10 Wedding Gifts Couples Will Actually Use & Love

This past weekend, we threw an engagement party for my brother and his new fiancee. They are blissful and lovey dovey and it's so sweet and so sickening at the same time; I can almost see the hearts and rainbows emanating from them. Everything is rosy and perfect and nothing is realistic in the least. They are registering this week and I shudder to think of what they might end up with -- couple champagne flutes? Matching pajamas? Puh-lease.

As the older and wiser sister, I consider it my duty to guide them in the right direction. The direction I wish someone had pointed me, so I didn't end up with fancy china I never use and stemware that's worth more than I am. Bring them down to earth, if you will.

Here's what I'm telling them to register for; I doubt they'll listen, but at least I tried. And, this way, I can forever say that I told them so ...


1. Luggage: I'm still packing in the same Eddie Bauer duffel that my mom bought me in college. It would be really nice to have a matching set, and I can't imagine spending the money now.

2. A Tool Kit: Romantic? No. But it would be wonderful to have an electric drill, sets of nails and screws in every size, and all of the necessities in one easy to carry case. Perhaps with their new monogram.

3. Good Knives: They never go out of style and can forever be sharpened. Probably one of the best investments out there.

4. A Wedding Print: Ten years later, and I still haven't gotten around to doing anything with my photos other than sticking a few in cheap frames. I would have loved a gift certificate to get my favorites blown up or printed on canvas. I also think the idea of matting and framing the wedding invitation is a beautiful one.

5. Bedding: I can't get myself to spend real money on nice bedding, but if someone had gifted me with it, I'd go to bed singing their praises every night before bed. 

6. Nice Towels: Same as the bedding; I buy cheap towels and curse them daily. Nice, plush towels would be wonderful. Especially for guests. Like, me.

7. A Beautiful Bowl: One of my favorite gifts was a glass bowl (that I didn't register for) from Simon Pearce. I use it for everything from potpourri and sea glass to parfaits and dips. It dresses everything up and makes the simplest trifle look like an elegant treat. I use it more than any other single gift.

8. A Cuisinart: I have no idea why I never registered for this staple, but I bought one for myself last year and it changed my life. I love it.

9. A Crock-Pot: I didn't discover the joys of the Crock-Pot until I had children and spent my days at home, but it would have been a life-saver back in the days of working full-time outside of the house.

10. Cooking Classes: Perhaps if we had been gifted with these, Jeff would not have presented me with granola coated chicken he first marinated in Italian dressing. (No, I'm not kidding. I still gag when I recall that meal.)

What about you -- what was your favorite gift? What do you wish you'd asked for? And, which should I get them?!

Image via George Eastman House

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