I’m sure that anyone currently planning a wedding is familiar with Zola, but if you aren’t, this post is about why you should familiarize yourself with it real fast. Because as I’ve started getting more into the weeds of wedding planning, I’ve paid a little more attention to the online tools at my disposal. And I’m here to tell you that Zola is by far my favorite one.
Before I started planning my wedding, I was familiar with a few of the sites out there. I knew about The Knot because that seemed to be the one that most people used—plus it has a print magazine, which I had seen in grocery stores. And to be fair, I’ve been loving The Knot’s magazine; I’ve been buying it and its full of really useful information and gorgeous inspiration. I also knew about Wedding Wire, but mostly because its headquarters are actually about ten minutes from my apartment. And finally, I knew about Zola because I attended a wedding last year that had a Zola registry. But that was what I knew it as: just a registry. However, after setting up my registry there, I quickly discovered that there are tons more free tools on Zola that I now plan to use exclusively.
Some love for Wedding Wire: I primarily used Wedding Wire when I was looking for venues. I liked the search parameters and filters they have, and I liked that you could put in a zip code and it would refine the search to venues near that zip code. On The Knot you could only choose from certain major cities to base your search around, and I found that pretty limiting, since none of the venue types I was looking for were actually in cities. So Wedding Wire was great for that.
But back to Zola. I knew from the start that I likely wanted to use it for my registry, but I wasn’t totally sure how the registry worked. All I knew was that it eliminated the need to register at multiple places, since you could kind of put everything on one master registry. Well it turns out, as easy as that sounds, Zola actually makes it even easier. There are hundreds, probably thousands of products from top brands already in Zola for you to add to your registry. But if you do want something that isn’t there—I wanted dinnerware from Anthropologie, for example—you can go to Anthropologie, find the product, then add that product to your Zola registry too. Plus, you can register for cash funds, experiences, gift cards, the list goes on. The registry is also amazing because you can put in details like number of guests, if you’re having a shower, how many guests you expect at the shower, and it will tell you how many gifts you need to register for, even with a breakdown of price points. Amazing.
Now, the first moment I realized I wanted to use Zola for more than my registry still had to do with the registry. If you make your wedding website on Zola, for free, then your Zola registry just becomes one of the pages in the site. I love the idea of skipping the steps where you click on registry, are taken to a page with links, have to choose which store you want to look at, then click that link and go to the separate registry site. Zola lets you have all of it in one place!
The next thing that made me fall deeper in love: the guest list. Before I started our registry on Zola, I had started making a guest list on The Knot, but I wasn’t thrilled with it. I was able to enter people as couples or families, but they still came up on the master list as individuals, and I couldn’t figure out if or how I could change that. This was one of the thing that frustrated me about The Knot; I found the tools and interfaces confusing and, in most cases, lacking. Compare that to Zola, which has simple, eye-catching, easily navigable interfaces. On the master guest list you can see all your guests’ names, if they are in couples or families, their addresses, and whether they are definitely or maybe invited. You can even categorize them by relationship to the bride and relationship to the groom. It’s so easy to use and is really helping me visualize the guest list and the information I need for it.
To recap, I’m in love with the registry and the guest list and everything is super easy to use. I’ve decided I’ll make my website there, though I haven’t started it yet. Then I’m surfing Zola one day, and it’s as if I hear a tiny voice say “hey Lyss! You know you need stationery too! We can ALSO help with that!” Enter the fact that without purchasing ANYTHING from Zola, I was able to order a completely free sampler set of save the dates, invitations, RSVP cards and envelopes in various types of paper and card stock. The biggest gripe of people opposed to ordering invitations online is that they want to know how the card will feel in their hands. Well, Zola has solved that problem too.
In conclusion, Zola has made me feel a lot more confident about a lot of aspects of wedding planning. I also totally recognize that there may be other sites out there that people use and really adore. But if you were planning to just use The Knot because it seems to be the one that everyone uses, definitely give Zola a look. You might just fall in love.