When Should You Set Up Your Wedding Registry?

wedding registry advice | Image: Jose Villa

Of all the many tasks engaged couples have to think about before the wedding, setting up a wedding registry can be one of the most fun. Who doesn’t like gifts? But it can also be a little daunting, especially when it comes to etiquette. One of the questions people often ask is when is the correct time to register?

The general answer is: anytime after you’re engaged, but usually between 6-9 months before the wedding. An even better answer is: right now! The holidays are actually a great time to get your gift list in. Family and friends will often look to your wedding registry for holiday gift giving ideas instead of the usual sweaters, socks and soaps. It also allows them to benefit from pre- and post-holiday savings, especially if they have their eye on spoiling you with one of the big ticket items on your list.

Beyond the holidays, however, there are a few other things to take into account when deciding when to register. Here are my top wedding registry timing tips:

Register early IF you’re prepared. While it can be tempting to walk through your favorite store scanning every barcode in sight, you should first take the time to sit down as a couple and take stock. Make a list of what you already have and what you want and need. You should also consider general color schemes and patterns.

When in doubt, start small. You don’t have to register for everything right away, especially if you start early! Start with the things you know for sure should be on the list. Nearly all registries are digitized now, which makes it easy for you to edit and update yours later on.

Register before your engagement party. Setting up your wedding registry early allows loved ones who want to send you an engagement gift to give you something you really love. This is especially true if you’re having an engagement party, as many people will want to give you a token of their congratulations. Registering ahead of time means you won’t end up with lots of things you don’t really want or need. The same goes for showers and other pre-wedding celebrations. Guests will always appreciate your guidance in finding you the perfect present.

Review your registry often. Be sure to check in on your registry every few weeks at least. This will allow you to make sure there is always a range of gifts at multiple price points. You can also replace any discontinued items (if you do register before the holidays, be sure to check in after the new year when many stores update their stock).

Most importantly, be gracious. Thank your friends and family promptly and genuinely for their thoughtfulness. Keeping up with your wedding registry is also a great way to stay on top of writing your thank you notes!

Happy registering!


Header image by Jose Villa Photography