Connect with us

Best of The Best

Free Weddings

Published

on

alberts weddings

VALENTINE’S DAY ENGAGEMENTS are a welcome tradition for jewelers, of course, that can bring a flurry of post-December sales. At Albert’s Diamond Jewelers, a family-owned company in Schererville, IN, Valentine’s Day weddings have become a tradition, too.

This year, on the day before Valentine’s Day, a couple came to Albert’s and bought a $14,000 engagement ring. When they announced plans to wed at city hall, says Albert’s president Joshua Halpern, he was thrilled to be able to tell them, “You can get married here tomorrow!”

“So they ran down to the courthouse to get a wedding license and came back the next day.”

Sixteen couples in all got married in the store this year on Feb. 14.
Advertisement

the IDEA

A Sentimental Gesture

Josh Halpern’s parents, Fred and Donna Halpern, were married 47 years ago on Valentine’s Day, making the holiday a sentimental one for the whole family. The tradition of holding free wedding ceremonies at the store began in 1998 when Fred and Donna decided to renew their wedding vows there. “We’re in the love business and what better way to help our customers share their love than to offer free wedding ceremonies on the national day of love, Valentine’s Day?” Josh Halpern says.

“I thought if we could expand it to include pieces from other jewelers, it would make a bigger impact and raise more for Massey,” says Fornash.

the EXECUTION

A Beautiful Place to Wed

At 21,000 square feet, the company’s flagship store is one of the largest jewelry stores in the U.S . The store has 120 employees, but Halpern says the nuptials are planned and organized by just three staff members. Much of the responsibility includes finding partners to donate everything needed for the weddings — cake, music, flowers and champagne for the newlyweds and their guests.

Free Weddings

Couples don’t even have to buy their rings at the store to be eligible for a wedding, which can be arranged in as little as a day.

Although there is no dress code, most brides wear wedding gowns or cocktail dresses, and their grooms dress formally, as well.

“It’s a beautiful setting,” Halpern says, “We built a beautiful chapel in the store. It’s much nicer than going to the justice of the peace.”

Albert’s sets up about 50 chairs for spectators, and the weddings are open to the public. Wedding parties in the store have brought along as many as 75 people.

Advertisement

the REWARDS

Fostering Relationships

Halpern has witnessed more than 300 couples wed in the store over the years. Most years, 20 to 30 couples sign up for an in-store ceremony.
Couples do not have to buy their rings in the store — or anything else — to be eligible to get married there, but the event does build loyalty and foster relationships.

“The community loves it,” Halpern says. “People who were married here come back and thank me on Valentine’s Day. It’s overwhelming the gratitude we see for doing things like this.”

Do It Yourself: A Place to Marry

  • Halpern says several of his jeweler friends have tried Valentine’s Day wedding ceremonies and it’s worked well in a variety of stores.
  • He suggests jewelers make friends with local media when planning this kind of event.
  • “We work with the local newspaper and call them about everything we’re doing,” he says. “We always have reporters and photographers in our store, and we make sure we spend money with them. We advertise. There’s still a real need for newspapers, especially in a community like ours.”
  • Assign a couple of staff members to coordinate partnerships with other local businesses, who may be delighted to provide music, photos, champagne and flowers.
Advertisement

Eileen McClelland is the Managing Editor of INSTORE. She believes that every jewelry store has the power of cool within them.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular