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: “Master of None represents my generation because it takes the little things (going to a taco place) and expands on how the choices are debilitating.”—Female, 33, MN

We know how many Millennials planned to watch last night’s debates, but how many knew they could watch in virtual reality? VR social network AltspaceVR has created an experience that allows participants to watch live debates virtually, in a VR re-creation of NBC News Democracy Plaza at New York’s Rockefeller Center. At the launch party, attendees, including Al Roker, were represented as avatars and instead of applause, emojis were used to express reactions. AltspaceVR has been working to build a virtual community over the past year and hopes to bring people together during “a bitterly divided campaign” with the new experience. (The Verge

The latest smart toys are getting kids away from screens. Global sales of smart toys are expected to increase from $2.8 billion in 2015 to $11.3 billion by 2020, and according to one expert, synching a toy to a phone or tablet will soon be as common as putting in batteries. To appease parents concerned with screen time, these toys are increasingly about physically interacting with the toy itself, putting apps in the background. One example of the trend is Smarty: an internet-connected personal assistant for kids that answers questions, reminds them to do their homework, streams music and books, and more. (The Guardian

What’s holding back the Millennials from creating more startups? Money. A new study found that 72% of 18-34-year-olds see entrepreneurship as being "essential for new innovation and jobs in our economy," and almost eight in ten see working for a startup “a signal of success”—but only 22% say they would start one of their own. Lack of capital is holding four in ten back from taking the risk—for women and minorities that number is even higher. (Business Insider

Toy brands are constantly competing for kids’ attention, and now that industry drama is coming to the small screen. Amazon is introducing Toy Wars, a drama series based on the rivalry between toy giants Hasbro and Mattel. The show is based on the non-fiction book Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies that Make Them, which follows a “free spirit” Hasbro executive who was forced to take over the company when his “marketing genius” brother passed away from AIDS. The series will be co-written by Book Of Mormon star Josh Gad and The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz, whose father helped turned Hasbro into a top toy company. (Deadline

Communal housing is a growing Millennial trend, but it also dates back to the Middle Ages. Co-housing groups have been catching on as young people and families look to share household responsibilities, cut costs, and have a deeper sense of community with others. While it might seem strange in modern times, the instinct is ancient: According to A World of Their Own Making: Myth, Ritual, and the Quest for Family Values, medieval Europe homes were “essentially gathering places for small groups of revolving residents,” where people lived with friends and extended communities. (The Atlantic

Quote of the Day: “Adventure Time is the show that best represents my generation because we like the nostalgic aspect of watching cartoons but we also like off-the-wall plots.” –Male, 21, MI 

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