Engagements on the Rise? - 11/20/01
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Tue Nov 20 11:20:29 EST 2001
subject: Engagements on the Rise? - 11/20/01
from: Smart Marriages
Engagements on the rise?
Associated Press 11-20-2001
Darcy Rowan and Antal Voros had talked about marriage during their
five-month courtship, but it took on sudden urgency after they watched the
Sept. 11 attacks unfold on television.
Voros headed to a mall to shop for a ring that week and presented Rowan with
the diamond one month later.
"The terrorist attacks shook me up. I was really worried about her," said
Voros, 42, who lives in Elmer, N.J., two hours away from Rowan, a New
Yorker. "This made me think, maybe I shouldn't wait as long."
Added Rowan, 34: "I heard all those stories about people losing their loved
ones. It made him more important."
There aren't any statistics to prove that more people have been getting
engaged since the attacks - but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence.
Retailers from David's Bridal to Ashford.com amd Bluenile.com are reporting
a jump in sales of wedding merchandise including gowns and rings. The number
of people setting up bridal registries is also up.
The surge in business is a pleasant surprise to the $70 billion bridal
industry, which traditionally does most of its business from January through
March as couples prepare for summer weddings.
"This is usually a quiet period, the least busiest time," said Ingrid Kelly,
director of special events for David's Bridal, which operates 144 stores
nationwide. "But we are seeing a tremendous increase in bridal registries."
Some customers, she said, are moving up wedding dates from 2004 and 2003 to
Wedding World Inc., a 19-store bridal chain based in Altoona, Pa., so far
has a 22 percent gain in sales in November at stores open at least a year.
"The Sept. 11 event is giving the business more momentum," company owner
David Kaufman said, adding that business got a boost from people in the
military who wanted to get married before being sent overseas.
The wedding industry typically is one of the few sectors that holds up in a
recession, though couples tend to scale back on expenses. There are more
than 2.2 million U.S. marriages annually.
The post-Sept. 11 rise in bridal business surprised David Liu, chief
executive of The Knot.com, a leading wedding resource. The Knot.com compared
its online traffic during the first week of September with traffic during
the first week of October, expecting a negative impact.
Instead, Liu found a 10 percent increase in bridal registries. The site also
had a 17 percent gain in traffic to its marriage license finder, and has
gained advertising from tuxedo retailers and photographers.
"Bridal is one of the very few businesses that is doing well, and totally
defies economic recession and terrorism concerns," said Kurt Barnard,
president of Barnard's Retail Trend Report in Upper Montclair, N.J. "In
fact, the greater the uncertainties of the time, the greater apparently the
eagerness to get married and form a family."
Millie Martini Bratten, editor-in-chief of Bride's magazine, agreed but said
it's not known if the uncertain times have made couples choose more intimate
weddings or bigger affairs.
Patty Walsh, of Waterbury, Conn., was inspired to spend $6,000 more on her
wedding, padding an initial budget of $14,000.
"I realized that what's money at this point. I wanted my wedding to be the
best it could possibly be," Walsh said.
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