After getting engaged, the first thing you're probably thinking about is celebrating with your friends and family. Whether they're joining you for post-proposal drinks, an impromptu engagement party, or a planned fête, many of your guests will want to bring you a gift in honor of your new relationship status. While they won't expect you to register for gifts mere minutes after accepting the ring, some of your loved ones will be on the lookout for a present list very soon after. So, it begs the question: How soon after getting engaged should you begin building your wedding registry? Here, some general guidelines about timing.
Give yourself some time.
No, you don't need to run out to your favorite department store the same day that you get engaged. Guests understand that couples will spend some time figuring out which housewares they need or need to replace before they start building a gift list. In general, you should ensure your registry is complete about six to nine months before the big day.
Make sure it's set before the bridal shower.
The bridal shower tends to be the pre-wedding party that sends most guests to the registry, so make sure to choose your preferred gifts before the invites go out. You can always add more as you get closer to the big day, but creating a solid list with items at a variety of different price points before the bridal shower stationery is sent is a smart move.
Keep checking it.
No, not to see which items were purchased and by who, but to ensure that there are still items available for guests who'd like to send a gift. There's nothing worse than visiting a loved one's registry to find that all that's left is the $700 vacuum or the $12 serving fork.
This story originally appeared on Martha Stewart Weddings.