Kelly the Culinarian: What You Really Need on Your Bridal Registry

Friday, April 26, 2013

What You Really Need on Your Bridal Registry

At my bridal shower
Carly posted on Facebook a few days asking for advice for registering for wedding gifts. I've been married for four years next month and have a pretty good idea of what we've used and haven't, so here's my advice on what to register for when you get married. Fun note: I met Carly at book club and only realized much later that she and my sister went to high school together ... which means, we went to the same high school and likely know the same people. It's a small world.

A few things to note: I cook and bake frequently, but don't entertain that much. We have a very casual household and live in a townhouse with limited storage. We ended up registering at JC Penney (used to be my favorite store before they CEO screwed it up) and Bed Bath and Beyond. I had a small wedding and one bridal shower. Nonetheless, here's my two cents:

Meal Prep

Metal scoops (couple of sizes)
Silicone baking sheet (get the nice, Silpat kind, not a knock off)
Silicone cupcake liners
Lots of scrappers
A really nice, high-quality knife set
Two sets of measuring spoons and cups
Two sets of bowls
Three cutting boards
Digital food scale
Nice, airtight food storage containers that you can buy more of in different sizes

I use my knives every day, and my one-Tablespoon scoop is another kitchen VIP. You have no idea how many scrappers you'll use while baking, and a decent whisk is very important.  Also, get two nice sets of nesting bowls, preferably with lids.


Crock pot
Stand mixer
Egg cooker
Toaster oven

I have two crock pots: a small model for overnight oats and a large, digital model that automatically switches to warming when the cook time is over. It was important for me to have a model that automatically switches off because I'm frequently at work for more than eight hours, which is the standard cook time for these things. I have a Kitchenaid stand mixer that Tim bought me when we were dating, which I love and use frequently. We registered for a food processor, but I wish I would have registered for a Vitamix. I think I'd get more use out of it. I use my egg cooker a few times a week and I love my toaster oven lots.


Muffin tins, 3
A very well-seasoned
baking stone
Baking sheets, 3
Cast iron skillet
Baking stone
8x8 baking pan
9x13 baking dish
Two circular cake pans

A baking stone is awesome for pizzas and breads. And if you're going to get into baking, it's nice to have identical baking equipment to make sure everything cooks at the same rate.

Serving Stuff

Drink server (here's my typical party drink set up)
Two drink pitchers
24 wine glasses
1 set of nice linens
1 warming tray
2-3 serving dishes (see an example of a party table I put together here or here)

My giant drink jug gets a surprising amount of use and you need two pitchers to go along with that - for example, at brunch you want one for orange juice and one for water, etc.  Wine glasses can be used for more than wine. I registered for an received a black faux silk tablecloth with matching napkins and it's perfect for every occasion. We we do entertain, I often serve food buffet style and a warming platform helps keep everything hot.  You'll want to register for two or three different kinds of serving trays for different occasion. I'd recommend not registering for serving flatware because this is easy to pick up at thrift shops. Also, random item I registered for that I love: the nice ice cooler. It's a little mold that makes a ring of ice for your beverage bottle to sit in. I use it for parties because I think it's a classy way to keep wine or booze cold, and people always ask me about it.

Soft stuff

High thread-count sheets
Down or down alternative comforter
Plush blankets

People love to buy towels. I don't know why. Register for these for sure.  Register for a few sets of 800- or higher-count sheets as these are amazing.  And a decent comforter will last a long time. We got a high-quality down alternative because it's washable and can be used year round.

Or course, if you need plates/silverware/glasses/etc, throw it on there. We have some nicer china that we purchased on our own and use once or twice a year, but that's our particular lifestyle. The plain white plates we registered for and received get used every day, as does the silverware. I tried to think of it this way: If I were to move next year, would I want to take all of this with me? I may not use everything our guests so generously gave us everyday, but if I'm OK with moving it the next time we do, it's worth it.

We did register for a few decor items as we were new to our house, but I would say skip that unless you're positive about what you want. For example, my sisters bought us these beautiful rugs. This winter, we changed it up and redid our floors, which means we didn't need the rugs anymore, so they're being stored away.

What wedding gift do you get the most use out of? What should you have omitted from your registry?

I've got lots of opinions and I love spending other people's money. If you want my advice, you can always e-mail me.

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