10 Items You Shouldn't Skip on Your Wedding Registry

These essential kitchen and entertaining items won't just gather dust in your attic for years to come.

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Build a Better List

The items on most wedding registries range from the essential (a food processor) to the absurd (relish forks) — but it's not always easy to tell which is which. Take our advice: Hidden among the seemingly frivolous and mundane are pieces of equipment that are worth their weight in gold. Here are 10 not-so-obvious items that deserve a coveted spot on your list.

Gravy Boat

So what if Thanksgiving comes once a year? This elegant dish is just as good at dispensing salad dressing, hollandaise, barbecue sauce and hot fudge as it is pouring the essential topper for mashed potatoes. A gravy boat also makes a charming flower vase or offbeat soap dish — choose a white or neutral one so it goes with everything. And when the big feast does come around, you'll be especially thankful you have a gravy boat as a finishing touch for your family table.


Today's Negroni fad may soon go the way of the Cosmopolitan, but no matter the drink du jour, chances are you'll need a good shaker, a jigger or ice tongs to mix it up.

Gear-Driven Citrus Press

Like no other juicer, this hand-held gadget works for lemons, limes and oranges, wringing every last drop from the fruit (which more than justifies the drawer space). You say you don't use fresh juice? That's because it was never so easy (or fun) to extract it before. Plus, fresh juice is an inexpensive, easy pick-me-up for salads, drinks, soups, marinades, baked goods and more.

Cast-Iron Skillet

Go ahead and register for that 12-piece set of shiny steel cookware if you must, but also make room for this trusty do-it-all pan. Cast iron retains heat well on the stovetop and in the oven, so it’s a kitchen workhorse. After it's seasoned, it develops a lovely nonstick surface, great not only for seared steaks and chops, but also roast chicken, crispy potatoes, cornbread, cobblers and pies.

Nesting Glass Containers

Toss those takeout boxes and orphaned plastic bowls without tops into the recycling bin and treat yourself to an organized container drawer. Compared to their plastic brethren, glass food containers are sturdier and won’t stain, and they move easily between the freezer, fridge, microwave and dishwasher.

Nice (Stainless) Place Settings

If you register for fancy silver, you'll likely use it three or four times a year — at most. But really great silverware that can go into the dishwasher? It's a gift you'll appreciate every single night you sit down to dinner. (If you're stuck on having the fancy stuff, too, check online for deals on vintage items.)

Wire Rack

This is good for cooling cookies (natch) as well as cooking big-batch oven bacon, keeping pancakes warm, crisping up baked "fried" chicken in the oven and draining real fried food so it doesn't get soggy. Look for a model that will fit on a rimmed baking sheet for the greatest versatility.

Serrated Paring Knife

The jagged teeth will cut through the fine skins of tomatoes and apples; the pointed tip will deftly core them. You can cut bread, meat, potatoes, cheese — basically anything — with this handy little blade that is guaranteed to become your kitchen go-to.

Large Glass Vase

Everyone loves to bring newlyweds flowers, so make sure you have something to put them in. Beyond that, a nice vase is the universal centerpiece building block: Fill it with rustic birch branches in the winter, colorful clementines for a brunch or votives for a romantic dinner. Try it as a terrarium, ice bucket or even a punch bowl (in a pinch). 

Cake Stand

Even if it never displays a birthday cake (though we hope it does), a cake stand is great for holding cheese, crudite, cookies, tea sandwiches, fruit, candles, guest towels, bar mixers and small flower arrangements.