This time, however, they occupied not only the handsome brick building, but also a spacious new addition that had been built around the Bank. In 1934, the no-nonsense Mrs. Eva Becker started in the wedding gown business almost by accident. She purchased a gown in Chicago for her niece and her selection proved so popular she soon had many requests from other brides. The first wedding dress purchased from the Frank A. Becker Store was that of Mrs. Helen Frechen. And just as a 1955 article of “The Fowler Post” wrote, ‘since then the gowns have never ceased coming’. View the original gown sold, graciously featured in our lobby just steps upon entering.
The first bridal gown sold by Becker’s in 1934, "But the Becker fame is the wedding dress department, which is the particular pride of Mrs. Becker. Brides have come to Becker’s from the far corners of Michigan."
In 1975, Frank’s son Clark and his wife, Sharon, not only continued the legacy, but evolved the once general store into “Becker’s Bridal & Menswear.” The new focus was on bridal and formal wear, along with a men’s clothing department. The old bank building was renovated, followed by another update to the main level in the late 70’s. Ever a family business, Mrs. Sharon Becker still recalls being called into supervise new carpet installation the day after the birth of her eighth child.
The years that followed the success of “The Magic Room”, a New-York Times Best Selling novel written about Becker's Bridal by Jeffrey Zaslow, brought on more great changes to the shop. After obtaining the neighboring building that was “KJ’s Cafe,” a full scale expansion and renovation began. In 2014, a grand re-opening marked the celebration of our 80th anniversary. The entire store was re-lit and re-modeled for an elegant and romantic experience for all guests.
Its family legacy endures as Shelley’s daughter, Alyssa, and her husband, Cory, join in the lineage of ownership. Becker’s Bridal is now 4 storefronts wide, 15 thousand square feet, 16 dressing rooms, two specially lit 360º viewing rooms, including the famed "Magic Room", and the newest addition, just steps above the shop- The Phoenix Bridal Celebratory Lounge! After losing the Becker's Mother's Studio to a fire, The Phoenix was born from the ashes, offering a truly unique experience like none other. The Alice-in-Wonderland inspired floral bridal lounge offers a beautiful and enchanting space for brides to continue her celebration in. Enjoy from a selection of speciality beverages, artisan snacks, delicious desserts, and more!
Now approaching our 90th year of serving over hundreds of thousands of brides, Becker’s Bridal continues to flourish as one of the nation’s oldest and largest bridal salons. The rich and long-standing history that makes us who we are today continues to bring generation after generation of Becker’s brides back to the little town of Fowler. We truly welcome our customers as family and look forward to you joining in our story for decades to come.