Rachel Zoe on Her Go-To Wedding Registry Gifts, Bridal Style Tips and More

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Forever is a long time to be stuck with the wrong china (or spouse for that matter), but have no fear: Rachel Zoe is here to help brides and grooms-to-be (with the former, not the latter). Having recently celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary, the Hollywood stylist-turned-entrepreneur knows her way around a wedding registry — which is why she partnered with wedding planning platform Joy to help launch the company’s Expert Curations initiative.

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Zoe is among more than a dozen experts tapped to curate wedding registries; others include The Amazing Race teammates and couple Will Jardell and James Wallington, Design Star: Next Gen judge and interior designer Lauren Makk, celebrity cocktail connoisseur Paul Zahn, tech editor Jessica Naziri, interior designer Anita Yokota, fitness trainer Gideon Akande, recipe developer and chef Danielle Kartes and more.

“Registering is great for things that you want, need and know that you’ll use but you don’t want to buy for yourself right now,” Zoe says, sharing that her key advice is to consider one’s lifestyle when selecting items. “Where and what kind of life do you live? Are you a casual couple that stays home most of the time? Are you a couple that might live a more formal lifestyle that entertains a lot and has people over?”

Zoe says the rules have changed a bit since she and her husband Rodger Berman married in 1998. “It’s different than 20 years, 30, 40 years ago when it was like, ‘OK, register for your china, your dishes, your pots and pans,’” she says. “You need to do some of that, but more importantly, you need to discuss what it is that you want and need — that you’re going to use now and for the next few years.”

Rachel Zoe for Joy

Rachel Zoe for Joy

She says the key is to select stylish yet practical pieces that you can enjoy now. “When you’re a young couple, you have this idea in your head: ‘Well, I have to get my china, so that in five or 10 years from now, we can use our china, right?’” Zoe laughs. “Those rules have changed a little bit, and you don’t have to get china. You can get nice everyday dishes. You can get flatware that can go in the dishwasher and be more pragmatic in how to work it into your lifestyle.”

Admittedly, she and Berman are far from a casual couple; so naturally, they still use the Tiffany & Co. china from their registry. “To contradict what I just said, I use all of my Tiffany china when I have nice dinner parties,” Zoe says, laughing. “But I will say this — for the first 10 years of our life, we didn’t look at that china. One day I woke up and said, ‘I don’t want this to be treated so preciously anymore and I’m going to start using it.’ And we started having dinner parties and people would laugh. My friends would come over. We were late 20s, early 30s, and everyone was using paper plates [at their dinner parties] and I would bust out my china. It was really funny.”

Rachel Zoe Bridal Collection

Rachel Zoe Bridal Collection

Through Joy, Zoe is offering couples a chance to win a “red carpet wedding styling experience” that includes a trip to Los Angeles for a one-on-one styling session with Zoe as well as a wedding wardrobe valued at $10,000. For those who won’t have the opportunity, Zoe shared her favorite bridal trends with The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re seeing a lot of dramatic sleeves and sleeve detail,” she says. “I don’t think that many brides were wearing sleeves when I got married. It was the thing more for the mom. We’re [also] seeing across the board a lot of corseting. That’s a big trend right now — that Vivienne Westwood feeling. There’s a lot of varying lengths — like shorter in the front and a super exaggerated train in the back.”

Vivienne Westwood Rhea Heavy Stretch Satin Dress

Vivienne Westwood Rhea Heavy Stretch Satin Dress

Vivienne Westwood Rhea Heavy Stretch Satin Dress $8,065

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As part of Zoe’s partnership with Joy, she also created a collection of digital save-the-dates, invitations, and website themes. But her involvement goes one step further. She supports Joy’s vision so much that she put her money where her mouth is and invested in it through the Rachel Zoe Venture Fund as well. “Joy was an opportunity that came to me through a dear friend of mine in the industry,” Zoe says. “We get behind and invest in strategic capital with companies that we believe in. There’s a handful of them that I get fairly involved with.”

Inspired by her work with Joy, Zoe shared her top “functional, but beautiful” wedding registry picks with THR. Read on for a beautiful bar cart, coffee table book, lamp, tea kettle, monogrammed bath robes and more.

Le Creuset 5-Piece Cookware Set

“There are certain things that are obviously mainstays that I would recommend – like beautiful dishes or the perfect pan,” Zoe says, singling out Le Creuset’s 5-Piece Cookware Set in white. “Most couples starting out live in a very small house and so you have to think about things that are pretty enough to be on display if they need to be.”

Le Creuset 5-Piece Cookware Set

Le Creuset 5-Piece Cookware Set

Le Creuset 5-Piece Cookware Set (reg. $820) $575

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KitchenAid Digital Countertop Oven with Air Fry

Zoe is also a fan of KitchenAid’s Digital Countertop Oven. “They come in different colors and they’re really beautiful,” she says. “[This] one has an airfryer function, which is amazing.”

MORE BUYING OPTIONS: KitchenAid | Amazon

KitchenAid Digital Countertop Oven with Air Fry

KitchenAid Digital Countertop Oven with Air Fry

Buy: KitchenAid Digital Countertop Oven with Air Fry – KCO124BM $219.95

Godinger Silver Art Marble Coasters

“The thing about coasters is that it’s the thing that we all need and can never have enough of,” says Zoe, who recommends Godinger’s Silver Art Marble Coasters, which feature a gold edge and come as a set of four. “Condensation is such a peeve of mine because it’s sticky and is the easiest way to ruin a table or a coffee table. Having pretty coasters is important, so you can leave them out on the table.”

Godinger Silver Art Marble Coasters

Godinger Silver Art Marble Coasters

Godinger Silver Art Marble Coasters-Gold Edge, Set of 4

Price: $17.99

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Safavieh Home Collection Aurelius Gold Bar Cart

“A beautiful brass bar cart is the best gift because they’re so pretty to display and [you can] constantly style them and decorate them,” Zoe says. “I have at least three throughout my house because I love putting beautiful candles and crystal glasses and things like that [on them]. It’s a great thing to design around in a room yet [it’s] functional for actually using as a bar.”

Safavieh Home Collection Aurelius Gold Bar Cart

Safavieh Home Collection Aurelius Gold Bar Cart

Buy: Safavieh Home Collection Aurelius Gold Bar Cart $231.00

COFFEE TABLE BOOKS

“I have coffee table books everywhere in my house,” Zoe says. “I have countless Chanel books, Dior books.” She says Tom Ford, Terry O’Neill’s The A-Z of Fame, and Kate Moss by Mario Testino are among her favorites. “There are so many. I literally collect them. I have doubles and triples of some of my favorites.”

Related: The Best Coffee Table Books on Fashion, Design and Photography

Kate Moss by Mario Testino

Kate Moss by Mario Testino

Buy: Kate Moss by Mario Testino

GLASSWARE

“In glassware, I love Villeroy & Boch and Waterford,” she says, recommending this Manufacture Rock Stems Champagne Flute set of four. “I like it to be heavy in mass but be sturdy when you hold it in your hand. Sometimes when guys have crystal that is too delicate, they literally put it down on the table and it shatters. I’ve actually seen it happen if the stem is too thin.”

Villeroy & Boche Manufacture Rock Stems Champagne Flute

Villeroy & Boche Manufacture Rock Stems Champagne Flute

Villeroy & Boche Manufacture Rock Stems Champagne Flutes, Set of 4 (reg. $126) $94

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Villeroy & Boch Manufacture Rock Blanc 4-Pc. Set

“When you pick your china, you want it to be something classic enough that you can mix your pieces into it over time,” she says. “I chose way back then a classic white with a beautiful platinum rim [by Tiffany & Co]. I’m not sick of it still and I have all the accessories that go with it. It’s really beautiful. It’s fun to mix with other solid color plates and different accessories and different flatware. I do suggest getting maybe a two tone. If I was getting it now, I would probably get brass trim instead of platinum. Over my life, I definitely became way more into yellow gold and brass—especially in my home.” While her Tiffany & Co. china is no longer available, she also recommends a classic white set by Villeroy & Boch.

Villeroy & Boch Manufacture Rock Blanc 4-Pc. Set

Villeroy & Boch Manufacture Rock Blanc 4-Pc. Set

Villeroy & Boch Manufacture Rock Blanc 4-Pc. Set (reg. $182) $136

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Nambé Vie Champagne Bucket

“Champagne buckets are really fun,” says Zoe. “You obviously use them for champagne but you can put all types of things in them. You can put flowers, candy, and beautiful fruit in and decorate with them.”

Nambé Vie Champagne Bucket

Nambé Vie Champagne Bucket

Nambé Vie Champagne Bucket $125

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Ralph Lauren Custom Cotton Terry Cloth Robe

“I love gifting monogrammed bath robes,” says Zoe. “It’s one of my favorite gifts to give because it’s not something people think about. I’m such a bathrobe person. I love the classic robe from Ralph Lauren because they do a beautiful monogramming job. They have his and hers. If you want to go for comfort first versus label, Barefoot Dreams is always amazing and is the most comfortable. It’s so cozy.”

Ralph Lauren Custom Cotton Terry Cloth Robe

Ralph Lauren Custom Cotton Terry Cloth Robe

Ralph Lauren Custom Cotton Terry Cloth Robe $89

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Missoni Home Antwan Throw

“I love throw blankets,” she says, singling out Missoni Home’s designs. “I love adding all the different prints and colors. That’s how I decorate my house. I always have. It’s such a fun thing to put on your registry because they’re always unique and colorful and can really transform a room.”

Missoni Home Antwan Throw

Missoni Home Antwan Throw

Missoni Home Antwan Throw $660

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Honeymoon Cash Fund

Joy also offers a customizable zero-fee cash fund that couples can include on their registry if they want friends and family to contribute to their honeymoon. For her part, Zoe has wonderful memories from her and Berman’s trip. “We honeymooned in St. Barts,” Zoe says. “I would a thousand percent recommend it. We’ve gone back every year for over twenty years. They have such beautiful hotels there. The views are beyond amazing. It’s such a special place. You feel like you’re in the south of France without having to travel that far from the U.S. and it’s very exclusive. It’s not super touristy. I love it.”

Honeymoon Cash Fund

Buy now

Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Kettle

“People should register for super chic tea kettles and beautiful lamps,” she says, recommending the Fellow Stagg electric pour-over kettle and Safavieh’s Belami Gold Floor Lamp. “I love vases, but you get so many of those in life.” Her key advice? “Really think about the things you don’t get, you know?”

Fellow Stagg EKG Matte Black Electric Pour-Over Tea Kettle

Fellow Stagg EKG Matte Black Electric Pour-Over Tea Kettle

Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Kettle

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Safavieh Belami Gold Floor Lamp

Safavieh Belami Gold Floor Lamp

Safavieh Belami Gold Floor Lamp

Buy: Safavieh Belami Gold Floor Lamp $242.66

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