I thought I had enough to worry about with the rising trend of nontraditional engagement rings. Or the possibility that someone would ask me to marry her, causing me to have to wear a “man-gagement” ring.
That all pales in comparison to the report in the New York Post that details a rising trend in couples spending top dollar to turn their engagements into a spectacle.
How much have some couples spent on said spectacles you ask? $45,000! And only $21,000 of that is for the ring!
I shouldn’t have been that surprised. Just last July I did a roundup of 10 cool proposals I found on YouTube that were more elaborate than some weddings I’ve attended. I also realized that even though the trend puts a damper on my quest to find Mrs. Louped In, it offers a lucrative opportunity for the jewelry business.
“If you’re going to do all the work and planning and expense of an elaborate proposal, the ring should be equally as nice,” says Jonathan Green, coproprietor of AAA Gold & Jewelry in Plant City, Fla.
He’s right. Imagine spending a ton of money on a slickly produced engagement extravaganza, and popping the question with a ring you bought at Wal-Mart. I don’t care how many dancing relatives you had leading up to that moment, he or she is only going to care about the prize at the bottom of the Cracker Jack box.
I asked two of my industry friends for their thoughts on the latest engagement craze and some ways jewelers could capitalize on it. Here’s what they had to say:
Jewelers can get together with a local wedding planner, a limo service, a florist, a photographer, a travel agent, a restaurant, etc. We’d all combine to offer product and services where everyone works together and offers a couple a complete package and cross-promote each other’s services to couples that are getting engaged. Jewelers could also sponsor a dinner or provide the flowers or offer discounts on the upcoming wedding bands. —Alex Weil, owner, Martin’s Jewelry
Call me old-fashioned but I believe and hear from our brides that the best proposals are those that are done in the context of the relationship. We have been collecting proposal stories for the past several years and find it’s best when there’s a quite moment so that the couple can celebrate in privacy. Some of the best proposals have taken place at the family mountain house, the beach, while on a hike, or on the road traveling to the extended family. We also coach the grooms to be sure that what they say comes from the heart and is “short & sweet” as later in life their future kids will want to know the story.
—Donna Hankin, proprietor, Joint Venture Jewelry