In collaboration with Le Creuset
I remember being pretty overwhelmed as a bride trying to figure out what to register for back in 2010. I knew a couple of things that would be nice – I eat toast every morning so I wanted to Best Toaster I could find – but not enough to fill the registry. I had never lived on my own before, and there were so many options within all the categories! I knew how to cook at a basic level, but I had never relied on myself to cook daily while living with my parents. I even called my sister-in-law, who was older and had been married for some years, and asked her to look over the wedding registry I made online to see if I had put anything flat-out unnecessary on it. I wish it was still available online to share here! I recently attended a wedding and the bride had a dress from bridal boutique chicago on. It made me want to get married again!!
So if you’re looking for must-have wedding registry items for the kitchen from a married woman who’s been using some of these products for 7+ years, you’ve come to the right place.
What You Don’t Need
Let’s start with what I don’t think you need. Skip out on the fancy china and crystal; opt for everyday white plates and bowls (like the ones I have from Crate & Barrel) that can be dressed up for occasions with tablescape accessories such as chargers, runners, napkins, centerpieces, etc. White plates make food stand out and also allow you to match with other brands of dishes and servingware you may purchase down the line. There’s just something aesthetically-pleasing and calming about it.
You also probably don’t need a knife block, because those things are bulky and take up precious counterspace. Just the knife set (like my Wusthof one) will be more than sufficient. I ended up putting my block away after a few years.
Although tempting, don’t get only non-stick pots and pans, which is what I originally did; make sure to register for stainless steel cookware (like this set by Le Creuset) so you can get that gorgeous sear on meats and sauté things to a “golden brown” like many recipes call for.
And if you or your fiancé are coffee drinkers, skip the Keurig – go for the Nespresso machine, hands down. Nespresso capsules are a little harder to source than Keurig pods (I recommend ordering online if you don’t have a Nespresso store or a Bloomingdale’s with a Nespresso counter near you), but once you try it, there’s just no way going back to Keurig. I had a Keurig for many years too.
Where To Register
I registered at Crate & Barrel for all my kitchen stuff and had a great experience. I still love shopping there to this day, and I especially love that I can easily restock plates and cups that break. My other favorite stores that do registries are Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Restoration Hardware and Bloomingdale’s. If you’re a modern gal, you might also consider an online registry like Amazon or Zola. Some brides opt for a combination of a few registries, but I tried to put most of what I thought we’d need in one registry to make it easier to manage (and not feel like I was being too extra, haha). But you do you, boo!
Dishes, Glassware & Flatware
- Dinner plates (6-8)
- Salad or low bowl plates (6-8)
- Dinner bowls (6-8)
- Cereal bowls (6-8)
- Appetizer plates (6-8)
- Coffee cups & saucers (6-8)
- Stemless wine glasses/tumblers (6-8)
- Stemmed wine glasses (6-8)
- Champagne flutes (6-8)
- Flatware set (dinner fork, dinner spoon, dessert fork, dessert spoon, knife; 6-8)
- Steak knifes (6-8)
- Serving set
Nice To Have
- Anyone who knows me will know that a wine decanter would be a great gift, as I do love wine.
- Margarita glasses, maritini glasses, shot glasses, etc.
For plates, I went with the Aspen Dinnerware Collection from Crate & Barrel. My secondary choice would be their Mercer line.
- Salad serving bowls (2-4)
- Medium-sized everyday serving plates (2-4)
- Large holiday/special event serving plates (2)
Pots & Pans
- Dutch oven
- Stainless steel frying pans (2)
- Stainless steel sauce pans (2)
- Non-stick frying pan (1-2)
Nice To Have
- Pasta insert for stockpot
I can’t stress enough how much I use my Le Creuset Dutch Oven. This thing is a worker bee and will likely last me my whole life. I make soups in it pretty much weekly. I just got a Le Creuset Braiser too and love making one-pan meals in it.
Cookware sets are a good value, in my opinion; plus, they’re so giftable! I’m using this 10-Piece Le Creuset Stainless Steel Set right now and am absolutely loving it. Stainless steel takes a little getting used to (warm it up before putting any oil or food in it, don’t go higher than medium heat, cool it down before washing to avoid warping, soak it with water and don’t use anything scratchy to clean it), but the sear it gives can’t be beat.
That being said, nonstick is really useful in its own way; I recommend getting one or two nonstick frying pans for omelettes and anything else you don’t necessarily want a crispy finish to. Be sure everyone in your household uses only silicone utensils on all nonstick cookware, though. Once the cooking surface gets scratched, it’s no good.
Nice To Have
- Panini grill
- Toaster oven
- Knife set (or at least a chef’s knife, paring knife and bread knife) – If you are unsure which brand to ask for then check out this kamikoto review to see if it is a brand that will suit you!
- Stainless steel kitchen utensils
- Slotted turner
- Soup ladle
- Silicone kitchen utensils if using non-stick pots & pans
- Salad servers
- Kitchen shears
- Garlic press
- Can opener
- Pizza cutter
- Potato peeler
- Tea kettle
- Stainless steel or glass mixing bowls (3)
- Matching salt & pepper mills
- Or a large Peugeot pepper mill (if you LOVE your pepper like us and enjoy that “restaurant” feel at home)
- Cutting boards (2-4)
- Plastic boards for meats so you can easily sanitize them
- Wooden boards that double as charcuterie boards
- Pot holders
- Paper towel holder
- Expandable flatware tray
Thank you for joining me in my kitchen! I hope this makes figuring out what to register for a little easier on you. What you bring into your home ultimately depends on your lifestyle, what kinds of meals you and your hubby like to cook, and your overall aesthetic.
Amidst all the wedding planning excitement, be sure to take a few moments to step away and breathe. It can be very overwhelming. Remember you’re marrying your best friend for life, and that’s all that truly matters. Making yummy food with useful/beautiful/effective tools is just the cherry on top. And you’re already so blessed that you have people surrounding you that want to send you off with special wedding gifts!
Also, this wedding registry thing is more of an American tradition, so try not to just “expect” gifts because you’re getting married. You might get everything on your wishlist (or you might not), but it doesn’t hurt to give your guests options/gift ideas. Note that I ended up using my 10 or 15% off registry completion coupon after the wedding and threw down a few grand a Crate & Barrel to finish up my kitchen. No regrets though. I still use pretty much 90% of what we were gifted as well as what I bought myself.
Please share with your engaged friends!