Well, bless your heart!
A number of years ago, I had a friend who was waffling on the issue of whether or not to register her wedding, because she wasn’t sure what to put in a bridal registry, and it seemed like too much trouble. We had to have a little chat in the kitchen. Here’s what I told her:
A bridal, or wedding registry is a way for your friends and family, and anyone else you’ve invited to your wedding, to get you a gift that you actually want. The way it works is this: you go shopping, but instead of buying anything, you just put the things you want onto one, gloriously long, wish list. Then you tell everyone what store to go to, and they look at the list and then they buy you stuff. The store keeps track of the things that have already been purchased, so you don’t end up with, like, 8 toasters and 3 waffle irons. It’s a win-win for everyone. You can even register at more than one store. And you can do it all online! Think of the possibilities!
The Benefit for You
It does take some time to go through and figure out what you want, but you have to realize that this is probably the only time in your life that people will feel good about buying presents for your home. Think about it. Do your friends get you things like saute pans or gravy dishes for Christmas? Would your family pick out a salad bowl or a set of steak knives for your birthday? Here’s your big chance to fill up your kitchen (to say nothing of your linen closet) with everything your heart desires, plus cool stuff you never even thought of.
The Benefit for Your Guests
Although many couples have nothing against cold, hard cash, a lot of your guests will still want to give you something more “personal.” Trust me, they are breathing a sigh of relief when you tell them where to go and what to buy as a gift for a wedding. People like to give you “things” because they want to be helpful. It’s one of the few times they will be able to buy a gift they know for a fact you’re going to like, because you’ve already told them you want it. And it’s the only time they’ll be able to call that stock pot something “personal.”
Having said all this, and because this is Lazy Suzi’s kitchen after all, here are just a few of my suggestions for kitchen things to put in your wedding registry. I know you’ll think of more!
Open Stock Cookware
If you already own a terrific set of cookware, or your family has promised you the set of your dreams, there are always additional pots and pans you can add. Think dutch oven, stock pot, saute pan, or any other item not already included in your set.
My crock pot is ancient – I saw the exact same one in a thrift store not long ago – but I absolutely love it for easy meals I can throw together on a Saturday morning, and eat at dinnertime. It’s great for keeping
things warm at parties, too. If you haven’t discovered the joys of the crock pot, here’s your chance!
I mean a great one. If you’re not a big coffee drinker, a Keurig is still a handy brewer to have around. Perfect for when guests come by, and it makes hot drinks other than coffee, too. Get one with the reusable cup!
Non-stick Electric Skillet
Hey, this is Lazy Suzi here! I buy plastic bags of complete, frozen meals to scarf down for lunch on the weekends. My electric skillet is perfect for that. I use it for eggs, hash browns, bacon, and of course, frying. Totally easy to use and clean.
I would be slightly embarrassed to show you the bakeware I keep stowed away in my cupboard, because it’s such a mish-mash of objects, some of which I really ought to just toss. If I had to do it over, I’d ask for some really high-quality cookie sheets, loaf pans, pie plates, and cake pans. I don’t bake that often; this is part of the reason!
I have a wonderful, Hamilton-Beach stand mixer with a bowl. It lives on a shelf in the basement because I simply don’t have room for it in my little kitchen. It’s awesome, though. What I do keep handy is a little hand mixer, which is fine for my lazy cakes and puddings. Whatever size your kitchen can handle, you need one. There is no substitute.
Or any other kind of electric grinder. I have several that I use for coffee beans, nuts, and occasionally spices. If you’re a coffee drinker, you know what a tasty difference it makes to grind your own beans.
Here is another item that lives on a shelf in my basement, because I simply don’t use it enough to make room for it in my little kitchen. However, I do drag it up at least once a year to make pesto. If you expand the definition of “processor” you could include appliances like juicers and emulsifiers. I have them, too, because my husband thought we would use them, and we did. For awhile. If you think you’ll use them more, this is the time to ask for one.
A lot of people would consider a blender a rather old-fashioned appliance, but you can actually do quite a lot with them. Pancake batter, milkshakes, smoothies, and of course, adult beverages are all blender friendly. They don’t generally take up a lot of space, and they’re easy to clean. You should give it some serious thought.
There’s this old wives tale that says if you give someone a knife, your relationship with the person you give it to will be cut forever. So if you’re going to be superstitious, you have to pay a penny to the person who gives you cutlery. Big deal. Pay the penny, and ask for the cutlery anyway, because you NEED sharp knives. I like the ones that come in a block because I can keep them conveniently next to my stove.
Remember, this wedding registry is as much for your guests as it is for you. Everyone will want to please you, but they won’t all be able to afford that $239 appliance on your list. As you’re browsing through the store, either in person or online, you’re bound to run across some cool little items for under, let’s say, 30 bucks. Utensil sets, potholders and towels, salt and pepper grinders, rolling pins, berry bowls, and measuring cups all make terrific, affordable gifts for your kitchen.