As the holiday season draws near, couples are either beginning to speak about getting engaged or there may already be plans in place to pop the question. Then a wedding date is set and couples begin to think about settling into a new life together — a new life that includes cooking, baking, grilling and entertaining.
But with so many options to register for housewares these days — including big box stores and online — the independent housewares channel has to be prepared to offer couples the best experience and product selection possible.
GOURMET INSIDER® executive managing editor, Emily Cappiello, had the opportunity to speak with Kourtney Marquis, founder of Marquis Events, about what she’s seeing in the bridal industry. Marquis, a wedding and event planner, often works closely with couples on all aspects of their big day, including designing their registry.
She dished about what her couples have top of mind when planning to spend a life together — as far as housewares go, anyway — and some of the ways independent retailers can win over registry business.
GI: What are some of the trends you are seeing in bridal registry currently, as far as products go? Is it more basics? More entertaining?
KM: I’ve noticed lot of couples, since many are living together prior to officially getting married nowadays, have scaled back and become more minimalistic with registries. They are registering for basic necessities with a few staple entertaining pieces mixed in — a set of nicer plates as opposed to everyday use and a few larger platters, for example — and this seems to have become more the norm.
GI: How are registries increasingly beginning to reflect a couple’s personal style? How is tapping into this style important for retailers trying to help couples create a registry?
KM: We are seeing a lot of weddings become rustic and homey, which is a popular trend in the wedding world that is now parlaying into personal style. The mixing of woods, fabrics and industrial pieces at a wedding is generally pulled from a couple’s everyday personal taste and style. Ensuring the same mixes in fabrics, woods and ceramics are available in independent retail stores is just as important, as both personal and wedding styles generally play off of one another.
GI: What kind of styles, patterns and designs are you seeing couples register for now when it comes to tabletop selection?
KM: Honestly, I’ve found that the simpler, the better — and more popular — lately. The reason behind this is due to a couple not knowing where they will be living in the few years after initially getting married. Couples would rather play it safe in terms of patterns and designs for the sake of being able to reuse their registry items wherever they may end up living. A solid white or soft color can work in just about any type of space.
GI: What advice can you offer to smaller retailers, specifically in the independent housewares space, about how to make a couple feel special and gain their registry business?
KM: Making couples feel special, especially when it is surrounding such a big occasion, is extremely important. It’s necessary for smaller retailers to stay on trend with what seems to be most popular, but you also want to ensure you are offering a few more out of the box options so you stand out and don’t get lost in the shuffle. Something as fun as offering champagne to couples while shopping or even a small gift upon signing up seem small but go a long way. After all, who doesn’t love free champagne and gifts?