Planning a wedding can have quite a few trials to get through, but creating your wedding registry shouldn’t be one of them. So often, though, couples get caught up in making the perfect registry—and we get it! It’s tough to know exactly what you’ll need to start your new life together. There are so many new products that the stores say you need, but, honestly, you’ve gone your whole life without a garlic press, so how necessary can it actually be? Not to mention taking into consideration your guests’ budgets. No one wants their friends and family to feel obligated to purchase an expensive gift. We’d suggest alleviating any potential awkwardness or guilt by letting your guests know that gifts aren’t required—their presence is your gift. If they feel so inclined, though, the registry can provide some ideas.
You typically want to have your registry finalized about 3 months before your first bridal shower or party. This gives guests plenty of time to find what they want to buy, purchase it, and have it shipped to you or wrapped and brought to the wedding. When considering where to register, think about your necessities. Do you need all the kitchen must-haves, including pots and pans, plates, and other cooking utensils? Larger retailers are your best friend. Or, if you’re looking for more specific items, like fine china or a certain dishware, then look into smaller retailers. Most couples register at 2-4 stores, including 1-2 large retailers as well as 1-2 smaller shops for more specific items.
So, this brings us to the big question: What exactly do you need to include on your registry? First, you’ll want to assess your needs. What products is your home lacking? Then, consider anything you own that could get an upgrade—think about those home necessities that you bought on the cheap. Next, start thinking about items you’ve always wanted but never bought for yourself, like an air fryer, stand mixer, etc. This list should provide a good starting point for your own circumstances.
Here are a few things I’d encourage skipping on your registry:
- Cheese/charcuterie boards—odds are, you’re going to receive more than one of these anyways. They tend to be go-to gifts when people don’t go based on your registry and/or want to get your something personalized. Not to mention, the next time you move house, you can probably expect to get one.
- Garlic press—file this one under one of the most useless kitchen appliances. Mincing garlic isn’t a tough job, but cleaning a garlic press sure is.
- Anything you will inherit—no, it’s not a faux pas to talk to your parents and in-laws about what you’ll inherit one day! For instance, if you stand to inherit a set of fine china that you like, then consider saving that money and putting it toward something else.
- Bulky, rarely used appliances—I’m looking at you, panini presses and waffle makers. If you’re someone who regularly whips up brunch, then sure, you’ll get plenty of use out of a waffle maker. But, if you don’t, then it just takes up space in your kitchen only to be pulled out a few times a year. When you look into the hottest new appliance, consider how often you actually plan on using it. Is it really worth giving up the space of a cabinet shelf for?
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Lodge Pre-Seasoned Skillet
I’m a firm believer that household with a well-used kitchen needs a cast-iron skillet. They go far beyond most other types of cookware: from fridge to stove to oven. They give meats an unbelievably crisp sear. Also, they’re designed to last forever. People tend to stray away from cast iron as they think it’s too high maintenance, but that couldn’t be more untrue. Your cleaning method is a little different, but you’ll never have to buy another cast-iron skillet. When it comes to staying on a budget and still get a high-quality piece, Lodge is the way to go.
Smart Stick Hand Blender
I never though I’d wax poetic about an immersion blender, but this gadget truly changed my life. It’s one of the workhorses in my kitchen, used morning, noon, and night. The Smart Stick comes with three attachments: a regular blender with two sharp blades, a whisk, and a mini food processor. If you’re unfamiliar with immersion blenders, they make creating silky smooth soups and morning smoothies an absolute breeze. My favorite part of this product, though, is the mini food processor. We use it to chop fruits, mix pesto, make guacamole, and so much more. I have yet to find another immersion blender with this attachment, and that’s why the Smart Stick will always be my top pick.
Rubbermaid Brilliance Storage
Whether you cook often or not, I’d advise anyone and everyone to add these containers to your registry. They’re a significant upgrade from the cheap containers you probably have in your cabinet now. They’re dishwasher safe with a thick plastic that doesn’t break easily. You can also use these for far more than just stashing away leftovers. Do you love those videos of gorgeous fridge organization? These are how you get it. You can use them to store knick-knacks anywhere around the house.
10-Piece POP Container Set
I’ll admit it: I originally added this container set to my registry for aesthetic reasons. Little did I know how much money they’d ultimately save me. The vacuum-seal lids on these containers truly do work. I can leave chips and cereal in them and they’ll stay good for weeks. In fact, they work so well that I’ve bought myself more since initially receiving them as a gift.
Rotating Spice Rack
I’m not saying that this exact spice rack is a must-have, but something to corral all your spices is. I went years living with nothing to organize my various containers and never truly knew how mad it was making me until I got one of these. No bottles falling out of the cabinet when I opened it anymore—what a life!
I imagine most people reading this probably have an Amazon Alexa or another type of smart speaker by now, but if you don’t—take this as your sign to get one. They really do make life that much easier.
Drill & Home Tool Kit
Whether you own or rent, a drill and tool set is a necessity. Even if you never use tools, the time will come when you’ll need them (i.e. assembling furniture), and you’ll wish you had this if you don’t already. Trust me: a power drill will save your marriage when it comes to putting furniture together.
Linen Towel Set
After using cheap towels for years, getting nice towels was one of my favorite registry gifts. Did I necessarily need them? No, but it made every shower that much better when I could wrap up in a warm, fluffy towel afterwards. If you have an old set like me, consider donating them to your local animal shelter when you get new ones!
Wet Dry Vacuum
When they say little changes make big differences, I’m pretty sure they were talking about corded vs. cordless vacuums. You might be thinking “Does a cord really hinder you that much?” And the answer is yes, it definitely did, but I didn’t know it until I invested in one of these. The best part about this model? It doubles as a vacuum and mop, so you can eliminate two household contraptions for just one.
Stoneware Ceramic Dinnerware Set
A nice set of dinnerware might be something you don’t think you need, but it’s something that’ll instantly elevate your meals and make the everyday moments special. Even if you live on takeout, it’s so much nicer to eat on a nice plate than out of a to-go box. These plates are hefty enough to feel substantial and high-quality without weighing you down going from counter to table.
Akin to nice dishware, using high-quality flatware is just a different dining experience. Have you ever felt the difference in weight of a cheap set of flatware vs high-quality? It’s drastic, to say the least. Donate your old set and upgrade to these.
Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
If you cook even the smallest amount, you need some sort of Dutch oven or stock pot. You’ll use them endlessly for soups, stews, pastas, and more. When it comes to quality, nothing will last you as long as an enameled cast iron Dutch oven, and Le Creuset is the gold standard. If you’re looking for a less-expensive option, opt for this one from Lodge.
Nonstick 3 Piece Fry Pan Set
American Kitchen Cookware
While you’ll get more than enough use out of your cast-iron skillet, it’s a good idea to have at least one non-stick option in your kitchen. These have an interior non-stick coating so food slides right out while the exterior is stainless steel, which heats more evenly and is far more durable than non-stick coating.
Luggage is something I don’t see many couples register for, and it’s something I think most regret. Consider it: Most young adults don’t have a nice set of luggage that’s lightweight yet durable, but you’re likely about to embark on a honeymoon that will include some form of travel. Don’t start your marriage off fighting with bad luggage.
Non-Stick Sheet Pan Set
Amidst some more expensive cookware options, a non-stick set of sheet pans should be a budget-friendly gift option for your guests. This set outperforms so many others when it comes to being truly non-stick. Don’t let the price fool you—the quality of these is supreme.
Kitchen Knife Set with Block
A good set of knives is something you don’t want to skimp on. Dull knives are actually more dangerous than sharp ones, so having a set that includes a sharpener is paramount. If you’re looking for something a little more budget friendly, we also love this set.
Is there anything more refreshing and relaxing than climbing into a bed with clean sheets? Bring that feeling into your new marriage with a set of nice new sheets. You could splurge on these, but buyer beware: top price doesn’t always equal top quality in this category. We’d also suggest stocking up on new pillows, a duvet insert and cover, and a blanket or quilt for the warmer months.
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