8 Registry Must-Haves for the Kitchen
EDIT: It’s been almost a year since I originally wrote this post. Today marks my husband and I’s second wedding anniversary and still my opinions on must-have registry items haven’t changed. Two years later, we still can’t live without these items below.
Registering can be overwhelming. How do you know what you really need? Will you still like this 25 years from now? After all, this stuff is supposed to last you the rest of your life! My parents still use so many pieces they received when they got married! So, while a few trendy pieces are great to add personality, definitely stick to the classics. I’ve listed my favorite items we registered for and are so grateful to the friends and family who graciously gifted them to us (without you, we’d probably be eating frozen dinners and this blog would have never come to fruition).
For a couple that’s about to get married, friends and family around you are eager to do what they can to help you set your lives up together. Take a second to realize how blessed you are!
When it came time to register, my husband suddenly became a very vocal groom. “We don’t need that,” “You’ll never use this,” blah, blah, blah. I give him grief for this all the time because now some of the pieces he dragged his feet on adding to the registry are his favorite, most-used pieces.
plenty of dinnerware
Even though we’re a table of two, we use plates, bowls, serving pieces all day, every day and who wants to run the dishwasher with just four plates in it? If you’re like me and your jaw drops when the salesperson tells you to register for 12 of everything, pick it back up and just say okay. After all, the more plates you have, the more you can invite to your table. We chose Juliska dinnerware since we knew would love the look forever, and it would hold up just as long. Juliska stoneware is as durable as it is beautiful, and if you know my husband, you know how important durability is for us. Plus, each piece seamlessly moves from the oven, to the table, to the freezer, to the microwave, and into the dishwasher. It’s incredible! For our dinnerware, we opted for a mix-and-match with white and pewter stoneware, so classic yet easy to elaborate on for special occasions and holidays.
Don’t forget serving pieces and flatware!
Just to be frank, good knives can be expensive. But in my experience, it’s worth every penny. Save yourself the “coulda, shoulda, woulda” regret and just go for the good stuff (I feel like that should be my new mantra…). Trying to cut a tomato with a cheap knife that dulls quickly is just a recipe for an injury and a tomato-stained shirt. There are so many varying styles, uses, comfort-preferences, honestly who knew?! So when you go to register, talk with a salesperson, ask their advice and opinions, and test drive the knives- hold them in your hand and see how comfortable each style is. You’ll want several different styles, but a utility knife, paring knife, and a good sharpener are enough to start with.
quality pots & pans
& lots of sizes
Here you have a lot of options, both in aesthetics and functionality. It can get a little overwhelming, so if the thought of comparing and contrasting heat conductivity, reactivity, and durability makes you feel like you just got hit in the head with a 10″ skillet, you’re not alone. My main advice: ASK! Ask your parents what they use, does it work for them? Ask the sales associate, they likely own a set from where they work and they’re supposed to be knowledgeable on this topic. We opted for a mix of cast iron and anodized aluminum (non-stick and super easy to clean). There’s also copper, stainless steel, induction… Consider your stove and what you’ll be cooking with, and for your sanity follow these two rules 1) make sure it’s nonstick and 2) always hand wash. When you’re looking at sizes, consider what you cook most often. There are 8″ skillets for small batches of scrambled eggs, 10 and 12″ skillets for vegetables and chicken, cast-iron is great for cooking beef, a dutch oven is a must for soup and pasta, and a saucepan is great for heating up, you guessed it, sauces.
My earliest memories in the kitchen are baking sugar cookies with my mom. She would make the dough from scratch, mixing it in her KitchenAid mixer, cover the countertop with flour and roll it out with the giant rolling pin I could never even lift on my own. I love these memories and couldn’t wait to get my own mixer to continue the tradition in my own home. These machines are incredibly functional; not only can you mix dough, frosting, batter but now they have so many features and attachments! You can make ice cream, spiralize zucchini for zoodles, or roll and press the real-deal-dough for homemade pasta. All these years later, my mom still has the same one, so you know they were built to last.
four pieces just for fun
It’s important to have some fun pieces of your registry, too! Frankly, your guests will appreciate it if they can get you something useful (a set of your flatware) and something more fun, like monogrammed wine glasses.
- Copper accents – maybe this is just one of those fads that will go out of style (like the awful blue and yellow pots my parents had- sorry mom and dad), but I’m all about it right now. Some of my favorite pieces you’ll see in my kitchen are my copper measuring cups and accented cheeseboard.
- Popcorn machine – This is so much more fun than popping popcorn in the microwave, and with all these unique seasonings you can really make things interesting! Bring it out for a date night in or a binge-watching marathon (honestly, the latter is more likely the case in our house…).
- Anything personalized – changing your name can be a little scary. Make it more fun with customized pieces. This also makes the gift-giving part easier; it elevates the gift from something generic to sweet and sentimental. One of my favorite pieces we got was this incredibly beautiful carving board with a giant S. It’s something we’ll use for special occasions, like Thanksgiving, forever!
- Dishtowels – these are the ones that you’ll never actually use to clean up a mess but they look so dang cute hanging up in your kitchen. Your fiancé will likely fight you on this one and argue that they’re “unnecessary”, but find joy in the little things, people!
Additional items I highly recommend but won’t get into: ample baking sheets (though these won’t likely last you forever), a good set of glass/BPA free plastic food storage containers, a blender set with various attachments and blades (like this Ninja that has a full-sized blender, two to-go cups, and a food processor), and cookbooks you’ll enjoy cooking from together (some of my favorite are here).