Creating a wedding registry with items that are both useful and timeless can be daunting, especially for couples trying to combine their lives into one happy home. We asked our readers to share their go-to wedding gifts for newlyweds, along with the best wedding presents they have received. Here is a selection of products that range from kitchen essentials to homemade trinkets and even a few nontraditional gifts.
Kitchen and Cooking Staples
The KitchenAid stand mixer is the ultimate wedding gift. My grandparents gave my mom one for her wedding, and they gave me one for mine. For me, tradition is a factor. Since my mom still has hers, I know it stands the test of time (like a good marriage!). Furthermore, the mixer is symbolic of domestic bliss — you use it to bake cakes for happy occasions, and it’s more expensive than anything I would normally buy for myself.
Stacy Schaefer, Manchester, Mich.
The best gift was a KitchenAid mixer — you know the one with the bananas on it. My husband gave it to me because no one else could afford it. We couldn’t either, but after 38 years it’s still going strong, as is our marriage.
Jody Howells, Mooresburg, Tenn.
My younger brother gave me a food processor as a wedding gift 31 years ago. He knew that I love to cook. It’s not something I use every day, but when my husband and I do use it, it’s a great timesaver, and I mentally thank my brother each time.
Peggy Duggan, Albuquerque, N.M.
I did not want an air fryer. I was so annoyed when someone got it for us instead of purchasing something on our registry. However, I used it once and now I am hooked! I love that thing.
Leah Fernandez, Huguenot, Staten Island
A five-piece Sori Yanagi stainless-steel mixing bowl set. They are workhorses, yet delicate enough to use as serving dishes on the table. They get prettier with age, and without exaggeration, I use mine daily.
Kelly Cowan, Crown Point, Ind.
I was delighted to receive a custom-made pepper mill from a friend of my parents. They knew how much I enjoyed cooking, and it’s been a fixture on our counter ever since. In the past 13 years, we’ve had five different kitchens, and this is one of the gifts that always reminds me of our newlywed days, no matter how much time passes.
Nicole Gulotta, Raleigh, N.C.
We received many thoughtful gifts at our wedding, but one of the most surprisingly lovely one was a selection of spices from Oaktown Spice Shop in Oakland, Calif. We both enjoy cooking, and asked for a number of cooking-related gifts on our registry (pots, pans, and the like), but these spices were delicious and a wonderful way to inspire our cooking together as a newly married couple.
Lucy F, Ithaca, N.Y.
Flatware and Silverware Sets
Our Oneida silverware was gifted to us by my husband’s late grandmother. When she was alive, she bought silverware as a gift for all of her grandchildren when they got married. Ours is elegant and versatile, but more than that, we think of her every time we use it.
Julie Bogen, Bethesda, Md.
My mother once told me that a wedding gift should last for the lifetime of the couple. She and her brother would often give a good set of professional kitchen knives with a wood block for storage. A cousin of my uncle told me that the set he gave her for her first wedding was still serving her well some 40-plus years later. I gave a set to my best friend for her wedding. About 10 years later, she said that it was the only gift she received that she uses every day.
Lynn Phelps, Doylestown, Pa.
I received a set of six Carl Schlieper steak knives from my sorority house mother 54 years ago. I was so surprised by her generosity. They are so useful, easy to store, unbreakable, and always pulled out with a dose of memories.
Phyllis Dolich, Georgetown, Tex.
The Classic Dutch Oven
I received a Le Creuset Dutch oven (5 1/2 quart) for our wedding 35 years ago. Now it’s my go-to wedding gift. It now comes in so many great colors — something for everyone. It’s a gift you don’t realize you need until you’ve got one.
Laurie Batchelor, Lakeville, Conn.
A set of Le Creuset cookware from my friends, who all chipped in to buy when my husband and I married over a decade ago. We love our set, and think of our old urban life and friendships in New York every time we use them. Plus, the jolt of color in classic flame always makes us happy.
Jeannie Bail, Fredericton, New Brunswick
I love giving items that are not totally practical but slightly extravagant on registries; A Le Creuset braiser for short ribs was one of my favorites.
Yeuen Kim, San Francisco
Infused with memories and terrific meals — Barbara, a friend of my husband, Henry, gifted us the classic Le Creuset Dutch oven for our 1984 wedding. We loved it from day one, inaugurating it with happy meals during our first year. Barbara died of cancer, so early on the Dutch oven brought memories of love and laughter, continuing for 33 years, three kids, a move to the Midwest, countless dinners and endless fun. Henry also died of cancer. The Le Creuset endures, weathered with time and with hope that Barbara and Henry are laughing together with the aroma of love wherever they are.
Eileen O’Hara, Overland Park, Kan.
Given as a wedding gift in 1965, this tomato red Dansk Dutch oven has surely stood the test of time. Ten home relocations, thousands if not millions of meals, countless scourings and it is still cooking! Now a midcentury modern antique, it will remain in our family until … someone offers big bucks on eBay.
Charmian Weber, Atlanta
Glassware and Stemware
We received a dozen Champagne flutes from a 97-year-old relative. She truly is with us every time life offers us something to celebrate and we open a bottle of Champagne. It’s been 22 years. I have since done the same. I offer Champagne flutes to newlyweds telling them that this way I will share all their happy moments.
Émilie Craig, Paris
This picture was made by my goddaughter Samantha, who was then 7 years old and was also my flower girl, with coloring help by her brother Michael, who was the ring bearer.
Ellen Wallenstein, New York
My husband’s brother and his wife, Josh and Jackie, gave us this painting as a wedding gift. They knew the painter and had a few of her pieces. What made the gift so generous and thoughtful is that we got to pick it out. I spent an afternoon with Jackie reviewing slides of many works. The painting has adorned the walls of our Brooklyn apartment(s) for the last 23 years. I look at it every day. While the painting looks to be of a couple, its title is “The Cowboy and his Sister.”
Cynthia Arato, Brooklyn
My Uncle Paul gave us a charming garden bench that he made out of discarded barn wood. I love the gift, first because it was a delightful surprise. At the wedding reception, Uncle Paul told me our gift was in the back of his pickup truck and I would have to go outside to see it. I did, and was shocked and touched that he dedicated so much time and effort into a gift for me and my husband. Second, I love it because it is unique and quaint and rustic and completely representative of my Uncle Paul. The bench has stood on our front porch for 17 years. In the summer, it hold pots of purple torenia that spills over the sides of the bench and attract butterflies. In the winter, it holds boughs of evergreen and branches of winterberry and red dogwood. It’s a keeper.
Sheri Albrecht, Walford, Iowa
We received a handmade quilt, and it is one of the only things we use regularly. It reminds me of our wedding and I find it both useful and special. I now make one for every wedding I’m invited to. I carefully select fabric to represent the friends and hope they love it as much as we love ours.
Kim Patchell, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Salton Hotray Cart
When many of my friends were getting married in the late ’60s and early ’70s my go-to gift was a Salton Hotray cart. It was a great item. It kept food warm on the top and stored other items such a glassware or an ice bucket on the bottom. Salton does not make it anymore, but I was able to snag a vintage Hotray on eBay recently and kept it for myself. Salton now makes a cordless version that I would get for any newlyweds in a heartbeat.
Claude Salomon, Palmetto, Fla.
Sterling Silver Serving Tray
Decades ago my sister got married and among the gifts was what we thought was a bike rack for a car. It was from very close friends of my parents. Problem is, my brother-in-law had just sold his Civic, so the big, unopened box went into storage. A year later, my parents went on a road trip and wanted to bring their bikes. They dug the big box out of storage and instead of a bike rack, they found a gorgeous sterling silver serving tray inside. That letter to Bob and Judy thanking them for the bike rack suddenly seemed kind of hollow.
Tim Amey, British Columbia
Out of the Ordinary
My go-to gift is a personalized rubber stationary stamp with the couple’s new names and address. It makes addressing thank-you notes easy, and the couple always appreciates it.
Katy Rasmussen, Rochester, N.Y.
A sturdy, folding step stool. Throughout its long life (30 years — far beyond the marriage!) it served as a way to reach new heights, a seat when needed, and a holder of beautiful things, from plants to exploring toddlers. It unintentionally became a memory-keeper as well, as it had a splotch of paint from every room I painted over the years.
Melinda Griffin, Framingham, Mass.
Favorite gift: a good toolbox or tote filled with basic household tools, and a good picture hanging kit. I’ve had people openly laugh when they opened it and were delighted to receive it.
Rebecca Sharad, Sacramento, Calif.
A box of scissors: hair shears, poultry shears, paper scissors, fabric scissors, nail scissors, thread snipper-long ones, short ones. It was awesome. Thirty years later, I have most of them, and its been easily the most-used gift.
Kelly Whitaker, Minneapolis
When my husband and I were finally able to get married, a dear friend’s mom, who had recently lost her husband of many years, gave us some records from their collection and a handwritten poem. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The thought of her wishing us the best and hoping we had a long life together is priceless.
Bryan McDaniel, Chicago
I like to give a “hope” chest, which is a box big enough to hold greeting cards. Then I get anniversary cards for years one, two, five, seven and so on, and I write my hopes for them, seal them up, and put an “open on” date on each.
Lisa Huston, Portland, Ore.
When I got married, I was in my 50s and seriously didn’t need anything. I asked for people to donate to Habitat for Humanity, but a friend gave me a community-supported agriculture delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables. I loved it so much and learned to make many new things based on the ingredients. It might not be for everyone, but it was perfect for my husband and I.
Marla Weinhoff, New York
We received daffodil bulbs named Rapture. We are looking forward to seeing them every spring and watching them multiply.
Two Person Bike
The best wedding gift we received was a tandem bicycle.
Fern Goodhart, Sunrise, Fla.
I always give “Marriage Lines” by Ogden Nash, because he does such a good job of describing the occasional absurdities of relationships.
Carter Wall, Leverett, Mass.
I like to give cookbooks( like Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook) as wedding gifts. They are something for the couple to discover together and use over and over through the years.
Lori Jackson, Sacramento
I give every wedding couple a copy of the Merriam-Webster New International Dictionary, second edition. This is the greatest achievement in modern English lexicography and no well-appointed home is complete without one.
Bowls and Platters
I like to give a beautiful wooden or pottery bowl made by a local artist because it’s a piece of art that can also be used to serve food. I like the idea of a newlywed couple having a beautiful table to serve food to guests.
Buster Hancock, Denman Island, British Columbia
Our favorite wedding gift has been a Vietri handmade, wooden salad bowl set by Piero Manzoni from Italy. It was given to us by the parents of a close friend. We love this set because we live in Northern California and eat salad year-round, so we’ve used it constantly for 30 years. We also love it because it is simple, easy to clean and durable. Sadly, one of the spoons broke several years ago and finally became irreparable. I was so bummed at not having a matching set of tongs for the bowl that I went on eBay and found an identical set for $50 from the auction of Anne Anka’s estate. I was thrilled to have a set again.
Carrie Shaw, Davis, Calif.
We received a handcrafted ceramic dish, “Lovers,” by Leslie C. Miller.
Scott Dashiell, Fanwood, N.J.
We were gifted a large salad bowl that I didn’t know I needed or wanted, and wasn’t on our registry. I don’t always recommend going off registry, but if you do, make it something practical that the couple will use often.
Elisha Ortiz, New York
Linens and Towels
I always buy the couple a really good set of bedsheets (like the L.L. Bean ultrasoft comfort flannel set). You spend one-third of your life in bed, more if the passion is there. Why not be comfortable together?
Jade Walker, Manchester, N.H.
Towels! Soft, luxurious, ridiculously expensive towels. It’s the true definition of something you would never buy for yourself but makes every day just a little bit nicer. And they’ll last forever.
Katherine Dougal, Chicago
Travel and Experiences
A set of hardside luggage, in a noticeable color. Makes finding the bags at the carousel faster and easier. It will be used and hopefully often.
Phyliss Dalmatian, Wichita, Kan.
We received a gift certificate to a “splurge” restaurant that enabled us to have a beautiful, memorable evening on our first wedding anniversary.
Natasha Go, New York
They get so much stuff. I try to give them a membership or tickets to something special near where they live based on their interests. Tickets to local science or art museums and to the Toronto Film Festival for a couple just moving to Toronto don’t take up space, are more personal, and are hopefully a good date (or several) for the newlyweds.
Mel Kaufman, Boston
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