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A Genius Wedding Registry

A Genius Wedding Registry

When I got married 10 years ago, wedding planning felt impossible. I had email lists and Word docs and scribbled notes on legal pads. It was a mess! Since then, Zola has blown onto the scene and made wedding planning — including invitations, websites and registries — so much easier. Caroline’s friend Alex just got married in Miami, and she shows us how it’s done…

A Genius Wedding Registry

To plan their wedding, Alex and her fiancé Matt used Zola, which is a complete set of tools, including wedding website templates, save-the-dates and invitations, a customized checklist, a guest-list manager and a gift registry. They got married in a botanical garden. “My uncle officiated,” she says, “which made the experience all the more special.”

A Genius Wedding Registry

For their Zola registry, the couple chose both household gifts and a honeymoon fund. “We tried to choose pieces that will last a lifetime, especially kitchen things, because we like to cook together. Our Zola registry made it easy to put everything in one place.”

Zola also allows you to choose when you’d like items to be shipped. “That was a game changer since our New York apartment has zero storage,” says Alex. “Returns are easy, too. I registered for a cutting board, and when it arrived, it was way too big for our tiny kitchen. So, I just printed a return label and immediately got a credit.”

A Genius Wedding Registry

Zola offers 50,000 gifts and experiences from 500 top brands and stores, including Le Creuset, KitchenAid, Sonos and Airbnb. This week, I went down a rabbit hole looking at all the beautiful gifts you can register for, including Simply Framed custom framing, Crate and Barrel wine glasses, Artifact Uprising photo books, Hawkins waffle towels, Canvas Home dinner plates, and an Area throw blanket for cuddling up.

You can also set up a Honeymoon Fund (or a Charity Fund, House Down Payment Fund, anything you’d like), so guests can easily contribute cash. They have lovely photos, and you can personalize the descriptions to make them heartfelt.

A Genius Wedding Registry by Zola

A few more things we love about Zola:

* Zola offers a free suite of wedding planning tools.
* You can use Zola on your computer or via its great mobile app.
* Zola lets you easily return items, even before something has shipped.
* The registry offers price matching, free shipping and a 20% post-wedding discount on any items that weren’t purchased.
* Zola can hold onto your gifts until you’re ready for them — no more stacks of boxes in your kitchen!
* Their registries integrate right to your wedding website, making it easy for guests to shop.
* Zola offers 50,000 gifts and experiences from 500 top brands and stores, and you can do a traditional gift registry, a honeymoon fund, a house down payment fund, or whatever suits your and your partner best.
* All Zola’s offerings are interconnected. For example, if a guest buys a gift for you, it will be automatically marked on your guest list, and your checklist will remind you to send a thank you note. How easy is that?

Did you (or will you) have a wedding registry? Is there anything you’d do differently? We’d love to hear. I just wish Zola had existed when I got married 10 years ago.

(Alex’s wedding photos by Gianny Campos. This post is sponsored by Zola, the one-stop wedding planning site. Thank you for supporting the brands that help support Cup of Jo.)

  1. Alexandra says...

    My husband and I got married last autumn. As a lot of our friends dont have a big budget and many relatives from abroad would already spent a lot of money on flights, we wanted to wish for a something that won’t necessarily be expensive, but use- and meaningful.
    We love music, so we decided to aks our parents for a good record-player, and then ask all the guests to gift us an LP with personal meaning – either an old or new favourite or even better; music that reminds them of us. I must say: it’s the best we could have wished for! the guests loved the idea and apparently had so much fun picking out the records, and we now have a collection of over 100 diverse discs (no doubles!) and we listen to a new one each cozy opportunity and our hearts are full.

    • Jordan G says...

      What a creative idea! I love it.

  2. Alisa says...

    We’re getting married next week! We used Zola because I loved the feature of being able to link to other websites- for example, we wanted our tableware from a local artist here in Kansas City (https://www.convivialproduction.com/ for anyone looking for beautiful housewares!)
    However, my one drawback to using Zola for our full registry is that their items are SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive than other stores. For example, their Kitchenaid mixers are $100 more than at Bed Bath and Beyond or Target. They do offer price matching, but that’s quite an effort for guests or yourself to make on every item. Just something to be aware of!

  3. Paige says...

    Oh this is amazing. I’m getting married in 8 weeks and still haven’t registered. :/ Signing up TODAY.

  4. Robin says...

    That bouquet!!

  5. Betsy says...

    Can we pause for a moment on the “honey fund” concept? Am I the only one who thinks these sort of things are tacky and inappropriate? I think these donation requests turn a wedding into a fundraiser, like a charity event, which just seems odd. I also don’t like the fact that you have to put an explicit price tag on you friendship/relationship etc. Would love to know others’ thoughts.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      good question! personally, i think it’s great because if your friends and relatives want to buy you a gift, i love that they can get you an experience you’ll love (like a honeymoon) or something you really need (help with a home), instead of more stuff. but curious to hear others’ thoughts, too!

    • Meghan says...

      I think it depends on what culture you come from. In some cultures, it’s perfectly acceptable (preferred, in fact) to give money. It’s not unusual in my area to see both a gift table and a deposit box for envelopes with money. A lot of couples I know would prefer the cash because they live in small spaces and don’t have the storage for a ton more stuff. When my friend had her first child, she was very stressed at the idea of getting a ton of gifts she wouldn’t use, and couldn’t fit in her apartment. I suggested that she ask her shower guests to give a favourite book. Books take up hardly any space, and you can never have too many books for a child. I think this would be a wonderful idea for a wedding, too!

    • Annie says...

      I personally think the honeyfund trend is genius—especially with all the recent buzz about millennials and young people preferring experiences over tangible products. I LOVE when a friend has a honeyfund because it feels a heck of a lot more exciting to donate to that vs buying the couple something like new mixing bowls or guest towels. I’m also getting married in October and will definitely look into setting one up for us, too. Especially since we already live together, own a house, and pretty much already own anything we’d register for. I also think the point Meghan makes about a lot of couples living in smaller spaces is dead-on too.

    • caitlin says...

      Personally, I think it’s a great idea and not tacky. As people get married later, I think there’s less need for The Things. I know I already have most of the kitchen and home stuff that I want/need, or have the income to save up and buy those things for myself. But I think most people are going to still want to give the bride/groom *something*, so why not it be something they really want? Like Joanna said, you are then contributing to an experience for the couple. I recently gave money to a couple that got married — they went to Fiji and sent me a postcard as a thank you gift. I loved feeling like I helped them have a great time and memorable experience, a foundational moment for their marriage. That’s better to me than giving a mixer that they maybe only use twice.

    • Amy says...

      When I first heard about this a while back, my knee jerk reaction was that it was tacky too… but MAN do I wish I did something similar when I got married. We were already living together (as did 99% of our friends before getting hitched) but decided to do the whole registry thing because apparently not having a proper registry would have given anyone born before 1960 a stroke from being so offended. A few friends had done the registry thing too…and they returned 99% of the things they registered for and saved up the gift cards to buy furniture. I got pregnant before I thought of doing that after our wedding and so much of that stuff has been sitting in our garage for 3 years.

    • sarah-mai says...

      Totally understand feeling that way, but it turned out I was really happy to help my cousins go on an amazing honeymoon that they might not have been able to without some assistance. And it felt very Marie Kondo/minimalist being able to give them a gift of experience rather than material :)

    • Lilian Tan says...

      In a number of countries in Asia, the standard practice is to give cash instead of presents to the couple. Customarily, the amount should at least cover for the dinner and drinks provided to the invitee on the wedding day.

      Traditionally, the presents gifted at weddings are to help the couples set up a new home.. Of course these days, it’s not uncommon for couples to cohabitate before marriage. Hence, in a sense, a honey fund allow friends and family to contribute directly to a cause that the bride and groom prefer.

      I agree with the concept that an explicit price tag to a friendship and relationship may come across as unseemly.. Yet knowing how stressful and costly a wedding could be (&usually is), giving some cold, hard cash may in fact be the most fitting way to help a friend out…

      Having said that, asking for such ‘donations’ is tricky business because there are people who may read it as being ‘mercenary’ ^^;

    • MARIA JOSE HERRERO says...

      In Spain gifts are not at all usual… and the rule is to give the amount of money that YOU CONSIDER equal to the cost of your meal.
      that is… you pay to sit down and eat. I think it SUCKS, it turns a wedding into an investement the GUESTS have to make (so as not to look bad) even if you aren’t the one planning a ridiculously expensive event to comply with the social bullshit. if you are familiy… you are expected to give more.
      and.. sometimes you DON’T have the money (think a couple… is 200euros+, in a country where many people strive on the 1000euros a month) and you kinda… have to say something to the couple or.. simply not go. my position… if you ask for money, keep it low key, do not say “hey, you’ll be paying for my travel”… and OF COURSE don’t put a number. and honestly… you get married because you want to, and nobody has to give you anything for that. let alone pay for it. (oh my god… I get really upset on this subject!!!)

    • Emma says...

      I don’t think there should ever be a specific amount (yes–in poor taste), but good lord I would much rather have cash than a blender! Stuff = money too (it’s not like the price tag of the items on your registry is somehow a mystery, since you put them there..).

    • Aria Cole Asher says...

      I always give household items at wedding showers and cash for a wedding gift. This gives them the flexibility to combine it with other cash gifts to put toward their home, furniture or honeymoon. They then have the freedom to use it to help establish their life as a couple in basically any way they see fit. I love the idea of the honey fund or house down payment options because then you can see how they will be enjoying your gift!

    • I’m using Zola for our registry and the bulk of it is cash gifts. My fiancé and I lean towards a minimalist lifestyle, so we don’t need eight full place settings or want to replace the items we have. We’re also in our 30s and have already invested in things like a Kitchen Aid mixer and nice sheets. I like that guests will be contributing to things we actually want and need, like activities for our honeymoon and future restaurant dates, which is so helpful for our budget after paying for a wedding! It’s not a price tag on a relationship if you don’t think of it that way.

    • Em says...

      I dunno, the registry seems tackier to me. I’ve scrolled through a lot of registries and it feels bizarre to say “I recognize and appreciate the unending love you have for one another. Here’s those $8 silicone pudding cups, $12 dish rags and $120 gilded salt and paper shakers you wanted”.

      I was never a fan of wedding registries. Then I fell in love with a guy whose entire family makes registries for Christmas presents. Lord help me 😂

    • Mari says...

      I feel like our friend here from Spain. In Brazil, everyone registers and now is very common to have honeymoon “items” do “buy” at the registry. And I find it BIZARRE. They choose to make a wedding, so it’s their choice in whether they’ll have money for something else or not. I already had a fully furnished house when I got married and we didn’t ask for a single thing. When people asked me about gifts, I would always say: I’m already SO blessed to be marrying the love of my life, with everyone I love surrounding us. This is my gift, their presence. I worked for it, got the money and paid. No one asks for money when they buy themselves apartments. Like “hey! I just make my dream come true, can you give me money to congratulate me?”. Seriously? When people got married young, straight out of the parents, it would make sense to give them pots and pans. But now? And btw, I normally gift people I love and I want to work for it as I would do in other situations. It may be calling a restaurant in Lisbon that I love and paying the bill for friends that are going there for their honeymoon. Or buying, along with other friends, that expensive grill for the couple that always has people over for barbecues. And if I don’t know what to give them, I just make a donation on their names. They probably just invited me out of obligation and we’re not that close.

  6. Katrina says...

    My husband and I got married in September, and we used Zola as well. Overall, it was great. It helped keep me on track since I didn’t buy an actual wedding planner. The only downside is there is a small fee that is paid for each gift and either you pay for it, or your guests do.

  7. Lara says...

    We used the fund feature on Zola for a baby registry when we were expecting our first. We had a college fund, a piano fund, and a few others that people could give to. It worked really well! We have a very small house and a huge family so we were really encouraging non-material gifts by having funds that people could give to. Zola was a nice touch for those that were out of town and couldn’t come to our, um, rather unconventional non-shower baby party. Instead of a shower, we had a big party featuring a raffle as the main event. Friends and family donated items to be raffled and then you could buy raffle tickets and chose what fund the money went to. We had live music and every few songs we’d raffle off something. Donated items included freshly baked pies, local meat (including a whole turkey!), a Christmas tree, and magic show (to be scheduled for a later date). It was so much fun!

  8. Aislinn says...

    We just got married in December and had a Zola registry solely for the honeymoon fund. We have lived together for 3 years and have limited apartment space, so we opted for a very small traditional registry at Target, but loved our honeymoon fund option with Zola. It made it so easy to not only share the site, but transfer gifts after the wedding. Zola for the win!

  9. jenn says...

    omg, the Kate Spade elephant S&P set! i registered for them when i married my ex, and the black one broke a long time ago, but i still have the white one displayed on my bookshelf. definitely one of the positive outcomes of divorce, lol.

  10. Elizabeth says...

    My fiance and I got engaged last month and dove right into planning for an August wedding. Zola has made it SO easy, and has quelled many a panicky moment (on my end). Funny your timing for this piece, I’ve practically been living on their site and app! We plan to use them for our invites, registry, website, etc. So nice to have a one-stop shop!

  11. Erzsi says...

    DEFINITELY take advantage of the price matching if you ever purchase a registry gift from Zola! You have to email their customer service to get the price matched. We are using them for our wedding registry and were dismayed to find that nearly every item we added from Zola could be purchased for less on other sites…sometimes up to $100 cheaper from other stores! Ultimately we decided to instead use an Amazon registry for our physical items for this reason. We didn’t want to put the burden on our guests to have to actively research and reach out to Zola to get their price matched, and we couldn’t stomach knowing that we were basically asking our guests to overpay if they didn’t go through that hassle. We’re still using Zola for our honeymoon fund, though–it’s been fabulous for that purpose!

  12. Evelyn Curry says...

    This is in Miami at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden isn’t it?! That’s where we got married!! We also used Zola haha!

    • A says...

      So beautiful ! I grew up a few blocks from there

    • Nicole Parker says...

      I recognized Fairchild in the first picture. So gorgeous!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, so beautiful!!!

  13. Audrey says...

    I was so excited to read this because I thought that it would be an actual genius wedding registry, aka a list of everything I should put on my registry with actual options for each category! I know that this exists, but I would love to see it from the Cup of Jo team. Even just everybody’s favorite gifts to give or receive. I’m having trouble building my registry because there are so many options and I like them all! Opinions from other people in beautiful list-form helps me greatly.

    ps. I feel compelled to say that I am using Zola and love it!

    • The best guide for me was the book “Simple Matters” by Erin Boyle (reading my tea leaves). She’s very into sustainability so she had a list of *actual needs*. It made our list short, which meant a lot of people gave us cash. We used that money to furnish our first home :) No regrets, but I also love the idea of short registry + honeymoon fund. Happy wedding to you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a great idea, audrey! we’d love to put this together.

    • molly says...

      This is such a great idea and would be SO helpful for me as well!

    • KC says...

      Yes! Lists of things-and-why (so that if this item is *the best* for ice cream making and there is no way that you will be making ice cream, you can pass; see also: do not just buy a set of every single available vessel type for alcohol if you don’t ever serve sherry, etc.) are such fun things to read even when one is not building a registry.

      (one of my favorites from our wedding over a decade ago: more flatware than might seem reasonable, if you find flatware you both really love. We found a really perfect-for-us flatware [visually attractive, goes fine with casual or formal china, dishwasher-safe, well-balanced in the hand, sturdy, comfortable to eat from, perfectly nests together] that was upscale store-brand stainless steel and registered for two packages (total of 16 place settings!) of it. Individual pieces will almost inevitably go missing [more if you have kids or if you have dinner parties with alcohol where your friends will be in the kitchen helping clean up…], but due to the initial number, there are still plenty of each item for everyday use and for hosting regular-size dinner parties. So instead of having to eventually find and buy a new set of flatware or deal with mismatched won’t-nest-nicely flatware, we’re *set* for ages and it is glorious.)(I mean, maybe 30 years into marriage we’ll have lost enough pieces that we’ll need to figure something out. But it is *nice* not having to do that yet.)

      For registry-makers, it’s great to start with a list of “here are categories to think about and some numbers/ideas for different lifestyles” [if you’ve got a NYC apartment, your registry will probably focus more on compactness than if you’ve got 2000 sqft with extra garage storage space? And if you eat 90% takeout and like it that way, then you probably don’t want a fully maxed-out all-the-options kitchen – but it’d still be good to have the basics covered].

      And then it’s also really nice to have the lifestyle reasons for specific things that might not be totally obvious, so that you can avoid just blindly getting One Of Everything (that you won’t ever use), instead shaping things to go with your life/home. (and I love reading those things. So this is not totally altruistic, here. :-) )

    • Lauren E. says...

      Brilliant idea! When I registered I Googled things like “chef recommended knives” and “textile designer recommended sheets” so that I could get expert opinions on home staples.

    • Em says...

      I second this and would like to add a few of my recommendations :)

      If you cook- (a) a high quality Dutch oven, (b) a set of knives or a chefs knife that you have gone out and experienced how it feels in YOUR hand, (c) a set of glasses or plates or flatware that are pretty and you can look at as forever pieces.

      If you prefer experiences, don’t set up individual experiences people can buy you. Instead get the cash and in the thank you note, write what you did with the money.

      For decorative pieces or longevity prices for the home, think of- for example- quality linens that you wouldn’t necessarily splurge on for yourself or things that are of heirloom quality.

    • Audrey says...

      KC! I want to know more about the flatware that you love and goes with casual and formal dining! That’s one thing I’m really struggling with!

  14. Sarah says...

    I got married last June and have nothing but wonderful things to say about Zola. The variety of things to register for has only expanded in the past year, the 20% discount for six months after you get married is fantastic, and I love that when you make a return, they refund you as soon as the shipment is scanned at FedEx (and not a million business days later). It’s great. I also was in the middle of a cross-country move when we got married, so for us, being able to register for a ton of stuff, have it purchased for us, but then hold shipment until we settled down in our new place two months later was the main reason we chose them, and a total godsend.

    • Catherine says...

      That’s really cool that they hold the shipping until you are ready to receive it. I’ve had two separate experiences where I purchased a wedding gift via a registry and the couple moved after the wedding. In both cases, I never received a thank you note, so I wondered if they ever received the gift. Kind of awkward, and I didn’t want to ask them.

  15. Lynne says...

    We’re also about to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary (congratulations to you!), and 80% of the items on our registry were based on Alton Brown’s Gear for Your Kitchen. Zero regrets!

  16. Lauren says...

    Love Zola! So helpful and easy to use. Also, PartySlate.com is a great wedding planning resource. Tons of photos to get ideas, and then you can actually find vendors on the site. So many great new tools out there — wish they had existed when I got married!

  17. Natalie says...

    Just got engaged after being with my now-fiance for over 10 years and I just got started setting up with Zola for our wedding next June! Weeeeeeeee!!

    • Congrats! 💕 wishing you perfect weather and time to eat your cake!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      congratulations, natalie!!!! what an exciting stage of life :)

  18. kate says...

    Love this! But does Zola take a cut of cash/honeymoon gifts? If so, how much?

    • Sarah says...

      I don’t remember how much it is (maybe 3-6%), but when you register for cash gifts, you can click a box for whether you want to absorb the cost, or if you want your guests to. For example, if a $100 contribution to the cash fund will cost them $100 but you get $95, or if they contribute $105 and you get $100. I had never considered it, but it was nice to have the option! And most guests are fine paying the processing fee because it’s no different than shipping and handling.

    • Franny Eremin says...

      Hi Kate! You can find more information about Zola’s cash funds here. Hope that helps xo

  19. Islay says...

    Ah this is incredible! I wish they shipped to Canada! I’m trying to find something similar for Canadian brides, but not having much luck – any suggestions?

    • Emily says...

      I asked the same question below! I’m wondering about myregistry.com ? You input items from any stores so you would just make sure you choose the Canadian version of retailers. For a honeymoon fund, they use paypal which takes 2.5%. That seems like a lot to me but maybe that’s standard. Would love to hear if any Canadians have used it!

    • I had a similar problem (my registry had to ship to Canads but be accessible for my US family too) and we ended up just doing a wix site and an Amazon registry/wish list. Lots of people sent cash instead (we kept the list short because we knew it’d be that way) and we used it for furniture :)

  20. Janine says...

    Am I going to be the only creep to say her uncle looks like a cutipie? 👀

    • Sam says...

      Haha! Not the only one, Janine.

  21. Betsy says...

    I used Zola and really loved it. I think the items are so well curated, so it made planning a future household so much easier — by contrast, the big box stores have so many choices geared to older people as well as millennials, so I felt pretty lost trying to make a registry elsewhere.

  22. Ah, I wish this would have been available when I got married a few years ago! I’m still convinced that I didn’t send out all of my thank you cards, so that tracker would have been amazing.

  23. Laura says...

    We’re using Zola for our wedding in May and I looove it. Our friends who got married last year used it and their site was so cool and easy to navigate that I knew I wanted to copy them. I especially love that you can set up the whole website and registry without making it public until you’re ready, and the honeymoon fund thing is so helpful.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we did a honeymoon fund for our wedding, and it was WONDERFUL. it allowed us to go to italy, and it was extra special because we thought of all our loved ones who helped make it possible. xoxo

  24. A says...

    I have been LOVING using Zola in preparation for our wedding in August. Even setting everything up on the registry is super easy – it is so easy to fall down a rabbit hole of “which of these glasses will I want to stare at forever” but the site starts out giving you three of the best selections at different price points and then you can narrow it down from there.

    ALSO the fact that you can choose when to have things shipped is a game changer. We are a bi-coastal couple, so letting people choose things they like for showers/engagement parties etc. and then not having to cart them on the airplane has been such a stress saver. Yay for Zola! (I never thought I would be waxing this euphoric about a commercial website, but here we are).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “I never thought I would be waxing this euphoric about a commercial website, but here we are” = haha

  25. Cara says...

    We used Zola and it was a dream! We are active duty military and got married in September 2017. We moved to a new state 1 week before out wedding (in our home state, neither of the states we moved from or to), and it was so nice to be able to ship the gifts to our new home several weeks later. It made things so much easier to manage and if we changed our minds on something later, we didn’t have to return anything, we just changed it to store credit and bought something else. Loved it!

  26. Marta says...

    In Poland registry isn’t popular so we mosty got cash (used for honeymoon) and some staff for home plus gift card to Ikea:). I quite like it because gifts I appreciate the most I wouldn’t choose myself (ornamented mirror and old painting from my grandfather).

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how lovely that your grandfather gave you a painting!

  27. Sofia says...

    I used Zola for my registry when I got married in 2015. I loved that you could add items from anywhere, which I did. I have a beautiful lamp from Etsy, linens from Fog linen, and then a honeymoon fund of sorts which was really helpful.

    2 tips:
    1. Echo-ing Kelly’s tip #5 – if you add stuff from other sites, list it so that YOU purchase the item, not your guest. That way you get the money and then if the item is out of stock, you change your mind, etc. you have flexibility.
    2. The only big downside I encountered was that there was a limit on cash transfers, and Zola didn’t list this anywhere in the fine print or documentation I got when I set up the registry. So if you are transferring cash to your bank account, don’t transfer every little small transaction. Do a couple bigger ones. They wanted me to fork over my SSN, which I thought was pretty nuts since they hadn’t warned me about this issue of transfers ahead of time.
    3. One of the best items we got on our registry was a lodge cast iron pot (similar to le creuset but cheaper) and linen sheets. Linen is so great to sleep on, especially if you tend to run hot at night. We probably get more use out of those sheets compared to anything else we received!

    • KC says...

      Q: which linen sheets? I’ve heard there’s a lot of variability (durability, scratchiness) between brands, and if you’ve used them a bunch, you’d have a more-informed opinion than the “we just received this in the mail!” reviews… Thanks!

    • Sofia says...

      We have some sheets from Restoration Hardware and then had to get a replacement bottom sheet when we upgraded our mattress to a queen from a full and went with Parachute. Both are great but Parachute seems more durable.

  28. Andrea says...

    I’m single, but would like to put in a plug for the alternative gift registry, sokindregistry.org. You register for help with tasks, things to borrow, used items, charitable donations, etc. Because I’m 37 and there’s nothing I need that I haven’t already bought or am capable of buying for myself :)

    • Bonnie says...

      And I love their line that you have a registry that reflects your lifestyle and values, which sometimes seems to get lost in others’ registration for gifts or money. Thanks for mentioning them.

  29. Emily says...

    Canadian brides!! Any Canadian alternatives to Zola? They don’t ship to Canada.

  30. Sandhya says...

    Here’s a question: is Zola only for weddings, or can singles use it to register for other things? I’m married (for the second time) but always feel like we should be doing everything we can to celebrate everyone’s life choices.

    • Franny Eremin says...

      Hi Sandhya! Here’s what Hailey from Zola said:

      “We market ourselves as a wedding registry, and of course we have our suite of wedding planning tools. But Zola is a retailer, and anyone can buy gifts from our site and use the registry, website, and invitation tools! Things might just be a little more catered towards weddings in the copy.”

      Hope that helps, xo

  31. melis says...

    I loved using Zola when we got married in 2017. They had recently expanded beyond the registry service and had excellent customer service. I totally recommend it. Loved the flexibility of the registry bc it doesn’t need to be anything from their site!

  32. Kelly says...

    I seriously loved Zola! Some tips:
    1. Don’t ship the stuff until after the wedding, unless it’s stuff you need. That way if Grandma goes off-book, you don’t wind up with two toasters.
    2. Thank you note tracker! It’s built in, but it’s seriously a lifesaver. We also registered at Crate & Barrel, and some of that stuff showed up without saying who it was from.
    3. Experiences. Registering for cash amounts you set and add a photo to like “buy us a round of drinks, $25” or “dinner out” are especially nice if you live far from family and friends, because we got a lot of those as engagement gifts, and it feels more personal than cash.
    4. Enable a few things as group gifts! This is great if you want a few bigger things that would be tough for one person to swing.
    5. Remember, you can add things from other sites, but it’s much easier on your guests if you set it so they stay within Zola, essentially giving you the cash amount it pulls over, and then you buy it yourself. I got married shortly before Labor Day, so I actually was able to wait and get some of my registry things on sale, and put the extra money toward other things on our registry.

    **Everyone loves the KitchenAid mixer and usually goes crazy on the attachments. According to my SIL, a chef, the best ones are the pasta maker and the ice cream maker, and the worst one is the ravioli attachment.**

  33. Angela says...

    I don’t recall what website they used, but my brother-in-law just got married and their honeymoon experiences were entirely funded by a similar site (maybe the same?). They only had to pay for their flights. They also stocked their home with everything they need. Wish this sort of thing had been around 9 years ago when I got married!

  34. Corrin says...

    Oh my! Those dishes are absolutely gorgeous! I need them in my life and on MY open shelves. Can you share the brand please?

    • Kristin says...

      Hanselmann Pottery also has pieces that are similar. More character too, I think. https://hanselmannpottery.com

    • Kathy says...

      I’d also love to know where they’re from, especially the grooved/contoured pieces.

    • Bonnie says...

      Thank you, Meredith! Appreciate you posting that link to similar, but much more affordable (!), ones. Those might be a nice splurge!

    • Nora says...

      Ditto to the request for info on the fluted stoneware mugs and bowls!

    • Mea says...

      Yes, please! Anyone know what brand the grooved/fluted bowls and mugs are? They’re so lovely.

    • Kathy says...

      I’ve become obsessed with the grooved pieces and have been googling myself senseless all afternoon, to no avail. If anyone knows where they’re from, I’d love to know!

    • Kathy says...

      I think the fluted mugs are from Julia King’s Aurora collection. They are at Wayfair. I don’t see the bowls available anywhere, though.

  35. Lesley says...

    We registered for a la Creuset orange pot for our wedding and we have used it almost every day for 20 years!

    • Alison says...

      what size did you get?!

  36. Emily says...

    My wife and I used Zola, and we talk about how great it is TO EVERYONE. We’re like a commercial. It made our lives so, so much easier. We kept trying to find something annoying about it (because we are suspicious New Yorkers)…but we honestly couldn’t! They’ve thought of everything. One of the things we loved the most was their system for online RSVPs. We did paper invites but wanted folks to RSVP digitally for ease, and Zola allows you to input only the number of guests explicitly invited for each party— no surprise/awkward “can I bring a plus one” conversations. You can also create multiple events and corresponding guest lists, so if you’re doing a rehearsal dinner or brunch or whatever, only the people you’ve invited to those will be able to see and RSVP to them. Genius. I swear they’re not paying me to write this!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      my friends who have used Zola are like this — they swear by it!