Way back in the year 2000, my then girlfriend and I decided to get married. We created a gift registry, as so many engaged couples to do. As a pair of young people with very little in the way of “real world” possessions, we asked for many things we thought we’d use for years. Fortunately many of our friends and family obliged and a year later we found ourselves happily married with a pile of new stuff.
Sixteen years later, there are items from that registry that we still use every day and others that were donated/tossed/given away long ago. Here’s a list of the few keepers that still see active duty.
The first item we registered for was a set of dinnerware from local potter Steve Kemp. We loved Steve’s work and thought, “What the heck. Maybe someone will buy us a setting or two.” We ended up with full service and those very plates and bowls are still in daily use at our house. Yes, I’ve broken a few but that’s what anniversary gifts are for, right?
My mother was raised in Oneida, New York, home to Oneida flatware and, before that, The Oneida Community (I’ve been inside the fabled “Mansion House” many times). My maternal grandfather worked for Oneida, designing flatware. Of course, I had to have a set, which we asked for and received.
For the first few years, I kept those utensils tucked away until Christmas other other “special” occasion. Eventually I decided that that was silly and now we use the Oneida flatware every day.
We didn’t ask for things like knifes or pots and pans, as we inherited sets of each, which we’ve since replaced.
As two single people we had, of course, two twin beds. As a gift we received a queen sized bed with some nifty storage compartments and it’s still in use.
Stuff we asked for, have, and never use.
Wine glasses. My wife and I drink wine maybe once a year. Yet we requested and received a set of wine glasses, figuring we’d be entertaining wine-loving friends. That hasn’t happened yet, and to this day a set of pristine wine glasses sit idle in a cabinet. The same goes for the blender. Again, we’ve used this maybe a dozen times over the past 16 years. The thought of fresh fruit smoothies every morning sounds great until you have to make them and then clean the blender.
Items we no longer own
First things first, if you’re reading this and you’re the person(s) who gave us any of the following, I’m sorry! We tried, honest. Let’s start with the bread machine. At the time when we got married, these things were very popular. Toss the ingredients inside, hit a switch and presto, you’ve got bread. The bread machine we owned was huge and took up a massive amount of counter space. So it sat in the basement until we decided that we wanted to use it. That day never came. The same goes for the ice cream maker. Oh, how charmingly naive young couples are. “We’ll make ice cream! It will be great.” Add a few kids to the mix and you realize there’s no time for that. Away it went.
What I wish we’d asked for
A decent, basic set of tools. You can get a way with cheap tools for a while, or skipping some essentials entirely, but starting off with a high-quality starter set is well worth the investment.
A rice cooker. We didn’t buy a rice cooker until a few years ago and we’re amazed at how useful, compact and efficient it is. Everybody should own one.
A full set of Pyrex: 1 cup, 2 cup and quart measuring cups; 8×8 cake pan; 2qt, 3 qt and 4 qt baking dishes. You can’t kill these things. They last forever.
If you’re getting married soon, consider creating your wedding gift registry with Amazon. They have a vast selection of gifts at various prices. Your guests will know exactly what you want and your guests will appreciate that the gifts can be automatically delivered to you.
When shopping for wedding gifts, consider giving something that the couple likely wouldn’t buy themselves. Personally, I lean towards the practical. It’s kind of boring, but let’s be honest. There’s no time for making ice cream.