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: “Political correctness is voicing your beliefs but not at the expense of other's identities.”—Female, 15, NY

Young consumers are putting their trust in YouTube. The video platform may feel be “feeling the pressure” from Facebook and Snapchat, but 36% of 18-35-year-olds in the U.K. say they would trust a product review on YouTube over any other media, according to a study from MCN BuzzMyVideos. About 31% trust a magazine review, and only 18% say they trust TV, signifying that for brands putting ad dollars into online video is a smart move, especially since Millennials are spending more time watching videos weekly than they did two years ago, and over half are watching more than six hours per week. (StreamDaily)

For “shacked-up” Millennials, food is a factor in the relationship. A new study from housewares company Moshells revealed that for 18-30-year-old co-habitating men, the biggest “hardship” is having to share food with their partner, and Millennials look for “healthy food in the fridge” when scoping out a romantic interests’ home. The biggest lifestyle change for co-habitating young consumers is spending less time online. That change may be even more disorienting for Millennial men: according to 2014 Nielsen data, Millennial men spend two hours more per week watching videos online than Millennial women, and are spending one more hour weekly listening to online music. (Vocativ

Marriott has created an Innovation Lab Hotel to test concepts designed with Millennial and teen travelers in mind. Throughout their stay at the feedback-focused property, hotel guests can provide thoughts on features like digital check-in with instant-review technology, which allows them to give a thumbs up or thumbs down at every step. Concepts currently being featured at the hotel—like studio workout classes taught by local instructors and permanent spaces for local restaurants and businesses—were inspired by past feedback from Marriott visitors that showed young travelers desire unique, local, and social experiences. (Fast Company

The student has become the teacher in the workplace. Companies are increasingly using “reverse mentoring” to tap into their Millennial employees, and teach older generations tech skills like using social media and crowd sourcing. Target has recently partnered with Techstars—a group that teams up tech startups with large corporations—to teach their leaders how startup employees work in a fast-paced environment, and “scrappily to get things done.” Experts have also indicated the practice helps diminish the negative stereotypes that can plague Millennial employees within their companies. (Ypulse also recommends and facilitates co-mentoring, which gives all generations a chance to learn something.) (Fortune

YouTubers are “creating a new breed of shows” for their generation. Inspired by traditional TV programming and the show Top Gear, a group of British YouTubers are “rethinking some of traditional TV’s big genres” by creating content that “holds up a mirror to their youthful online audiences.” Cooking channel SortedFood (1.6 million subscribers) celebrates the different recipes that can correspond to one dish, and football channel Copa90 (1.2 million subscribers) wants to focus on “fan culture rather than chasing match rights.” The channels continually follow their audiences on social media to ensure followers have a “developmental role.” (The Guardian)

Quote of the Day: “I like Netflix because it helps to pass the time, especially when I'm doing something boring such as folding clothes.”

—Female, 16, IL

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