Gone are the days when wedding registries were – of necessity – full of toasters, silverware and dinner sets. Gift lists of that sort made sense back in the days when couples didn’t live together before getting married; when they were essentially starting a home- and a household – from scratch. These days, newlyweds are more likely, not only to be older than those of yesteryear but also to have lived away from the family home for many years before tying the knot, accumulating all of the saucepans, vases and chopping boards they’re ever likely to need.
Modern registries often focus on experiences rather than things. However, there are still many couples who want to add to their home with things – the difference is that these days, the things tend to be geared more towards lifestyle enhancement than a basic necessity.
An example? Coffee cups. Coffee is no longer just a drink that helps to wake you up. It’s the stuff of ethical sourcing, barista crafting, and morning enriching. It’s aspirational. As such, not any old mug will do. The modern couple wants espresso cups that – no pun!- express all of this – not only so that they start their days with a stylish caffeine jolt, but so that their brunches and after-dinner beverages make the right statement.
And make no mistake – much of what informs requests for homeware now is at-home entertaining, whether that’s a casual brunch or a barbecue. Forget the formal dinner! Gravy boats are not how we entertain these days – we want sharing platters and bowl sets, both of which speak of entertaining that’s more about conversation and togetherness than it is about preparation and table manners. No wonder such items rate so highly on contemporary gift lists.
Cleopatra may have spoken of her ‘salad days’ as the time in her life when she was young and innocent, but today’s health-conscious couple sees salad very differently. It’s something that bursts with color and flavor and is, often, a centerpiece of sorts. So whether it’s a low-key, minimalistic serving bowl or a more flamboyant variation, one thing is certain: we don’t just toss a few pale green lettuce leaves into a tub anymore.
The same goes for storage: while our grocery store purchases may once have been simply a case of what was needed to get us through the week, food buying is now a source of pride and statement – and, as such, something that can be proudly displayed in the kitchen. Storage jars, brimming with ingredients, are the stuff of #shelfies and show – no longer stuffed into the back of cupboards, but statement pieces in a modern kitchen. Oven to tableware is also intensely contemporary and entirely in keeping with less formal notions of entertaining – no wonder it makes a frequent appearance on wedding registries! What could be more companionable and seemingly effortless as whisking a deliciously bubbling moussaka or lasagne from the oven and placing it on the table for guests to dig in to?
And don’t forget some glassware. Whether for the newlyweds to toast one another in private, or for them to say ‘salut’ around a table with friends, handsome drinkware is key, so be sure that the wedding registry has a mix of wine vessels, for entertaining, and tumblers, for softs. Happy weddings deserved to be washed down in style. Cheers!