Many wedding experts tend to agree on the same general timeline.
1) The Knot – “On average, couples begin curating their registry about seven months before their wedding day.”
2) Zola – “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."
VEBO observes that the busiest months of the year for creating a wedding registry are December and January. 30-40% of new registries are set up in these two months. This largely breaks down to two groups of couples:
The excited newly engaged couple – For many, the holidays mean engagement season. Newly engaged couples have been waiting their whole lives to start planning their wedding and immediately dive right into it. Some get a little overambitious. VEBO has seen registries created for weddings 4-5 years out.
The “wow… we are getting married this year” couple – This includes some newly engaged couples as well as many that have been engaged for a while. The turning of the calendar means the realization that these couples are getting married this year. It is crunch time for wedding planning.
In the US, busy wedding season is from May through October. As the experts mentioned, the general rule is that couples create their wedding registry about seven months before the wedding. The key milestones are:
1) Bridal showers and engagement parties – Many guests will want to bring gifts to your pre-wedding events. Make sure that your registries are fully set up and filled with plenty of gift options prior to your first events. The average US couple creates three different wedding registries.
2) Wedding invitations – The general guideline is to send wedding invitations 6-8 prior to the wedding, but you might consider more advanced notice if you’re planning a destination wedding. Most couples include registry information with their wedding invitations.
3) Transfer cash – If you plan on using a cash wedding registry (VEBO is not a cash registry) for your honeymoon expenses, make sure to plan appropriately by transferring cash funds from your registry 5-7 days prior to needing those funds.
4) “Thank you” cards – The rule is to send thank you cards within 2-4 weeks after your wedding. The last thing that you want is guests fretting over whether or not you received their gift. For experience gifts, it is a really nice touch if you include a photo enjoying the experience.
This is a general timeline and can obviously be adjusted to what best fits your wedding season.