Another wedding anniversary is upon us. We have been holding on (for dear life 😉 ) for 8 years now! Every year I think we need to plan something special, but then the day sneaks up on us and we barely have time to kiss and hug and be on our way. I think that’s just life with small children for ya.
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As I was thinking about our wedding, I realized that we received a lot of gifts (as well as cash and gift cards), but not all of those gifts were actually useful after all. We used all the cash and gift cards we received to basically buy the things we had on our registry that nobody gave to us. But I wish we had been more thoughtful about what purchases to make at that time.
For example, no newlywed couple living in a small apartment and attending college needs fancy dinnerware. Yet, that was something we registered for and received for our wedding. And I just recently gave that fancy dinnerware to my mom to give to someone else for their wedding. Yes, I stored it for 8 years thinking we would use it at some point. But we never did.
Wedding Gifts that Last Through the Years
While we got a lot of gifts that we didn’t actually end up using, we also got plenty of items that were exactly what we needed and they are still things we use to this day.
Here are our favorites for the kitchen:
Crock Pot/Slow Cooker
For our wedding, we got a 5 quart crockpot, and I wish it would have been just a bit bigger. It’s nearly impossible to cook a whole chicken in there, and that would be awesome to do in the summer. So if you plan to give a crockpot for a wedding, go for at least a 6 quart and possibly even an 8 quart pot.
I used our rice maker up until just recently when I started making rice on the stove. The rice cooker has been great to use for those days when I can’t be home to cook for dinner because you can set it to be done at a certain time. It’s also a great tool to use if you want to steam veggies, something I did a lot of when I made homemade baby food.
When we were first married, we ate a lot of sandwiches. We loved to use our sandwich/waffle maker, because a hot sandwich is always so much better than a cold one! Now I use our sandwich/waffle maker mostly to make waffles, but I think I’ll start using it again for sandwiches.
If you’ll be getting a toaster for a newly married couple, you may want to consider whether they enjoy eating toast or not. As laughable as that might be, it’s the truth. What do you need a toaster for if you rarely eat bread or toast?
We love bread, so this was not a problem for us, at all. In fact, we registered for and received a 4-slice toaster, and we still have it. It’s great to have when my husband’s loud, bread-hoarding family comes over for breakfast or brunch. Bread crumbs get all over the place, but at least they’re happy. 🙂
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Unless you know that one of the newlyweds can cook up a storm with a blindfold on, you can’t go wrong with measuring cups and measuring spoons. They’re essential for baking and can be very useful for general cooking. I use mine nearly every day.
We did not register for glass bowls. In fact, even though someone gave us a set of very nice glass bowls, we didn’t end up getting them out of storage to use until about 2 years ago. I love them now! I use them to mix food, to let my bread dough rise, and to serve side salads. They are very useful and durable!
Fine Mesh Strainer
While I would recommend that every family owns a colander, I would also recommend a fine mesh strainer*. I registered for one of these thinking that it would be dual purpose, but I realized you really do need a separate colander. But the fine mesh strainer is such a useful kitchen tool to have around. I often use mine to drain pasta when I know it will go straight through the holes of my colander. I also use it to strain my chicken stock. I never sift my flour or sugar, but it can also be used for this purpose.
How glad I am that my mom gave us a durable can opener for our wedding! It still works after 8 years! We got a KitchenAid can opener* in pink, to match my stand mixer that she got me several years before that. Those cheap can openers are just not worth the money.
Baking sheets can be used for much more than just baking, and a quality brand can mean years of use. We got plenty of baking sheets for our wedding, but our favorite, by far, is our aluminum one, just like this one*. It’s truly great quality! We use it several times a week. For Thanksgiving most years, we use it to cook our rolled-up, stuffed turkey. It’s fairly easy to clean compared to some of the other baking sheets we have.
I’m glad that we received a couple sets of drinking glasses for our wedding.
My husband We tend to be a bit clumsy at times, and our first set is nearly gone because nearly all the drinking glasses broke. We recently got out another box of drinking glasses that we had saved from our wedding and we’re so glad we held onto them. Good as new!
Here are our favorites for the bathroom:
Monogrammed Bath Towels
One of our wedding guests creatively monogrammed a set of bath towels as our gift. I love those towels! I’m so glad she just stuck with our first names, though, because I’m just not a fan of the ones that say “Mr.” and “Mrs.”. If you have the talent to sew and the capability to sew a name onto a bath towel, this could be a favorite gift of the newly married couple! You could also custom order these kinds of towels from Etsy.
Sounds silly, but I don’t know what I would have done if we hadn’t received a trash can for our bathroom when we got married. I hadn’t even thought of registering for one. We still use the one we got* all those years ago, and I love it because it has a pedal to open up the lid. Nobody should have to see what’s in the garbage in the bathroom!
Here are our favorites for the bedroom:
My husband and I were lucky to receive a very beautiful and warm blanket for our wedding. All the ladies on my dad’s side get together each time someone in the family is getting married, and they make a blanket for the newlyweds. A handmade blanket is special, and ours has lasted all these years.
We registered for lamps for our wedding, but we didn’t receive them. So we used gift cards to buy them. I wish I could say that we still have both lamps, but we’re down to just one. It’s still so very useful, though, because I hate having to get out of bed to turn off the light once I’m comfortable!
If you know that the newly married couple will be living in an apartment soon after they are wed, a box fan as a gift could be awesome to have. Most apartments don’t exactly have the best air flow, and many don’t have any AC at all. Our first apartment had a window unit, but I preferred to use the box fan. I guess this gift all depends on the location where the married couple will be living as well. We have held onto our box fan all these years and still use it!
We received two laundry baskets for our wedding (I think that’s all we registered for), and I really wish we had received at least 4! We still use the ones we got for our wedding. No need for new ones when the purpose is just to hold dirty clothes!
These are the most unique gifts we received:
A box of recipe cards
When I got married, I knew a little bit about cooking, but I didn’t have many recipes. I am so glad that one of my good friends and her family made us a box full of recipe cards. Those recipes became many of the first meals I made, and since they were tried-and-true, I felt like an awesome cook! This is such a great gift idea that you can do for very little money!
A “You Are Special Today” plate
This was probably one of my favorite gifts of all. A “You Are Special Today” plate* can be used for all sorts of special occasions: birthdays, anniversaries, first day of school, new job, etc., and you can write notes about the event on the back of the plate with the marker that comes with it. We used this a lot when we were first married, but we haven’t gotten it out in a while. I need to do that again!
If you’ll notice, the kitchen list is the longest, and I think that with most couples those will be the things they need the most. Without certain kitchen items it makes it really hard to cook at home and then they will turn to takeout because they don’t want to spend money on a new appliance. So if you are having a hard time coming up with something to buy someone for their wedding, start in the kitchen!
What useful and lasting gifts did you receive for your wedding?
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