When to Make a Wedding Registry and Share It

Timing is everything. Announce your wedding registry like a pro with these guidelines of how and when to start your wedding registry.

By Emily Forrest

Model couple on motorcycle becide Kitchen Aid
Photo by Zola

Modern engagements seem to follow a very specific formula. The question is popped, the answer is “Yes,” the pictures are taken, and the Instagram post goes live. Most couples also make a few phone calls to close relatives and friends, or, should we say, slowly answer a flood of texts due to the aforementioned Insta post.

But, ask any newly-engaged couple, and they will tell you that from the moment you get engaged, even as you bask in the glow of a sparkly new ring, there is something even more exciting to look forward to. You now get to plan a wedding.

There’s so much excitement amidst a new engagement that most couples forget about one of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding, the wedding registry. Don't worry, Zola shares your excitement, and we are here to help you tackle your wedding registry with poise and perfection.

When it comes to your registry, timing is everything. Just like your wedding itself, your registry must be approached with careful planning, thoughtful consideration, and, of course, a flair for excellence. Lucky for you, Zola shares your sentiment, and we're here to help you figure out the perfect time to create and publish your wedding registry.

Not Too Early

There is an old saying that goes something along the lines of "We're engaged to be engaged." In the immortal words of Queen B, "If you like it, then you shoulda put a ring on it." Basically, no one believes that you’re going to tie the knot until the engagement is official. So, pop the question already.

Setting up a wedding registry before it's official is like counting your chickens before they've hatched. It may seem like you’re being proactive, but from an outsider's perspective, it's just a bit too presumptuous. Announcing that you have a registry before you are engaged may lead people to believe that you are a bit too gift hungry.

Believe us, if there's someone who shares your excitement for wedding registries, it's Zola. But, we are here to help you out, and we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't advise you to play it cool. You never want to seem too eager, so even if you do have a secret Zola registry set up, keep it close to the vest.

With that in mind, you should totally be prepared to start your registry ASAP after you get engaged. What Zola suggests is that your preparation and wish listing be done on the downlow. You can absolutely set up a registry with Zola before you get engaged, but don't send that link out before you give your enthusiastic "Yes."

Setting up a registry at Zola is a cinch, so don't feel like you're behind the curve if you're not registering pre-proposal. When the time comes to create your registry, you'll have Zola in your corner to help every step of the way—think of us as a registry consultant.

Not Too Late

In the wedding industry, it's a universal truth that any kind of wedding shower or engagement party is a hard deadline for your registry. A shower means gifts, and the wedding gift registry should be ready to go.

It’s considered to be an engagement faux pas to keep your guests in the dark about your wish list. Before you delay sending out your registry, consider this: If you don't specify what you want by your wedding shower, you may end up with a whole lot of gifts that you need to return.

Don't get stuck with a long list of errands because you simply neglected to set up your registry. At Zola, setting up your wedding registry is finished in a matter of minutes, and we're here to explain how a wedding registry works and help you every step of the way.

Our online customer support will answer any questions you may have about your registry to ensure that you are maximizing our benefits. Plus, if you register at Zola, you'll never have to worry about returns, thanks to our incredible free shipping and exchange program.

Don't forget, at Zola, your registry is fully customizable and comes with a free matching wedding website. Guests, friends, and family can seamlessly transition from your wedding website to your registry for a rewarding and straightforward user experience. Zola understands that the easier this process is on everybody, the better your life will be as a result.

The exact timing of when you set up your wedding registry is dependent on your needs as a couple, but it’s better to err on the side of caution and set up your registry before gifts start arriving.

When to Do a Wedding Registry: Sharing Your Wedding Wish List Photo Credit // Zola Inc

The Sweet Spot

The recommended sweet spot for starting a wedding registry is about one month after your engagement. There is no set time for when a registry has to be created, but the sooner you set up your registry post-engagement, the better.

Setting up your wedding registry a few weeks after your engagement is the sweet spot for a couple of reasons:

First - You and your fiancé will want some time to bask in the warm, fuzzy feeling of being engaged. The first couple of weeks after you become engaged are magic. Take your time (not too much, of course) and enjoy a period of pre-marital bliss before you dig into the specifics that come with planning a wedding.

Just a reminder, setting up a registry at Zola is all fun and no stress. Aside from tons of cake tastings and free bottles of champagne, the wedding registry is one of the most fun activities you will take on as an engaged couple.

Essentially, a wedding registry is just your ultimate gift wish list for the new life you and your SO are starting together. When you register at Zola, you can customize your page, categorize your favorites, and look forward to all the awesome stuff you're about to get. Enjoy the overwhelming excitement of being newly engaged, but don't delay one of the best parts of getting married.

Second - You need some time to get the word out. Instagram announcements and social media posts have superseded the phone call as the best way to break the news of an engagement. What was once a hassle of calling every important person that you know, is now a seamless and streamlined process of a single announcement through a series of photos and captions.

Sometimes engagement posts are a bit delayed, especially if the photographer you hired to get some candid shots is late getting your photos to you. Don't sweat it, you can use the time in between the actual engagement and the post to set up your registry at Zola. Remember, people will want to celebrate an engagement party with you once you post, so you better have that registry ready to go live.

Third - You need to allow each wedding guest some time to go shopping. Even in the digital age, there is still a requirement for etiquette regarding how much advance notice you give your friends and family regarding your impending nuptials. Despite Zola's ease of use, which allows your guests to purchase a gift instantaneously, there will be people in your life who will want plenty of time to shop.

Traditionally, the most appropriate time to send out the link to your registry is anywhere between nine and 11 months. Remember that every engagement is different, and timelines will vary accordingly.

If you and your fiancé plan on an engagement that is longer than a year, then maybe wait to send out the registry until you hit the year mark. Alternately, if you and your fiancé are having a short engagement, eg. shorter than six months, get the registry sent out ASAP.

When to Do a Wedding Registry: Sharing Your Wedding Wish List Photo Credit // Zola Inc

Time Is of the Essence

Congrats to the happy couple. Here are two crucial distinctions regarding when you set up your registry that are important to recap:

  1. There is no right or wrong answer for when you can or should set up your wedding registry. Create and curate your registry whenever you feel like doing it, and Zola will be your guide to making it look amazing.

  2. There are prototypical timelines based on wedding etiquette regarding when you make your registry available to friends, guests, and family. For example, between one year and nine months before your wedding, and at least two weeks ahead of your first wedding shower.

With easy categorization and access to hundreds of top brands, Zola is ready to create the perfect registry whenever you are. Register now and see for yourself how exciting it is to set up and add to one of our famously easy wedding registries. You can always save it and send it out when the time is right.

Zola is the perfect platform to ensure that you make the most of your registry experience. Zola's competitive pricing, access to thousands of classic gifts, and our universal registry feature make Zola the top choice for couples all over the world. Whenever you choose to set up your wedding registry, one thing is certain—a Zola wedding registry is an unbeatable experience.

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