I have to admit, one of my favorite things about wedding planning was registering! I encourage you to think strategically about what you register for because this is the one of the few times in your life when you can choose your gifts. There are so many great places to register but I primarily chose to register at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Pottery Barn. I registered for most of my cookware for BB&B and for my dish ware, linens, and decorative items at PB. Both Bed Bath and Beyond and Pottery Barn were great with returns and exchanges and I highly recommend both companies.
There's SO many things you can register for and so this list is not comprehensive. However, I've tried to list the things that I've used most in the two years since I've been married. I've noticed that, for the most part, I've gotten WAY more use out of the practical (a.k.a. "unexciting" things) I've registered for versus the decorative things I registered for (like pretty platters, etc.). I'm not saying you shouldn't register for any decorative items because I think those can be great for entertaining. But make sure you focus on registering for high quality practical items because you will end up using those almost every day!
1. Classic Dishes
After much consideration, I registered for a set of "Cambria" dishes at Pottery Barn. I chose to get a set of stone and a set of turquoise instead of registering for China (I knew I was going to inherit my grandma's china). I chose the Cambria dishes because I felt like they were classic and something I wouldn't grow tired of and because I could mix and match colors. I encourage you to purchase a classic set of dishes. Shop different options by clicking on the pictures below:
2. Pots, pans, and dutch oven
One of the most important things you should invest in is your pots and pans! You will be using these just about every day after all! After doing some research, I chose to register for these stainless steel pans instead of non-stick. I'm really glad that I did and I have loved my stainless steel pans! I did get one small 6" non-stick pan for cooking eggs and I got a free 12" non-stick pan with the purchase of my set of pans (you really still need to get at least one nonstick pan for things like eggs and pancakes). I chose stainless steel because they hold up better and are less likely to scratch, they can withstand very high heat, and they have the ability to brown/deglaze food (much harder to do with a nonstick pan). I figured if all the professional chefs choose to use stainless steel pans, they probably know what they're talking about! I will say that stainless steel can be a little higher maintenance and requires a little more cleanup, but I just keep a bottle of Bar Keepers Friend under my sink and it works like a charm! Also, be sure to always use oil in your pan and to slowly heat it up before adding in your ingredients.
I also recommend registering for one or two cast iron skillets. I feel like I use my cast iron grill pan every other day! I LOVE the taste of grilled food but we currently live in an apartment and are unable to grill and so I frequently use this pan to get a similar, grilled taste. Two things to keep in mind with cast iron: don't use soap to clean it (just scrape it off) and you need to continually "season" your pan by coating it with oil or it will rust. In addition, I also highly recommend registering for a dutch oven. I was nervous that I may not get much use out of mine, but I find that I use it very frequently (especially in the winter). I primarily use it for making sauces, soups, and stews. What I love about the dutch oven is that you can sauté right in the pot and then put your liquids in and therefore avoid having to use two pans. I also love that you can take your dutch oven from the stove top to the oven.
You also want to make sure you register for good quality bakeware. I have noticed a difference in lesser quality vs. higher quality pans in how my food bakes. I also highly recommend getting a Silpat. I got one for Christmas a love it! It's reusable, cooks your food very evenly, and takes the place of having to use grease to make your pan non-stick.
4. Comforter & linens
Registering is a great time to get a big item like a nice comforter and nice towels. You will also use your comforter and towels daily and so they're worth investing in good quality! I registered for a comforter very similar to this one in grey (PB no longer carries my exact comforter) and these towels in white and "porcelain blue" (I LOVE how thick these towels are).
5. Kitchenaid Mixer
A Kitchenaid mixer is the classic registry item everyone thinks of! I actually don't think it's technically "essential" to register for a Kitchenaid, but it's certainly a fun appliance to own! If you don't do much baking, it probably won't be worth it for you to get. In all honesty, I don't use my Kitchenaid a ton, but I do absolutely love it for baking. I love that I can throw everything in there and walk away and let it mix. I also use it for kneading doughs. There's several separate attachments you can purchase as well that will give you a lot more uses for your mixer. I've been eyeing the meat grinder attachment and hope to purchase it soon.
6. Beverage Essentials
For all of you coffee drinkers, be sure to register for a nice coffee maker and grinder! We have this coffee maker and have been very happy with it! I recommend registering for a programmable coffee maker because, I don't know about you, but making coffee is the last thing I want to do when I'm rushing out the door in the morning. I've also been very happy with this grinder. I also use my Bodum french press fairly regularly and have been eyeing this lovely copper one!
The other "beverage essential" I put on my registry was a Ninja. I LOOOOVE my Ninja! I use it almost every day for smoothies and drinks. The Ninja I have also doubles as a food processor. One of my favorite things about it is that it comes with single serving size cups and so making a smoothie is super quick and easy and doesn't require cleaning up a full blender.
7. Vacuum Cleaner
I actually didn't end up getting the vacuum cleaner from my registry and almost immediately regretted it. I also quickly learned that those $40 vacuums really don't pick up much! A good quality vacuum may not be the most exciting thing, but it's certainly necessary! I have this vacuum and have been very happy with it. I love how lightweight, yet powerful it is and how easily it rotates and gets in tight corners. My mother-in-law also has the Shark steam mop and really loves it.
8. Kitchen Gadgets
Lastly, I'll close with a few of the kitchen gadgets I use most. Kitchen gadgets are not very expensive and are items you can more easily by yourself, but it's wise to register for a lot of $20-30 items in addition to your big ticket items. I actually found that most people wanted to purchase a $20-30 item off my registry and so I ended up with a lot of duplicates and exchanged those in order to get my bigger items.
Hands down, the two gadgets I use most are my garlic peeler and garlic press. I use these with almost every meal and they save SO much time. I absolutely HATE peeling garlic and so the peeler is amazing because it takes the outer shell of the garlic off for you. I also really love this chopper (I have the pampered chef version but it's essential the same as the one I linked) because I'm really bad at chopping things finely and it saves a lot of time. I also like this citrus squeezer because I tend to cook and bake with a lot of lemons and limes, and this squeezer does a great job of catching the seeds and squeezing out as much juice as possible.
I hope you found this post helpful! What are some items you think are essential to put on a registry?