How Does a Wedding Registry Work?: The Expert’s Guide

Need help starting a registry? Get a flawless registry in minutes with Zola’s easy to use universal registry.

By Emily Forrest

Zola registry example
Photo by Zola

When it comes to your wedding registry, be glad you live in the digital age! Once upon a time, engaged couples preparing for marriage used to go to the mall to set up their wedding registry. It would take all day, in crowded stores, sometimes at multiple malls or store locations.

You used to have to walk into a brick and mortar shop and use a scanner to register all the items you wanted. Most of the time, you would have to walk around the whole store searching, like some sort of adult easter egg hunt!

A day of registration would end with couples over scanning, not scanning the right things, or worse, just giving up on the process altogether. Thankfully the internet has put an end to the antiquated way of setting up your registry, and Zola is at the forefront of making your wedding registry process as easy as possible.

What Is a Wedding Registry and How Does it Work?

To put it simply, a wedding registry is the master wish list for your wedding gifts. A registry is a quick and easy way for your wedding guests to see all the things you’d love as you start married life.. And yet, a registry is so much more!

A registry tells your guests if the gift they intend to purchase has already been bought, where it can be purchased, and it can even offer alternatives depending on budget. A wedding registry lets your guests match your perfect gift and their budget.

Plus, a wedding registry prevents your guests from double buying. That means no returns, no worrying about gift receipts, and generally less work for you!

It Works If You Work It!

A wedding registry works best when you are committed to the process. Don't let this scare you off, this is a fun process where you are constantly picking out items that mean something to you. The wedding registry is one of the great treats of planning a wedding , and many Zola couples will tell you that daily registry checks are one of the highlights of being engaged!

We recommend updating your registry as often as possible to ensure you are maximizing your registry's potential. Checking your registry often will allow you to remove a gift that’s been purchased, add a new gift that you recently discovered, or simply replace one item with another if you see something you like better!

Your Zola registry can even help you stay on top of sending out thank you cards! Zola helps with every part of the registration process to make your life as easy as possible. Our registry is built to be user friendly, easy to navigate, and fun to boot! Understanding your registry has never been easier, and Zola is making your registry process less work and more enjoyable than ever!

How Does a Wedding Registry Work?: Photo Credit // Zola

Where To Register

Companies that specialize in things like home goods, cookware, and other popular wedding gifts would have you believe that you need to register in person at a brick and mortar store. This outdated version of registering for wedding gifts has all but been eliminated with Zola.

No longer do you and your spouse need to spend all day at a handful of different stores scanning items for your registry. With Zola, you can choose from thousands of items and hundreds of brands to craft the perfect registry for you.

Registering with individual companies is time-consuming for you and confusing for your guests. The more individual companies you register with, the more information you have to relay to your friends and family about where to shop. Zola's registry offers a one-stop shopping experience that can update your guests on your behalf!

A One-Stop-Shop

Without the need to go to a store, there’s less chance that your guests will be overwhelmed with the gift buying process. By giving your guests a single shop experience, they’re treating you to a gift that they know you’ll love. And you won’t have the task of returning items that don’t fit your home or style.

Zola is all about keeping it simple. We have top name brands for you to choose from when building your registry. And Zola makes it easy for your guests by offering deals, discounts, and a one-stop-shop experience. We make it fun and hassle-free for you and your guests.

When To Register

Here's a quick quiz to determine whether or not it's time to set up your wedding registry:

Q: Are you engaged?

If you answered "Yes" when your SO popped the question, and you answered "Yes" to our quiz question, then the only other question we have is why haven't you registered yet!?

You should start your wedding registry as soon as you get engaged. An engagement is big news, and people want to celebrate with you! Creating a registry with Zola is simple, and it can be done in minutes

It’s become common practice for couples to begin a registry even before they are officially engaged. A wedding registry is not just for wedding gifts, it is your all-encompassing gift guide for the people in your life.

A best practice is to set up a wedding registry as soon as possible after the engagement. If you plan on sending out engagement announcements, you should include the registry on the card. Having a registry is especially important if you are going to have some sort of engagement party as people will want to bring a wedding gift.

Gifts Galore!

One of the biggest questions young couples have regarding how wedding registries work is, "how much should we register for?" The easy answer to this question is, "the sky's the limit!" Now is your opportunity to ask for exactly what you have always wanted.

At no other time in your life will people be willing to get you the kinds of registry gifts they are willing to get you as you begin your new life as a couple. Remember, you are starting a life, and that means that you need some items you have never owned before.

Many couples often make the mistake of under registering rather than over-registering. Some couples believe that having too many gifts on a registry will make them seem greedy, but that is not the case. Gifts are always optional, so don't feel like you can't shoot for the moon when selecting registry gifts. If someone wants to treat you to something nice, let them!

There are people in your life who will want to spend up on a nice wedding gift, so don't be afraid to include those big-ticket items. We suggest including registry items at different price points so all your friends and family can find the perfect gift at their budget. Include that super fancy blender you've been saving for, and add that industrial mixer you've always wanted!

How Does a Wedding Registry Work?: Photo Credit // Zola

Ask and You Shall Receive

A wedding registry works best when you are specific about what you want. The more specific you are about the gifts you want, the better your chances of getting what you ask for.

Don't feel obligated to include items you don't want. Many couples get caught in the trap of including small filler items that they don't necessarily want. One of the great things about the way Zola's registry works is that we will help your guests find the best gift for their budget. No need for you to compromise on what you really want, we’re here to help you get the most out of your registry.

What If You Prefer Money?

When it comes to your guests, money is going to be a popular gift choice. The way wedding registries have worked in the past, it would have been tacky to simply ask for money, but Zola has you covered.

With Zola, you can ask for money without actually asking for it. For example, Zola allows you to set up designated uses for the money people give like "massages on the honeymoon," or "savings for a house." Your guests will be elated to know the money they are giving is going toward a specific purpose, and Zola makes it easy for you to cash in.

Less Work and More Play!

Zola is here to help you create the perfect registry. Your wedding registry is the first step on one of the most exciting journeys you and your spouse will ever embark on. A registry is more than just a list of gifts, it is an outward expression of the love and support your friends and family have for your budding relationship.

With Zola, your wedding registry works because we work hard on your behalf. Zola eliminates all the worry and stress, so you can enjoy your engagement and have fun registering! Leave the hard work to us, it's time for you to have some fun. Set up your Zola wedding registry today and let the fun begin!

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