10 Wedding Gifts Couples Will Actually Use & Love

Love & Sex 15

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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jeann... jeannesager

My KitchenAid mixer was THE best gift we got, hands down. I use it all the time, and it's still going strong almost 11 years in.

kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

I looooove the practical ideas u gave! We r very practicle people and I hate having stuff around we don't use. My kitchen aide mixer sat and collected dust. It was big and bulky and I didn't have the counter space to use it. When getting gifts remeber who ur buying it for.

Melis... Melissa042807

I love my knives! Funny story too - we registered for a moderately priced set, wanting to be respectful of our family and friends' budgets, and my knife-hobbyist of an uncle called my mom and said "Go smack your daughter for putting that crappy knife set on her registry!"

Then he bought us a nice set of knives. :-D

nonmember avatar Cynthia

Our wedding registry didn't have a lot of the "staples" on it because we already had them, and didn't need/want anymore. What drove me the most crazy was that we'd asked specifically for no china or fine dishes because we also already have a full 18place setting in storage. We got so many dish towels and other kitchen things and the stuff we asked not to get that it made us crazy! Especially because people didn't include gift recipts! The best things we got were 3 fans, 1 with remote, and my crockpot! Oh yeah, and the sympathy cards that got mixed up and were supposed to go to a funeral the same weekend that gave us quite the chuckle at gift opening!

kisse... kisses5050

  My favourite wedding gifts- In fact as we celebrated our anniversary I rewrote thank you notes for theses and sent them out saying as we celebrate our anniversary I wanted you to know how much we are still enjoying the wedding gift you gave us five years ago----Kitchen shears,  a good  Lechantel measure cup that goes on the stove,  a weed eater, a fabulous salad bowl-a hundred year old cast iron skillet-flip video camera--pencil sharpener( i know weird i would have never thought of it but it is sooooo used) - pretty icechest for porch.

Lauren Wasinger

wow, these are great ideas. I think I will steal the invitation one for my friend's upcoming wedding. :) Maybe mat it with their engagement pic?

Allison Martin

you are so right... I often think about the fact that if we hadn't gotte towels and knives and such for wedding gifts... wtf would we be using? lol... we just don't tend to buy the practical stuff as much as we probably should, and I am so thankful that we received so many awesome practical gifts when we were married. 

butte... butterflyfreak

My husband and I had pretty much everything we needed so we had a money tree at our wedding. The money that we received went towards purchasing a video camera. We had a couple people who brought gifts, one person brought a Vidalia onion slicer which I used maybe half a dozen times and have not touched in more than a year. Someone else brought a decorative bowl that I really like but don't "use" as it is not dishwasher safe. Instead I keep it in my china hutch with some of my wedding memorabilia.

Jessie S. Hegwood

For our wedding "registry" we listed a few stores that we would like gift cards to. That way no one had to be the one who got the "cheap" gift, everyone could pick how much they were willing to spend. We had a blast using those cards and picking out things we wanted. It worked great for our family. The only gift that wasn't a card was a little bag full of hot chocolate and cookies and little treats that my step mom made us for our honeymoon (we got married in December and our honeymoon was a trip to the coast in the pouring rain. What can we say, we are a different kind of people...) and that was so sweet. 

Tiffa... TiffanyinSF

@kisses5050 - I love the idea of writing a second round of thank you notes, that's such a thoughtful thing to do.

We had a traditional registry and a honeymoon registry.  Many of our friends really liked buying us things like a couples massage and scuba diving lessons, especially my husband's friends who had a hard time getting excited about buying us towels.  We also liked it because we had a bunch of great experiences courtesy of our loved ones.  Other people (especially the older generation) prefered to get us stuff off of the traditional registry because they wanted us to help us build our home.  Frankly, we were grateful for any of it!

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