DISHWARE + FLATWARE
I love a pretty set of fine china. I really do. Yes, I will have many someday (because the women who raised me had many and someday a few of them will be mine). If you are going to register for a set of fine china then at least make sure to have a great set of everyday dishes.
If you are someone that is entertaining often, you are going to want something that holds up. Something that you aren't upset if one is broken. Something that can go in the dishwasher -- can I get an amen?
I highly suggest having a set of 12+ plates so that you don't always have to wash any that are in the dishwasher before your guests arrive OR just so that you can host dinner for 12. This might mean that you have to register for two sets.
Multiple Sets of Silverware
I know I just suggested multiple sets of plates, but multiple sets of silverware is a must. Not having to wash forks between dinner and dessert is the dream, friends. Believe me when I say, I think this is a non-negotiable. Another option is to opt for a nicer set and one that is less expensive that is tucked away just for hosting large gatherings. No one will notice if things are mixed and matched. Guests will notice if you are stuck washing dishes all night.
POTS + PANS+ KNIVES
Pots + Pans
My #1 Tip for Your Pots and Pans -- Buy Pots and Pans you would happily serve out of.
I spent a lot of time thinking about what I need to upgrade when I was registering. There were some items that I was fine keeping for longer and other items that I wanted to upgrade to a more durable version. I invest heavily in my pots and pans. I want products that hold up, function beautifully, but also look nice enough to serve straight out of.
Besides some of my favorites below, I highly suggest purchasing some cast iron. I love cooking in it and it looks fantastic when you serve straight out of it.
You don't need everything, but you do need some basics. Wine glasses, highball glasses, wine opener, and a bar set for the cocktail lovers should cover the basics. If you want to go beyond that -- champagne flutes, additional wine glass sizes, martini glasses, etc. I highly suggest having one stemless set in addition to your normal set as these are easier to manage and generally result in fewer spills when people are mixing and mingling.
Multi-Use Serving Bowls + Platters
Having a million different serving dishes isn't necessary. You don't need a chip dish and vegetable platter and a fish platter, etc. You want 2-3 each of small and medium bowls and platters. I also love to have one large platter and bowl. That is 6 dishes. That is all you need.
All of mine are a mix and match of styles, but all in white so that they can work seamlessly together. I also am able to use some of my pots and pans if I am in need of more serving dishes. These Le Creuset pans double as cookware and serving dishes when needed.
Carafes + Pitchers
If you already have a coffee maker this is totally unnecessary. However, Michael doesn't drink coffee and I only drink an occasional latte here and there. Therefore, we don't make any coffee for ourselves at home. To keep things simple for when we have guests or host brunch, I purchased a french press which is small enough to store and easy to pull out when we are hosting.
Come summer, we are always grilling. In fact, I think you are all going to think I am ridiculous with how many things I grill and how out there I get. Anyways, a basic set of grilling tongs, a set of skewers, and a grill basket are my secret weapons.
Nice Salad Bowl
This is not a necessity. It is just because I serve a huge salad with every meal when entertaining. I like the salad to make an impact. I like the salad to make a statement. Therefore, it is one of the few things I have a special high-quality serving bowl for.
With all of that being said, you can totally skip this and just use one of the serving bowls I mentioned above.
Specialty Tools for your Favorite Things to Cook
So many people are nervous about serving meat when entertaining. What if they undercook.
Everyone. Should. Have. A. Meat. Thermometer.
Here is the one I have. Just buy one. This gives you the confidence to know when your food is cooked. Never again will you be nervous when someone cuts into their steak. Once you own one you will realize you are always reaching for it.
That is it, friends. Have fun! Remember that items can be exchanged. Take advantage of the registry completion discounts. Choose items that you are going to love!
Looking for more information on Wedding Registries? Take a look at my Registry Basics Post.