Cooking Up a Wedding Registry
Of all the things to do before your wedding day, you’d think that picking out gifts would be the fun and easy part. I found it downright agonizing, so much that I considered avoiding gift registry altogether. Hearing of this news, my mother loudly protested, arguing that “people will want to give you things to celebrate your wedding, Kimberly” and so I caved.
As nice as it is to receive gifts, it’s a lot of hard work figuring out which ones you want, particularly if you’re interested in equipping your newlywed kitchen. And that means getting on the organizational stick, taking inventory of your (and your other half’s) stuff and being painfully honest with yourself about what you like, what you need and what you’ll really use.
You’ll want to ask these questions as well: Will there be a merging of kitchen gadgetry and tools or are you both starting from scratch? Will this be about style or substance – or both? To wit: I had all the kitchen tools I wanted, and so I picked glassware and serving trays that I had long put off because of the expense.
In case you hadn’t noticed, this whole shacking-up business is so very personal (not to mention stressful), which means there is no magic blueprint or top-five list of kitchen-centric wedding gifts that works for all brides. That said, I sought out the wisdom of several married gals from around the country, who offer their wedding registry rants and raves, below.
From Miz McG, who got hitched nearly three years ago: Platters for serving/entertaining; extra bakeware (pans, tins, silicon sheets) that I wouldn't splurge on before, but use now all the time. At least for me, getting all that stuff to help me entertain -- more glasses, the platters, even the coasters -- was a big change. In singlehood, I was always scrambling to find all I needed to entertain. Funny, why did I wait to get married to properly throw a party??
Although not so useful, I love my china, silver and crystal. It's not practical, but when I can, pull them out and I'm in seventh heaven. I loved my mother and grandmother's china and silver as a child and was always snooping through cabinets to look at the pieces. I loved setting the family table with them as a child, and now I get to do so in my own home for my family.
Adrienne, who's been married for more than 10 years, agrees: Maybe it is a girl thing but I LOVE my china! And use it!
From Nancy, who recently celebrated her 13th wedding anniversary with Cliff: Everyday stuff -- simple white dishes, mixing and serving bowls, pots and pans always a plus.
From Diane, in Philadelphia, who's married to Jim: We registered for a nice kitchen scale to measure out quantities by volume -- very helpful when trying to estimate portions.
From Susan, who's been married to Rob for nearly 15 years: I love my Kitchen Aid mixer, Cuisinart, Le Creuset dutch oven -- such a favorite that I have given it as a wedding gift 3-4 times now -- Pyrex baking dishes (all sizes), an immersion blender/mini chopper, a set of All-Clad pots and pans, a set of Henckels knives and a Party Perk coffee urn.
Susan also mentioned the stuff I didn't register for but have really enjoyed: wooden salad bowl and servers, huge butcher block cutting board, pretty serving platters, serving utensils, funky salt and pepper shakers, marble rolling pin and thxa funky tea pot.
From Susan: Things that seemed great in theory but translated terribly: china, crystal, silver -- we just never turned out to be the kind of couple who liked to entertain in a fancy way. Perhaps when we grow up we'll use them, but I just turned 42 and I honestly can't imagine when that will be. We also got this ridiculous estate wine opener with a stand - it, too, sits in a cupboard and we can't seem to part with it, nor have we ever had the inclination to use it. Although once I was at my cousin's house and they must have gotten the same gift from the same people, and there it was, right on the sideboard in their dining room, so go figure.
Nancy agrees about the crystal and silver: We got it because I am from the south and that is what you do, but I have never used the stuff and I think it's still in New Orleans with my parents.
From Miz McG: Gravy boat (no surprise), fancy salt and pepper shakers (they don't handle freshly ground pepper and course salt, which I now put on the table) and
linen napkins (I registered for them and didn't realize they were dry-clean only. Ha! guess how much I use those!?)
Madge, who just got married in July, had neither rants nor raves, but shared this salient piece of advice:
Go in and really test out glasses and silverware, hold them in your ends and pretend to drink or eat. If you're just shopping online you might end up with hulking pieces of glassware or too-skinny utensils. Don't register for pitchers and vases because you'll get plenty of them anyway. We ended up with about five.
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