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When my husband and I got engaged we were immediately asked where we were registered. It wasn’t at the forefront of our minds. But being top of mind for everyone else (as we learned) made us investigate alternative registries. We are in our late thirties and early forties – we have everything we could want and more. Zola provided us with an alternative to the norm and then some. While you can register for the usual – pots and pans and such – you can also register for charities. And that’s what hooked us.
Why add more “stuff” to our home (a one bedroom apartment already bursting at the seams) when what we strive for is to do better in the world and Zola has a vehicle to allow us to do that. And while encouraging our family and friends to shift their mindsets to do the same.
Sometimes people ask me for a Zola review and I have to say it was so easy to use and create a registry.
I love the site’s design. And who can resist the commercials with celebrity Lea Michelle, from Glee? She was getting married around the same time and they did a campaign with her that made a lasting impact!
It only took about an hour of dedicated time to sign up and add items to our registry.
We put a variety of things on our registry on Zola. All of them had meaning to us and gave friends the option to either get us something a little more “material” (or as close to material as you could get on our registry) or something that would contribute to a cause important to us.
Here’s an overview of what we registered for:
And that was it!
If you can’t include certain items in your wedding photography collection, like a wedding album, REGISTER for one! It’s one of the BEST items family and friends can help contribute too and perhaps the most meaningful.
With Zola, you can add custom items to your registry like we did with rings. And if I wasn’t a wedding photographer you can be sure it would be something we would register for!
A Zola wedding registry is a sort of bank for your guests to contribute gifts to. After your event – and when you think the gift-giving is done – you have to withdraw the funds then donate the money to the organizations and charities yourself. Which is super easy to do with their Gift Tracker page and because most charities these days make it incredibly easy to donate online.
This is NOT why we donated, but since after you donate the charity reminds you: it’s tax deductible.
In total, with just 8 family members and friends contributing, we were able to donate $1,144 to charities. It made us SO HAPPY!
(To put it into perspective, since we didn’t really have a “wedding” 14 people/families contributed to our registry, in total. Imagine the impact you could have with registering for charities if you had a big guest list.)
Though Dan and I didn’t need a wedding website most people do these days. Zola makes creating a website pretty simple. It’s a great place to centralize information for your guests including wedding details and a wedding weekend timeline for your guests (like a welcome dinner info on Friday, the wedding information including venue address on Saturday and send off brunch on Sunday, for example).
And of course it’s a smart place to link your wedding registry and have RSVPs delivered to know who’s attending each wedding event.
Though Dan and I eloped and then had a very small, intimate micro wedding celebration a couple months later with just 16 people, you can do many other things on Zola.
If you’re looking for a great affordable option for stationery, for instance, they have it! You can print Save the Dates and invitations to events like a bridal shower or wedding. I was able to get a sample kit and take some photos. And the quality is great, just like Minted.
They offer upgraded cardstock if you want thicker cards, foil printing if you want a little shimmer and different paper textures as well.
Don’t have everyone’s mailing address but have their emails? Simply create an email message and input addresses to gather everyone’s snail mail address via Zola.
I was actually shocked they have this but it makes sense! Zola has their own online wedding boutique if you want to shop for anything from wedding dresses (including wedding weekend little white dresses) to bridesmaids gifts, to bachelorette party goodies.
Let me know your thoughts on wedding registries in the comments below. And if you’re searching for a wedding photographer definitely reach out to contact me if you like what you see. I’d love to hear from you!
For more wedding information also check out:
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, which means I may make a small commission if you click through and proceed with a purchase. I only recommend products and services I actually use and provide real reviews and advice. Always.