7 Items I Wish I Put On My Registry When I Got Married

Newly engaged and planning your wedding registry? Don’t forget these timeless, quality items that’ll bring your registry to the next level. Future wife-you will thank you!

By Kayla Panchak4 min read

Building my registry was one of my favorite parts of wedding planning. Receiving my and my soon-to-be husband’s chosen gifts in the mail was like watching a Pinterest board come to life! But as a newly engaged, fresh-out-of-college 21 year old with minimal prior homemaking experience, I didn’t exactly know what I’d need for my home. Sure, checking off a registry list was helpful, but there’s a lot more thought that goes into creating a robust wedding registry than just aesthetics and finding the most readily available home appliances. With three years of wifehood and dabbling in the domestic arts under my belt, I’ve learned some registry tips that I'm happy to pass along!

General Registry Tips

One of the biggest questions brides mull over is what budget is appropriate for registry items? A Tiffany’s tea set may be nice, but is it too much? Or, on the other end, should brides scour Walmart for the best deals possible? An accepted rule of thumb is that guests are expected to give the bride and groom a gift that’s equal to or more than the cost of the meal being served. In other words, if the wedding costs approximately $50 per person, guests generally give something along those lines. Of course, this is just a rule of thumb – wedding website Zola goes into even more detail, listing more exact approximations: “If you’re a coworker, acquaintance, or distant relative: $50-$75. If you’re a friend or relative of: $75-$100. If you’re a close friend, immediate family, or part of the wedding party: $100-$150+. If you received a +1’s on your invitation: 1.5-2x more on the gift.”

Keeping this in mind, it’s a good idea to register for items all across the board – inexpensive items and those higher-end items. Ultimately, though, you want to register for quality items that will last you decades. Don’t choose the cheapest pot and pan set you can find just because it’s $200, but also don’t list the $3,000 set just because it’s bougie. Neither will serve you well in the long run. You’re more likely to replace the cheap set because it wore out, or you’ll never use the overly expensive set because it’s too nice. As with most things in life, middle-of-the-line is key. Prioritize quality on your registry while keeping an eye out for good deals. Contrary to what that voice in the back of your head may say, guests want to give you quality gifts you’ll truly cherish, not just the cheapest thing you can find. Plus, many registries now offer group gifting options, making worth-it items even more attainable. 

Tip: When your wedding ends, most companies will offer post-wedding discounts on items you registered for that guests didn’t purchase. This means you can still secure a 15%-30% discount on items you want! So even if you’re not sure someone will gift a certain item, add it to your registry anyway for future savings.

All this being said, let’s dive into seven quality, timeless items I wish I had put on my registry as a soon-to-be-wife!

A Dutch Oven

I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t even know what a Dutch oven was before I got married. I wasn’t very culinarily experienced then, but oh, how the kitchen tables have turned. Now, I use my Dutch oven almost every day. It’s the jack-of-all-trades cookware, good for slow cooking, braising, roasting, searing, deep-frying, baking – basically everything. Le Creuset is the state of the art, French made, enameled cast iron beauty that I wish I had registered for. It’s an heirloom piece, lasting generations. Plus, you can choose from so many fun colors. For those who want a less expensive piece without sacrificing quality, Staub is another gorgeous Dutch oven line that will last a lifetime.

A Cutting Board

Not all cutting boards are created equal. I found this out seven months after I got married when my $20 bamboo IKEA cutting board split. When looking for a top-quality board, keep your eyes out for end grain, wooden cutting boards that look like checkerboards and not like wooden floors. The best boards have wood grains that face upwards, not sideways, as sideways grain boards are prone to splitting. My chef grandfather uses Boos Block, a company renowned for its quality cutting boards that can last a lifetime. I wish I had put one on my registry!

A High Quality Vacuum Cleaner

How I forgot to register for a vacuum is beyond me. I think I was swept away by aesthetics and keeping things minimal, and I forgot about practicality! Finding a good quality vacuum is essential to maintaining a clean home, especially if you want pets and kids. That means your college mini-vacuum or a cheap, barely-suctioning vacuum isn’t going to cut it. But how do you even know what makes a good vacuum? Fortunately, home-conscious Redditors have put together a 3-tiered vacuum list based on different budgets, so you can find the perfect vacuum for your needs (upright, canister, cordless…I didn’t even know there were so many options!). 

A Kitchen Trash Bin

On the topic of aesthetics over practicality, it didn’t even occur to me to register for a trash can. I had no idea that a regular, 13-gallon metal trash bin was at least $50, and that’s not even the automatic bins (who knew trash bins could be battery-powered?). My parents still have the metal kitchen trash bin that they received for their wedding. Don’t let this overlooked kitchen item escape your wedding registry – you’ll be thankful to have a beautiful, quality kitchen bin in your home.

A Mattress Topper

Want to bring the plushness of your honeymoon hotel bed back home? A mattress topper is a perfect wedding registry addition that will add a little extra luxury to your life. My husband and I couldn’t afford an expensive mattress right off the bat, but you’d never know it with our plush memory foam mattress topper. It makes all the difference for sleeping and other bed-related activities. It would’ve been a great addition to our registry! There are multiple types of mattress toppers, ranging from thin to thick, and made from latex, memory foam, polyester, feathers, and wool. While this item won’t be as long-lasting as the other registry items listed (max lifetime of 3-5 years), it’s still a worthwhile addition!

Actually Good Knives

A knife is a knife is a knife, right? While all knives can cut, you’ll definitely be able to tell the difference between a $10 Walmart knife and a $100 Wusthof knife. While you don’t need to go full Wusthof, a forged, high carbon, stainless steel knife set will last you a lifetime and make your chopping, slicing, dicing, and shredding hassle-free. Wikihow has a very helpful article that can help you determine what knife suits your needs and registry budget. (I admit I still don’t know all the differences between a steak knife, cleaver, and chef’s knife!) Fortunately, knife sets are not only all encompassing, but they are also more cost effective than purchasing knives one by one. While you’re at it, registering for a beautiful knife block is also a great idea.

Quality Flatware

In a similar vein to good quality knives, good quality flatware is such an important addition to your registry. Not only will you and your husband use cutlery every day, but it’ll also become a staple in your home and a big part of your future hostessing. I registered for a run-of-the-mill flatware set, and I’m a little disappointed in how lackluster the quality was. Back in the day, registering for quality flatware was just as important as registering for a tea set. Let’s bring that back! 

There are three types of stainless steel flatware: 

  • 18/0 stainless steel flatware: This type of flatware is the least expensive, lightest to carry, and made solely from chromium. Don’t register for this, as it will not be worth the cost. 

  • 18/8 stainless steel: This type of flatware is a mixture of chromium and some nickel. It’s a medium-weight flatware, and perhaps the most common type of flatware out there. This is what you’re likely to find at Target, Walmart, and similar stores. 

  • 18/10 stainless steel: If you’re looking for durability, shine, and overall quality, 18/10 stainless steel flatware is the way to go. Plus, this type of flatware usually comes in a wooden carrying case easy for moving – love that! We now own a set of 18/10 flatware, and it makes all the difference.

Closing Thoughts

Creating a home with your husband is one of the most fun parts of being married. If you’re like me, making your registry was the first step into the beautiful world of homemaking. While I now have a Dutch oven, end-grain cutting board, great vacuum, metal trash bin, mattress topper, forged knife set, and 18/10 flatware set, I certainly wish I had put these quality items on my registry. If you’re a bride-to-be, then I encourage you to consider quality registry items and start your journey into wifehood with wedding gifts you’ll cherish for a lifetime. Happy registering! 

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