Wedding Planning with Zola

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This week on my Instagram I posted a sneak peak of our engagement photos (by the amazingly talented Hannah Rexinger) and asked if you guys had any wedding related questions! I'll be answering all of them in a series of posts and showing you guys more about our wedding process in the next few weeks. For this first round of Q&A's, I'm so excited to be getting answers and advice from the pro, Jennifer Spector, the Director of Brand at Zola. For those of you that don't know, Zola is a website for all things wedding related. Kyle and I built our wedding website, registry, and guest list through Zola. What initially appealed to us was the beautiful site design options, but what really hooked us was how convenient and easy it was to manage the details of your wedding through Zola. I sent Jennifer some questions that you guys had and let me tell ya, they were super helpful to me and Kyle as we're going through this wedding planning journey! Here are your questions and her answers all about wedding planning and how Zola really helps make the process so much easier! And keep scrolling if you want to see our wedding website we made on Zola! I included some screenshots that give you an idea of the design, without giving away any private information. :) 
Wedding Planning with Zola 

What are some tips for planning a destination wedding?
Finding your wedding vendors in the place where you currently live is difficult, so trying to evaluate and manage vendors who are in a completely different part of the country or even world is definitely tough! But there are lots of venues that will provide you with a super helpful onsite coordinator to be a point of contact for you, so make sure that you really like him or her. Also, look for venues that provide multiple services, such as catering and transportation, maybe even an in-house photographer or florist.

What are important details to include on a wedding website?
Your wedding website is about practicality but also personality.  It’s the main source of info for your guests, so you should definitely include all of the important details like the ceremony start time, hotel and transportation options, and dress code. But it’s also where your guests will love to read all about you, like a fun how you met story, and where you can post lots of your favorite photographs. And do not forget about your registry. If you use Zola your registry will automatically integrate with your wedding website so your guests never even have to leave your beautifully designed page.


How many items at each price point should we register for?
We recommend that couples register for a range of price points from $25 to above $200. You want to make sure you have enough on your registry so that every guest can pick out a gift that is within budget, and they don’t get stuck feeling like they had to buy the one leftover item at the very end. If you’re having multiple wedding events like an engagement party or wedding shower, take that into account too. For higher ticket items like a dining room table or even a new TV it's a good idea to enable group gifting so guests can contribute whatever amount they feel comfortable with, but you still get what you really want. 


What is the appropriate timeline for sending Save the Dates, Invitations, and Thank You cards?
Most couples send Save the Dates 6-8 months before the wedding and Invitations 2-4 months before. If you’re having a destination wedding you might consider sending information even earlier so guests have enough time to plan and book travel.

The ideal timeline to send a thank you note is 2-3 weeks after receiving a gift, or within 3 months of your wedding. But truly it’s never too late, late is always better than never. One question we get a lot is should you send Thank You notes as soon as you receive a gift or is it ok to wait until after the wedding. It’s totally fine to wait until after the wedding to send your Thank You notes, but you may save yourself some stress by sending a few notes along the way and not waiting to send everything all at once.

How would you recommend gathering friends' and families' addresses?
Gathering addresses for friends’ and family can be one of the most tedious parts of wedding planning. When I was planning my wedding I had multiple spreadsheets, texts and email chains all with address information. It was so hard to compile! My best advice is to use Zola’s guest list manager to make the process as easy as possible. Through Zola you can draft your guest list and text or email a link to guests to fill out their missing information. You will not have to go through what I went through!


Is there a way to predict how many guests will RSVP?
There’s no way to know for sure how many people will RSVP yes or no, but a good rule of thumb is around 20% of people will RSVP no. We recommend creating A and B guest lists. As declines come in from your A list you can quickly send out additional invites to people on your B list. If you send out your save the dates early enough you may start to get a feeling for how many people are going to have to decline.

How would you recommend staying organized while wedding planning?
The best way to stay organized while wedding planning is to go in with a plan. Sit down early in the wedding planning process to set a budget which will help direct many decisions and make searching vendors easier. Create a priority list in terms of which vendors are the most important to you, and book those vendors first. Also, divvy up the wedding planning between the two of you - wedding planning is not a one person show. One last tip is to set aside regular wedding planning time, for example Sunday evening may be convenient for you and your partner to sit down with a glass of wine and hash out some details.
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For us, using Zola as the site to manage our wedding was a no brainer. Zola's wedding planning dashboard is user friendly, the site design options are beautiful, and the registry offers all you could ever need and more; the top brands, experiences like wine tasting trips and flight credits, and the option to add gifts from any store in case there's something specific you want to register for. Check in next week for another wedding planning post! I'll be answering more questions about our day and sharing inspiration photos! 

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