magazine | Weddings | Wedding Planning

Everything You Need to Know to Build Your Dream Wedding Registry

photo: Jose Villa
So, you recently got engaged. This is one of the most exciting and fast-paced stages of your life. It’s a time for you and your fiancé filled with loved ones and friends, gatherings and parties, and the craziness of planning the biggest event of them all, your wedding. One of the first and arguably most fun steps in the wedding planning process is building your registry. From selecting that classic Kitchenaid counter mixer to the coveted Smeg toaster, building your registry should be a breeze. Until it isn’t. How many items do you pick? What kind of a budget range do you provide? Should you set up a cash fund for your honeymoon? Are you more of a brass flatware or gunmetal flatware couple?

We've been hot on Zola's trail for awhile ever since we discovered their impressive collection of wedding registry items – Crate & Barrel, Parachute and Le Crueset are just some of the brands they carry. Beyond the registry, Zola offers free wedding websites that tie right in to your registry and customized planning tools that do so much of the scheduling and number crunching for you. TVR exclusive: Sign up today and receive $50 to spend at Zola PLUS 20% off post-wedding.

We partnered with Zola to bring you top tips and tricks for building your dream registry along with their tools you can use to plan your wedding with confidence and ease. After all, this is the fun part.

Sign up for your Zola registry
Photo: Zola
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The Beginning

First things first, set up your Registry Planner where you’ll enter all of your (estimated) wedding info including guest count, whether or not you’ll have a wedding shower, and if you want to have a cash fund. Why? This neat tool does the hard work by calculating how many gifts you should register for, especially if you are also having a shower or are interested in a cash fund.
Photo: Zola
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Get Inspired

Now, the fun part begins. Before the rush of adding items to your registry overcomes you, gather inspiration from kitchen basics to the piece de resistance that will complete your home. Spend a few days perusing Zola’s inventory, getting familiar with different styles and routes for your registry. Inside Tip: Check out Zola’s curated Starter Collections and Registries We Love for instant inspiration.
Photo: Zola
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Take Inventory

Did you just move in with your partner and combine your smattering of random pots and utensils from living with roommates? Perfect, now's the time to take note of where the "holes" are in your shared supplies and maybe register for those items that you are excited to upgrade too (hint: drinkware that matches is a good place to start).
Photo: Zola
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When You Have It All

Maybe you and your partner have lived together for the last 5 years and don't need any more blenders or toasters. Focus on fun shared outings and subscriptions that your friends and family can gift you through Zola's Experiences. From Equinox personal training sessions to 3 months Blue Bottle Coffee delivery, your journey to wedded bliss will be kickstarted with a lot to look forward to!
Photo: Zola
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Know Your Gift Count

Time for a little math. You’re building your registry based on wedding guest count including number of items and budget range. Lucky for you, instead of sharpening your division skills, Zola has created a more useful version of Mad Libs where you fill in the blanks with your wedding details and they do the math for you. It goes something like this: For a 150 person wedding (shower not included), build your registry out with around 130 gifts and about a $2,000 cash fund.
Photo: Zola
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Know Your Gift Budget Range

Probably the most complicated part of building a registry is selecting the right amount of gifts for each budget. Zola’s fun planner summary does the heavy lifting for you by calculating how many gifts you should add at each price point. Here’s how you would break down your gift budget for a 150 person wedding: 50% under $50 (TVR pick: Marble and teak serving board), 35% within $50-$100 (TVR pick: Automatic turntable), 7% from $100-$150 (TVR pick: Boll & Branch towel set), 3% from $150-$200 (TVR pick: Staub essential French oven), and 3% priced at $200+ (TVR pick: Parachute linen duvet set). Fun Fact: The average wedding guest spends $100 on their gift.
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Select Your Zola Gifts

Once you feel sufficiently inspired (Is there such a thing?), the real fun starts: selecting your gifts! To add items like the Vitamix blender and experiences like a Winc Wine Club subscription directly to your registry, head to the Zola store to find your picks. All you have to do is say “Add to Registry.” Don’t worry, your registry overview keeps tabs on how many gifts you should be adding in each category to make sure you have a well balanced selection for your guests. Inside Tip: Add more than you think!
Photo: Dan Russo
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Set-up Cash Funds

Gifts are great and all but they won’t fly you to the Amalfi Coast or help with a down payment on a home. Enter the cash fund. To set-up your cash fund, just head to the cash funds page on Zola and enter your fund amount. You can even choose to make the amount private from your guests to err on the side of discretion. Fun Fact: Zola has the lowest fee on cash funds. They do not make money on your cash gifts, the credit card company only charges a transaction fee of 2.5% (the absolute lowest around!).
Photo: Zola
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Add Items From Another Site

So you found that special item from that emerging designer you follow and it’s not yet on Zola. Fret not for there is a simple solution. Easily add items from other stores by pasting your link into the "Add from Another Site" portal and Zola takes care of the rest. If you have an eye for the unique, one-of-a-kind or always-sold-out and need to add items from other sites often, drag the "Add to Zola" button to your bookmarks to quickly add gifts on the fly.
Photo: Zola
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Make It Public

When you are feeling like you and your registry are in a happy and healthy place, it’s time to go public. To publish your registry to the wedding guest masses, head to the Manage Registry tab and click the big red button saying “Make It Visible.” Voila! Your guests can access your registry and you can rest easy.
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Spread the Word

Your wedding registry has gone live but now you need to get the word out. Make sure you include your registry details on your wedding website first and foremost. By creating your wedding website on Zola, it's not only free but integrates seamlessly with your registry. How cool is that?

Your guests will be checking your wedding website for updates and details so this a perfect home for your registry. Additionally, take it offline and tell your wedding party, family and friends about your newly published registry so they, in turn, can spread the word to their guest connections.

Ready to get started? Sign up for your Zola registry

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