Creating your wedding registry can be one of the most enjoyable parts of the wedding planning process… or it can also be completely overwhelming. You’re creating a most-wanted gifts list that’s meant to satisfy your wants, needs, and also account for what your loved ones want to give you.

It’s a lot but doesn’t have to be stressful. It really all boils down to organization. Here’s how to stay organized and keep it together while you create your wedding registry.

INLINE Zola 1080x720 Photo Credit // Zola

First, take stock of what you already have.

You want to make sure that the items you add to your registry are things you and your soon-to-be-spouse actually need. So, before you even start your registry, you need to review what you already have.

Spend time going through your home (or homes, if you and your partner have yet to move in together) to figure out the items you have, the items you want, and the items you might want to upgrade.

For example, as you’re going through your kitchens, you might find that your partner has a nice serving platter tucked away that would totally work for dinner parties. Alternatively, you may discover that both of your silverware is in less-than-great condition, making a new set a great addition to your registry list. Or you may find you have all the home goods you need right now and decide to focus on registering for cash and gift cards instead.

Taking the time to go through your things and figure out what you need will save you the hassle of registering for items you already have (and figuring out what to do with one-too-many cutting boards).

Organize your registry in one place.

Chances are, you’re going to be registering for a variety of different items—and that might mean registering from items from different retailers. Might we suggest reconsidering?

Managing multiple registries at multiple retailers is not only a headache, but it can make it super difficult to stay organized. It’s much harder to track who purchased gifts, when they were sent, and if you followed up with a thank-you card if you’re fielding gifts from 10 different sources.

That’s why, if you want to make things easier for yourself (and for your guests!), you should plan to keep all of your registry items organized in one place—even if those items come from different retailers. Zola has over 100,000 items from over 1000 brands (including favorites like Crate & Barrel, Parachute, and Le Creuset). So, you’re likely to find exactly what you might find at another store and be able to keep your registering to one location.

However, if you still don’t find what you’re looking for, you can add gifts from other online retailers, making it easy to stay organized and manage the logistics of your registry.

Use Zola’s Gift Tracker to track your gifts…

You’re going to have a lot of gifts being sent by a lot of different wedding guests—and it’s absolutely crucial that you’re organized in tracking who sent what (and when).

If you don’t keep track of which gifts each guest purchased from your registry, sending out wedding thank you cards is going to be a nightmare—and there’s a serious chance that someone’s gift (and their thank you note) can fall through the cracks.

That’s where Zola’s gift tracker comes in. When you create your wedding registry on Zola, not only will we send real-time notifications whenever you receive a gift, we’ll also keep a running tally of all the gifts you receive (and where they came from). That way, you can easily stay organized get a bird’s eye view of what’s been purchased off your registry and who the gifts are coming from.

INLINE Zola 1080x720 (2) Photo Credit // Zola

...Coordinate shipping…

It’s also important to organize gifts as they get delivered. Otherwise, before long, your living room can start to resemble the stockroom of a department store.

Keeping your gifts organized can be a challenge when the shipping process for your registry is one big question mark, though. Gifts might get shipped when you’re out of town, when you’re slammed at work, or long before you want to open them.

That’s why you need to make sure that, when you register, you have the option to control how and when you receive gifts. When you control the shipping process, you can decide when it’s convenient for you to receive your gifts (including waiting until after the wedding or honeymoon) and how you’d like to receive them (for example, a few at a time or all at once).

With Zola, you have full control of when your gift ships. (And as a bonus, if you’re not stoked on a gift? You have the option to exchange it before it ships to your home.)

...And manage your thank you notes.

Your guests spent the time, energy, and money searching through your registry to find the perfect wedding gift—and sending them a wedding thank you card for the effort is an absolute must. Again, though, if you’re not organized, it can be easy for thank you notes to fall through the cracks.

In addition to tracking your guests and their gifts, Zola will also help you stay on top of your thank you notes (you’re welcome!). Whenever you send a thank you card, all you have to do is mark the note sent in your gift tracker.

In the months before and after your wedding, you can easily download a file with all the information you need—including guest name, the gift sent, their gift message, and whether you sent a thank you—to make sure every single person who sends a gift from your registry gets the thank you note they deserve.

Pro Tip: We’ll even address your envelopes for you.

There’s a lot to organize when you’re planning a wedding—including your registry. But now that you know the ins and outs of wedding registry organization, all that’s left to do? Get out there, get organized, and get started creating your wedding registry!