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Average Engagement Ring Spend Surges 56%, Survey Finds

The typical spend in 2018 was $7,829, according to a Brides magazine survey.

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THE AMOUNT BRIDAL COUPLES spent on their engagement rings surged nearly 56 percent in 2018, according to Brides‘ American Wedding Study. The surprising climb — from $5,023 in 2017 to $7,829 in 2018 — may reflect a demand for more ornate setting styles and larger center stones.

The engagement ring stats were part of a broad-based survey that also revealed the cost of an average wedding zoomed to an all-time high of $44,105, as more and more couples sought new ways to personalize and extend their celebrations.

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Brides’ 2018 survey was designed to reveal key insights into the latest trends, behaviors and spending habits for weddings in America, based on responses from 850 brides-to-be or newly married women.

The Knot, which usually publishes its bridal survey at the end of February, reported in 2018 that the average spent on an engagement ring in 2017 was $5,764, down slightly from $6,163 in 2016. It will be interesting to see if The Knot’s new stats will reflect startling upward movement, as well.

“Spending is way up across categories, proving that while couples are doing things their own way, they are still prioritizing celebrating their marriage,” said Lisa Gooder, executive director, Brides. “More than ever, couples are savoring the whole process, from engagement to honeymoon and beyond, by celebrating with more events, trips, and professional photos or videos to capture the moments.”

The Brides report emphasized these emerging trends: In 2018, 9 percent of couples took a wedding-moon (pre-wedding trip) together; 31 percent hosted multi-day wedding weekends (up from 20 percent in 2017); 39 percent had a post-reception after-party (up from 20 percent in 2017); and 14 percent of brides wore a second look for their after-party (up from 7 percent in 2017).

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Here’s how the 2018 American Wedding Study breaks down the expenditures for an average wedding:

  • Catering: $12,242
  • Reception: $9,764
  • Engagement ring(s): $7,829
  • Photography: $3,133
  • Rentals: $2,920
  • Rehearsal dinner: $2,775
  • Flowers: $2,629
  • Wedding planner fees: $2,481
  • Reception music: $2,380
  • Dress: $2,260
  • Videography: $2,180
  • Wedding ring(s): $1,890
  • Post-wedding brunch: $1,503
  • After-party: $1,325
  • Wedding day transportation: $1,275
  • Other decor: $1,183
  • Day-of-wedding beauty for bride and bridal party: $944
  • Invitations, announcements, thank-you cards, etc.: $917
  • Ceremony: $651
  • Groom’s attire: $602
  • Cake: $547
  • Favors: $422
  • Gifts to bridesmaids: $419
  • Gifts to parents: $386
  • Veil: $316

KEY FINDINGS

  • Average age of bride: 28
  • Average age of partner: 29
  • Average number of bridal attendants: 5.4
  • Average number of groomsmen: 5.3
  • September and October are the most popular months to get married (32%).
  • The majority of couples get married on Saturday (68%), followed by Friday (16%), and Sunday (9%).
  • Average number of guests: 167
  • 83% of brides opted for a white/off-white wedding dress (down from 92% in 2017).
  • 17% of couples have a destination wedding.
  • 97% of brides say their fiancé is involved in planning the wedding, and of those, 36% are very involved.
  • Although 92% set a budget (vs. 90% in 2017), 45% of those who do spend more than they planned (vs. 34% in 2017).
  • 87% of couples went on a honeymoon/mini-moon, up from 77% in 2017.
  • More couples are taking engagement photos than ever, up to 80% from 66% in 2017.
  • More couples are having a post-wedding brunch; 41% vs. 31% in 2017.
  • Engagement parties are on the rise, with 38% of couples saying they had one, up from 32% in 2017.
  • 28% of couples got engaged on a holiday or special occasion, up from 12% in 2017.
  • December has the most engagements at 14%.

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • 23% met their partner on social media, through a dating app, or an online dating site.
  • 82% report using social media to find inspiration/their wedding style.
  • 87% of brides report using Pinterest as an inspiration source for their wedding.
  • 76% of brides report using Instagram as an inspiration source for their wedding.
  • 20% of brides report using Facebook as an inspiration source for their wedding.
  • 70% use social media to find and follow vendors.
  • 60% follow wedding brands/products they’ve already purchased/booked.
  • 57% search social media by hashtag to view photos of other weddings (up from 37% in 2017).
  • 48% use social media to purchase items for the wedding (bridesmaids dresses, invitations, beauty products, etc.).
  • 46% post photos/updates/stories throughout the planning process (up from 40% in 2017).
  • 54% of brides say most of their friends learned of their engagement through social media.
  • 70% create a custom hashtag for guests to use at the wedding (vs. 51% in 2017).
  • 48% create a custom hashtag for their wedding-related events (i.e., bachelorette party) vs. 36% in 2017.
  • 35% create a custom Snapchat geofilter for their wedding (vs. 17% in 2017).
  • 9% ask guests not to post photos of their wedding on social media.

WEDDING TECH

  • 94% of couples incorporate technology into their wedding planning in some way.
  • 80% create a wedding website for guests.
  • 67% use a wedding planning app (i.e., checklists, budget trackers).
  • 53% allow guests to RSVP to wedding and/or wedding-related events via email or wedding site.
  • 27% send digital invites to wedding-related events (i.e., shower, bachelorette, engagement party, etc.).
  • 26% use high-tech devices for photographing their wedding (i.e., drones, GIF photo booths, GoPros, etc.).
  • 10% send digital invites as save-the-dates.
  • 7% have a live feed of wedding hashtag displayed at the reception (i.e., Instagram photos, tweets, etc.).
  • 6% send digital invites to wedding ceremony or reception.
  • 5% live-stream their ceremony for out-of-town guests.
  • 4% offer charging stations for guests at their wedding.

Howard Cohen is the Shoreham, NY-based editor of The Jeweler Blog, a daily blog ghost-written for retail jewelers. Cohen, a long-time industry veteran, is dedicated to making social media tasks simple and affordable for every jeweler. For more information, visit thejewelerblog.com or contact Cohen at 631-821- 8867, hscohen60@gmail.com. Websites: thejewelerblog.com, thejewelerblog.wordpress.com.

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Kate Middleton Shows Off Mysterious New Diamond Ring

Observers of the royal family don’t recognize the piece.

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Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, appeared at a public event last week wearing a piece of jewelry previously unknown to observers of the royal family.

On her right ring finger, opposite the well-known sapphire and diamond engagement ring she wears on her right hand, was a large diamond ring, Town & Country. The occasion was the Diplomatic Corps Reception at Buckingham Palace.

The duchess also wore the Lover’s Knot Tiara, a piece that dates to 1913 and which was favored by the late Princess Diana.

In photos, it’s hard to see the exact design of the new ring. Town & Country writes that it’s “unclear at this point if it is a wholly new design, something from the royal collection, or perhaps existing stones fashioned into something bespoke for Kate.”

Read more at Town & Country

 

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Uncut Gems Features Adam Sandler as a Jeweler and May Be His ‘Best Work Ever’ (with Video)

It hits theaters today.

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Uncut Gems, which features Adam Sandler as a jeweler, hits theaters today, and critics say it might his best work yet.

In a review for Entertainment Weekly, Darren Franich calls Sandler’s performance “loud and meaningful, hyperbolic yet terribly human.”

In the film from Josh and Benny Safdie, Sandler plays Howard Ratner, described on the movie’s official website as “a charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score.”

“When he makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime, Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides, in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win,” according to the site.

Franich gives the movie an A-, noting that Sandler “exudes the self-lacerating melancholy familiar from his acclaimed dramatic work in Punch-Drunk Love and The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).” In a headline, Entertainment Weekly says the film may be Sandler’s “best work ever.”

The New York Times, meanwhile, rates the movie as a “Critic’s Pick.” Reviewer

Watch the trailer below.

Read more at Entertainment Weekly

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Sales Remain Strong, But Jewelers Moderate Expectations a Bit for 2019 Holiday Season

45% of jewelers in our survey say the season is in line with their projections.

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JEWELERS TEMPERED THEIR expectations for the 2019 holiday season as we entered the second week of December with about one in four store owners telling an INSTORE Mini Survey they had fallen behind target. That compared to just 14 percent who were similarly downbeat following a robust Black Friday opening.

Overall, sales were still strong though. Seven percent of jewelers said they were having a “terrific” season so far, 24 percent said it was better than expected and 45 percent said it was in line with their projections.

“Traffic is up but I was expecting higher traffic as this is our fourth Christmas and have really increased sales over the last year,” said Christopher Sarich, the owner of Noah Gabriel & Co. Jewelers in Wexford, PA.

Tickets continued to be strong with more than a third of jewelers saying their average sale was over $600, while a similar portion of store owners said their store traffic was up over last year (see charts below).

Diamond sales of all kinds — bridal, studs, design, fashion and lab-grown — continued to do well with almost half of the jewelers in our survey citing diamond jewelry as their best-selling item. Custom was also doing well.

“Custom! Everything from scratch to customized assembly,” said Jennifer Farnes, owner of Revolution Jewelry Works in Colorado Springs, CO.

Given the overall health of the economy and consumers’ appetite for jewelry, this could also be a good season to move aged inventory, suggested Jill Hornik, owner of Jae’s Jewelers in Coral Gables, FL.

“This is the perfect time for an inventory reduction sale to get rid of old stock. We put over 200 items over 5 years old into our case normally designated for a silver designer, and have made 31 times the revenue we normally would within that same case space.”

The second 2019 Holiday Season Mini survey was taken on Monday by 112 independent jewelers who are part of our Brain Squad readers group. We will send out more surveys over the course of the holiday season. Look out for the results each Tuesday.

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