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: “There are better things to spend my money on [than luxury products], so unless we are talking about luxury experiences, I'm not spending money on them right now.”

—Female, 30, CA

As we predicted, there’s still hope for in-store shopping. According to a Forrester retail expert and analyst, U.S. retail revenue is expected to reach $3.4 trillion this year, and only 9% is expected to be online. Because consumers still value the ability to “touch and feel products,” retailers with “solid go-to-market strategies,” like Sephora with their digital solutions and Ulta with their unique shopping experience, stand to benefit the most. He reports that only those retailers “struggling to connect with consumers” are closing stores. (MediaPost

Will Instagram take Snapchat’s place as a marketing star of 2017? The platform, which boasts 150 million daily users, is now letting brands incorporate full screen ads to the Snapchat-inspired Stories feature, and companies like Capital One, ASOS, Nike, Buick, and Airbnb are already on board. According to the VP of Instagram Business, brands will be able to target specific audiences through the feature, and one-third of the app’s top stories have been from businesses. (Adweek

LGBT self-identification is rising in the U.S., with Millennials leading the way. According to a Gallup survey, 4.1% of U.S. adults, or about 10 million people, now identify as LGBT—an increase from 3.5% in 2012. Millennials account for almost 60% of that number, most likely because they are “first generation in the U.S. to grow up in an environment where social acceptance of the LGBT community markedly increased.” Our Genreless Generation trend, revealed that Millennials and teens are more comfortable with blending and bending categories, and celebrating new combinations than ever before. (NYMag)

The Binge Effect has inspired Disney to try out the Netflix model. For the premiere of Beyond on Millennial-focused network Freeform, all 10 episodes were released online with fewer ads than shown on TV—a first for the channel. The series, about a young man who discovers he has superpowers after awakening from a 12-year coma, drew in 14.2 million viewers in its first week, with almost half watching online. (Bloomberg

Millennials are skipping YouTube ads, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. An analysis by LaunchLeap revealed that 59% of Millennials are skipping YouTube’s TrueView ads—those that advertisers only pay for if they are watched to completion. On the other hand, 29% are watching ads to completion—better engagement than on Snapchat. And they’re paying attention: a Google and Ipsos study found that attention paid to YouTube ads is 84% higher than advertising on TV. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: "I binge-watch content to spend time with my spouse.”—Female, 32, OK 

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