Wedding registries got a humble start in the early 20th century, focusing mainly on china and silver—but the times, they are a changin’. In a world of instant, global communication and online shopping, why do we still build registries that resemble these early versions? Tradition, of course! We obsess over a well-appointed table as much as the next person, but we also believe in a healthy balance between old and new. That’s where Katie Mouallek steps in.
The Dallas native founded her company, Ottilee, to bring brides and grooms products that honor tradition but acknowledge current-day needs and desires. Mouallek answers a few of our questions below.
D Weddings: Tell us what exactly Ottilee is.
KM: Ottilee is a curated wedding registry platform delivering modern heirlooms and a memorable gift experience. We source from a variety of artists and makers with the intention of making it easy for couples to register for items that fit their lifestyle and aesthetic.
DW: Why did you think the wedding industry was in need of a company like Ottilee?
KM: Over the recent years the wedding industry, has undergone a lot of change that makes it possible for couples to create a wedding that is a truer reflection of them. I haven’t seen that change so much in the registry space. There are a lot of options that solve the problems a couple might encounter through technology, but no modern option that considers product.
DW: On a similar note, how is the concept of Ottilee unique to all markets but especially Dallas?
KM: We describe Ottilee as a traditional(ish) wedding registry for modern couples and I think that especially describes couples from Dallas. Being from the city myself, I understand the feeling of really respecting and honoring tradition while wanting something a little more unique and reflective of your own aesthetic. I think Ottilee is a happy compromise between these two spheres that can sometimes feel conflicting.
DW: How do you curate products to please the different styles various cities present?
KM: Context and tone are two things I think about when sourcing product. I gravitate towards pieces that can make a mundane part of the day more enjoyable–like a beautiful coffee spoon for your morning cup or a perfectly wrinkled linen napkin. However, curating for multiple markets means that each item should be transitional and can be more formal or casual depending on what it is paired with. I try to be mindful of changing tones when styling product for photography.
DW: Which products from Ottilee would you recommend for Dallas brides?
KM: Handmade ceramic dinnerware is a unique alternative to fine china, if you are looking for something to elevate a dinner but don’t find yourself wanting to go as formal on your table. Our handmade collections also pair seamlessly with any heirloom pieces that might be passed down to you like a set of silver flatware or crystal glasses, helping you set a table that has some sentimentality but still feels like you.
DW: What registry advice do you have for Dallas brides in general?
KM: Even though couples in Dallas might not have the space constraints that other city dwellers have, I still think it is still good to be mindful of the quantity on your registry. This will leave you some room to grow. As you make these edited selections, try to choose pieces that are reflective of your interests and lifestyle. If you love to host parties, think about the number of guests you usually have. If you see yourself having nights in watching Netflix, what is something you could bring into your home that would make those moments a little more intentional? It might be a popcorn bowl or big red wine glasses. That’s a fun discussion to have with your partner and it’s a way to make registering feel more practical and authentic to you.