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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I really want to visit Tokyo, Japan to see the culture behind the growth of video games, and to eat the food.”—Male, 29, MA

Millennials are ruling music streaming when compared to Gen X and Boomers. A new survey by U.K. streaming service Electric Jukebox shows that 16% of 14-34-year-olds have active subscriptions, compared to 6% of 35-55-year-olds, and 3% of 55 and older. Although they have far more time and spending power, streaming services may currently be too complex for older consumers. In fact, 40% of young Gen X, 42% of old Gen X, and 49% of Boomers choose CDs and radio as the easier option over streaming, while almost half of 18-24-year-olds chose streaming over radio and CDs. (Music Ally

A mom of two has gone viral for her happy Chewbacca video, which has become Facebook Live’s most-watched clip ever. Last week, Candace Payne utilized the platform’s new live feature to show off her latest purchase from Kohl’s: a Star WarsChewbacca mask. Her enthusiasm and infectious laugh generated about 101 million views and got the retailer’s attention. Kohl’s teamed up with social agency Huge to deliver piles of Star Wars toys and $2,500 in Kohl’s gift cards to the micro-famous mom as thanks for her loyalty. (Adweek

In an effort to attract Millennial investors, Starbucks has issued a $500 million U.S. corporate bond for sustainable projects. The sustainability bond is the first for the coffee brand, and will go towards supporting programs for farmers in coffee-growing regions. Last year, Starbucks promised to plant up to one million trees for every coffee bag purchased, which drew in a new group of socially conscious investors. Their latest strategy will continue to strengthen their bond with 18-24-year-olds consumers, who account for 40% of the company’s sales. According to Accenture, Millennials will accumulate some $30 trillion from the generations before them, making them a target market for investors. (Fortune

What’s the secret to beauty box subscriptions’ success? Millennials. Services like Birchbox and GLOSSYBOX have resonated with curious young consumers who are looking for new beauty products and “love the idea of self-indulgence.” Subscription brands have attracted Millennials through social media social influencers. Vloggers’ “unboxing videos” pull in a substantial audience, with one such video receiving 100,000 views in a few days. Male-focused subscription boxes like Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club have also found success with Millennial men for their value and convenience. (Mic

The Great Recession may have caused financial instability, but it didn’t stop “foodie” culture. While dining-out expenditures dipped slightly between 2007 to 2008, they quickly rebounded in 2012, even though income levels had not. Although Millennials especially felt the effects of the recession, they have been linked to the “sustainability of the ‘foodie’ ideology.” To get through the financial crises, Millennials opted to consume experiences instead of expensive material goods like houses or cars. As a result, food has become part of the new status symbols and acts as a form of “social currency.” (Eater

Quote of the Day: “The most important part of prom is the honor of being asked by an upperclassmen.”—Male, 15, NY

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