The New York Times Recipe Contributor Lidey Heuck’s Top Registry Tips for the Best Kitchen

By Over The Moon

Written by Lidey Heuck

Photo: Courtesy of Lidey Heuck

As someone who cooks for a living and entertains constantly, I’ve always been curious to see what kinds of cookware and dishes my friends choose for their wedding registries. Now that it’s my turn at bat, I’ve realized how complicated the whole process can be. There are so. many. choices!

With all the hard work that goes into a planning a wedding, creating a registry of items you and your partner will use in your new life together should be a fun and exciting part of the process. With that in mind, I wanted to share a few registry tips from my experience as a recipe developer, serial dinner party host, and most recently, bride-to-be!

Before I begin, I just wanted to note that your guests’ most important gift is sharing in your wedding celebration with you. While wedding registries have become customary, any gift, from your registry or otherwise, is a generous and thoughtful gesture.

1. Now is the perfect time to upgrade.

While it might seem logical to exclude items you already have from your registry, this is a great opportunity to upgrade to higher quality kitchen tools. Not only will working with better equipment help you become a more efficient and confident cook, but well-made cookware and knives should last a lifetime. Large wood cutting boards, baking dishes, and small kitchen appliances are also worth upgrading. These are investment pieces that will set you up for success in the kitchen, whether you’re someone who cooks every night or are just getting started.

2. Less is more, when it comes to cookware.

Whether you’re working with a tiny apartment kitchen or have plenty of space, kitchen cabinets have a way of getting over-crowded. To keep things organized, I recommend choosing standard sizes of skillets, Dutch ovens, and saucepans, and avoiding cookware and appliances that will have limited use in your kitchen.  I use the same small set of pots and pans for almost everything: an 8-inch, 10-inch and 12-inch skillet, and a 2-quart, 4-quart, and 8-quart pot or Dutch oven. If you’re really excited about that waffle-maker go for it, but if you see yourself making waffles once a year, consider saving room for your everyday cookware.

3. Imagine setting the table with items from your registry.

Linens, placemats, and candlesticks add instant personality to your table, whether you’re having a few friends over or hosting Thanksgiving. Table settings don’t need to be matchy-matchy, but rather than picking of bunch of dishes and napkins that catch your eye individually, think about how these items might look together. Do you have a few different combinations of colors and patterns that work well together? Can you mix and match table linens and serving pieces for different occasions and seasons? Thinking about how you’ll use the items will help ensure you can set a beautiful table all throughout the year.

4. Make sure your registry works for you!

Every registry has different options and rules when it comes receiving and keeping track of your gifts. I love that Over The Moon’s registry offers the flexibility to fulfill gifts on your own timeline, lets you add items from other sites, and helps keep track of thank-you notes. It’s a perfect registry for the modern bride.

5. Register for what YOU want.

Everyone will have ideas and opinions on what you should include in your wedding registry (including me!) but ultimately, you and your partner know yourselves best. I am all for setting yourself up with essentials you’ll use and need in your home, especially when it comes to cooking. But beyond the basics, register for items that will make your apartment or house feel like a home, and for things that make you happy. If that means registering for ski boots or a fancy hair dryer instead of a set of wedding China, go for it. Just remember that your guests may have different ideas of what is appropriate to give as a wedding gift, so be sure to have options-  and a range of prices-  that will reflect your guest list.

Here are a few of my registry faves from Over The Moon’s shop!