Continuing from the first part about Wedding Registries Online and Traditional, let’s deep dive into Amazon & Zola! I’ve also updated the previous post with all the ratings if you are curious. I’ve only seen one other couple who also registered on Amazon, and it was so easy to just order something with our Amazon prime account! Most of our friends and my parents specifically are very familiar with ordering stuff from this retailer. It was actually my father that introduced me to this for ordering books over a decade ago. Zola on the other hand I have never seen anyone else use until after our bridal shower. (It’s actually the wedding we will attend this weekend!)
Ah registries! One of the many tricky aspects of a wedding (as I’m reflecting on our wonderful gifts from the continued session of Thank You note writing). I honestly had no familiarity with this concept until we started receiving invites directly addressed to us! As a guest, most people don’t start looking at the registry until 2 weeks prior to the event. Be it a wedding shower OR the actual wedding. As the couple getting married, they also must walk the line of picking out appropriate items without coming off as greedy: wide price range and quantity for guests to choose from. For someone who hates surprises, I love registries now!
Do people (our age) still follow the convention of sending a gift even though they can’t attend the wedding? We’ve encountered several flustered friends who when we have talked to them immediately mention they will send a gift without us mentioning. Do or don’t, just be candid with us haha. There’s no need to avoid us over this awkward topic! We enjoy quality time with folks and appreciate friends making the effort to reach out to catch up. Etiquette suggests that they still have up to a year after the wedding date. However, I just learned that it’s a MYTH that you have up to a year from the wedding/receiving the gift to write a thank you note back. Gulp… according to this we have until the end of July!
We set up 4 separate registries with Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target and Zola!
TheKnot website mentioned that they would donate a portion of any purchase made through the website link to a charity of my choosing, American Cancer Society up to 6 months post wedding date. All items purchased after will not be counted. (It’s really unclear if they will show you the actual amount contributed. Better than nothing?) Similar to the wedding website post(s) this will be a 2 parter as well. I will do an actual full blown review next week of Amazon and Zola, as that was where 90% of our items were located.
Get your tickets since this train is leaving the station right now! It’s almost peak wedding season in the summer! I’m so glad that mine is done at this point even if I was a bit under the weather. Everywhere I turn I can’t avoid engagement announcements or upcoming nuptials. Even some unexpected department stores are getting in on the Wedding industry action. Namely slapping the “W” word on anything white, ivory or special occasion looking.
Let’s play a game and look at the image to guess which (unexpected) business wants in on the wedding game?!
We’re back from Italy ! If you haven’t seen our Honeymoon Travel Map yet, you can follow along with our journey! We have quite the treasure trove of stories to share with you (while we recover from jet-lag and procrastinate packing for the big move)! Overall the tour of Italy was quite memorable with only a few hiccups and surprises along the way. (We’ll get to those in more detail in subsequent blog posts.) When we revisit in the future, we will plan our own trip now that we are more familiar with the country! Thanks to our wonderful family and friends we were able to add all of the optional tours to our itinerary as well! For the Italy travel blog series/reviews this will serve as a landing page, similar to the engagement/wedding series announcement. Please subscribe on the side for updates!
We used the tour travel company, Gate 1, since they offered the most destinations we were interested in with a variety of departure dates.** I spoke casually with a fellow Yelper who had a very positive experience a few years ago for his Italy trip too, so we were excited for our honeymoon trip! We had a local Tour Manager the entire trip giving us live “tips”, sharing local culture, coordinating our accommodations, and answering our probing questions. Giovanni (Anglicized to Johnny) had a wealth of knowledge as he was born in Rome, traveled around so he also had an English accent, quite a bit of sass in his biting humor, and a strange obsession for Rick Steves. (Never heard of the guy until this trip.)
I know most other travelers my age tend to be more adventurous and plan their own trip as they go. I did not however, expect that the demographic of our tour group to be mostly affluent retired couples! The company’s website and social media photos did not reflect this at all. Not a big deal, and it makes sense that it’s difficult for most people to take 2 weeks off and spending a hefty sum for a vacation. All the other travelers were quite pleasant and a few of them even took candid photos and shared with us. I will add the in-depth stories about our adventures and reviews for the hotels we stayed at for each location as a separate blog post in the series! I’ve got a lot to say about several of them exceeding the review site character limit.
What’s the default place newly engaged and their bridal party flock to to look for dresses? Probably Davids Bridal (DB) in the US. There are several other boutiques and higher end chains that are usually more expensive with appointments required. However there’s no denying that they have cornered a monopoly for (affordable) bridal attire. All of my bridesmaids admittedly ordered their dresses from this place and it was convenient coordinating colors since they have the set palette. My post will be 2 pronged talking generally about their (1) wedding dress line, along with the (2) options for bridal party and special occasions. Of course we can’t forget the overall rating at the end!
Now if you’re wondering, another bride mentioned finding her perfect dress from Marry & Tux in Nashua, NH [Yelp Review], which my future mother-in-law (FMIL) and I also visited. The starting price at that place was $900-1500 for the lowest end of budget. Going up north to NH is not a bad idea though if you want to save some tax $. The luxury tax threshold in MA is only $175, so most likely you will have to pay something additional. Sadly $1,400+ is the average amount spent on wedding dresses these days. Alarming Avg. Figures for Dress Costs – Boston Globe
DB gets a bad reputation due to its accessibility some have even equated it as the Wal-Mart of the wedding world. In recent years DB has been trying to change their image from the “Walmart” of wedding dresses. I find that quite ironic considering that the average price of a gown from there is still around $500-$1,200+. Keep in mind if you are getting a lower priced dress you will also have very limited sizing selections fighting with other brides/bridesmaids to get a deal! I’ve been to two locations one in Natick [Yelp Review] and in Westwood [Yelp Review]. No major complaints about either.
Now where were we from the FREE Wedding Websites Part 1? If you haven’t read all of the different options I laid out, I would recommend reading my previous post before continuing. At this point I’m 99% done with the website and just adding any last minute or day of information along with photos from additional events. I look forward to the day when I will stop receiving these e-mails from TheKnot, stressing me about the endless checklist of tasks for your typical western wedding. We’ve definitely cut out several items we deemed unnecessary.
Are you missing out on cash back for mundane tasks such as grocery shopping? I’ve dedicated American Express Blue Cash Everyday card as my default for the weekly chore since it consistently receives 3% cash back (CB)! Also known as the Tina Fey card since she’s been in so many commercials for this… Other credit cards such as (Chase Freedom and Discover It Card) have those annoying quarterly categories that can be quite difficult to track. Confession: I own both of those too and a slew of other cards. At this point I’ve been good and haven’t applied for anymore.
If you want the quantitative break down of the APR, fees and rewards comparisons to other cards then please check out the other resources I’ll list below. (There’s a million and one stats for cards already, not going to rebuild the wheel here.) My review focuses more so on the strategy of using this as a niche card for specific very savvy features that appeal to me and could potentially work for you as well! Of course if you’re not on the market for a new credit card at this point, you could always keep this post on your radar for when they offer even more enticing sign-up bonuses than the current on the left.