If you're building a new kitchen or a kitchen wedding registry, it can be hard to know where to start. It's a lot to buy at once, and it's easy to get "trigger happy" in adding shiny new kitchen items to your list.
I wanted to be really careful in building my list, because I didn't want my friends and family to spend money on new things that I wouldn't actually use. It's stressful!
So, I spent a lot of time searching things like wedding registry items that you actually use.
I wish I'd had this list when I was putting together MY first kitchen. So, here you go.
I hope you find it helpful!
*Note: this post contains some Amazon affiliate links. To help with registries on other sites -- like Bloomingdales, Macy's, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Williams Sonoma -- I will be adding links to these sites soon.
KITCHEN WEDDING REGISTRY GIFTS
The first item people think of on a kitchen wedding registry is plates. But we're NOT really fine china people, and we couldn't really fit an extra set of plates in our downtown apartment.
So, we sought "everyday china" that met the following criteria:
- Dishwasher- and microwave-safe
- Simple and classic (so we wouldn't get tired of them)
- White, to highlight the food vs. plate
- Reasonably priced
We ultimately selected Lenox Tin Can Alley china because it met all of the above criteria -- and because we were obsessed with the shallow pasta bowls. They're perfect for pasta dishes AND soup.
We still love all of it 3 years later. You can't go wrong with classic!
Coming soon: links to other major registry sites: Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, etc.!
POTS & PANS
Here was our preferred place to splurge on our registry -- where we could finally upgrade our combined set of hand-me-down pots & pans. We chose stainless All-Clad pans for a few reasons, including:
- They're the "winner" in terms of even heat distribution across the pan
- They're made in the US!
- While they are heavy (seriously -- test them out), they're not as heavy as some of the competitive alternatives
- They're expensive, but you pretty much never have to buy another pan. We loved the idea that the gifts from our friends & family would be in our kitchen forever.
The only difficulty -- which is REAL -- is that you have to be diligent about cleaning them. You can't really let a stainless steel pan sit overnight. But Barkeeper's Friend helps a lot (with these, or any stainless steel item in your kitchen).
We never had good knives until we got married -- and oh WOW did we underestimate the beauty of prepping with a super sharp knife. Not only are they awesome, but going back to dull knives when we're not at home feels super dangerous.
We were selective since we already had some knives -- we only asked for 3 types of Wusthof knives:
Here's what we got. I've also linked the "set" option in case you are building your knife set from scratch!
P.S. I read that it's considered "bad luck" to give a knife as a gift. So, when someone gifts you a knife, you should send a penny back with the thank-you note. That way, you are "buying" it from them = no bad luck!
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BIG COUNTERTOP STUFF
A KitchenAid mixer is the quintessential wedding gift - expensive and beautiful, and something you'd never buy yourself. But we rarely bake! Instead, our big registry request was a Vitamix. It carries the same hefty price tag, but it's something we use muuuuch more often.
I hereby nominate Vitamix as the new stand mixer. 😀
Here's the list of countertop stuff we regularly use:
- Vitamix (*I've linked our model from 3 years ago, but see the note below for info about other models)
- Instant Pot (6-in-1 device, including crockpot & pressure cooker -- also #1 in all of Amazon's Kitchen Sales)
- Aerogarden (dirt-free countertop herb garden - perfect for Chicago winters!)
- Giant Teak Cutting Board (I just looove a big cutting board)
*Note: there are a ton of Vitamix models, including one at Costco that is in the $300-range.
I linked to the exact one we have above. One thing I saw repeatedly in my research is that people prefer the newer, low-profile Vitamix containers because they fit under most cabinets -- which means it's within reach all the time. If you get the taller models and have lower cabinets, you will put it away after use and may not end up using it as much.)
THE LITTLE THINGS
And finally, here are a few sets of everyday things that we use and love. It's great to include a bunch of these items on your kitchen wedding registry because they're inexpensive and people enjoy buying them.
- Small glass prep bowls (for mise en place, and/or pretending you're on Top Chef)
- Wusthof slotted spatula (the thinnest spatula -- so easy to flip delicate things like fish & eggs)
- Avocado saver (note: keep the pit in when you store it for extra freshness)
- OXO everything (my now-favorite brand for quality, inexpensive kitchen gadgets)
We don't bake a lot, so it didn't take too much to cover our needs:
- 1 set of Calphalon bakeware (it's amazing how much you can get for ~$30)
- Silicon baking mats (great for avoiding stickiness & saving parchment paper!)
- Silicon oven mitts (🔥🚫)
- Pizza cutter (life tip: if you order deep dish delivery, ask for it uncut & cut at home so the cheese doesn't wilt!)
Inexpensive simple pleasures to amp up your drink/bar game:
Stainless steel straws (just $7 for 4 -- perfect for cocktails or your morning iced coffee)
Stainless steel cocktail picks (for making garnishes even fancier)
Wine aerator (quickly aerates wine)
Rapid wine cooler (quickly chills wine)
We legitimately use all of these things all the time. If you have any questions about these items, just ask in the comments!
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I hope you enjoyed this list -- and if you or someone you know is building a kitchen wedding registry, I hope you find it helpful!
If there are any must-have kitchen items on your lists, please add 'em in the comments below. I'd love to check them out and potentially add them to this guide.