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3 Companies That Are Changing the Way You Think About Weddings

See how three companies have streamlined the wedding-planning process and propelled the entire wedding industry into the future.

The Future of the Wedding Industry


Scrolling and tapping and swiping have become a big part of your daily life. Due to digital innovation, you can do just about anything from home: shop, connect with friends and family, stream movies, and more. You probably found your job, home, and car online. It might even be where you met your fiancé.

But as revolutionary as recent technology has been, much of the wedding world remains rooted in tradition. That is until these savvy start-ups saw an opportunity to carve out organic online experiences for brides and grooms. Oscar Winter, Zola, and Vow to Be Chic are just three examples of companies embracing the future and taking the wedding industry to new heights online.

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Oscar Winter


It's an interesting dichotomy: The tradition of an engagement ring is as old as time, while digital shopping is a relatively new concept. A few years ago, you might not have known you could buy an engagement ring or wedding band online. Modern advancements have made it perfectly safe to purchase your most precious piece of jewelry online, when it is with a trusted brand like Oscar Winter. But the founders of Oscar Winter believed there was something missing from the e-commerce wedding ring-shopping experience.

"We saw a gap in the market to serve tech savvy, discerning couples that wanted an engagement ring shopping experience that fit their lifestyle. The market is currently made up of two types of providers: One: Brick and mortar retailers that feel dated and too traditional for a young, successful couple that quite frankly doesn't want to have to step into a stuffy jewelry store. Or two: Online retailers that lack the style sensibility that fashion-focused, modern couples seek," says an expert at Oscar Winter. "We provide an ethically sourced collection that balances a fashion-forward approach with a sense of timelessness, and incorporates only the highest quality materials including GIA certified keystone diamonds and precious metals."

How? By allowing brides and grooms to customize the engagement ring—from alloys to carats to styles—completely online. The luxury brand offers sophisticated styles and incredible craftsmanship to last a lifetime. Not only does Oscar Winter's streamlined digital format offer more value than a brick-and-mortar jeweler, but it makes it easy and exciting to design a uniquering as a couple.

You can feel good about wearing Oscar Winter jewelry. The innovative e-commerce retailer upholds ethical values, ensuring your ring doesn't contribute to conflict, human rights abuses, terrorist financing practices, or money laundering.

Concerned about fit or scared to commit? The brand offers complimentary ring sizing, a lifetime warranty, 30-day money back guarantee and continuous guidance from their team of Personal Jewelry Advisors, all certified diamond experts.

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Registering for wedding gifts used to mean grappling with glitchy guns and kiosk systems so slow you wound up with duplicate gifts. Online registries made it easier than ever to compile a list of the items you want and need as newlyweds. Still, you had to settle on one or two stores, and old-fashioned formats—not to mention industry etiquette—made it awkward or impossible to ask for what you might really want: money for the honeymoon or a house down payment or funds for experiences (romantic dinners, concerts, massages, and more).

Zola built an entire business around the idea that you can and should ask for everything, all in one place. Plus, engaged couples today are different from previous generations—couples are living together before marriage and getting married later—which means not every couple needs another set of pots and pans. They want to register for items that are personal and unique.

Zola allows couples to register for cash funds and items from other stores, as well as the selections on the site. The online registry lets you decide when to schedule free shipping and swap gifts online before they even arrive. You can also add anything to your registry anywhere with the barcode scanner in the app, enable group gifting, manage thank-yous, and more.

Vow to Be Chic


Zeroing in on one dress that flatters every curve in your bridal party is a tricky enough task. Add juggling conversations with each bridesmaid and keeping the costs reasonable, and you come up with one huge headache for a bride-to-be. The whole process isn't a cakewalk for bridesmaids, either. Who wants to shell out hundreds of dollars for a bridesmaid's dress that (let's face it) you're never going to wear again?

Enter Vow to Be Chic, an online resource for renting designer dresses for weddings for less than $100. Founder Kelsey Doorey knew she could create a savvy solution that would save brides time and bridesmaids money. Her hunch was right: Vow to Be Chic now boasts beautiful gowns by big names including Donna Morgan, Monique Lhuillier, and Jenny Yoo—for a fraction of the retail price. To date, the start-up says it's saved brides more than $3 million, and it's expanded to offer little white dresses and gifts too. There's also a purchase collection if you'd rather get something to have and to hold and never return. Curate choices for each friend, then invite and communicate with your girls, who can upload measurements and track orders. The rental (plus a complimentary backup size) will arrive two weeks ahead of the big day. Shopping has never been so simple.