Shop the post: No. 1 Juliska Dinner Plate, Salad/Dessert Plate and Appetizer Plate // No. 2 Technivorm Moccamaster Coffee Maker // No. 3 Wüsthof Knife Block // No. 4 Coyuchi Organic Towel Set in French Blue // No. 5 Sagaform Oak Salad Bowl with Servers // No. 6 Instant Pot // No. 7 Smeg Stand Mixer // No. 8 Farmhouse Pottery Dipped Rolling Pins // No. 9 Le Creuset Dutch Oven in Matte Navy // No. 10 Yeti Cooler // No. 11 Cuisinart Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Hi everyone—long time no talk! If we haven’t met yet, I’m Liz’s assistant, Carolyn. I’ll occasionally pop into HAF to share the occasional post, like Chicago neighborhood guides, workout reviews, or general lifestyle musings. Since I’m getting married in September, we thought it might be fun for me to write a bit about what that process has been like, especially since wedding-related questions are always popping up in Liz’s inbox.
Overall, wedding planning has been a ton of fun so far. I love design and styling, and the wedding industry is full of so many amazing, creative people—it’s great to finally have the opportunity to connect with them. I will say, though, that I had a pretty good concept of what I wanted things to look like from the very beginning. I used to freelance for a big wedding website and still work with a few wedding photographers, so I had a general idea of what the options were and how to go about making things happen.
On the other hand, starting our registry was an entirely new experience! I knew I wanted the registry to be incorporated directly into our wedding website, so after checking out a few of the different wedding website options, we decided to do everything on Zola. I liked their cleaner design templates and the fact that you can pull registry items from different stores, even REI and independent retailers. They also have an option to create a charity fund, which was important for us to include as an alternative to traditional gifts.
As for filling out the rest of the registry, it probably took me about three months to narrow down and decide on the gifts we wanted to request. It’s easy to get carried away with the registry—it’s like shopping for free—but we tried to stick with fewer, more meaningful items that we know we’ll use for a long time (my fiancé was very helpful in reining me in, haha). After very thorough research, here are the top ten items I would suggest adding to your registry:
Ten Must-Have Items for Your Wedding Registry
- Cast Iron Dutch Oven: I’ve been wanting one of these for sooooo long, but made myself wait to put it on our registry. Most people seem to agree that a good, cast-iron dutch oven is a top registry must-have! The only hard part is choosing a color—we went with the matte navy Le Creuset from Williams Sonoma (it’s gorgeous).
- Knife Block: My parents are really into cooking, so they were a great resource for helping us decide on essential kitchen items. My dad swears you can never have enough knives, and a complete, good quality set makes the biggest difference.
- Special occasion plates: I opted not to put any china on our registry (totally a personal preference), but still included plates we could use break out for hosting and special occasions. I went back and forth on classic white versus something more colorful, but ultimately decided to ask for these pretty Juliska plates. I’m obsessed with anything blue and knew that these dinner, dessert/salad, and appetizer plates would make me happy whenever I had an opportunity to use them.
- Stand mixer: I love to bake, so I knew a stand mixer (with a pasta attachment) was a necessity for our registry. I grew up using my mom’s Kitchenaid mixer from her wedding, but after a lot of comparison, I decided to ask for a Smeg mixer for our own kitchen. I’m really excited about its features and sleek design!
- Kitchen accessories: We tried not to go overboard in this section, but I do think it’s nice to include some smaller, lower cost items on your registry. I added these dipped rolling pins, these half sheet pans (Bon Appetit calls them a must-have), a Silpat cookie sheet liner, an instant-read meat thermometer, and this grill pan (another Bon Appetit rec) to our registry.
- Instant Pot: Admittedly I’ve only used an Instant Pot once, but it made some of the best pulled chicken I’ve ever had. Every single website you go to these days will tell you to absolutely include an Instant Pot on your wedding registry—didn’t take much to convince me.
- Yeti Cooler: One of the reasons we liked Zola was the wide selection of camping and weekend activity gifts. But even if you aren’t into the outdoorsy stuff, a Yeti Cooler seems like a great item to have. I know ours will certainly be put to use at a Notre Dame tailgate or two.
- Coffee Maker: Right now I’m only making espresso in this Bialetti (which is awesome if you’ve never tried one), but I knew that a good quality coffee maker had to make it onto our registry. After comparing all the options, we decided to include the Technivorm Moccamaster from Williams Sonoma. It apparently can’t be beat for speed, ease of use, and drip coffee quality!
- Cookware Set: You’d think we would have most of these pieces in our arsenal already, but we were actually missing quite a few cookware essentials. With a good stainless steel saucepan, stock pot, saute pan, and skillet, our collection should pretty much be complete.
- Towels and linens: This was definitely an area where we opted to keep things pretty simple. We ended up asking for this linen duvet set from Parachute and this six-piece towel set in French blue (of course). Since our apartment is still in progress, they should be neutral enough to work with the rest of the decor we end up choosing.
Linking a few other items from our registry below! Anything I missed that you included on your own registry? And if you haven’t read it yet, Liz’s post about her own wedding registry must-haves is also a great resource.