Millennials are changing the wedding game by waiting to tie the knot and living together before marriage, so many soon-to-be spouses already have a solid inventory of home goods before they even say "I do."
No surprise then that modern couples are registering for wedding gifts that are a little bit outside the norm. Next to standard wedding gifts like dishes and blenders, today's couples are also wishing for goods like Google Home, Roombas and even paddle boards.
"It's not that couples aren't still registering for traditional items like tabletop and kitchen," says Jennifer Spector, Director of Brand and wedding expert at the wedding registry site Zola. "They're still the most popular categories for couples to register for, and the most popular gifts for guests to give too."
For instance, millennials still want dinnerware, and nearly a third of couples with a 2018 wedding date registered for place settings, like the Kate Spade New York's Birch Way Indigo Collection, which is Zola's number one seller in the category. Couples also are still registering for items like flatware, but are gravitating towards trendier metals, like Mepra's Due flatware in gold and Knork five-pice set in antique copper.
But couples are also asking for offbeat items to enhance their lifestyle, hobbies and home. "That is reflection of who couples are today," suggests Spector.
On Zola, "out of the box" items like home electronics, luggage and travel, experiences, furniture, and outdoor gear have steadily increased five to 10 percent since 2016. While the time-honored KitchenAid mixer is the best-seller on the registry site, the number two gift is (surprise!) an Airbnb gift card. This goes to show that couples are becoming more comfortable with registering for unusual wedding gifts.
Zola shared more on what's growing on the site...
20% of Couples Register for Home Electronics
"We are seeing a new wave of electronics across the board—for entertainment and for the kitchen," says Spector.
While traditional electronics like flatscreen televisions have always been popular presents for newlyweds, electronics for "connected homes" are the rise. On Zola, best-sellers include Sonos, iLuv Shower Bluetooth Speaker, and Google Home.
17% of Couples Register for Luggage and Travel
According to The Knot's 2017 Real Wedding Study, 62 percent of newlyweds said their top priority within their first year of marriage was planning a vacation. Right after getting hitched, couples are embracing the concept of "tiny moons" and "mini moons" before jet-setting to an exotic locale for their honeymoon later on down the road.
With this in mind, couples are registering for $100 Delta gift cards and $100 Airbnb gift cards that can help fund their honeymoon and weekend getaways. "Travel has become a category that couples are exited by," says Spector.
Also on the registry site, 20% of engaged couples are asking for luggage. In Zola's recent survey about "biggest registry regrets," luggage was at the top of the list.
"Luggage has gone up in quality and down in price, so you can get a great suitcase for under $200," says Spector, who adds that the Samsonite Winfield Collection makes it on most couples' wish lists.
25% of Couples Register for Experiences
While honeymoon funds have increased in popularity over the years, couples also are looking to create funds for other experiences that they can share together.
More and more couples are creating their own "cash funds" for various experiences like romantic date nights, outdoor adventures, couples yoga, or even home improvements.
Great news: If you are saving up for a pricey kitchen renovation, your friends and family can now help foot the bill!
20% of Couples Register for Furniture
Since most engaged couples who cohabitate already have large furnishings like a couch, dining room table, and bed, they are registering for smaller pieces to help fill out their home.
While most guests might be reluctant to buy you and your beau a $1,000 sofa as a wedding gift, finishing touches like a $175 coffee table, $120 storage bench, or $160 shelving unit are more reasonable.
26% of Couples Register for Outdoor Gear
Sixty percent of newlyweds said that within their first year of marriage they want to be more active and healthy, according to The Knot's study. "Couples love doing activities together and registering for those things is a reflection of that," says Spector.
Couples want wedding gifts that will get them out moving in the great outdoors. They are looking to take day trips and weekend getaways where they can do outdoorsy activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, and camping.