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How to Build the Perfect Kitchen Registry

Here's the gear you'll love to use – and nothing you'll regret after the big day.

Putting together a kitchen registry should be one of the most fun parts of planning your wedding – you get to go on a guilt-free shopping spree! But lot of people get persuaded into registering for all kinds of things they just don't need, just because they're traditional (how many homes really need separate coffee and tea pots?), and don't end up with gifts they truly love. 
Once upon a time, wedding registries were a necessary tool for young couples just starting out on their own. They needed pretty much everything to outfit what was often their very first home, and young wives were expected to be able to host formal dinner parties at a moment's notice. Today, a lot of couples have already been living together by the time they decide to tie the knot, and more and more people are committing to high-end appliances and dinnerware for entertaining long before they've got a partner they're ready to commit to.
So what's the point of a registry for a modern wedding? One word: Upgrade. Now's the time to go through your current kitchen stock and ditch anything that's broken, flimsy, or just not that effective. Got a second-hand blender you put through the wringer in college? Add a Vitamix to your registry. Look for items that are built to last (almost) as long as your bond as a couple ‚Äì some day, you may be able to hand that Vitamix down to your kids, and what a story you'll have to go along with it. 
You can also use the registry to fill in any gaps in your collection, but stop and think about the reality of your life together before adding any unnecessary items. If you've never had more than another couple over for dinner, you probably don't need a full 20-place set of tableware! Here's my favorite long-lasting kitchen gear to make your registry complete:
Le Creuset are truly heirloom pans – and they're priced accordingly. If you register for just one of these French enamelware beauties, make it the multipurpose Dutch oven, which can be used to make soups, roasts, and even bread.

All Clad's stainless steel pots and pans can stand up to serious everyday abuse. You need a 12-inch frying pan, a 4-quart and a 2-quart sauce pan, and a stock pot, but think about your cooking habits and decide whether some more specialty sizes could be right for you. 

One thing you can never have too many of? Mixing bowls! This stacking glass set takes up no more room than one big bowl, and the many sizes are invaluable when prepping quick-cook dishes like stir fries, baking cakes…you name it.

A good cutting board is often overlooked, but it makes all the difference at prep time. Boos boards are made of solid hardwood (I love the maple) and are a favorite among professional chefs.

Speaking of cutting, these Berti chef's knives are my all-time favorite. Handmade in Italy, they've been made in the same way since 1895 – and it shows! Don't forget a steel to keep them nice and sharp.

Wine glasses will break – it's not a question of if, but when. That's why it's best to avoid a truly precious set, so you won't be heartbroken when one gets dropped. Most importantly, get an established brand that will still be making those same glasses in 10 years' time, so you can be confident you'll always be able to replace them. Riedel's Vinum line are a staple on the higher end, while Libbey are an affordable favorite. Get a set of white and red glasses, but don't worry about varietals unless you're planning on hosting a lot of wine tastings. (Even Champagne can be served in a regular white wine glass, according to sommeliers!) 

Laguiole steak knives are a beautiful addition to any table setting.

Vitamix blenders really are in a class of their own. The ultra-powerful engine makes short work of ice cubes for the creamiest smoothies and frozen drinks, and it can even be used to make whole-grain flours and nut butters.

Illy espresso maker takes all the guesswork out of making cafe-quality espresso, and its small footprint won't take up valuable counter space!

Plus, these small items you're guaranteed to use:
A Microplane grater/zester
pasta spider for rescuing things from boiling water or hot oil
A silicone spatula that can be used at any temperature
Y-peelers that are easier to use and work for lefties and righties
This all-purpose, do-everything spoon, designed by chefs for chefs


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