When it comes to weddings, spring hears its fair share of “I do(s)”—and for good reason. There’s something about trees bursting into bloom that marks the start of something new. As long as rain doesn’t crash the party and the temperature hovers well below makeup-melting degrees, spring makes for ideal ceremony weather.
Picking the season is a no-brainer and arguably one of the easiest decisions you’ll have to make as an engaged couple. In the midst of your wedding planning extravaganza—creating a budget, drafting and sending invitations, settling on a venue and everything from napkins to flowers—your wedding registry might not get the attention it surely deserves. Which is why we put this registry guide together. It ensures you have your bases covered, while you’re occupied deciding between a four-tiered red velvet and a vanilla cake with sugar flowers and hand-rolled fondant.
Lucky for you, you don’t have to waste time prowling a store with a hand-held scanner anymore. In fact, don’t fret if you can’t stick to a single store. Websites like Amazon and apps like Zola allow you to pick and choose from all the essential brands you’ll need for your new, together-forever grown-up digs, and most of our recommended products can be found and scooped up there.
For all your cooking rituals
Kitchen appliances and tools get the most love when assembling a wedding registry, and understandably so. Guests can find valuable items at various price points they’re comfortable with. Even a small, nifty gift, like an oven mitt, can really make things a whole lot more convenient in the kitchen. Note: We assume you’ll do your homework and cross-reference these items with what you already own.
Hailed as one of the finest and most versatile cookware, the Le Creuset Dutch oven should top your registry checklist. Why? It’s perfect for cooking just about anything—soups, stews, sauces and even braising meat. Not to mention, it lasts a lifetime (No, really. It has a lifetime warranty). A good, sturdy set of knives comes in at a close second. (This set, which comes with its own sharpener, gets the thumbs up). Also include an 8-10 piece set of non-stick pots and pans and bakeware, as well as and the holy grail of all stove-to-oven cookware: an old-fashioned cast-iron skillet. One too many photogenic meals cooked in a cast-iron skillet have achieved Instagram fame, and the pan’s durability makes it a coveted item in every married couple’s kitchen. Go fancy with Finex or opt for the humble-but-equally-reliable skillet from Lodge.
Because its ability to whip up some seriously delicious meals, couples swear by the crock-pot, which will prove handy for all those days you won’t feel like putting in too much effort into dinner. A stand mixer also makes life in the kitchen easier, and KitchenAid has been churning out equipment that truly stand the test of time. Not to mention, the mixer comes in a spectrum of colors, including a very plush millennial pink and mint green. Also, consider this: no kitchen is complete without an aesthetically pleasing and sophisticated cutting board. (Proteak offers a variety of options to choose from, from butcher blocks to bread boards.)
Aside from big-ticket items, think of smaller, but-just-as-handy items you might need— a set of multi-piece storage jars, oven mitts and this beast of a kitchen-tool set from Berghoff, which thoughtfully groups together the basics like measuring cups and slotted turners, but also the not-so-basics, like a bamboo salad spoon and fork. Lastly, if you feel like throwing out your old plateware and starting anew, this five-piece set should work as a fine and stylish replacement.
Optional: peeler, can opener, grater, tongs, ice cream scoop or snag this six-piece set which covers all these items in one fell swoop.
For your morning coffee and evening tea routine
This portion of the registry largely depends on how you and your partner like your coffee—or if you like coffee at all, in which case, feel free to skip this section. You don’t have to be an uber coffee snob with a love for single-origin, artisanally crafted beverages to appreciate the value of a good coffee grinder. When it comes to the actual coffee-making part, choose between a pour over setup, a kettle and a french press, a stovetop moka or turkish coffee pot, or a hipster-approved siphon coffee maker. For a fast and easy coffee fix, Keurig’s brewing system should do the trick. (Note: Zola even allows you to register for a personalized coffee subscription, which delivers bags of artisan coffee right by your doorstep.) And if you like a strong cuppa with your post-dinner dessert, remember to include a tea press.
Optional: coffee spoon, milk frother, tea storage box and tea infuser.
For a good night’s sleep
Bedding and linens are hardly anything to get excited about. But trust us—after a long, hard day of moving in and unwrapping these gifts, slipping into a cloud-like bed will be nothing short of satisfying. Add a few sets of bedding to your list, two for each bed in the house (because, well, laundry day). (Here’s our guide to picking out the perfect bedding if you’re still having wavering between Egyptian cotton and flannel). Another important ingredient: a warm and toasty down alternative comforter for winter, and a cooler, more lightweight version for those hot summer days. Don’t forget your washable duvet covers and matching shams.
Optional: table lamps, closet storage baskets, a makeup stand, and an accessory tree or jewelry chest to grace the top of your dresser.
For a swoon-worthy living room space
The living room is where you’ll be spending most of your waking time at home. It’s also the first thing your neighbors and friends will see when they come over for a shindig. In other words, this is where you get to show off your decorating prowess. Whether you’re a mid-century modern kind of couple or have a knack for country decor, building your living room’s design from scratch can be a little daunting, but there’s a method to the madness.
Start with your statement piece, aka a focal point that’ll lend your living room the wow-factor. Think: bold, oversize artwork, a textile hanging, or even an eclectic arrangement of several pieces grouped together. Go with your gut. Next, pull colors from the wall art and use them to pick your pillows. A healthy amount of bright, perhaps even tasseled pillows work well to add color and vibrancy to your space, especially when joined forces with a snuggly, textured throw draped over the arm of your couch. Finally, you’ll need an area rug that ties everything together.
Optional: decorative vases, a large indoor plant (preferably low-light, low-maintenance plants like a fiddle-leaf fig or a money tree), candles and candle holders and a wall clock.
Jaipur Living Rugs Britta Collection, Photo Credit: Definingelegance.com
For an unfussy and relaxed bathroom environment
When browsing for towels, opt for neutral colors that never go out of style, like white and ivory. You can always introduce a bolder color later. Now, pick your towel ensemble—two sets of bath, hand and face towels per person—keeping quality in mind. This combed-cotton cocoon, which comes in several hues, topped a few consumers’ choice best-of lists. Add a bath mat and shower curtain to match.
There’s nothing like being swaddled in a fresh, warm towel that’ll make you feel like you just emerged from a luxurious bath experience, which is why we encourage you to add a towel warmer to the list.
Optional: a soap dish, a toothbrush holder, curtain rod rings, a scale and a laundry hamper (like this bamboo hamper with a lid for a neat and clean look).
For your at-home cocktail hour
Needless to say, your home bar needs to be stocked with more than just liquor. Hit nine birds with one stone and get your essential tools in one gift, like this handy set, which includes a double jigger, a strainer, a cocktail shaker and more. Make sure you have appropriate glassware at the ready—wine glasses, double old-fashioneds, martini glasses and the like—will make up for that one time you served margaritas in solo cups back in college. Not to mention, it shows your guests that you’re always prepared at hosting and entertaining.
Photo credit: Pexels.com
For your work/study nook
The home office is often overlooked when assembling gifts for a wedding registry. But the truth is, more and more people are forgoing a commute to the office for a chance to make their living remotely. And even if you are not a telecommuter, having a workspace where you can catch up on a personal research project, file taxes, pay bills or pursue that online language class you’ve always wanted to take, is important to every household. The key elements of a functional workspace are good lighting and a clever organization system, so a desk lamp, expandable drawer organizers, a divided file-slash-letter organizer and a storage box for your stationery are a few things to toss into the mix.
For fixing and keeping things clean
Finally, you’ll want—scratch that, you’ll need—a few more items to help keep your new abode in good shape. We’re talking cleaning appliances. Wedding registry etiquette tells us to keep things under the $200 price range, but there are plenty of best-selling vacuum cleaners that fall well below that limit. We’re also true believers in Swiffer’s WetJet floor cleaner, which we’re sure you’ll putting to work almost every week to keep dust and grime at bay. And for all those times you’ll leave your clothes in the dryer for a little longer that you should, this portable steamer will zap wrinkles into oblivion. Don’t forget to add a handy tool kit, which encompasses a plier, hammer, screwdriver, wrench, to name a few, to your registry. You’re going to need it when decking up your blank walls.