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And the Average Cost of an Engagement Ring This Year Is …

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Overall wedding costs are down.

The average price paid for an engagement ring in the first quarter of this year was $3,406, according to new data released by research firm The Wedding Report.

That was virtually unchanged from 2016, when the average cost over the full year was $3,407.

Spending on wedding bands was also flat. 

The average price of a woman’s band in first-quarter 2017 was $785. That compared with $786 in 2016.

The price of a man’s band was unchanged at $456.

The average amount U.S. couples were spending on their wedding as of first-quarter 2017 was $25,961. That represented a 2.8 percent decrease from the 2016 figure of $26,720. 

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The Wedding Report noted: “While average spending for most items remained flat, the reason for the decline in overall spending is due to falling demand for services like, transportation, entertainment, and beauty. Couples seem to be looking for alternatives or other options, [rather] than the traditional route, for these services.”

The figures were based on responses from 3,401 couples.

Read more at The Wedding Report

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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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