Your bridal registry gives you the perfect opportunity to set up your kitchen for a lifetime of cooking. But it's often difficult to know what you'll need in your new life. These tips will help you set up a bridal registry that will let your wedding guests equip your kitchen for everything you'll need for your future.
Register for Brands You Respect
Hopefully the cooking equipment and kitchen tools that you receive for your wedding will last you a good amount of time. And one of the best ways of ensuring this is to register for the best-quality products that you can find. Do some research, read product reviews and user feedback, and go to stores where you can actually touch product samples to see how durable and well-made they are. Also, ask around, particularly friends and relatives who are older than you or who have been cooking for longer. They'll be able to give you honest feedback on the brands and products that they've been happiest with.
Don't forget about Gadgets and Tools
One oft-overlooked piece of bridal registry advice is to register for items at all price ranges, even if it means adding a $5 spatula to your list. After all, you'll need good-quality utensils, tools and gadgets as well. And products like these make fun shower gifts, not to mention, some guests might like to buy a bunch of the smaller items off your registry to create a fun gift basket. Take a look at the list of Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets for some ideas. Other items you might need, if you don't have already, are:
- Spoons: Wooden, slotted, ladles
- Spatulas (including scraper shapes and turner shapes)
- Cooking tongs - choose silicone-coated so they won't scrap nonstick pans
- Measuring cups (liquid and dry) and spoons - the magnetic nesting kind will keep your drawers tidy
- Baking tools like a rolling pin, sifter and offset spatula
Don't be afraid of high-priced items
Just as you should be sure to add smaller items to your registry, don't think you're being unrealistic or greedy by adding high-end appliances, cookware and other big-ticket items. For one thing, this might be the only opportunity you have to get that top-of-the-line Vita-Mix blender that sells for $500. For another, higher-priced gifts are idea for groups of people, such as your co-workers or your fiance's poker buddies, to pool their resources to buy.
Consider how you'd like to entertain
Chances are, your life as a single person is fairly different from how your life will be in several years, when you might have a bigger home, children and more sophisticated parties (the days of the keg and a pizza delivery will likely be behind you). Now is your chance to dream of what your parties or dinner parties might look like, and to prepare for them by registering for the type of equipment you'll need, whether it's grilling tools (even if you don't yet have the outdoor space for a grill) or a large roasting pan for the turkey dinner for the Thanksgiving dinners you hope to host in the coming years.
Choose retailers with a good return policy or completion program
As you decide where to register, be sure to investigate the store's registry benefits. Does it have a good return policy? Will it offer you a discount if you want to buy items from your registry that you didn't receive as gifts? Whatever the retailer's official policy is, it's also a good idea to do some investigating on wedding-planning message boards to find out if other bridal couples had good or bad experiences with the store.
Pick china that you'll love for years to come
One of the most-registered for items - and likely one of the least-used - is formal china. True, you may only use it a couple of times a year, but it is still an important registry item because it is something you are unlikely to buy for yourself. What's more, guests, especially older guests and relatives, love being able to buy a couple placesettings of their formal china. You'll probably have this china for your entire life, and maybe even pass it along to your children, so choose your pattern wisely. Stick with a simple design, such as a gold or platinum band, and classic shapes, and you'll be able to change the look of your table with accessories and linens as your tastes and entertaining trends might change. And why not use your formal china regularly? Whip it out for a nice dinner with your husband, or dress up the table when friends come to dinner. There's no law saying it should only be used on holidays.