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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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Blue Nile Names CEO from Outside Jewelry Industry

He brings nearly 20 years of executive leadership experience.

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Blue Nile CEO Sean Krell

Sean Krell

SEATTLE — Blue Nile, the largest online retailer of certified diamonds and fine jewelry, announced the appointment of Sean Kell as CEO.

Kell most recently served as CEO at A Place for Mom, America’s largest senior living referral service. He brings nearly 20 years of executive leadership in ecommerce, digital innovation, brand marketing, call center operations and product management across organizations such as Expedia, Hotels.com and Starbucks.

“Blue Nile revolutionized the consumer experience of purchasing diamonds and fine jewelry online,” said Kell. “The opportunity to deepen customer relationships and offer an extraordinary experience when shopping for the most cherished moments in their lives is an honor. I am excited to join the team and amplify our strategic priorities.”

Kell succeeds Eric Anderson, who has served as the company’s interim CEO since January 2019.

“As the engagement ring and fine jewelry industries continue to evolve, Sean’s leadership and strategic vision will elevate Blue Nile’s modern approach to becoming our customer’s jeweler for life,” said David Humphrey, a managing director at Bain Capital Private Equity and a member of the board of directors.

“Sean is a seasoned leader, and we are thrilled to have him as Blue Nile’s next CEO.”

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Jeweler Hit With Sledgehammer While Fighting Off Robbers (VIDEO)

Four suspects were arrested.

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A jewelry-store owner in Santa Monica, CA, was hit with a sledgehammer during a robbery, KABC-TV reports.

Three juveniles and an adult were reportedly involved in the smash-and-grab robbery at Heist Jewelry, which took place Thursday afternoon.

The owner pushed one of the suspects out of the store, and another suspect struck the owner with the sledgehammer, according to the report.

The suspects fled, leaving the owner with minor injuries.

Police soon found and arrested all four suspects.

The adult suspect was booed on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, news outlets reported. The juveniles were booked on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery and assault.

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Power-Cutting Burglars Target Jewelry Stores in Northeast

The trend has spread to New Jersey and Connecticut.

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The Jewelers’ Security Alliance reports that power-cutting thieves have been targeting jewelry stores in the Northeast.

The latest incidents took place in New Jersey and Connecticut. The pattern has played out in many states, with burglars cutting jewelry stores’ power lines in order to disable alarm systems, but previously had occurred mainly in the West, Midwest and South.

These are the incidents the JSA reported in a bulletin to retailers:

Morris Plains, NJ, July 27

At 6:45 p.m. on a Sunday evening two males and one female cut the power to a retail jewelry store, but police reported they left without trying to get inside the store. The same gang was reported to have done the same thing at jewelry stores in Sparta, NJ, on July 26, 2019, and in Bedminster, NJ.

Darien, CT, Aug. 8

At 11:20 p.m. suspects turned the power off at a downtown jewelry store at the outside electrical box. The power interruption tripped the burglar alarm, and the suspects waited for the police response. On Saturday, August 10, the same suspects returned at 6:20 p.m. and again turned the power off. It is believed that the suspects again waited to observe police response, and to wait for the back-up battery to be exhausted. However, no entry was made to the store. 

Fairfield, CT, Aug. 11

Between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 11, a retail jeweler received a call from his alarm company regarding the loss of power to his store. The jeweler discovered the electrical meter cover had been pried off the box. The police responded and no suspects were observed.

JSA reported in June that it was aware of over 50 cases in which burglars had cut power lines.

The burglars cut the power lines soon after a store has closed for the night, then wait nearby to see the response by the owner or police, according to JSA.

The burglars have not carried out safe burglaries at all of the stores.

 

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