Q: We just announced our engagement—when should I register, and how long can we keep the registry open?

A: Aim to register 6 to 12 months before your wedding. However, if you have your eye on seasonal merchandise like designer bedding, don't register too early—after six months, you may find it's no longer stocked. Another factor to consider: Most guests buy gifts two days before the ceremony, which means you'll want to have a second group of items ready to add to your list right before the wedding. Ideally, you should keep your list open for a year after you get married, the period during which people can still politely buy you a wedding gift, but check with the store about its policy.

See all questions about wedding registries

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