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Retailer misses world record, to try again in 2015

By Brecken Branstrator

February 19, 2014

About 650 couples attended Sami Fine Jewelry’s “Love in the Hills” event, falling short of both last year’s number and the world record they were shooting for, but CEO Stephenie Bjorkman said she’ll try again next year.

Click through this slideshow to see photos from the Love in the Hills event in Arizona on Valentine’s Day.

Fountain Hills, Ariz.--Though Arizona retailer Sami Fine Jewelry didn’t set a new world record for the largest vow renewal ceremony this Valentine’s Day, its Love in the Hills event was still a hit for the local community, the jeweler said.

With 650 couples present at the Feb. 14 event, they had slightly more than half the amount needed to break the record, which currently stands at 1,087 couples, set during alumni weekend for Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in June 2009.

“We had a little less than we did last year, and I think that the reason for that is that people don’t want to renew their vows two years in a row, so we lost the people that did it last year,” Sami Fine Jewelry CEO Stephenie Bjorkman said.

Regardless of the results, Bjorkman said that she thought the Love in the Hills event went really well and received a great response from participants for the second year in a row.

“It’s just a nice way to do something that relates to your business and that your clients love,” she said.

She also noted that it has brought a lot of publicity for the store, with more customers coming in to buy because they heard of the store through the event. In addition to the store’s own marketing efforts to get the word out, it also got attention from many local media outlets.

Bjorkman said that Sami Fine Jewelry will try for the record one more time next year, but will move the event to a Saturday so that people who work during the week can attend.

The Love in the Hills event started last year with about 764 couples participating.

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The same minister, Larry James, officiated both years. This year’s event also included Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, a polarizing figure known for his controversial stances on a number of issues including immigration, as grand marshal. Arpaio and his wife were among the couples renewing their vows.