While postponing your wedding is less than ideal, whether the date change is due to COVID-19 or other circumstances – sometimes it has to be done. Once you have communicated the change in plans to your guests, and organized your vendors you may be wondering what happens to your registry and any gifts you may have already received.

Here are the top five things to keep in mind:

1. No need to take your registry down: Whether you’ve moved your wedding date by a few months or over a year, there’s no need to take down your registry. You’re still getting married, your guests will still want to contribute to your future. Be sure to update all registries with your new date so they don’t get archived on the registry site and be sure that your information stays consistent with your wedding website.

2. Update your registry on the regular: Even if you have a while before your new wedding date, be sure to check in on your registries every couple of weeks. Replace items that have sold out or are no longer available; add items if you’re running low; and remove gifts that you no longer need.

registry gifts

3. Don’t stress the timing: If your big day has been postponed, there’s no right time to give a wedding gift. This means that your guests may be waiting until closer to your wedding date to purchase your gift. This means that you may see a wave of gifts around your original date from people who have already bought you a gift, followed by a bit of a lull and then another wave as your new date approaches. Be sure to communicate on your website if you are going to open gifts now or later so that guests aren’t expecting a thank you note that hasn’t been written yet.

4. To keep or not to keep?: If you have pushed your date, or chosen to elope, you might feel like you have to return any gifts you’ve already received. Given the present circumstances, your guests will likely be pretty understanding—so there’s no need to return any gifts. If you have chosen to have a ceremony now, we do suggest planning a reception at a later date so that you can spend time with the guests who couldn’t be there.

A note on cash: Treat cash gifts the same way you would physical gifts – there is no need to return them. That being said, it may be a good idea to contact your guests to ask whether they would like their cash contribution returned.

5. A little thank-you goes a long way: If you have received gifts and have chosen to open them now, you should still keep on top of your thank you notes. Try to send a thank-you note as soon as possible so that your guests know you received their gift and so that you can express your gratitude. Bonus, thank you notes are the perfect stuck at home activity to do during COVID-19!