This Wedding Company Made One Simple Switch to Help Couples Realize Their Happily Ever After

Your big day can be full of big stressors. It's only supposed to be the best day of your life. No pressure. 

Which is why Zola took the wedding registry into the future-- and online. 

Gone are the days of roaming the department store with a store associate and scanning items into your registry wish list. Zola streamlined the process so that couples can focus on more important things-- like cake testing, something that *thankfully* online will never replace. 

So we checked in with Jennifer Spector, Zola's "Newlywed-At-Large" to find out why making this switch was imperative for a happily ever after, and what today's couples are looking, and registering, for. 

What is the most rewarding part about being in the wedding industry?

The most rewarding part about being in the wedding industry is intersecting with couples at such an electric time in their lives. Taking the next step to get married is just the beginning, and being a part of a couple's journey as they build their home and their lives together is really gratifying.

How do you think Zola is inspiring couples to build their lives together?

We focus on what couples of this generation want and need to build their lives together. Zola offers gifts, experiences, and opportunities that uniquely reflect the couple - like cooking classes, camping equipment, artwork and funds - instead of gifts that don’t feel personal.

I used Zola before I started working for the brand, and it was a lightbulb moment for me - wedding planning could be fun! So much of wedding planning is solely focused on the bride, and Zola made registering feel inclusive for both me and my husband. That carried through in the products that were offered, and the way we could adapt the platform to our needs as we envisioned our future together.  We registered for home goods, experiences, and even a fund for boxing lessons before our wedding to help take the edge off. Registering for certain items, like a nonstick pan we would use to make Sunday pancakes, made our marriage feel way more real and special than which color napkin would be at our reception.

Why was it important to take the wedding registry online?

Because couples live online! Zola is a digital first experience with best-in-class iPhone and iPad apps, as well as desktop versions that help you manage your registry wherever you are. Zola allows you to manage thank you notes, fulfill gifts, add new items to your registry, automatically transfer funds directly into your bank account, and import items from anywhere online. Couples expect a seamless digital experience and anything less does not reflect their needs, and is also extremely frustrating.

Do you think streamlining parts of a wedding makes it easier for brides and grooms to focus on the big day?

Weddings are incredible celebratory milestones, but they are also major events, which come with lots of emotions, expectations and frustrations. Plus the added pressure for it to be the best day of your life! Streamlining wedding planning helps couples focus on having a good time and what is truly important - celebrating the love they share. Using Zola helps streamline because you have everything in your pocket and on your phone - so you can delay shipping if you need to, exchange a gift digitally, or add/remove things on your registry as your wedding date gets closer.

The goal should be to focus on the big day and beyond - a wedding is only one day but a marriage should last a lifetime - so you don’t want wedding planning to take a toll on the relationship.  

"You don't want wedding planning to take a toll on the relationship." 

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What is the modern couple looking for when coming to Zola?

Couples are looking for a well-designed registry that has gifts that reflect their personal style and helps them build their lives together. Thousands of couples have shared with us that Zola was their favorite part of wedding planning, and many couples continue to shop the site after their wedding day because it still represents their tastes.  

Are you seeing more of a shift from traditional gifts to gifting experiences and honeymoon funding?

When Zola first started 2.5 years ago, the hypothesis was that couples were moving away from traditional gifts. But what we saw instead was that couples wanted it all - they wanted a KitchenAid mixer, they wanted the experience of cooking together through Blue Apron, and they also wanted a fund for their trip to Thailand. Our couples register for a mix of gifts, experiences and funds because all three categories reflect what couples need and want in this next chapter of their lives.

"Happily ever after may be starting a family, traveling around the world, or enjoying a lifetime supply of avocados."

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What does Happily Ever After look like today?

Previous generations had a very cookie cutter ideal of happily ever after, which thankfully is no longer the case! For Zola couples, happily ever after means so many things. Happily ever after may be starting a family, traveling around the world, or enjoying a lifetime supply of avocados (a couple really registered for that). For me and my husband, happily ever after right now means living in a tiny apartment in a great neighborhood, traveling to new places, and continuing our boxing lessons!

Photo credit: Claire Esparros