when to register for wedding gifts
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When to Register for Wedding Gifts

A common question engaged couples have is when to register for wedding gifts.  Most wedding experts agree that the best time to set up your wedding registry is 3 to 6 months before your wedding day.  This allows plenty of time for your guests to purchase their gifts but not enough time for all your items to go out of stock before your big day. 

If you are having a shower thrown within those 3 to 6 months, you should try to have your registry set up and ready to go about 1 month before the first shower.  Otherwise, you should aim to set up your registry within 3 to 4 months before your wedding day. 

Soon or Later?

Many department stores suggest that couples set up their registry within several weeks of announcing their engagement.  This supposedly allows friends and family to purchase gifts off your registry for engagement parties or just a congratulatory present. 

If there is no history of your family or friends giving engagement gifts, we would opt to wait until later on in your engagement to set up your wedding registry.  Since engagement gifts are not customary, it's almost always best to not seem like you expect gifts at that time.  You may even choose to include a “no gifts please” message in any invitations sent for an engagement party.     

On the other hand, if your family or circle of friends traditionally give engagement gifts to couples, a early wedding registry may be right for you.  If you do decide to register soon after your engagement, here is our advice to you:

  1. -Only register for a small selection of items.

  2. -As with your main registry, make sure the items are at different price points (under $25, under $50, under $100, and over $100).

  3. -Try to make this “starter” registry very basic.  Now is not the time to coordinate your table linens and throw pillows.  Add items that will not limit your style down the road. 

  4. -Kitchen electrics, wineglasses, barware, aprons, and welcome mats are common engagement gifts that could be great options for an early wedding registry.

The appropriate time frame for setting up your wedding registry is wide but tricky.  Too early and you may fall in love with some items that end up being out of stock.  Too late and you may seem careless.  Make sure to register 3 to 6 months before your wedding day and you'll be just fine.