Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My Wedding Registry, Almost Four Years Later

Several of my friends will be getting married this year. In the exciting hum of wedding-planning, I've been asked more than once what I recommend when it comes to completing a wedding registry. These requests got me thinking: If I could do it all over again, what would I include on my wedding registry today?

Registering for your home and kitchen is an exciting but difficult process. How often do you get to walk through a store, picking out whatever you want, and writing it on a list? Talk about fun! At the same time though, you have to anticipate what you'll be using in your home months and even years from now. Countless kitchen gadgets and cutesy decor items beckon from the shelves. But what do you really need?  When I registered for our wedding at 21 years old, I had NO IDEA what I would be needing. Thank goodness my mom accompanied me on my registering adventure and helped me navigate the household wares sections. 

Since then, Mark and I have been married almost four years. I've spent some time in our kitchen and in our home. I've used (and in some cases used up) pretty much every item from my original registry. Some things really withstood the test of time; other things did not make the cut. Some things I've already had to replace, and some things I wouldn't change even if you begged me! 

So today I decided to share the wedding registry I would make if I got to do it all over again. I hope these lists will help any engaged ladies out there who may feel like I did-- a little overwhelmed and wondering what to pick!

Let's start off by listing those things for which you'll be tempted to register, but don't really, truly need. (Unless of course, you're like a serious fancy entertainer. Which I'm not. So, of course, take this list with a grain of salt and realize your needs may be different than my own. Maybe you'll be holding wine tastings and full course meals. Again, we don't.)

- a juicer
Me in the aisle at Target Ooooo a juicer, I'll totally do that. We'll be that couple who juices things! Four years later, never used it. 

- fancy place cards
Oooo we'll host fancy dinners and have people over and use these to tell them where to sit. Four years later, never used them. Although, maybe someday I'll host a holiday dinner and actually need the things. 

- fine china
Again with the fancy-dinner fantasy. Four years later, I'm still wishing for a china cabinet to at least display these beautiful unused pieces. 

- all the napkin rings
They're sparkly, they're fun, they seem so necessary. But really. How often do you set your table with napkin rings? 

- a fruit infuser
Okay, this one is a little more useful, but not exactly vital. I've used mine like... maybe four times. 

- accent pillows
Seriously don't register for throw pillows. You can pick these up for yourself at HomeGoods for a really reasonable price later. Save your registry for stuff you're really going to use and need or for stuff you know you won't buy for yourself later

Now for the registry items that I truly did need. Some of these items were actually on my registry; others I had to buy later. But all have proved so useful and necessary in our kitchen!

Essential Registry Items: 

-a Kitchen Aid mixer
A lot of people ask "Do I really need a big mixer?" If you enjoy cooking alot, yes. You do. Get white or stainless steel if you're worried about color. 

- a handheld mixer (not pictured) 
Handheld mixers are great for whipping up mashed potatoes or a small batch of cookies. I use mine very often-- more often than I would have expected four years ago. 

- Keurig/ coffee maker
Because, duh. 

- Pyrex dishes
These are the best. You can store food in them, heat things in the microwave, and put them in the oven. 

- storage containers
I personally love Weck storage containers. They're somewhat expensive, but they do a great job storing dry goods in the pantry. Plus, they're pretty to look at. 

- a quality cookware set
Originally, I bought Rachel Ray cookware from Target. I'm not really here to review products, but I'll just say, DO NOT buy your cookware based on how cute it is. Three months after our wedding, I had to return the cookware. Thankfully, Target gave me a gift card with which I was able to purchase a nice stainless steel set of cookware. I never looked back. 

- cutting boards
I recommend having one for meats and one for veggies, along with assorted little ones for quick random chopping (like fruits or cheese). Check out my tutorial on cleaning wooden cutting boards. 

- luxurious bedding
I know the photo up there says "essential kitchen items" but I'm deviating a bit. I definitely recommend registering for good quality bedding. I would never have purchased our duvet set or sheets on my own. But I' so happy that I registered for them! I love falling into our soft, fluffy bed every night. We have this duvet set from Bed Bath and Beyond. 

- a nice vacuum
Again, not really a "kitchen" item... But just go ahead and register for a good quality vacuum like a Shark or Dyson. Otherwise, you'll just end up replacing the crappy one in a few months. If you have pets, a good vacuum is necessary. If you're worried about cost, remember that people sometimes enjoy going in together on gifts. 

- good cutlery 
Get thee some good knives and take care of them (a.k.a sharpen them)

- a food processor 
I'll be honest... I didn't register for a food processor but I so wish I had. If you ever anticipate making salsa, chopping nuts, making homemade butters, making pesto, or anything else that requires chopping/ whipping/ rapid spinning... you're going to want a food processor. I recently got a food processor for Christmas and have loved using it 

- baking sheets
Do you like cookies? Well there you go. I recommend getting good quality, sturdy ones rather than flimsy ones that will bend and warp. 
These lists are be no means comprehensive, but these are the main things I thought of when asked. Of course, different couples may need or want different things. These items, however, have been useful to me. 

What did you register for? Are you happy with all your choices or would experience change some items on your original list? What are some of your favorite kitchen or household gadgets? 

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