Since its beginnings in 1905 as a tiny storefront in East Chicago, Albert’s Diamond Jewelers has been a destination for lovebirds to find stunning jewelry and make heartwarming memories of true love.
Albert’s very own founders Fred and Donna Halpern tied the knot on Valentine’s Day in 1968, and Albert’s Jewelers is honoring their enduring love by once again welcoming couples of Northwest Indiana to get married inside the store their annual “I Do” event.
“We were very lucky,” Fred said. “On my 30th anniversary, a customer and friend, Judge Snyder, said, ‘Fred, why don’t you renew your vows on your 30th and I’ll marry anyone else for free.’ So we’ve kept it up ever since. No one has to buy anything.”
This year’s “I Do” event marks 21 years of tradition. With approximately 20 couples married at the event each year, “I Do” has become an iconic celebration of love in the Region, all stemming from the unwavering commitment of Fred and Donna.
Here’s a look back at some of the lovebirds who’ve said I Do at Albert’s in the past:
Mark & Sandy
Mark and Sandy Riggle followed in the Halpern’s footsteps, joining in matrimony on Valentine’s Day in 2016. Their love story began when they were just 5 years old, as childhood neighbors whose families were very close.
“We drove him and his sister to school every day. We talked about all going to college together,” Sandy said in 2017.. “We started dating and had our first kiss when we were 14.”
Mark proposed to Sandy on her birthday in July, 2015. The couple went to their most trusted jeweler, Albert’s, to choose a ring. When they heard about the “I Do” event, they knew it was perfect for them.
“Albert’s treated us like their family. They were always super nice and extremely helpful, and we couldn’t think of a better place to get married,” Sandy said back then. “The setting was chapel-like with the white drapery and plenty of seating. It was picture perfect.”
Apples & Michael
In 2016, Apples Vasquez received the surprise of a lifetime when boyfriend Michael Cullum proposed to her on Christmas Eve. After years of being states apart as drivers stationed in different locations, the sweethearts were eager to begin their life as husband and wife. Following a tradition of celebrating their love on holidays, the couple shared their first kiss as newlyweds at Albert’s Jewelers in 2017.
“I looked it up and was interested and, on a whim, I signed up for it,” Apples said of the “I Do” event back in 2017. “I know a lot of people say getting married on Valentine’s Day is cliché, but I don’t believe that.”
Apples and Michael were the first couple to be wed at Albert’s Jewelers that year.
Cookie and Mark
Erazema (Cookie) and Mark Czuba brought with them a love story ten years in the making. After a decade-long courtship, the couple knew exactly where they wanted to say their vows.
“It was the best,” Cookie said. “If you’re a very simple person, it is the best way to get married. I was nervous to get married, but I didn’t have to worry about anything for the wedding.”
The excited couple celebrated at the “I Do” event with 15 of their closest friends and family, promising their love to one another and cutting the cake Albert’s provided.
Sheri and Michael
Sheri of Northwest Indiana had the weekend of her life when Michael proposed to her during a trip to Chicago. The newly engaged couple went straight to Albert’s to select the perfect engagement ring when they heard of the annual “I Do” event.
“When Denise over at Albert’s told us what they were doing on Valentine’s Day, we both looked at each other like, ‘Wow. That’s a no-brainer,’” Sheri said last year. The two were joined in matrimony during the 2018 “I Do” event.
Each couple attending the “I Do” event brings with them a story of friendship, love, and commitment. The event demonstrates the heart-felt connection that Albert’s has with Northwest Indiana, valuing each of their customers as friends and family.
“It’s for people who want to do something that’s very unique,” said Joshua Halpern during one of the “I Do” events a couple years ago. Halpern is President of Albert’s Diamond Jewelers and son of Fred and Donna.
“It goes back to my father and the principles that I was taught about how we need to treat people,” Joshua said. “Our mission statement is to give more in value than we receive in payment. When people come into our store, they’re coming into our house. We want to treat them like they’re our best friends. They want to come to us because we always treat them a certain way. This is completely complimentary, whether they buy their rings here or not.”
To learn more about the upcoming “I Do” event and how to get married at Albert’s Jewelers on Valentine’s Day, visit https://www.albertsjewelers.com/say-i-do-at-alberts, or follow them on Facebook.