From Tracie: The Magic Room

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Magic Room

I would be intrigued by a book about a wedding dress store- seeing as I had three weddings (to the same man!) in one year, I clearly love weddings.

Thomas and I were first married late on a Wednesday night (midnight to be exact), at our pastor's house. That afternoon I rushed into a department store in search of a dress. I found one hanging on the wall in a dark corner. It was simple, with a layer of lace, white, knee length, and probably not exactly meant to be a wedding dress. But when I put it on in the dressing room, even under the flickering fluorescent lights, looking into a chipped mirror - I felt beautiful.

Wedding number two was in Arizona with family. My mom planned it, and put it all together in less than two weeks (she is pretty awesome). A lot of our pictures are in storage right now, but earlier this month my cousin posted some old pictures on her facebook, and I snagged this one from my wedding.
Tracie's Family At Her Arizona Wedding
It is one of my favorite pictures - because it is my entire family on my mom's side. One of the few times all of us were together in one place. 

My mom found that dress for me during her planning, and with a few night-before-the-wedding adjustments by my aunt, it fit perfectly. I will never forget the look on Thomas' face when he walked into the church and saw me standing in that dress. It was magical. I loved the dress so much, I wore it a few months later, for our third wedding - in Florida with more family and all our friends.

Jeffrey Zaslow's book, The Magic Room, is not just about a wedding store. He tells the story of the Becker family, and the four generations of women who have been selling wedding dresses at Becker's Bridal in Fowler, Michigan.

Zaslow offers glimpses into the lives of some of the brides who found their perfect dresses at Becker's, their joys and sorrows. A young bride who saved her first kiss for the man she would marry. A bride who is entering her second marriage, after being widowed. A bride involved in a terrible car accident four months before her wedding day, and the fiance who stood by her through surgeries and physical therapy (this one made me cry). A bride who did her wedding planning with her grandmother, because she lost her mother when she was young. A bride married for the first time a few weeks after turning forty. They all have different backgrounds and experiences - but they are joined together by the beginning of this new chapter in their lives.

I enjoyed the personal stories of the brides and following the story of the Becker family through the years. One thing I found interesting was the way the author explored the changes that weddings, and the search for the perfect wedding dress, have gone through since Becker's Bridal opened in the 1930s.

Reading this book brought back all the excitement and wonder I felt in that dressing room almost ten years ago under those awful, flickering fluorescent lights (hardly the same experience the brides in the book get - they try their dresses on in the Magic Room with special lighting and mirrors). I looked at myself in the dress I would wear a few hours later to make vows and share promises with Thomas, and I knew it was perfect.

Did you go on a long search for the perfect wedding dress?
You can join in the conversation, and read an excerpt of The Magic Room at BlogHer.

*This was a paid review for the BlogHer Book Club, and I was provided a copy of The Magic Room to read, by BlogHer and Penguin Books, but the opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to say nice things. 


  1. That's beautiful Tracie. Did you pack the dress away for a possible future special occasion or send it forward to another?

  2. I love how much love there is in your household. Three freaking weddings? Three times the awesome!

  3. he sure is special to go through 3 weddings in one year. I would be changing the vow to "As I have said before, I do".

  4. I love hearing about your wedding and the dress. The dress looks just perfect for you, too. I found my dress when it fit perfectly, no alterations needed. It just seemed like a sign to me. Those are magical times for sure. Sweet post :)