Meet: A Wedding Registry Game-Changer

Oh, wedding registries. Couples both love and fear the wedding registry. Love comes from the fact that you get to make a huge list of items you want to start your new life and home, and your friends and family generously purchase some of them for you. Fear comes from registering for too many things, for the wrong items, or the fact that you may end up with that weird butter dish you had to register for to get the cool extra gift, rather than the new coffee maker you have been lusting for. And taking the bar-code-scanning-thingy to use to your heart’s content in Macy’s is actually really fun, but quite time consuming!

But times, they are a-changing! Like nearly 90% of everything we do, registries can now easily be made through stores’ websites. This actually can be quite handy if that perfect place-setting isn’t available in your local store. And thanks to everyone’s favorite website–that would be Amazon.com people–you can now build registries full of items from a wide variety of stores. You are no longer restricted to picking 2-3 stores.

Another great new trend revolves around the simplest gift of all: cold, hard cash. Card boxes seem to fill more easily than the gift table at weddings and gift cards are sometimes the easiest option to select (especially if you waited until the day before the wedding!). We know people think you need to take the time to pick out that personal, thoughtful, “this made me think of you!” gift, but that is a really hard thing to do! Luckily, cash is no longer viewed as the impersonal gift of choice.

So, let’s combine both of those new trends–the internet and cash–and present to you what could be the end-all-be-all for wedding registries: Zola.com. This amazing little site (which is still in the start-up phases) allows you to do so many things:

  • Create the cutest little registry site with greetings and photos.
  • Add any gift from nearly anywhere: you can shop their featured items and brands or put direct links to items from any website. For other websites, Zola will pull all the relevant information and send the cash for that gift directly to you to purchase.
  • Barcode scanner. Miss the experience of finding items in store? Upload a pic of the bar code and Zola will upload the item for you.
  • Want a big ticket item? No problem. You can create “group gifts” meaning people can contribute any amount towards that item. Even if you don’t get 100% of the money for the gift, Zola will still send you the funds.
  • Want people to contribute to your honeymoon or directly to the wedding? You can make different wedding categories or honeymoon experiences for people to contribute cash funds to. Similar to Paypal, there is a small processing fee, but you can give people the option to cover that fee for you.
  • One of our favorite things: experiences. Available in a few select cities (including Los Angeles!), guests can actually purchase curated experiences or services. Cool options include cooking classes for the couple, farmers market meal delivery service, CSA subscriptions, even cleaning/painting/handyman services!
  • Makes shipping super easy. The website allows you to decide when gifts should arrive (like after the honeymoon!), and how and when you transfer funds from the website into your own personal account. Another interesting option? You can convert cash gifts into credits to use for items in Zola’s online store.
  • Gift tracking all in one place. Addresses are logged for anyone that purchases you gifts (including the group gifts), so thank you’s are a breeze!

Pretty awesome, huh? We are sorting of wishing we could re-do the registry thing now… Happy shopping!

Help a Vendor Out…

Rejection: it stings, it hurts, it is painful, it is an inevitable part of life. And it is also an inevitable part of wedding planning.

It is obviously our hope that you fall in love with every piece of your wedding the first time you see it. Your venue, the date, the vendors, and of course the dress! But the reality is, that doesn’t usually happen. The venue may not have the right atmosphere, the catering might not be in your budget, the invitations just not the right shade of purple. Heck, you might not just mesh with the wedding planner you had coffee with.

And guess what? All of that is okay! We here at CLD ultimately want you to have the best vendors that work together to produce your perfect wedding.  You are taking a good deal of time and spending some money to create a stellar event, and you will need to try quite a few things until you find, “the one.” Try, try, try away!

But we have a huge favor to ask of you.  After you find all the perfect pieces to your wedding puzzle, you have to properly reject the ones that did not fit. Anyone that took some time to chat with you, meet with you, or provided you something, deserves to know that you are moving on. This is not only out of politeness (although we do love proper etiquette), but for practical reasons too, as there is a couple out there who will want that New Kids on the Block cover band on that one specific date.  Just think of how annoying it is for you when you send an email and don’t hear back.  It’s rude!  We understand it can be awkward, but how many times did you have to deal with that as a teenager?  This should be a piece of cake.

There is no need for drama or fanfare. Just a simple email or phone call will do. Tell the vendor you appreciated their time, but you have decided to go in a different direction.  The point is, you don’t just ignore their emails or calls and never get back to them.  If you have a planner, you can ask them to kindly send this email on your behalf. Feel free to elaborate if you’d like, ‘this doesn’t fit our budget (read: they still may be willing to work with you on this, so ask!), or ‘we are going for a different style’, whatever! It is at your discretion to provide details, and if you just didn’t like the person, feel free to leave it at ‘we are going in a different direction’.  Done.

FYI: we know we are not a perfect fit for every client! Yes, the rejection stings a little, even for us. We wish we could work with every single couple we meet, but sometimes things do not work out. But simply letting vendors know will allow everyone to move on and focus on creating someone else’s dream wedding!

A Toast to Tastings!

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This week at Christina Logan Design we had the awesome opportunity to attend a tasting with a potential caterer with one of our lovely brides! Food is a critical component of any successful wedding or event, which makes a tasting just as crucial. When checking out your potential caterers, we thought we would give you a few pointers, tips, and good questions to ask:

Get the details. Is the tasting complementary? How many people can attend? How many different selections will you be allowed to try? Attempt to get as many details aligned and set before you head off to your appointment. This also allows you to set a good precedent with your potential vendor!

Bring the right people. Obviously you and your fiancé are the most important people in attendance, but are there other opinions that are important to you? If a family member is helping with the wedding bill, it might be a good idea to invite them so they understand how much you value them. Finally, bring your planner! They have been through this routine before and can further assist with a successful tasting. However, don’t bring the whole wedding party. Keep the tasting party limited to those whose opinions will make a difference.

Bring the right documents. If you have an agreed upon menu, bring it along to ensure you are tasting the right things. Further, also bring any bids or contracts that a potential caterer has prepared for you. This is important as caterers usually provide more than just food—chairs, linens, beverages, and much more. Having the bid right in front of you can help you make any necessary changes, compare pricing, and ensure that you have everything covered.

Take notes. The menus and bids are also good places to take some notes on. Was that crab cake a little salty? Or was that sauce for the steak just not quite right? Do you think you should maybe only do 3 appetizers instead of 4? How much will it cost to upgrade your barware? Take those notes to keep your thoughts and preferences straights.

Speak up! If your notes feel a little critical, that’s OK! You need to tell your potential caterer what you like and what you don’t. Chefs will usually be able to provide alternatives and suggestions that will make your tastebuds happy.

Tastings can be a fun adventure! If you prepare yourself with the right people, documents and mind-set, you are well on your way to finding fabulous food!