Practical and enjoyable

Creating your registry can be one of the most enjoyable moments of your wedding planning season. Not only is it a wonderful way to share with your guests the household items you most need as newlyweds, but it is also an opportunity to discuss with your future spouse what you both envision for your life together.

As exciting as that time may be, it can also be overwhelming to navigate the endless aisles of cookware, bedding, and décor—not to mention all the Amazon suggestions. So, how do you know what to select from the plethora of options available at your favorite stores? What items will you put to good use as you prepare a home together?

Since my wedding day, I’ve noticed the kitchen and household objects I’ve grown particularly fond of. When I use these gifts, I’m grateful for the friends and family who purchased them from our registry or took the initiative of selecting some off-registry items.

Below are the wedding gifts I still find myself using (almost) every day.

01. Vegetable Steamer 

 This is a kitchen staple my mom used at home while I was growing up, and her preferred way of cooking vegetables rubbed off on me. I love using my vegetable steamer throughout the week to cook carrots, asparagus, and green beans. Don’t have time to peel and slice your veggies? Pour a bag of frozen vegetables into the steamer. I find they taste better this way compared to boiling or microwaving them. My favorite veggie dish to make with the steamer is green beans. Steam them until they are just about done and transfer to a pan with olive oil, minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté the green beans until they are cooked through and the garlic is fragrant. Delicious!

02. His and Hers “Mugs” 

My husband and I are big tea drinkers, and I love being able to pull out our Emma Bridgewater mugs in the morning at breakfast or at night for our cup of chamomile tea before bed. This gift was not on our registry, but a friend knew just what was missing from our newlywed “must have list” when she purchased them. I believe it’s important to include items on your registry that celebrate an activity you and your future spouse enjoy doing together. Do you like camping or hiking? Consider his and hers Corkcicle canteens. Whatever your hobby may be, don’t be hesitant to honor it on your registry.

03. Electric Tea Kettle 

 Whether you prefer tea or coffee, I think every home should have one of these. The electric tea kettle is perfect for heating up water for the French press or an afternoon cup of tea. Not a coffee or tea drinker? Why not use it to make an instant cup of hot chocolate or hot cider? Guests will also appreciate its convenience when they come to visit. In my home I’ve created a “tea bar” just for this reason, where the mugs, tea kettle, and a selection of various teas can all be found in one area.

04. Decorative Curtains 

 Your registry is an opportunity to add a couple nice accent curtains in your home to dress up a room. These may be some of your pricier items, ( they were for me) but don’t be afraid to add them because of that. The Knot says, “While you should always maintain some perspective, you shouldn’t think of anything as off-limits on your registry. Coworkers, schoolmates and friends like to chip in together, so they can buy a more expensive present.” Some stores also offer discounts for items that weren’t purchased on the registry.

05. SkinnyTaste Fast and Slow Cookbook 

 No joke, this cookbook is my kitchen bible. Don’t let the title fool you, these are hearty recipes with rich, healthy ingredients. Meals I make from this book are often followed by my husband saying, “You can make that again!” This cookbook contains recipes for the slow cooker and ones you can whip together quickly for the stove top or oven. Some of my favorite recipes include: Slow Cooker Turkey, White Bean and Pumpkin Chili, and Slow Cooker Maple- Dijon Chicken Drumsticks. (By the way, this gift goes perfectly with number 6).

06. Slow Cooker 

During the winter months, I bring out my slow cooker several times a week to prepare chili, pot roast, chicken, and soup (just to name a few meals). I try to find meals that are easy prep in the mornings, so I can cross dinner off the list by breakfast time. Please ensure you read the manual for care and cleaning instructions. It’s important to maintain the integrity of the equipment so it lasts for years to come. Here’s a great article on how to clean your slow cooker.

07. Utensil holder 

 My husband used to jam all his spoons and spatulas into a drawer before we got married, which is why a utensil holder was one of the first things to go on our wedding registry. I like the one we selected because of how sturdy it is (i.e. it can hold a lot of utensils) and the fact that it was made in the USA. But, the best part about it is that it keeps our kitchen drawers clutter free.

08. Keurig 

 This is a pretty popular wedding registry item and for good reason. Whether it’s for an enjoyable cup of coffee while I catch up on a favorite show or a quick cup of joe before rushing out the door, I’m thankful for a coffee maker that’s as easy as throwing away the k-cup. As with the electric tea kettle, I also appreciate its convenience for my guests. You don’t have to worry about always remaking the pot of coffee during a party. Just keep water and k-cups on hand, and the Keurig will do the rest.

09. T-fal Titanium Non-stick Cookware 

 Goodbye, staining, soaking, and scrubbing! Our kitchen received a major upgrade when we unwrapped this gift. My husband and I didn’t realize how much harder we were making meal prep for ourselves by cooking with terrible pots and pans. Now that we have good non-stick pans, we enjoy making meals together. Whether you choose T-fal or another brand, make sure you take the time to research good quality cookware. (Also, consider adding wooden utensils to your registry to help your nonstick cookware last longer.)

I hope these suggestions are of help to you as you begin planning the wedding registry of your dreams. Enjoy this exciting time of your engagement as you select the items that will help bring your vision of married bliss to life.