Zola’s co-founders: Shan-Lyn Ma (CEO) and Nobu Nakaguchi (Chief Design Officer).

Launching Zola Weddings

When I first met shan-lyn ma, CEO and co-founder of Zola, we spent a lot of time discussing the wedding planning process. The average American couple is engaged for 14 months, which sounds like a lot of time to get your ducks in a row for the big day. In reality, you never have enough time.

That’s because planning and executing a wedding is likely the most logistically challenging endeavor you will embark on. The stakes are high too. The average couple spends over $31,000 on their wedding. Other than buying a house or car, your wedding is the largest expense you incur up to that point in life. Add the tension that often comes from merging two families, and you get a stressful, complicated mess that few are prepared to manage.

Couples are underserved today by the current state of wedding tools, which are fragmented and poorly designed. Your wedding website, registry, guest tracker, and task list are scattered across different web services. You must recreate and reconcile your guest lists across these different services. Many couples resort to managing save-the-date responses, RSVPs, and thank you’s through a Google spreadsheet. Few wedding products are built for mobile and allow the couple to communicate easily with guests. All of them lack service and support, and most lack personalization and thoughtfulness in design. Oh, and nearly all these tools will cost you money.

Shan and the rest of her team believed Zola was in a unique position to solve these problems. Zola is the fastest growing wedding registry on the internet, and wedding registries alone are a $19B domestic opportunity. With Zola’s registry offering as the core revenue engine of the business, Shan proposed a radical idea:

What if we built a suite of well-designed, unified wedding planning tools and gave them to couples for free?

Today, Zola is announcing Weddings — a free resource for the modern couple’s wedding planning needs:

Couples no longer need to use multiple tools, spreadsheets, and documents to organize their wedding planning and can now do everything in one place.

The key elements of Zola Weddings are:

  • Custom Website: Couples can choose from over 30 stunning designs before following Zola’s step-by-step guide to personalize their favorite layout with photos, stories, and their wedding details.
  • Zola Registry: Couples can expect the same exceptional registry experience from Zola that they have come to love — including everything in one place, free shipping, and price matching — now automatically integrated into their Zola wedding website.
  • A Dynamic Checklist: Zola created an interactive experience to tailor a to-do list to couples’ unique wedding details. From location and guest count, to religious and cultural affiliations, couples can stay organized from their engagement to the big day.
  • Automated Guest-List Management: The guest-list management tool lets couples collect guests’ addresses, address invitations, plus track RSVPs, gifts, and thank-you notes in real-time.

Zola Weddings is now available at www.zola.com and through the company’s mobile app. If you have friends getting married this year or next, send them to Zola now to be one of the first couples to try the experience!

Side note: Zola is hiring in NYC. I wrote about Lightspeed’s decision to invest in the company last year. If you are similarly enthusiastic, feel free to ping me over email.

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