June 20, 2018

Cash and Charity Wedding Registries Soar In Popularity As Gifts Get More Personal, According To The Knot 2017 Wedding Registry Study

Just as Weddings Are a Reflection of a Couple’s Unique Personalities, Registries Have Become a Reflection of Their Interests, Lifestyles and Future Plans

Using The Knot, Couples Can Register for Anything and Everything—From Cash for IVF Treatments and a New Puppy, to Honeymoon Excursions and Charity Contributions

New York, NY/June 20, 2018 The Knot—the #1 digital wedding brand—today released the results of The Knot 2017 Wedding Registry Study. The annual report, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind, surveyed more than 6,600 engaged or recently married couples registered on The Knot to uncover the trends of wedding registries in America. The results show that registries are a reflection of a couple’s personal interests, lifestyles and future dreams. Couples are curating more thoughtful, highly-personalized wedding registries, which include items from traditional wedding retailers and niche digital retailers, along with cash funds for experiences and their future, and donations for charity organizations they support.

Nearly 9 in 10 (88%) newly married and to-be-wed couples in America establish a wedding registry. The average wedding registry has a total value of $4,853 and features 125 items. Retail registries remain the most popular choice for couples in America, with 84% of couples creating registries with their favorite retailers, including classics like Bed Bath & Beyond and Target, as well as specialized online retailers such as Society6 and Brooklinen. Cash registry also continues to rise in popularity, up 50% since 2016. Couples are seeking cash from guests to fund experiences and future purchases, such as honeymoon excursions, a new home, car or puppy. According to the study, the most popular cash registry among couples is The Knot Newlywed Fund, with 40% of couples who register for funds doing so through The Knot’s proprietary cash registry service. Couples are also raising funds for their favorite nonprofits: Charity wedding registries more than tripled in popularity year over year, from 3% in 2016 to 10% in 2017.

“Each couple has their own unique Registory—a personal story behind their wedding registry that reflects who they are as a couple and the life they’re beginning together. Whether cash to build their first home, furniture and décor to fill that home with, charity to support a cause close to their hearts, or cooking classes for date nights to come, couples can register for anything and everything on The Knot,” said Kristen Maxwell Cooper, editor in chief of The Knot.

As the leading platform for couples’ Wedding Websites and registries, The Knot offers couples the ability to easily aggregate all their registry wishes into one spot for guests to easily find the perfect gift and bring their Registory to life. When it comes to retail registries, study data reveals the following are the most popular retailers in the US for wedding registries: Bed Bath & Beyond (53%), Target (32%), Amazon (30%), Crate & Barrel (22%), and Macy’s (21%). Using The Knot Universal Registry tool—an easy to use bookmarklet—couples can simply add wedding gift options from anywhere online that’s shoppable, such as major national retailers and smaller speciality shops they find on the web. Whether a couple wants a handcrafted wall clock from Etsy, cookware from Food52, SoulCycle classes, or wine from their favorite vineyard in Sonoma, they don’t have to choose. The Knot Registry is the exact solution for couples who don’t want to be limited in what they can put on their wedding registry or where they want to register. Through The Knot Registry, couples are able to register for gifts at a wide range of price points and find the best prices on popular retail registry items, making gifting that much easier for guests.

“For us, we created a cash wedding registry fund to help subsidize the cost for some of our guests to attend our destination wedding. We named it the ‘Helping Millennials Attend the Wedding’ fund,” said Madeleine Rex, who set up a cash registry using The Knot Newlywed Fund to help wedding guests pay for accommodations to her nuptials in Bermuda. “We believe that experiences are more important than any physical gift and quite frankly, the experience of our wedding with all our friends would be the best gift anyone could give to us.”

Top Wedding Registry Trends From The Knot 2017 Registry Study

Couples look to online to set up and manage their registry. Couples set up an average of three wedding registries and create them an average of 7.5 months before the wedding day, up from 5.8 months in 2012. For the first time ever, online registry creation for couples’ primary wedding registries was more popular than setting up registries in store this year (55% versus 44%). As couples look to mobile and online tools to inspire and plan every part of their wedding day, it’s no surprise that 96% of couples with wedding registries primarily manage them online. When selecting their primary registry, the most important factors couples consider are the ability for their guests to make registry purchases online (94%) and the ability to manage their registries online (93%).

Creating wedding registries without limitations.When it comes to the priorities of newlywed duos, no one couple is the same; they want to create wedding registries that will help them start their lives together on the right foot, without being limited by choice. Couples are using tools like The Knot Universal Registry to easily add items from around the web to one, fully aggregated wedding registry that guests can easily access on The Knot. The Knot Universal Registry tool is a bookmarklet that empowers couples to add items to their wedding registry and customize details about the products for guests to view and then click to the retailer to purchase. The Knot Registry is the only digital wedding registry platform that allows couples to create, view and manage their registries in one place on TheKnot.com or in The Knot Wedding Planner app, and allows guests to view and shop all gift options in one place.

Retail registries remain popular, and couples expand their retailer options. Almost all couples who had wedding registries in 2017 had at least one retail registry, be it a traditional retailer long associated with wedding registries or a younger digital brand like UncommonGoods or Casper. The most popular retailers, according to the study, include Bed Bath & Beyond (53%), Target (32%), Amazon (30%), Crate & Barrel (22%), and Macy’s (21%). As couples select retailers to create wedding registries, they consider the accessibility of the retailer for themselves and their guests, the variety of products available, as well as the range of prices for the items they’ve added to their registry.

Gifts for the kitchen like bakeware (85%), cookware (83%) and appliances (82%) are the most popular registry items. Among couples who registered for kitchen appliances, the most sought-after items included a stand mixer (46%), blender (44%), food processor (41%) and crockpot/slow cooker (39%). Other registry mainstays are bath items (79%), bedding (76%), home appliances (64%), casual china (60%) and barware (56%). Couples are considerate of guests’ gifting budgets as they register. The average retail value per wedding gift option was $87, with one in five gift items costing $25 or less.

Formerly faux pas, couples are embracing cash registries.Up from 1% in 2011, 6% of couples had cash registries in 2017. Among those with cash registries, half of couples (49%) used their cash registry contributions to help pay for their honeymoon, while one in four (27%) used their cash gifts toward a down payment on a home. On average, couples receive $1,437 toward their honeymoon registries. According to the study, the most popular cash registry among couples is The Knot Newlywed Fund—The Knot’s proprietary cash registry service helping couples register for funds to build their new life together. It allows couples to register for everything and anything, from cash for a never-ending supply of sriracha, to a puppy fund or money to pay down student loan debts or supplement IVF treatments. Couples who attend a wedding within a year of their own are also most likely to choose a honeymoon or cash registry contribution as their wedding gift.

Wedding websites continue to be the best go-to for guests looking for couples’ registries.The personal wedding website (85%) continues to be the most popular way couples share their wedding registries with guests. Other popular ways couples share their wedding registries include bridal shower invitations (54%), word of mouth via friends and family (49%), wedding invitations (40%), save-the-date announcements (24%) and social media (11%).

Couples use their wedding registries to give back. Up 233% year to year, one in ten (10%) couples incorporated charity gifting into their wedding registry in 2017. When charity registries were available, 15% of guests reported contributing to the charity. On average, couples receive $338 in donations from wedding guests toward their charity registry. Couples with registries hosted on TheKnot.com can easily leverage their traditional registries to give back to their favorite organizations, at no cost to them or their guests, by way of The Knot Gifts Back charity program. Through The Knot Gifts Back, The Knot donates a portion of the cost of each eligible gift purchased through a couple’s registry to their charity of choice. The Knot Gifts Back is the only charity registry program that gifts to charities on behalf of couples at no extra cost to them or their guests. In 2017, the most popular charity organizations selected by couples on The Knot included St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Humane Society of the United States and American Cancer Society.

Couples are mindful of guests as they create their registries. In 2017, couples reported they prioritized finding items that were reasonably priced or had a variety of price points to accommodate guest preferences. Two in three couples (62%) reported registering for items they expected would be purchased as group gifts, with 61% of couples receiving group gifts. Guests also like having options—81% of guests reported choosing which gift to purchase from couples’ registries based on a price point that fits their budget. The Knot Newlywed Fund is an easy way for guests to group gift, as they are able to contribute any amount of cash toward a couples’ fund for large purchases like a new washer and dryer, IVF treatments, or a down payment on a future home.

Registry management happens online.Nearly half (44%) of wedding registries are created in store, and almost all couples (96%) manage those registries online, with 7 in 10 using a smartphone to do so through apps like The Knot Wedding Planner or retailer websites (up from 5 in 10 in 2014). Couples consider digital access the most important factor in choosing their primary registry. Half of couples (49%) report that the ability to use a mobile device to handle their registry is “the best thing ever.”

Trendy tech makes for popular registry items.More than 1 in 5 couples (22%) registered for electronics in 2017. While digital cameras, DVD/Blu-ray players and video game consoles have declined in popularity year over year, smart home devices (26%) were the second most popular electronic item to register for in 2017, up from 11% in 2015. For the third consecutive year, wireless speakers were the most popular electronic included on couples’ registries (28%). Robotic vacuums saw an increase in 2017, with 16% of couples registering for these high-tech cleaners, up from 6% in 2015.


About The Knot
The Knot is the nation’s leading wedding resource and marketplace that seamlessly engages, matches and connects couples with the right products, services and local wedding professionals they need to plan and pull off their wedding. The trusted brand reaches the vast majority of engaged couples in the US through the #1 wedding website TheKnot.com, its mobile apps, The Knot national and local wedding magazines, and The Knot book series. The Knot has inspired approximately 25 million couples to plan a wedding that’s uniquely them. The Knot is the flagship brand of XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO), which helps people navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments—from getting married to moving in together and having a baby. Please visit The Knot online at TheKnot.com and follow on social media: Facebook.com/TheKnot and @TheKnot on TwitterPinterest and Instagram.

About The Knot 2017 Registry Study
The Knot Market Intelligence 2017 Registry Study captured responses from more than 6,660 U.S. brides married in 2017 or married or engaged to be married in 2018 who have begun the registry process; respondents were recruited via email invitation from The Knot Wedding Network membership or via a banner advertisement in The Knot email newsletter. Survey respondents represent a variety of ethnic, education, and income levels, and are geographically dispersed.  Survey and data management partner for the study was Decipher, Inc.

Forward-Looking Statements
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