This, friend, is “engagement season.” And to those in the wedding industry, it’s only the eve of their most wonderful time of the year. For December rings, they know, bring January cha-chings.
January has become the month-long equivalent of Black Friday in the wedding world. After a rush of holiday proposals, wedding Web sites will see huge spikes in traffic, as bridal expos crank into gear across the country and glossy magazines with hundreds of ads and intimidating “to-do” lists fly off the shelves. With a quick flip of the calendar, the wedding-planning bonanza is underway.
According to WeddingWire, a Bethesda company that provides technology for the wedding industry, 33 percent of engagements happen between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Families are together, sparkly lights abound and people are in the mood to unwrap things.
And if a guy’s gonna pop the question eventually, he might as well use the opportunity to avoid shopping for a holiday gift and kill two birds with — ahem — one stone. Plenty of Web sites offer ideas on executing the perfect holiday proposal: Play Santa! Hang it on an ornament! Spell it out in lights on your roof!
And, of course, the jewelers of America have done their part to reinforce the expectation of a diamond ring under the Christmas tree. In the past month, message boards lit up with postings by young women speculating on whether they’ll get engaged over the holidays. “My [significant other] told me on new years eve that I would be engaged this year,” one woman who goes by the user name kribbie wrote on PriceScope, an online diamond buying guide. “Well, since there are only a few days left til new years 2012, I’m hoping he keeps his promise.”
“Every year I despise the holidays more and more,” bemoans another who calls herself sweetpepsigirl. “The commercials make it hard, too. It’s like they KNOW I want a ring for Christmas.”
Never mind that she’s been in a relationship for only six months and “definitely knows there isn’t a ring in my immediate future. *sigh.*”
Still, she benevolently sprinkles digital fairy dust on the other would-be brides, typing “********dust*******” to bid them good luck with their proposal wishes. And when those diamond dreams come true, the newly engaged won’t bask in the ring’s glow for long before cranking up the nuptial machinery.
Naturally, the wedding industry will be at the ready. It didn’t become a $70 billion business because its purveyors spend a lot of time sitting on their heels, after all.
Bride Magazine’s January edition — which sold 250 ad pages this year, compared with the 40 or so ad pages most women’s magazines will have for the month — is always its best-selling issue. Big-name dress designers parade through bridal salons for trunk shows while retailers that offer wedding registries are already planning events for newly engaged couples to check out the goods.