So recently I had to create a registry for my baby shower and it got me thinking about what I have learned in the years since I did my own wedding registry. I remember that the process was overwhelming at first, seeing those MASSIVE registry checklists. Here are some items I’d suggest you add, and some you should stay away from, as well as general registry advice after 4 years of marriage using the items we registered for.
High quality cookware: So when I made my wedding registry I made the GRAND mistake of choosing an all-in-one newlywed pot and pan set that cost under $200. It was by kitchen aid, it was red and it was super cute. I couldn’t believe other people registering for Le Creuset cookware and bakeware that cost as much for a single piece as my whole pot and pan set. After 4 years of being married, I now see why people register for the other more expensive stuff. Those all-in-one teflon coated pans scratched extremely easily AND they weren’t dishwasher safe! Now each anniversary, birthday, or Christmas, I find myself asking for quality cookware to replace these items. After LOTS of research, my husband and I have found Swiss Diamond and Le Creuset to be the best choices. Here are the three items I’d say are a must on your registry:
Swiss diamond frying pan: This is PERFECT for cooking things like eggs, and crepes, and pancakes, as well as chicken, and hamburgers (when you don’t have access to a grill of course!). It heats up evenly in a flash and it is dishwasher safe. The non-stick surface is not teflon, so it doesn’t peel off and chip. Food slides right out of it. It is fairly light weight so it is easy to handle, even with one hand.
Swiss diamond covered saucepan (pot): Mashed potatoes, sauces, pasta, mac’n’cheese, soups, you name it, this pot will handle it all. It too heats up very quickly and evenly and is dishwasher safe. It is a non-stick surface, but isn’t teflon, so it doesn’t peel off and chip. The top lid can be set to vent or be completely closed and is dishwasher safe too. If you have limited storage space in your kitchen, go for the bigger size, rather than buying multiple pots, as it really becomes a one size fits all pot. I haven’t found it to be a problem even when cooking small amounts of things to use the big 3.2 quart one. It is fairly light weight so it is easy to handle.
Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Skillet: If you are going to have one piece of Le Creuset in your house, this is the one to have. My husband and I use it almost every single day. You can cook just about anything under the sun on this. The surface is non-stick, but not made of teflon. You can put it in the oven to do recipes that require baked or even broiled things. Go for the biggest size. The only drawbacks to this skillet are: like all cast iron items, it is HEAVY, you really need to use 2 hands to move it around; it takes a while to heat up (on electric stoves particularly) so if you want to fry up some eggs quickly, this isn’t the pan to use, and you NEED to use a pot holder when holding the handle. It is totally dishwasher safe and the enamels they have look so pretty in the kitchen.
Pot holders: There are about nine billion pot holders out there, but something I give to EVERY newlywed couple whether they have registered for it or not, is a pair of Ove Gloves (or similar ones found at Bed Bath and Beyond called super gloves with silicone). Having the ability to use all your fingers as well as use these on the grill make them so much more useful than ANY other pot holder I’ve ever used. Getting a set of two of them is an absolute must if you are getting the big Le Creuset skillet, and in general, even when taking out baking dishes and cookie sheets you’ll want to be able to use both hands.
China: So this is the time in your life that most people suggest getting your fine wedding china as well as your everyday china. The problem with that is that so many of us nowadays have no place to store these beautiful dishes, we really don’t use them EVER, and they are not dishwasher safe. So what my husband and I did, which has served us very well, was register for only ONE set of dishes. We picked a pattern from Mikasa that was nice enough to be used for special occasions but that also was simple enough to be used on a daily basis and that is dishwasher safe. The key is to find a set that also offers coordinating specialty pieces that your older relatives will traditionally want to buy you, like oval platters for the Thanksgiving turkey, butter dishes, gravy boats, lasagna platters, covered casserole dishes, and sugar and creamer sets. Be sure to register for a few extra plates and bowls so that when you inevitable break some of the pieces you use every day, you don’t have to scour the internet to find a discontinued china pattern.
Flatware: we took the same approach to flatware that we did for our dishes. Rather than register for two different sets, a casual one, and a formal set of “silverware”, we went with a set that was fairly ornate, but could still be used on a day to day basis without looking completely out of place in my bowl of cereal. Wallace’s Continental Bead pattern did the trick and it was dishwasher safe. It too has all the different types of accessories that people might want to buy you, like coordinating steak knives and serving utensils.
Roomba vacuum cleaner: These vacuums are phenomenal. My husband had his original one for about 8 years, and we just upgraded to the 770 model. It works wonders on wood floors, tile floors, linoleum, and carpet. We have a dog who sheds so much you’d think he’d be bald, so I run it almost every day now. Wow, does it ever do a great job. Takes all the effort out of vacuuming! The other great thing is if you register for it at Bed Bath and Beyond, your guests can use the 20% off coupons they get in the mail for it, which is a HUGE savings.
Honeymoon items: Now you can often create a honeymoon registry, so your guests can purchase things in advance for you, like couples massages, helicopter tours, champagne and strawberries in your room, you name it, there is likely a registry for it. This is usually a once in a lifetime trip for you and your loved one, so being able to really do it up right can be worthwhile. I know my husband and I still enjoy thinking back on the incredible experiences we had in Hawaii. If you do choose to go the Hawaii route, you absolutely must register for these guidebooks for whatever islands you are going to. It is the very best resource you can have. They are all written by people who actually LIVE in Hawaii, so you get the local knowledge first hand, not just what a travel writer has been assigned to experience.
Wedding Albums and Photography Credits: Many couples can’t afford to get the heirloom quality wedding albums and prints that they may want from their photographer. As a result, many photographers offer wedding registries that allow guests to purchase credits toward pages in an album, or canvas gallery wraps with images of the couple’s choice. Gifts like this last a lifetime and can often be the most meaningful.
To me, the items listed above are key items to put on your registry. Everything else is just gravy. Sure new towels are nice and so are fancy toothbrush holders and a lemon zester. Putting small inexpensive items on your registry is really important so that you have a range of prices your guests can select from. But I don’t need to list all those things out for you. I only mention these specific items above because they are things I wished I had registered for, since many of them are on the pricier end of the spectrum, and have been INCREDIBLY useful. Many of the items on those generic wedding lists are NICE to have items, not NEED to have ones. So as you are going through and making your registry, ask yourself, are you ever REALLY going to ever use this item? If the answer is no, think twice about putting it on your registry, that way it is more likely that people will buy you the items you really need to set up your home. If people buy everything on your registry before your wedding, you can always add more items that are less critical.