Zola de-stresses the wedding planning experience for Millennials

Discussion
Photo: Zola
Jan 11, 2019
Matthew Stern

People planning weddings often complain about the stress, a factor one retailer hopes to address in a new pop-up.

Zola, an e-commerce wedding registry website, launched a pop-up in New York City’s Flatiron District which will be open until April. The store features areas to create save-the-date announcements and invitations, a place to register for gifts, one-on-one wedding planning assistance, guided wedding website design and other planning tools all purported to allow a couple to plan their wedding in an hour.

There are also more leisurely features in the store, like a lounge where people can indulge in CBDs to ease planning stress, listen to wedding playlists and 3-D print replicas of themselves to use as wedding cake toppers. And with every staff member ordained through the Universal Life Church, visitors can get married on the spot if the spirit moves them.

The wedding planning industry and wedding apparel have undergone big shifts in recent years with couples opting toward less traditional ceremonies and more creative experiences.

Numerous apparel players are trying to find the right way to enter the space and address the trend. In 2016, Gap acquired Weddington Way, a startup specifically geared toward making the process of buying a wedding dress less stressful. Gap shuttered the brand last year, including its in-store shops in Banana Republic locations, citing difficulty in scaling the concept. H&M, meanwhile, has launched an online wedding shop featuring inexpensive bridal offerings.

Traditional players in the space have likewise been trying new things. David’s Bridal’s most recent advertising campaign featured same-sex couples to appeal to “every type of bride.”

Zola isn’t the only startup trying to give soon-to-be married couples an easier way to experience the big day, as explored in an article on Built in NYC. Bloomerent, for instance, allows people to sell used wedding centerpieces to help people save on floral arrangements. Paperless Post lets visitors design, customize and create their own wedding invitations. Buster.com lets wedding planners more conveniently strategize and book group travel.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are services such as those offered by Zola an effective way to meet the needs of stressed-out couples? How should retailers adapt to create customer experiences that appeal to the todays wedding shoppers?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Perhaps Zola can eliminate some of the items on the list, and may work for a small wedding but I have my doubts that it can be the answer to wedding planning stress. "
"A very creative way to add value and engage shoppers … and deepen the relationship."
"I think couples are happy to invest their time into the planning process. They’re happy to visit venues, go to shows, etc."

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4 Comments on "Zola de-stresses the wedding planning experience for Millennials"


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Zel Bianco
BrainTrust
I’ve not been to the Zola pop up here in NYC but I have been all over the NYC area looking at wedding venues with my wife, daughter and future son-in-law as we now are in the process of planning their wedding and can attest to the fact that yes, it is very stressful. NYC is the most expensive place in the country for a wedding! I doubt that a serious wedding can be planned in one hour as photos or videos of the actual venue will not be enough to get the full picture. Some venues provide everything; tables, chairs, linens, silverware etc. and some are spaces where everything needs to be brought in and multiple vendors need to be contracted. It is a process with lots of moving parts. Having said that, perhaps Zola can eliminate some of the items on the list, and may work for a small wedding but I have my doubts that it can be the answer to wedding planning stress unless they also pick up the tab.
Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

A very creative way to add value and engage shoppers … and deepen the relationship. Will every bride be into it? Probably not, but many will, and I applaud this initiative. It’s creative, value-oriented and highly attuned to customer needs.

Cate Trotter
BrainTrust

Planning a wedding certainly is stressful. AT the same time there’s a significant opportunity for retailers in that weddings are one of those life events where people often spend a significant amount of money. Coupled with the sense that this is the one time you get to do it, I think couples are happy to invest their time into the planning process. They’re happy to visit venues, go to shows, etc. They want to be inspired and they want help and guidance. Zola doesn’t provide all of that with its concept, but I imagine it will be an enjoyable way for a lot of people to while away an afternoon.

Min-Jee Hwang
BrainTrust

Many couples today are trying to do it themselves when it comes to wedding planning, so Zola’s pop-up can certainly help them save and de-stress many of the smaller, yet still essential, parts of wedding planning. Actually booking a venue should still require an in-person visit, and I’m not sure many will 100% plan a wedding in one hour, but Zola’s efforts certainly have a market among engaged couples.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Perhaps Zola can eliminate some of the items on the list, and may work for a small wedding but I have my doubts that it can be the answer to wedding planning stress. "
"A very creative way to add value and engage shoppers … and deepen the relationship."
"I think couples are happy to invest their time into the planning process. They’re happy to visit venues, go to shows, etc."

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