Jewelers have the opportunity to be the heroes for busy couples getting married. In addition to assisting them in finding the perfect engagement and wedding rings, a jeweler is a valuable asset to their wedding jewelry and gift planner.
Jewelry is the perfect gift for couples to give the friends and family who help them celebrate this milestone event. Research by The Knot finds that six in 10 brides give gifts to their bridesmaids with jewelry the most popular choice. Moreover, eight out of 10 brides buy jewelry to wear on their wedding day, says The Knot. One out of three grooms wear jewelry, most notably cufflinks.
“With some imagination and initiative jewelers can expand the profitability of their wedding business with products they already have in store,” says Kathy Grenier, vice president of business development, Imperial Pearl, Providence, Rhode Island. “There’s more opportunity for jewelers beyond engagement and wedding rings to help their customers as wedding consultants. It requires jewelers plant the seeds of the meaningful ways they can help couples celebrate this occasion.”
Grenier stresses the importance of stagecraft in redirecting customers with compelling displays in store and lifestyle layouts on social media that identify a product assortment appropriate to gift and wear for the occasion. “Couples often don’t think about these things until the last minute and budget far less than needed. Jewelers can help set these things up early on.” She suggests developing wish lists and registries to help couples manage gift planning.
The Knot, Brides Magazine, and Martha Stewart Weddings site similar gift trends with pearls leading every list, which also includes initials, birthstones, and message jewelry.
Grenier hails classic pearl studs in all varieties and colors a bestseller for bridesmaids. Dana Cali, marketing, and communications for Mastoloni, New York City also cites floating pearl pendants and tin cup style bracelets/necklaces popular as they can add pops of color that complement the bridesmaids’ dresses and can be worn well after the wedding day. They’re available in various metal/pearl combinations and the price points are great.” The Knot finds that nearly 60% of brides gift earrings to attendants.
Pearls are a favorite for flower girls and children of the couple, says Audrey Robbins for Marathon and the Kiddie Kraft brand, Attleboro, Massachusetts. She cites pearl stud earrings in silver and gold, as well as other motifs like heart, crown, and star popular choices. Other top gifts for girls: ID bangle bracelet, initial necklace, and classic lockets.
Expect to see more silver jewelry promoted in the wedding category, with increased marketing by the Silver Promotion Service (SPS). “On trend and affordable, silver is the go-to gift for the wedding party and perfect option for brides and grooms to give each other and wear,” says Gloria Maccaroni, director of brand development for SPS.
Wedding ring brand A.Jaffe reports its Map Collection, particularly in silver styles that start at $125 retail are very popular in this category, says Angelique Crown, director of sales for the NY brand. The collection allows customers to map their moment—any location can be engraved on pendants, charms, and cufflinks, in silver or gold. She says they sell well as gifts for attendants and between couples, mapping a location is important to those involved.
“Items that can be engraved are our bestsellers,” says Jonathan Goodman Cohen, president of IB Goodman, a Newport, Kentucky based manufacturer. Accessories like cufflinks, money clips, and tie bars, that can be personalized as key gifts in prices from $35 to $300 retail.
Cohen encourages jewelers to merchandise products in a lifestyle way. “A product alone is hard to get excited about. Visual cues create an experience.” A good example is the company’s “Honor Your Wingmen” campaign highlighting men’s accessories that make meaningful gifts for groomsmen. He advocates jewelers use their websites and social media to engage the market by testing new products, sharing style trends, offering gift ideas, and telling stories.
According to The Knot, 58% of brides wear fine jewelry on their wedding day, with their top three choices: earrings (69%), hair accessories (38%), and bracelets (36%). But the sky is the limit on how brides are adorning—from classic pearl studs and strands to bold pops of color in statement pieces. In general, the wedding theme is more about vibe than the palette. The Knot finds that couples are letting the feel of their celebration dictate the details.
Convertible jewelry is a bridal favorite, says Cali, like Mastoloni’s front/back and jacket style earrings. “A modern version of the traditional pearl and diamond stud, their versatility is a huge selling point, with several ways to wear a pair. The bride can enjoy her earrings long after the wedding day.” She also sees simple drop earrings with a diamond accent a timeless choice for traditional brides.
For busy brides, convertible jewelry offers many ways to accessorize all the parties before, during and after the wedding, concurs Grenier. As an example, she references Imperial’s Luster & Links necklace that transforms from a single strand to a Y-style and other variations. “It’s a great look that’s affordable in silver and freshwater pearls.”
The Knot finds that about a quarter of grooms complete their wedding day look with cufflinks and a watch. In fact, The Knot cites 40% of brides giving their grooms a watch as an engagement/wedding present.