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When it’s time to compile a wedding registry or shop for someone who’s getting married, the options can be overwhelming. There are so many things a couple might need that they've never owned before. It's also the perfect time to upgrade from hand-me-downs, thrift shop finds, and budget appliances. Look for quality products that will look good, last a long time, and make cooking easier. Every home chef is different, so not all of these items will be a fit for every registry, and some couples will have an even longer list depending on what they like to cook, but this is a good starting place.
From flatware and toaster ovens to pots and pans, here are the best kitchen tools to add to your wedding registry.
Best Cookware Set: Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set
Set needs larger skillet
Side handles can get hot
Food may stick
A set of cookware is essential, and good-quality cookware is less likely to have hotspots where food could stick or burn, leading you to ruin your meal. This attractive stainless steel set has just about every piece needed and will last a long time. While this doesn’t include a nonstick frying pan for cooking eggs, it does include a stockpot with a steamer insert, which many other sets leave out. These pieces are oven-safe up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can start cooking on the stove and finish in the oven. Plus, they're dishwasher safe.
What's Included: 1.5-quart saucepan with cover, 3-quart saucepan with cover, 3.5-quart sauté pan with helper handle and cover, 8-quart stockpot with cover, 8-inch skillet, 10-inch skillet, 20-centimeter steamer insert with cover
"It was a pleasure to hear a distinct sizzle as meat met hot oil in the pan, then see even browning when I flipped food to cook the other side. Further, none of the food stuck to the pan once it was properly browned." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best Flatware: Knork 18/10 Stainless Steel 20-Piece Flatware Set, Matte Silver
High-end artisan appearance
Only serves four
Flatware is a must for a new home, and this set is elegant, attractive, and functional. The streamlined design will coordinate with just about any dish, and they're ergonomic, which is great for those with arthritis or other hand-related issues. The smooth lines are aesthetically pleasing as well. These heavy utensils won’t bend, but they will last a lifetime. They're also dishwasher safe.
What's Included: 4 dinner forks, 4 salad forks, 4 dinner knives, 4 tablespoons, 4 teaspoons
"Thanks to beveled edges, we were able to effortlessly cut everything on our plate with just one hand." — Elizabeth Rago, Product Tester
Best Blender: Ninja Professional Blender & Nutri Ninja Cups (BL660)
Crushes ice quickly
Easy to use and clean
Blenders are great for everything from milkshakes to blended cocktails to morning smoothies. With 1100 watts of power, three speeds, and pulse and single-serve functions, this model can do it all. The Ninja Professional Blender comes with a pair of 16-ounce travel cups with lids, so it’s simple to make two different smoothies without needing to clean a big container between recipes. When it comes to big jobs, the 72-ounce container can handle a large batch of frozen margaritas. The blades blast through ice and blend fruits and vegetables easily. When it’s time to clean up, all parts are dishwasher safe.
Capacity: 72 ounces | Power: 1100 watts | Accessories: Two 16-ounce to-go cups
Best Stand Mixer: KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
Easily handles tough doughs
Heavy-duty bowl with handle
Splatter shield included
Coated attachments could chip
Wire whip not dishwasher safe
Stand mixers are becoming more and more popular—and for good reason. This mixer is strong enough to mix batters and doughs for any baking project, from cakes to cookies to homemade bread. You can use it to whip cream or meringue, or shred cooked chicken for tacos. To make the mixer even more useful, there are optional attachments for shredding, slicing, pasta, ice cream, spiralized vegetables, ground meat, and more.
Capacity: 5 quarts | Power: 325 watts | Size: 8.7 x 13.9 x 14.1 inches
"No matter what the task, we could just set up the machine and stand back and watch it." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best Pressure Cooker: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
Remembers previous settings
Three temperature levels
Precise temperature control
Comes with minimal accessories
Difficult to see pressure valve
This Instant Pot is a whole new level of high-tech, with seven functions that take you from pressure cooker to steamer to sauté pan and more. It has three temperature settings and two pressure settings, as well as 14 cooking programs. With the delay start option, it's the epitome of set it and forget it (this can be programmed up to 24 hours in advance). There's also a keep-warm function—choose between 10-hour automatic or manual—that will maintain toasty potluck temperatures for up to 100 hours.
The Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker has a stainless steel insert with a three-layer base for even cooking and a steam rack for veggies or lifting baby back ribs out. Built-in safety features, like overheat protection and safety lock, will avert any potential hazards. Best yet, the accessories are dishwasher safe.
Capacity: 6 quarts | Weight: 11.8 pounds | Size: 13.39 x 12.21 x 12.48 inches
"This Instant Pot has its temperature and pressure sensors dialed in, resulting in precise results when cooking." — Danielle Centoni, Product Tester
Best Griddle: Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler
Hidden drip tray to catch mess
Opens flat for more cooking space
Removable nonstick plates
Easy to clean
Bottom plate heats more than top
Busy newlyweds will love this grill and griddle for making pressed sandwiches, grilling steaks or burgers, or making pancakes and bacon for breakfast. The brushed stainless steel housing looks attractive and is easy to clean, and the floating hinge adjusts for different food thicknesses when it’s used in the closed position. Open the Griddler completely and you’ve got a flat grill or griddle with plenty of space to cook on.
The included cooking plates are reversible for grill or griddle cooking and are designed to drain grease into the integrated drip tray. The selector knob lets you choose grill or griddle functions, and each has adjustable temperature controls. Red and green indicator lights let you see at a glance that the cooking temperature has been reached. For even more versatility, waffle plates are available for purchase separately.
Material: Aluminum plates with nonstick coating | Power: 110 watts | Size: 13.5 x 11.5 x 7.12 inches
"Having separate cooking surfaces gave me the option to cook with butter on one plate and oil on the other. Likewise, I could use different sauces on each side without the flavors mingling." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Best Ice Cream Maker: Breville BCI600XL Smart Scoop Ice Cream Maker
Ready in a few minutes
12 hardness settings
Keep cool feature
Large and heavy
Warms rapidly when cover is open
If ice cream is a passion, this is the appliance that will make it easy to batch any flavor at any time. It has its own compressor, so it’s ready whenever you are. There's no need to freeze a bowl the night before you want to make your ice cream, and you can make as many batches in a row as you want to. A bell chimes when it’s time to add extra ingredients, and it plays a tune when the ice cream is ready. You can set this for softer or harder ice creams, and it has a keep-cold feature if you can’t remove the ice cream from the machine as soon as it is finished.
Capacity: 1.5 quarts | Power: 165 watts | Size: 15.8 x 11 x 11 inches
"Using the ‘Softer to Harder’ knob allows you to choose softer ice cream or harder sorbet instead of a one-size-fits-all preset. The only downside is there isn’t a slower churn setting for gelato." — J. Fergus, Product Tester
Best Juicer: Omega Ultimate Juicer and Nutrition System
Slow speed preserves nutrients
Easy to clean
Juices leafy greens well
Small feed chute requires more food prep
Juicers are ubiquitous in today’s households where a daily green smoothie and homemade baby food are part of everyday routines. The Omega Ultimate Juicer is not the prettiest model on the market, but it may be the best. It's a masticating juicer, known for yielding maximum juice from fruits and vegetables through its double extraction method—first during the crushing process, and then again from the pulp. There is also minimal food waste with this bladeless system.
There are many things to love about this juicer. It has stabilizing feet to keep it secure during processing, a sieve is included for even finer straining, and although there is a learning curve to start out, cleanup could not be easier once it is assembled.
It operates at a slow 80 RPM to ensure nutrients are not lost to heat generated during operation, and with the range of attachments, you can make everything from almond butter to frozen desserts. It is a true multitasker.
Capacity: 25 ounces | Power: 200 watts | Size: 14.5 x 6.5 x 15.5 inches
"Juicers are often stereotyped as being notoriously hard to clean, but that couldn’t be further from the truth with the Omega." — Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
Best Toaster Oven: Breville Smart Oven Pro Convection Toaster Oven with Element IQ
Preheats and cooks quickly
Has dehydrate and air-fry functions
This toaster makes more than toast. It can be used as a small oven for times when heating up the large oven doesn’t make sense—perfect for reheating a slice of leftover pizza or even baking a small batch of cookies. It's large enough to fit a Dutch oven and can be set to “slow cook” to gently cook foods for a long time at a lower temperature. It has a fan for convection cooking and uses a technology called Element IQ, a smart cooking function that regulates time and temperature for baking and roasting.
Capacity: Up to a 14-pound turkey | | Power: 1800 watts | Size: 21.4 x 17.2 x 12.8 inches
Best Knife Set With Block: Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set
Large selection of knives
Includes sharpening steel
Knife block slots not uniform
No serrated steak knives
A quality knife set is almost a rite of passage into adulthood. Dinner parties, family holidays, and even date nights require sharp steel for prepping culinary masterpieces. Chicago Cutlery’s Fusion knives will cover all tasks from mise-en-place to slicing prime rib roast. The 17-piece set comes with one chef's knife, one serrated bread knife, two santoku knives, one utility knife, one paring knife, and eight straight-edge steak knives—everything for your chopping, dicing, and slicing needs. A chop assist tool and honing steel are included along with an attractive chestnut-stained wood block for storage.
The knife blades are forged from high-carbon stainless steel, which creates a strong, durable blade that is rust- and stain-resistant. Fusion knives are taper-ground to 26-degrees, ensuring an edge that stays razor-sharp. Handles are ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and stability.
What's Included: Chef's knife, bread knife, utility knife, paring knife, two santoku knives, eight steak knives, sharpening steel, chop assist, wood block
"The knives’ performance and durability make them well worth the high price and the block looks great on your kitchen counter, too." — Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Best Soda Maker: SodaStream Fizzi One Touch Sparkling Water Maker
Consistent level of effervescence
Snap-lock for easy loading
Includes full-size CO2 cartridge
No drip tray
This soda maker is perfect for making sparkling water or flavored sodas whenever you want—at the touch of a button. What makes this home carbonator unique and convenient is that it's automated, so you don't have to pump manually, taking the guesswork out of the process. (Just note that you'll have to plug the machine into an outlet.) Bonus: it also has a snap-lock feature so you don't have to twist the bottle on and off the machine. This kit comes with a 60-liter CO2 cylinder (which can carbonate 60 liters of water), a refillable 32-ounce water bottle with chrome cap, and a power cable.
Operation: One-touch control | Size: 5.5 x 17 x 5.5 inches | Material: Metal and plastic
"I tried out the three carbonation settings and really loved how bubbly the water was on the higher settings." — Julie Hershman, Product Tester
Best Trash Can: simplehuman 38-Liter Brushed Stainless Steel Steel Trash Can with Lid
Silent close lid
A decent trash bin can make your day-to-day so much easier. This fingerprint-proof model from simplehuman holds 38-liter (10-gallon) bags, but you can opt for others that fit 18-, 30-, 45-, or 50-liter bags. No need to touch the lid, either. The stainless steel pedal is designed to last 150,000 steps. That's more than 20 steps a day for the next 20 years. And when you step off, the lid won't slam. Dampers control the motion of the lid for a quick open and a gentle, quiet close. Better yet, it's completely dog-proof, keeping nosy four-legged friends from sneaking scraps destined for the landfill. In total, the measurements for this trash can are 15.8 x 12.5 x 25.7 inches, although when the lid is open, it reaches new heights at 34.8 inches.
Capacity: 10 gallons | Size: 15.8 x 12.5 x 25.7 inches | Material: Stainless steel
Best Air Fryer: Instant Pot Instant Vortex Plus 10QT 7-in-1 Digital Air Fryer Oven
Seven features in one
Cooks quickly and quietly
Easy to clean
Interior is small
Instruction manual is online
An air fryer gives you the same great taste and crispiness of deep-fried food without the use of an actual deep fryer. Similar to a convection oven, it works by circulating hot air around your meal—chicken tenders, onion rings, coconut shrimp, kale chips—using less oil (if any), leading to grocery savings, easy cleanup, and fewer calories. This coveted model from Instant Pot has seven built-in smart programs: air fry, bake, roast, toast, broil, dehydrate, and rotisserie. With little to no preheating time, you can get dinner on the table in half the time of a conventional oven, too.
Capacity: 10 quarts | Size: 14 x 14 x 15 inches | Power: 1500 watts
"As an avid Instant Pot user, my expectations for the Instant Vortex Plus were admittedly high. Luckily, it didn’t just live up to my expectations—it exceeded them." — Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester
Best Dutch Oven: Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Easy to clean
Retains heat well
Smaller cooking surface
Lower-quality enamel than competitors
Sure, you can make most things with a solid set of pots and pans, but a Dutch oven takes mealtime to the next level. This versatile vessel is ideal for braising meats, slow-cooking soups and stews, boiling pasta, deep-frying, poaching, and so much more. Some all-star recipes you might make, for example, include savory oven-braised lamb shanks, duck confit, chicken and smoked sausage gumbo, pork ragu—you name it. This 6-quart Dutch oven from Lodge, which comes in many vibrant colors, is made from porcelain-enameled cast iron is oven-safe up to 500 degrees, and looks beautiful on a kitchen table when it comes time to serve, too. You can even put it in the refrigerator to preserve leftovers.
Capacity: 6 quarts | Size: 14 x 7 x 12 inches | Material: Cast iron
"Aesthetically speaking, all Dutch ovens are not created equal, but when it comes to performance, Lodge seems to cook just as well as its more expensive competitors, including Le Creuset." — Tierney McAfee, Product Tester
Best Wine Glasses: Bormioli Rocco 18-Ounce Red Wine Glasses, Set of 4
Wine glasses are essential to every home bar, and this set of four from Bormioli Rocco is elegant and sophisticated. Each Italian-made stemmed glass features a wide bowl that allows you to easily swirl your wine to maximize the flavors and aromas of everything from cabernet sauvignon and merlot to pinot noir, malbec, and more. The laser-cut rim is leaps and bounds thinner than your average drinkware, so when the wine reaches your lips, you won't feel a hefty hunk of glass in your mouth. The base is super-sturdy, too, so you don't have to worry about your drink becoming unsteady. If an accident happens, rest assured that the glass is shatter-proof. Each holds 18 ounces of fluid and is dishwasher safe, although washing by hand with soap and warm water is best for longevity.
Quantity: Set of 4 | Size: 8.5 inches tall, holds 18 ounces | Material: Lead-free glass
Best Wine Decanter: Le Chateau Wine Decanter
Slanted spout makes for easy pouring
Easy to clean
Hard to dry interior
The taste and aroma of wine greatly improve with decanting, whether you're drinking a special occasion bottle or a Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe's. Pouring your libation into a decanter allows it to interact with oxygen, or aerate, creating big flavors and fragrance, while smoothing out tannins and settling sediment. This hand-blown device, in particular, comes highly reviewed by The Spruce Eats. It fits one standard 750-milliliter bottle of wine to pour with ease via the sturdy neck and slanted spout, which minimizes drips. While it is dishwasher safe, hand washing is recommended.
Capacity: 1800 milliliters | Size: 8.5 x 8.5 x 10 inches | Material: Lead-free, hand-blown glass
"After aerating, we could almost imagine that our Chianti cost more than $20." — Caroline Goldstein, Product Tester
Every new couple needs good pots and pans. Not only does the Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless Steel Cookware Set (view at Amazon) include all of the essentials, but each piece will last long after the honeymoon is over. Also, having a mishmash of cutlery in a new home won't cut it, which is why we also recommend the attractive and functional Knork Stainless Steel 20-Piece Flatware Set (view at Amazon).
What To Look for When Adding Kitchen Tools to Your Wedding Registry
Remember that gorgeous pitcher you received when you moved into your apartment? There is probably a set or other pieces that match. Look through what you already have and love, and keep that in mind as you put items on your registry. You may already have two dinner plates in a series, so adding another six gives you a set of eight—optimal for entertaining or holiday hosting.
When building a wedding registry, couples get to dream about what they would want in their perfect home, but it is important to remember that everybody has different budgets. Make sure there are plenty of items at both ends of your budget, so guests can find a gift you will love, but also keep within their own means.
Times have certainly changed since the day of selecting a china pattern for your registry. Of course, you can still do that, but often what we put on registries now speaks to our lifestyles. Coffee lovers might have a French press, while outdoor enthusiasts might select cooking gear made for open environments. Some couples may even choose to designate a Honeyfund to help make their honeymoon dreams a reality. The point is: There is no absolute in wedding registries anymore. It should be personal and fulfill your wishes for your marriage.
What should you put on a wedding registry?
“This is something that's evolved over time," says Lizzie Post, co-author of "Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette (6th Edition)," co-president at the Emily Post Institute, and most importantly, great-great-granddaughter of the original Emily Post. "It used to be traditional household items—the idea was you would say the type of china you're hoping for, and people would buy one plate or four plates or whatever fit their budget."
"Over time, people started getting married later in life," Post continues. "They didn't need new items or they didn't want fancier versions of the items they already had, so it started expanding into items for entertaining, which brought really great appliances, like espresso makers, the coolest blender, or the KitchenAid mixer. It became about the couple’s lifestyle.”
How does a wedding registry work?
“A wedding registry is a funky little thing because it's one of those circumstances where typically we don't just send out to our friends and family saying, 'Please get me this,'" Post says. "And you can't think of a registry as a checklist. It is a wishlist. We hope for these things, but we won't be devastated if we don't get them."
"Traditionally, when you receive an invitation to a wedding, this invitation has always been considered such an honor that it created the obligation of the person who has received the invitation to give a gift, whether they attend or not," Post continues. "And in doing so, it becomes a thoughtful consideration of the couple to provide registry information. Mostly, it's supposed to make it easy for a guest to follow through on this obligation the invitation has created.”
How do you make a wedding registry?
Stores and websites will help you build your registry, whether that's through the company you create a wedding website with, department stores, boutiques, or other small businesses.
"There's the classic scene in all the movies where they give you a tag gun and you go around the store scanning the barcodes of items you want," Post says. "When you make your registry, no matter the store or the website that you're using, the key is to list a variety of items, both in terms of what they are and how they function in your life, as well as price."
"It is great to have $10 items on that registry," Post continues. "I've heard so many people say, ‘Did you check out the registry? I couldn't believe it—not a single thing under $100,’ and it doesn't come across as good. It definitely can give off the impression you're not being realistic about what it costs for people to travel to and participate in weddings. You are pricing your guests out of the experience."
Post says it's really important to keep a lot of very small, single items on the registry list. For example, if there's a set you really want, but it's quite pricey, listing the items as one-off purchases may increase your chances of obtaining it piecemeal, so no one has to spend a fortune if they're unable to.
How many gifts should you put on a wedding registry?
If you have invited 50 people to your wedding, Post suggests putting at least 50 gifts on your registry. You may even want to put more if you suspect people might purchase multiple items.
When should you start making a wedding registry?
“Every wedding has a different timeline, but, generally, you need to have that registry in place before you send out any information about it to your guests," Post says. "Before your wedding invitations go to print, even though you are not putting the registry information on the invitation, it's really good to have it mostly set up. The enclosure leading guests to your website or registry goes out with the invitations, so it needs to be ready to mail.”
How should you tell guests about your wedding registry?
According to Post, invitations should never have the registry information printed or written on them.
"It is too big of an event, and the idea that you are jumping straight from this honorable occasion to 'Get us this stuff'—you want a little bit of space between those two ideas," she says.
The way you create that space is to include an enclosure with the invitation. Post suggests a card that lists where you're registered or information directing guests to your wedding website, where they can find accommodations, local information, your story, and places where you're registered, so "the gift becomes part of the details rather than a part of this gracious, beautiful invitation."
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a food and recipe writer and cookbook author, so she spends a great deal of time in the kitchen. She's tested everything from garlic presses to food processors and is always on the lookout for the best products. She has personally tested two of the items on this list.
This piece was updated by Carrie Honaker, who is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine, travel, and culture. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Wine Enthusiast, Allrecipes, and more. She has researched numerous products for The Spruce Eats, from the best salad spinners to mini food processors.