Vegas wedding not your thing? Then head over to your local Helzberg Diamonds store, where employees are now doubling as wedding officiants.
The jeweler is hoping its “Hitched at Helzberg” push, created with help from creative agency Carmichael Lynch, will appeal to people who aren’t interested in spending time or money on a traditional wedding.
“When we first came up with the idea, it was on a hunch that elopement was on the rise,” Allison Hayes, group creative director at Carmichael Lynch, said. “To check that hunch, we issued a national survey and found that a resounding 91% of millennials would consider eloping over a traditional wedding. That stat blew our minds.”
Helzberg Diamonds associates are being ordained through a tie-up with Universal Life Church.
“Through that partnership, we created a custom digital ordainment portal and a store toolkit that established a process for wedding ceremonies while also making sure that there was room to personalize the experience for each couple,” explained Hayes.
According to the brand, couples can now get married for free at any of its more than 200 stores, as long as they have a marriage license and a witness. Carmichael Lynch said that more than 52% of the company’s staff has opted in to be ordained so far.
In states where Universal Life Church isn’t recognized, Helzberg Diamonds said a third-party officiant will partner with the local ordained associate to perform ceremonies.
The company claims that the idea for “Hitched at Helzberg” was partly inspired by the fact that a handful of couples have gotten married within its stores—or by its associates—in years past. For couples who choose to tie the knot at one of the brand’s stores, there is no obligation to make a purchase.
Hayes said the effort is part of Helzberg’s mission to be a brand that “understands modern relationships and offers new services and products that meet their customers’ changing needs.” As of now, Helzberg Diamonds has three confirmed marriage ceremonies scheduled at different locations across the country.
“We get that the program isn’t for everyone,” Hayes said. “It’s not about convincing people to get married at a jewelry store; it’s about offering a new service for people that are into that sort of thing.”
The program follows the launch of Helzberg Diamonds’ “Will You? Ring” campaign, which encouraged men and women to buy a “placeholder” ring to propose to their significant other with, so the couple can shop for the actual engagement ring together.