Well, in some ways, yes. But there’s also evidence the wedding industry is fairly resilient, even when the country’s in the economic doldrums.
UK jewellers are noticing increasing sales for platinum rings, which are at the top-end of the wedding and engagement ring market.
Jason Hirsh of Hirsh Jewellers says: "We have seen our bridal sales increase considerably from last year and around 98 per cent of the engagement rings that we sell are in platinum."
Nicholas James’s Nick Fitch comments: “We have always had a large platinum offering (accounting for more than 80 per cent sales) and our sales remain strong. Interestingly now we recently have seen a move toward higher value platinum engagement rings in spite of the economic climate." B&N Rings sales director Gary Williams adds: “More couples are prioritising their wedding ring spend. They see their rings as a symbol; they mark the day and are something couples will have with them every day afterwards." The global wedding industry was worth about £2bn in 2008, a figure that will fall slightly this year before recovering in 2010.
The trends the London jewellery retailers are finding are mirrored in a recent IBISWorld study on Australia, which found couples skimping on receptions and fancy extras, rather than the big-ticket items like rings and dresses.