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Have y’all heard?! Jess in our office is engaged!! We could NOT be more excited for her (like, really could not). The last few weeks have been about celebrating, but since she’s planning on a shorter engagement, I, the resident wedding planning guru in the office (!), am excited to get down to brass tacks with her soon!

Having a newly-engaged gal on our team has made us appreciate all over again anything that can simplify the wedding planning process. Enter: Zola, our favorite one-stop site that’s reinventing the wedding registry and planning experience!

From engagement, to your wedding, to decorating your first home, Zola is with you every step of the way. Here’s how:

Your Zola Weddings dashboard includes planning checklists, your wedding website, guest list management, and your registry, all in one easy-to-use place. Your checklist is custom-created based on your wedding date and the traditions you may want to include in honor of your religion or heritage. Of course, you can also add, remove, and edit tasks to best suit your needs.

In your guest list tab, you can add guests and all their information (imported from your contact list, by requesting info via a private link, or by entering it manually), specify what the inner and outer envelopes of your invitation should say, and then mark an invitation sent or not sent. Guests can then RSVP through your wedding website so you can track them in real time. No more penciling numbers onto the back of reply cards in case someone doesn’t fill out their name!

Creating a wedding website is SO helpful for your guests (we’d even call it a gesture of Southern hospitality!), and Zola Weddings makes it incredibly easy. Their 50+ templates are beautiful (and free!), the pages are customizable, and the entire thing is mobile-optimized.

We have to talk about Zola’s claim to fame: their online registry! With the ability to add gifts from over 500 top brands, like Waterford, Le Creuset, and KitchenAid, Zola is like your and your family’s favorite department store. BUT, unlike a department store, you can also register for experiences (like cooking classes, spa visits, and more), for newlywed staples like Blue Apron meals, and for cash funds for your honeymoon or a house down payment!

True to their reputation for amazing customer service, each couple who uses Zola Weddings will have access to a Zola advisor. This person will be able to answer any questions you may have as you use the system, and they’ll even walk your more technophobic guests through your registry!

Cheers to making the wedding planning process simple, so you can focus on what matters during your engagement. We hope you love this awesome service as much as we do!

This post is brought to you by Zola Weddings. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
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    My wedding was four years ago last month, so I’ve had plenty of time to think on what I might have done differently. Thankfully, there are VERY few things I’d change about my entire engagement and wedding, including where we registered! I was a Crate and Barrel bride then, and if I were to register tomorrow, I’d still be a Crate and Barrel bride. Their modern, elegant, understated style is a perfect match for so many aesthetics! I’m still in love with the items we chose back in the day, but today, I thought it would be fun to dive back into their options and give you a peek at what my registry might look like in 2016!

    I’ve marked with an asterisk the items I currently own and love! The rest are things I wish I owned :)

    1. Pretty glass jars for storing flour and sugar.*
    2. A workhorse French oven for soups, stews, and baked risotto – we use ours multiple times a week.*
    3. A 30-piece glass storage set. Not the daintiest registry item, but probably the one our family has gotten the most use out of!*
    4. Prep and pour bowls for Saturday morning pancakes!
    5. A striped kitchen towel that’s soft in the hand and tough on spills.
    6. Mixing bowls in chic Breton style!
    7. Calphalon cookware set. Every pot in this set has been used over and over in our house. I love how easy they are to clean!*
    8. I have been known to give people immersion blenders for their birthdays because I truly believe everyone should own one. A must if you love soup!*
    9. From waffles to pancakes to quesadillas to veggie burgers, there’s (almost) nothing the Griddler can’t do! I love how easy it is to keep clean – just pop the plates in the dishwasher when you’re done.*
    10. A classic white utensil crock that looks great on the counter.*

    1. The Staccato dinner plates* were our pick for every day, and I can’t imagine ever getting tired of them! If I were registering today, I’d mix in the Savannah salad plate – dying over that gold rim.
    2. A marble serving platter – equally good for displaying charcuterie and providing an Instagram backdrop :)
    3. Don’t forget to add a few servings bowls, like the Mallorca, to your registry. You’ll be surprised how often you use them on weeknights and holidays alike!
    4. My best tip on flatware – make sure you visit a store before adding a set to your registry. Forks and spoons can feel so different in your hand, and for something that will be with you for the long haul, you want to make sure it’s 100% comfortable! I was surprised by how bulky a few designs were in person.*
    5. I searched for months and months for the perfect chair for our table. I eventually settled on Crate and Barrel’s Willa, but the Vienna has my heart, too!
    6. If you don’t want to go all-in on a trendy material, choosing just a serving set in the finish is a great compromise! Love the rose gold Harper set.
    7. Upholstered chairs at the table are a bit spendier (and make me a bit nervous with the possibility of spills!), so placing just one at each end is another great compromise. These would be my pick.
    8. I think every kitchen should have a few wooden pieces, like these salad servers, to warm things up and keep it from feeling sterile.*
    9. We went with the Rings glasses for our registry, but today I think I’d choose the Josie double old-fashioned for our everyday glasses – classic with a twist!

    No matter your style, you’ll find pieces to love at Crate and Barrel because their collection of housewares and furniture is unlike any other. They collaborate with talented artists around the world to create pieces you can’t find anywhere else! Beyond aesthetics, they’ve got all the perks you and your guests will love, like 10% off on most items (even ones not on your registry!) for six months after your wedding; easy and convenient returns; and free shipping on registry gifts over $99.

    Ready to register? Click here to get started with your registry, then find a Private Registry Event near you here! Have the store all to yourself as you get inside tips from our registry experts, create your perfect registry, mingle with other couples, and celebrate with food, drinks and fun.

    This post is brought to you by Crate and Barrel — thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

    emily Written with love by Emily
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      Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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      Let me tell you, friends, it’s a good time to be engaged! Not only are the options and resources for customizing your wedding ever-expanding, but these days, the same holds true for your wedding registry. We’ve covered several registry options over the years, but I have to say, today’s post is one of my favorites, because it’s a company many of the Southern Weddings gals use and love: Wayfair! They’ve just launched their first ever wedding registry, and it’s the perfect solution for stylish Southern belles.

      Is your style oh-so-classic? Well, this oh-so-modern registry is just for you! To prove the point, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite elegant and traditional pieces for the bedroom, living room, and kitchen — all perfect to add to your registry!

      P.S. Don’t miss a chance to win $20,000 from Wayfair toward your dream wedding, below!

      1. Lucca duvet cover | 2. Amesbury upholstered bed | 3. Gingham sheet set | 4. Driffield upholstered bedroom bench | 5. Cape May 3 drawer dresser | 6. Stockholm throw blanket | 7. Turkish cotton bath towel set

      1. Francoise dining table | 2. Lyla side chair | 3. KitchenAid artisan series stand mixer | 4. Honeycomb pitcher | 5. BoosBlock maple cutting board | 6. Mason jar beverage dispenser | 7. Le Creuset cast iron dutch oven | 8. Calphalon santoku knife

      1. Traditional porch swing | 2. Loria tufted arm chair | 3. Navy blue area rug | 4. Hello Sunshine framed print | 5. Blush pineapple | 6. Maison settee loveseat | 7. Caprice side table

      The Wayfair Registry offers endless options (more than seven million products!) for every room of the house across all styles and price points. They’ve got beloved brands — Dwell Studio, Le Creuset, Kitchen Aid — as well as registry staples like crisp sheets, santoku knives, and fine china. The Southern essentials are there, too, like porch swings, rocking chairs, and pineapples.

      The Wayfair Registry offers free shipping on all orders shipped directly to the couple, white glove delivery for large items, an extended 90-day return policy, and a 10% completion discount on remaining items not purchased (perfect for larger furniture items!). Speaking of larger items – say howdy to Group Gifting! This feature allows multiple guests to contribute toward your biggest wishes, like a new sofa or headboard. Just mark an item as a Group Gift, and your friends and family will be able to pitch in their desired amount. You’ll get the gifts you love at the price they want — win-win!

      To celebrate the launch of their Registry, Wayfair is also offering the chance to win $20,000 to put toward their big day! To enter, couples must sign up for Wayfair Registry and add at least $1,000 worth of product to their registry between September 20th, 2016 and November 30th, 2016. No purchase necessary. More information about Wayfair Registry Dream Wedding Sweepstakes can be found here.

      This post is brought to you by the Wayfair Registry – thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

      emily Written with love by Emily
      2 Comments
      1. avatar Lara reply

        Wow, I love that whole home board! Can I register even though I’ve been married for ten years?? ; )

      2. avatar Jennifer reply

        I LOVE how user friendly the Wayfair registry is and how they provide you with suggestions based on your style and needs. Thank you for making this process easy for my fiance and I to walk through the website and make the selections that we need to make our house a home!

      Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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