Colorful wedding bouquet with roses and anemones
Photo: Charla Storey

  1. Determine the best time to register within your wedding planning schedule. While picking out items for your future home is exciting, don't overwhelm yourselves by creating your wedding registry right after getting engaged. Still, you'll want to give your guests enough time to register in advance. Start the process 9-11 months prior to your wedding date to give your guests time to purchase gifts for the wedding and pre-wedding festivities like your bridal shower.
  2. Create your wedding registry together. Do you two throw the best patio parties? Does camping often fall into your weekend plans? Set aside a time during the wedding planning process to select items that are true to both of your lifestyles.
  3. Cover all the bases. When choosing your items, use a checklist to make sure you've included the essentials for each room. Don't feel obligated to skip out on certain things - in fact, it's okay to request more items than the number of guests you'll invite. Everyone has a different budget and shopping schedule, so it's courteous to offer more options that cater to a greater price range.
  4. It's okay to choose more than one place to register. Many registry services are all-encompassing from kitchen items to living room details. But if you can't decide between quality serveware at the department store and the vintage accent pieces from a local furniture designer, don't feel limited to just one place. Before choosing the most convenient stores for you, understand the benefits of each in terms of product selections, shipping and return policies. And if you end up deciding on more than one, keep it to two to three places to make your lives (and your guests' lives) easier.
  5. If possible, visit the stores in person. While online wedding registry services make shopping a breeze, some products may require a little extra research to ensure the price reflects the quality. If you choose a service that has a store near you, plan a visit to get an idea of what the items look like in person and speak to a sales rep for any recommendations.
  6. Include your registry information on your wedding website. Spreading the word of your wedding registry can be an awkward task. While adding it to your wedding invitations isn't considered appropriate, couples traditionally rely on their family and friends to spread the info via word of mouth instead. Now that a world of free wedding websites exists, you can use yours as an opportunity to directly communicate all the important details including a link to your registry.
  7. Always prepare for late shoppers. Whether it's RSVPing or purchasing gifts for the newlyweds, it's important to note that not all of your guests will purchase your gift before the big day. Before committing to a registry, ask how long your list will remain active following your wedding. Generally speaking, guests have up to a year after the wedding to purchase a gift so plan on keeping your wedding registry active for that duration.

Ready to create your wedding registry? Learn more about our registry partners.