We’re ending the crystal and china debate, once and for all.
I’m getting married in a few months, and one of the toughest things during the planning process was registering for gifts (and not just because my fiance went rogue in Bed Bath & Beyond and scanned everything from a Harry Potter calendar to a 60” TV—that’s another story).
Registering can be tricky, especially if you’re like me and love to cook, because you probably already have at least a few tried-and-true tools in your kitchen.
That being said, registering is an easy way to invest in nicer kitchen gadgets that you might not purchase on your own. But which nicer gifts are actually useful, and which will likely just end up gathering dust in the back of a cabinet? To find out, I polled married friends, family, and coworkers about the wedding gifts they're still using, and what they wish they had exchanged for a gift card instead.
Food Storage Containers
I was shocked by the overwhelming number of people who touted food containers (like Tupperware) as one of their favorite registry gifts. It may not be glamorous, but, hey, you gotta store leftovers somewhere, right?
Some fan favorites: OXO Good Grips Smart Seal 12-Piece Set, Rubbermaid Brilliance 22-Piece Set, and Pyrex 8-Piece Mixing Bowl Set. One bride also said, “I have used my Pyrex casserole dishes more than anything.”
Pots and Pans
Registering for big-ticket items—like pots and pans—is smart because they make cooking easier, and your food taste better (say goodbye to skillets that don’t distribute heat evenly!). We love this All-Clad d5 Stainless-Steel 10-Piece set or this GreenPan Black Ceramic Nonstick 12-Piece Cookware Set from Williams-Sonoma.
DON'T ADD: Fancy Crystal or China
Most people said that they never use it, and that it’s been collecting dust in their cabinets for years. Others say they break it out on special occasions and holidays—and that makes it feel more special.
Here were some responses:
“While the crystal is lovely, we only use it maybe once a year.”
“I registered for Tiffany China and crystal glasses and I have never used any of these!”
“I'm actually probably one of the weird ones who registered for China, and actually love my China. My parents always had nice China for holidays, and that's a tradition I wanted to carry on with my family.”
“We never use our China. I don’t know what we were thinking!”
Bottom line: Unless you know you'll use it, skip the china and crystal and opt for everyday dinnerware instead.
If you and your fiance are big into crispy-crunchy fried food, but don’t want to drench your food in oil, you should definitely register for an air fryer. We have tons of creative ways to put it to use, making this a pick you’ll use for years to come. We like the Power Air Fryer XL model from Amazon, or the NuWave Brio 3-Quart Air Fryer from Bed Bath & Beyond.
KitchenAid mixers are another big-ticket registry item, but nearly everyone who registered for one said they LOVE theirs.
One bride said, “We love our KitchenAid mixer. It’s lasted us a decade and is wonderfully useful on a regular basis.”
SAY NO TO : Rice Maker, Bread Maker, Pasta Maker, Dehydrators, and Other One-Use Machines
If you’re thinking about registering, back away from the single-use gadgets. Nearly everyone had regretted registering for a space-sucking, clunky machine that they never use. Unless you’re really passionate about making your own beef jerky, go ahead and pass on this trend.
A small, surprising item that earned rave reviews? The humble silicone spatula. One bride said, “It can get hot, and it won’t melt. And it never breaks down, even after 15 years of going in the dishwasher.” We love this set from OXO for everything from making omelettes to scooping batter to sauteeing veggies.
For the ultimate no-regret pick, put a Crock-Pot on your registry list. So many people said they love coming home to a ready-made meal—plus, we have these delicious and healthy recipes to help you get started.
Wine Glasses and a Good Wine Opener
Wine lovers, this one’s for you: Invest in a set of really nice wine glasses, and an electric opener. Don’t believe us? Here’s what some couples said:
One bride said, “My electric wine bottle opener has a coveted place on my countertop.”
One groom said, “It probably took us 5-6 years to really start using the nice glasses that we got… but now that we do, I love having them. And I wouldn’t have bought them myself.”
Breakfast in bed is about to get a lot easier. Go ahead and register for the one with four slices—that way you and your honey can eat your toast together (#RomanceIsAlive). If you want to splurge, we love the Wolf Gourmet toaster. For a budget-friendly pick, this Cusinart toaster is rated almost 5 stars on Amazon by thousands of users.
We’ve already waxed poetic about the importance of good, sharp knives. But we also know they can be a little pricey. Register for a set—like this 6-piece knife block set from Zwilling J.A. Henckels—or select a few higher-end knives you know you’ll use. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
And for the true coffee lover? One bride said, “My best kitchen item is my Meile Espresso Maker. I would give up everything else but would never again live without it. Worth every penny.”
If you’re a bride on a budget, you can’t go wrong with a Nespresso machine.
Salad Spinner and Spiralizer
One bride said, “Call me basic, but I love my spiralizer.” Basic or not, we think any tool that helps you eat more veggies is great. Drying salad completely helps dressing adhere better, and spiralizing veggies turns them into fun stringy shapes that are perfect for stir fry or faux-pasta dishes. We like this spiralizer, and this OXO salad spinner from Amazon.