A national survey finds most engaged couples are interested in eloping this year



A study by Helzberg Diamonds finds couples would eliminate wedding day-related expenses averaging $19,000 by focusing on what’s most important. The company will award this amount to one engaged couple through a national contest.
As couples embark on the first semi-normal wedding season in two years and what The Wedding Report has called the busiest year of weddings in over 40 years, prices and demand continue to surge leaving many couples to reconsider what’s most important to them on their big day. Amid these dynamic changes, Helzberg Diamonds set out to better understand engaged couples’ views on wedding traditions and priorities in planning for the big day.

In a national survey of over 1,000 U.S.-based couples who are currently engaged, the results found that 62% of them are open to considering a scaled-back elopement style wedding, and the number is higher for females at 69%.

“Modern couples are motivated by elopements because of cost efficiency and intimacy of the environment,” said Lauren Gravelyn, Helzberg Diamonds ordained associate. “That’s why we are proud to offer the Hitched at Helzberg service, where any couple can be married at a Helzberg store by an ordained associate. Couples getting Hitched at Helzberg don’t have to sacrifice the things they’ve always desired to have as a part of their big day and eloping allows them to save time and money spent on all the small details and invest in what’s most important to them.”

According to the survey results, the average wedding cost is up to $33,204, and 26% of couples think they are spending too much. When respondents were asked which wedding day services they would go without in order to save money, the elimination of the top answers, including flowers, alcohol, a band/DJ and a videographer, could save couples on average $19,480.

In response to the growing demand for a more simplified wedding experience, Helzberg Diamonds has launched a national contest for engaged couples interested in foregoing a big traditional wedding experience and focusing on what’s most important to them. One grand prize winner will receive wedding bands from Helzberg and a $19,000 cash prize, the average amount that in a national survey of engaged couples said they would save on wedding day expenses if they focused only on what matters most.

Hitched at Helzberg offers couples a more simplified option of being married in any of their over 150 intimate and comfortable store locations without the added planning, pressure or price tag associated with hosting a traditional wedding event.

Hitched at Helzberg is a free service. Couples only need to secure and submit their marriage licenses and witnesses in accordance with their state laws prior to the ceremony, and they are welcome to add their own personal touch with decorations, flowers, cake and more. The program launched in October 2019 to meet customers’ demands to modernize wedding traditions and provide a new offering for couples who were ready to elope. To date, Helzberg’s ordained associates have married 189 couples in 22 different states across the United States.

Modern Day Wedding Landscape

The recent survey data uncovered additional trends and perceptions of couples’ views on wedding traditions and priorities, including:

Couples who believe they are spending too much on their weddings attributed it to not realizing the cost of different things (61%), COVID-19/inflation (45%), add-ons/hidden fees (38%) and pressure to have a larger wedding (26%).

A wedding dress (77%), wedding cake (75%), flowers (73%) and photography (66%) were the top choices when asked what elements are most important to keep while still achieving a simplified wedding day experience.
Older couples who are responsible for all wedding expenses are more likely to consider eloping whereas one-third of younger millennials and half of Gen Z respondents, who have more financial support from parents and grandparents, are more likely to have a larger wedding.