No One Wants a Gravy Boat: Millennials and the New Wedding Gift Norms

It only makes sense that with a generation that not only move in with one another but often even buy a house together before getting married, registering for products to fill their newlywed home doesn’t really make much sense. In just the last few years, new trends in non-traditional wedding registries that have nothing to do with gravy boats and toasters have become the new norm for many Millennials heading down the aisle. As with so many things, their rethinking of tradition involves doing away with unnecessary goods and embracing experiences as valued currency instead. The most popular wedding registry gift categories for 2013 were all about getting out and making big dreams come true. With Millennials aging up and millions getting married each year, new and innovative registries are a big opportunity for whole new categories of brands and businesses. Here are some of the new norms for wedding gift giving:

 

The Honeymooners: With many Millennials getting married at older ages, there are also more newlyweds who have helped foot the bill for their nuptials, and 50% of couples expect that they’ll be paying for the wedding themselves. Between the expense of the wedding itself and the many other bills that Millennials are dealing with, a honeymoon can start to seem like a pipe dream. To solve the problem, registries like Traveler’s Joy and Honey Fund let young couples ask their guests to help them see the world. Traveler’s Joy lets users create customized gifts to fund pieces of their honeymoon like plane tickets, hotel costs, and fun activities, allowing the gift givers to feel like they have contributed something specific to the experience. Generally, honeymoon registries take a small piece of the amounts given, and then allow the couple to withdraw all the funds contributed in a…

 
 

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Quote of the Day: “I don't drink on a typical night, but my choice when I do have a drink is often red wine.”

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13 Reasons Why, the Netflix series about a teen girl’s suicide, has some mental health professionals worried. While some applaud the show for increasing awareness about teen suicide, others fear the series could act as suicide contagion, increasing the risk of an individual engaging in copycat behavior. School districts across the U.S. are sending letters to parents to discuss the show and red flags to watch for in teens’ behavior, while counsellors are having conversations with students and patients. The National Association of School Psychologists has recommended that at-risk youth shouldn’t watch the series, and cautions adults to help teens differentiate “between a TV drama and real life.” (CNN)

U.K. Millennials consider themselves ‘grown up’ at age 27, according to a recent survey by Nationwide Current Accounts. With shifting paradigms surrounding adulthood, Millennials are defining maturity differently, and over half surveyed feel like entrance to adulthood depends on particular milestones rather than age. One in five believe they’re mature when they have children and another one in five when they move out of their parent’s home. Interestingly, Ypulse’s Adulting trend found that paying their own bills is the top sign of adulthood for Millennials in the U.S. (Telegraph)

Millennial shoppers are re-defining retail by purchasing on mobile, returning at higher rates, and ‘showrooming’—selecting clothes in-store then purchasing online—as a part of their “normal” purchasing process.  According to Criteo, as more clothing is purchased online, retailers can expect larger cart sizes at checkout, and return rates as high as 30-50%—which could create an opportunity to get young shoppers back into stores. Successful retailers are ““moving seamlessly between” online and off by covering return shipping costs or allowing in-store returns, innovating their online experiences, and keeping a high volume of product available in both spaces. (MediaPost)

Mexican wine country is becoming a top travel destination for Millennials. Cheaper, artsier, and arguably more authentic than Napa or Sonoma, Valle de Guadelupe is quickly accruing acclaim with twenty and thirtysomethings, who Ypulse has found love their wine. The small strip of vineyards and restaurants is shifting to suit their needs with food trucks, modern art, and even Uber for wine tours, when just a decade ago, the area didn’t even have the necessary roads to facilitate tourism. One winery owner observes, “What used to happen in this part of the world was that no one had anything to do and now everyone has appointments every hour.” (NYTimes)

The restaurant industry currently employs one third of all working teenagers, thanks to a recent uptick in teen employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, teens made up 35% of all restaurant workers in 2016, the highest percentage since 2009. Teen participation in the restaurant industry was above 50% until the Great Recession when it started a steep downward trend, causing staffing challenges across the industry. But it’s too early to know if the recent boost in employment signals a new trend or is just “a temporary blip.” (National Restaurant Association)

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