The Top 13 Do's & Don'ts When Creating Your Wedding Registry

Registering for your wedding can seem like a daunting task, which is why we’ve gathered our top tricks from the most successful registries we’ve encountered, to help you create a wedding registry that’s a winner!

By Emily Forrest

Here at Zola, we see thousands upon thousands of wedding registries daily, and we’ve started to notice a trend—some are more successful than others. Registering for your wedding can seem like a daunting task (especially when you have so much else to tackle during the wedding planning process—like sending out your wedding invitations, finding your vendors, and choosing a venue)—which is why we’ve gathered our top tricks from the most successful registries we’ve encountered, to help you create a wedding registry that’s a winner!

What Is A Wedding Registry?

First things first. Before we jump into wedding registry etiquette—and the do’s and don’ts of creating your wedding registry—let’s quickly cover what a wedding registry is.

A wedding registry is a gift registry; it’s essentially a wish list of all the gifts you’d like to receive on your wedding day. Before your wedding, you share your registry information with your wedding guests. From there, they can search through your registry (today, many registries are online registries, which makes it easy for guests to shop from anywhere!), look through your registry items, and choose which item they’d like to purchase as a wedding gift.

In addition to wedding gifts, your loved ones can also use your registry gift list to get gift ideas for other wedding-related events—like your bridal shower or engagement party.

1. DO Start Earlier Rather Than Later

Oftentimes, couples wait to pull the trigger on publishing their wedding registry because they’re worried it’s not quite right. Great news: it doesn’t have to be perfect! With Zola, you can edit your registry at any point. And if someone buys you a gift that you change your mind about, you can virtually exchange it before it ships. Your guests may want to buy you an engagement or shower present, so the sooner you have it up, the better.

wedding calendar

Photo Credit || Wedding Bells

2. DON’T Be Afraid to Ask for Cash

Planning a dream honeymoon or saving up for a home? These days, it’s totally acceptable to ask for donations towards your future life together. Some guests even prefer the option of donating cash gifts to things like a honeymoon fund, house fund, or just a general “starting our life as newlyweds” fund! Get inspired with our assortment of pre-made Cash Funds, or create your own custom fund. Bonus? Zola has the lowest cash fee around.

3. DO Register for Enough Gifts

One of the most common mistakes we see is when couples simply don’t have enough gifts on their wedding registry. Guests love options, so make sure to include plenty of options for them to choose from!


Photo Credit || Zola

4. DO Include a Variety of Price Pints.

Not only is it important to include a variety of gift options on your registry, but it’s also important to include gift options in a wide range of prices. Make sure to balance out big-ticket items with more affordable gift options—as well as gifts that would fall somewhere in the middle of the price spectrum between “super expensive” and “super affordable.” The good news? Our Planner feature does the work for you; simply plug in an estimate of the number of guests invited to your wedding, and we’ll tell you how many gifts you need at different price points!

The point is, consider this wedding gift etiquette 101; the best wedding registry is one the features gifts that will work for all the gift givers on your guest list—no matter what their budget.

5. DO Personalize It

With Zola, you not only get your own custom URL to share with your guests, but you will also get to customize your page to fit you and your partner’s style. Choose from a gorgeous array of cover photos, or upload your own. Include a couple’s photo and a personalized welcome greeting for your guests to see. You can even include notes on your gifts, indicating why you chose them!

6. DON’T Hesitate to Ask Your Newly Married Friends for Advice

Definitely use your friends who just went through this process as a resource! They probably will have some valuable advice about what wedding registry essentials they’re glad they included, what they barely use, and what they wish they’d added to their registry.

7. DO Register for What You Actually Want

If you don’t have a need for fancy china and don’t have room for a set of crystal, then skip it! This is your registry and no one else’s—so be sure to register for what you actually want. Take an inventory of what the two of you already have—and use our Wedding Registry Checklist to see what else you really need.


Photo Credit || Art Weddings

8. DON’T Skip the Registry Altogether

Some couples feel like they already have everything they want and need to start their life together. But even if you fall into that category, skipping the registry altogether is a major “don’t.”

Many wedding guests want to give gifts to the soon-to-be-married couple. And if you don’t have a registry, those guests are going to be shopping without any idea of what you might want, need, or like—which could leave you with a bunch of gifts you a really not a fan of.

If you’re getting married, make a registry. You don’t even need to register for gifts; you could do a fun, creative alternative—like adding a cash fund to donate to your favorite charity.

9. DO Put Your Registry On Your Wedding Website

You want to share your wedding registry information in a place that’s central and easy for all of your wedding guests to access—and nothing fits that bill like your wedding website. While it’s fine to include your registry information in other places (for example, on your save-the-dates), including a link on your wedding website is a surefire way your guests will be able to find your wedding registry when they’re ready to shop.

11. DON’T forget to utilize the App

Zola has apps for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, so you can create and manage your wedding registry from anywhere, anytime. It even includes a barcode scanner so you can add anything you see while out and about.


Photo Credit || Zola

12. DO Have Fun With It!

This is your time to create the registry of your dreams. Don’t be afraid to ask for help (that’s what our Registry Advisor is for!) and enjoy the experience of building it together.

13. DON’T Fret If You Don’t Receive Everything on Your List

Chances are, not everything will be purchased off of your registry. That’s why Zola’s Completion Discount is so great; for an entire year after your wedding, you will receive 10% off of anything you purchase on Zola. This applies to both items on your wedding registry and across the whole site, so you can fill in the missing gaps!

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