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Retail Profiles

Ariz. retailer aiming for vow renewal record

By Brecken Branstrator

January 06, 2014


Last year, 764 couples participated in Sami Fine Jewelry’s “Love in the Hills” vow renewal event. They’ll attempt to beat the world record of 1,087 couples this year.

Fountain Hills, Ariz.--This Valentine’s Day, Sami Fine Jewelry has more in mind than just making sales. The Arizona jeweler is gunning for a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

For the second year in a row, the jeweler will attempt to break the world record for the most couples renewing their wedding vows by inviting any and all couples to its “Love in the Hills” event next month.

The current record stands at 1,087 couples, which was set during alumni weekend for Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in June 2009.

“We live about 20 minutes outside of the Phoenix area, so we’re always trying to find ways to get people to come ‘over the hill’ to our store,” said Sami Fine Jewelry CEO Stephenie Bjorkman. “We love to do events, and we like to make them fun and different so customers will drive to us.”

Inspired by a video she saw around Christmas in 2012 of a flash mob singing carols in a mall, Bjorkman decided she wanted to try to gather a crowd for vow renewals. She said she knew they had to have a hook to draw attention to the event, and so they decided to target a world record.

With only a few months to plan, Bjorkman and her team worked with the city of Fountain Hills to find a location, sponsors and much more.

While only 764 couples participated in the event last year, falling short of the record, it was still a huge hit, according to Bjorkman, drawing in somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 people total and a lot of local media attention.

“It was just a really cool event that brought the town together, and made people really happy,” Bjorkman said. “In this business, it’s important to make your customers happy and to keep the romance. An event like this is really rewarding for me.”

As the store again takes aim at the world record, the same minister will officiate, Larry James. In addition, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, a polarizing figure known for his controversial stances on a number of issues including immigration, is getting involved as the Grand Marshal this year, and he and his wife Ava will be among the couples renewing their vows.

Love in the Hills is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 14 at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills. Registration for the event will start at 4 p.m., though pre-registration is advised and can be done so here. The ceremony will start at 5 p.m.

The event is free to attend, though couples who have them should bring their marriage license and driver’s licenses (only those with the paperwork will count toward the official record count). The documents also can be uploaded ahead of time on the Love in The Hills website.