The Best Wedding Gifts Food Network Staffers Have Received
Sometimes the best gifts aren't on the registry.
While building your wedding registry and dreaming about what you'll add to your future kitchen once you become Mr. and Mrs. can be fun, not all our married staffers agreed that the best gifts are the ones they originally wanted. Sometimes what we really need is what we least expect.
We got married right before moving out of the country (and putting most of our belongings in long-term storage!) for my husband’s job, and were fortunate to be combining two very well-stocked apartments, so instead of a registry we gave suggestions of a few of our favorite charities. I am forever grateful for the donations that were made in our names and, to be perfectly honest, have enjoyed figuring out our style preferences over the past six years and especially after buying our first house a few years ago. We’ve received presents traditionally given at a wedding (like a gorgeous vintage china collection, pictured above) for birthdays and holidays, and I love how we’ve built a house full of things we really want, versus just a ton of stuff that I probably would have just stress-added to a registry.
- Julie Hines, Managing Editor, Food Network Kitchen App
I use this pig-shaped cutting board almost daily, and it always makes me think of the manager-turned-friend who gifted it to me and my husband over 10 years ago. After I opened it, she told me how she received a rooster-shaped cutting board when she got married years earlier, and that story made the gift incredibly meaningful to me. Every time I cut up an apple for one of my kids on this board or arrange cheese and crackers on it for Thanksgiving I think of Ev and her husband and their beautiful example of marriage.
- Meghan Hynes Cole, Associate Editor
One of the most-used items I received off my wedding registry is this set of OXO Pop containers: They’ve moved with me and my husband from apartment to apartment, and now to our first home, always filling our pantry with fresh cereal or pasta. Now that we have a toddler, they’re perfect for storing half-eaten snacks or opened packages of puffs, plus they keep everything looking pretty and organized when my kitchen otherwise feels like chaos!
- Drew Anne Salvatore, Recipe Editor
In the world of wedding presents, food storage containers might be the most mundane — or so you’d think. I actually love this set of glass containers from Glasslock, which we received six years ago and just might be the most enduring and useful of all the gifts we were lucky enough to get. In the years since my wedding, my everyday plates have chipped, my pricey duvet is coming apart at the seams, and it’s admittedly true that I have no use for the tiny gold dessert spoons that caught my eye back then. But these glass containers are just as good as they were the first day I used them, and they’ve influenced how I meal prep and store leftovers. The fact that they can go from oven to fridge to microwave is key.
- Lauren Piro, Editorial Director
There’s no doubt about it; the wedding gift my husband and I use most is our Belgian waffle maker. Between lazy weekend breakfasts, dinners of chicken and waffles and the more-than-occasional waffle sundae, you’ll find us huddled around that simple countertop appliance at least once a week. It only takes one person to work the iron, but you’ll always find both of us there. We like to say that we’re trying to get our hands on the first waffle but I’m pretty sure it has more to do with the company (because we always end up splitting the first one in the end). After more than a decade of marriage, it’s time for an upgrade and this is the waffle maker I’ve got my eye on. It cooks two fluffy Belgian waffles at the same time — one for our daughter and one for my husband and I to share, as usual!
- Kristie Collado, Digital Programming Manager
My first husband’s junior-year-abroad host family in Basel, Switzerland, sent a tabletop raclette oven, much like the one seen here, as a wedding gift 38 years ago. He’d eaten raclette throughout his year abroad and was thrilled. I was flummoxed. I’d never seen one, never heard of raclette cheese, let alone tasted it.
In Chicago in 1983, it wasn’t terribly easy to find raclette cheese, but I finally did, at a little German-provisions shop not far from our apartment. We grew to love the meal and to have guests over to DIY their own raclette (how sophisticated it seemed 30-plus years ago) throughout the winter.
The raclette oven itself outlasted the marriage, though somewhere in five moves to new homes we lost the small flat-tipped wooden spatulas used to slide the molten cheese off its little metal trays. (I did have to replace the cord and plug about 10 years ago.) My ex graciously left me the last house and the raclette oven. He got his own brand-new raclette oven, I got a new husband — things turned out pretty well.
- Miriam Garron, Senior Director, Food Network Kitchen