Many jewelry stores offer engagement rings and wedding bands. Most have a bridal area for consultations. But one jewelry chain took that a step further—Helzberg Diamonds has ordained nearly 600 of its associates to help customers get married right there in the store.
Now, eloping or holding your wedding ceremony inside a jewelry store isn’t for everyone. But Helzberg is taking it up a notch with a national contest targeting engaged couples. The grand prize is a pair of wedding bands and a $19,000 cash prize—which equals the average amount couples told a national survey they would save on a wedding if they included only the essentials.
The contest runs through Aug. 29, and it is open to engaged entrants who are interested in Helzberg for their wedding bands and are amenable to getting married in the store.
Lauren Gravelyn, an ordained Helzberg Diamonds associate, says she hopes engaged couples take a real look at the Hitched at Helzberg offer and contest for two reasons. The first is the financial savings from average US wedding costs, which surveys show top out around $33,204.
She also wants couples to know that Helzberg is making its stores the perfect wedding venue—if you’re into that kind of thing. For example, this free in-store wedding allows couples to bring in wedding decor like decorations, flowers, and cake. They also can bring in family to watch. Couples must already have their marriage license and any witnesses they’ll need according to local and state laws.
The Hitched at Helzberg program started in October 2019. To date, the chain’s ordained associates have married 189 couples in 22 US states. Gravelyn has officiated one wedding so far, and she says it was an awesome moment for her in terms of both sentimentality and her work within the jewelry space.
“I was ordained by the Universal Life Church; it was very easy,” Gravelyn says. “The one wedding I did was a couple who wanted to get married during COVID, and the courthouse was closed. It was fun to do and a wonderful experience. I felt privileged to be a part of their special day.”
The Wedding Report called 2022 the “busiest year of weddings” in more than 40 years, and many couples are looking at challenges in terms of paying for this event because of rising inflation and associated costs.
To that end, Helzberg conducted a national survey of more than 1,000 US couples who are engaged to ask about their wedding plans. The survey found 62% were open to considering a scaled-back or elopement-style wedding; that number jumped to 69% among female respondents.
The survey also showed that 26% of couples felt they were spending too much on a wedding. When asked, they said they could skip certain wedding traditions to save money, including flowers, alcohol, a videographer, and music from either a DJ or a band. On average, that would save couples about $19,480, Helzberg found.
This total is what inspired the Helzberg contest, giving away that wedding-savings amount to the winning couple in hopes of helping them get hitched without the additional expense.
“If someone wants to put that money elsewhere to fund something that’s important to them, they can do that and not lose out on that wedding experience,” Gravelyn says.
Top: Timothy Frederick and Raquel Dorf are one couple who decided to get Hitched at Helzberg, a free service the jewelry store chain offers to help people offset the rising costs of weddings. The chain ordains its associates to marry people, and it is holding a national contest to help a couple pay for their elopement (photos courtesy of Helzberg Diamonds).
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