Your Wedding Registry Timeline

Find out when to start your wedding registry, when to publish it, and how to keep it updated with this complete wedding registry timeline that will take you from newly engaged to happily married in your newlywed home.

By Emily Forrest

wedding registry gifts as seen from above including pink kitchen aid stand mixer and fine china
Photo by Zola

When Should You Start Your Wedding Registry?

We recommend starting your registry and adding gifts to it 7-9 months before your wedding. This time frame will help you (and your guests) with engagement party and bridal shower gifts as well. Don’t wait until your wedding date is too close to start your registry: the longer you wait, the more risk you run of guests buying something random that you don’t want or need.

A Complete Wedding Registry Timeline

Just Got Engaged:

Create Your Wedding Registry

As early as you want (one day after your engagement is totally acceptable!), but no later than 7 months before your wedding, set up your Registry online. Personalize your page with photos, add notes to your guests, and a custom link.

7-9 Months Before Wedding:

1. Find Out How Many Gifts to Add

Once your registry is set up, figure out where to start using Zola’s handy tools. Answer the prompts about your wedding details, such as how many guests you’re inviting, whether you’re having a shower, and whether you’re asking for gifts or cash funds, and we’ll tell you exactly how many gifts to register for and at what price points.

2. Consult Our Registry Checklist

Now that you know exactly how many gifts to buy per price point to cover your specific needs, research wedding gift basics using our definitive checklist. Zola’s Registry Checklist maps out all the essential items you’ll need to start (or upgrade) your newlywed home.

3. Start Adding Gifts

This is the fun part: begin adding gifts to your registry! Dream big. Add multiple options for popular categories like tabletop and kitchen essentials, as guests love to give these kinds of gifts. Choose the Zola products you need and love from your favorite brands, and if you want to add an item from another store, use our Import Tool.

4. Add Experiences and Cash Funds

Once you’ve added all the physical gifts you can possibly imagine to your registry, add the experiences and cash funds you want for your newlywed life. Register for gift cards to Airbnb, The Home Depot, air travel, or even donations to charities on Zola. Guests will love giving you the chance to travel, learn a new skill, or go on romantic dates as a newly married couple. You can also ask for contributions to your honeymoon or other cash fund.

5. Make Your Wedding Registry Visible

After your registry has been filled with gifts, experiences, and cash funds, make it visible. Publish and share your wedding registry on your custom wedding website, so your wedding guests can easily find it (and buy you something wonderful). You can also allow your registry to be searchable on and through search engines, to make it even easier for guests to find.

2-3 Months Before Wedding:

1. Start Shipping Gifts

Zola will keep you completely updated as guests begin buying you gifts via your personal Gift Tracker. Every time a guest purchases a gift off your registry, you’ll receive a notification. You can choose to ship that gift right away, ship it later, or convert it into Zola store credit.

2. Transfer Cash Funds

Make sure to allow time for any cash gifts you’ve been given to transfer to your bank account, which can take up to 10 days initially and 3-4 days for every later transfer. This is especially important if you plan to leave for your honeymoon right after your wedding, and you’d like to use those honeymoon cash gifts on your trip.

Have A Fabulous Wedding!

0-6 Month After Wedding:

1. Write Thank You Notes

After your wedding, be sure to thank your wedding guests for all the lovely gifts they purchased from your registry. Your Zola Thank You Note Manager keeps track of who got you what (even if you have since exchanged it), which you can export as a list to make the process easy and accurate.

2. Keep Shopping Your (Discounted!) Registry

Registry fun doesn’t end after your wedding—buy yourself whatever’s left on your Zola Registry using the 20% discount you automatically receive on all remaining registry gifts for six months after your wedding date. (It’s a perfect way to use all of those cash funds.)

3. Share Your Registry Knowledge

Help enlighten your engaged friends about how to create, populate, and share the perfect registry. When you invite a friend to use Zola, both you and the friend will receive $50 to spend on Zola if they successfully create a registry. We call that a registry job well done!

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