If I knew then what I know now: Wedding Registry Revisited

In 2001, I was registering for my wedding gifts, one of which would become a never-used, tarnished, silver lasagna server. Silver pieces like cake knives and cake servers are non-essential precious metals that every bride simply must have. What’s the alternative, serving wedding guests cake with a stainless steel—or worse—a plastic cake server? A plastic cake server is no way to start a marriage.

Okay, maybe I didn’t need the silver pasta lifter, but before you judge me, consider this. Though you walk into a store a woman who doesn’t see the value in having two sets of napkin rings (casual and formal), once you are faced with an entire housewares section to put on your registry, your perspective changes.

Silver-plated salt and pepper shakers seemed, if not necessary, then important. And there’s a point in the registry scanning rush when a bride says, “…, I probably just can’t live without a gold leaf rimmed deviled egg platter.”

Other neglected or now discarded gems from my registry include: china for 12 that has seen more dust than use, ornate tongs, a leaded-glass ice bucket, monogrammed towels and finger bowls. I can count on my, well, fingers, how many times finger bowls have been a vital part of my married life.

I have things that have proven useful certainly. A good set of kitchen knives, the everyday utensils we still eat our cereal from and a slow cooker come to mind. If I could go back and register all over, these would still be on my list.

But I’d pass on the monogrammed towels. Did my husband and I imagine there would be a time that we’d forget whose towels we should use? There was never going to be a scenario in which I’d step out of the shower and say, “Oh, good! Here’s a towel with our monogram on it! For a second I thought these might be the neighbor’s bath towels.”

My china would go, too. The amount of time I spent agonizing over which floral motif said, “young and hip, but mindful of elegance and tradition” would have been better spent registering for dozens of kitchen towels as I always need those and rarely need a soup bowl for visiting dignitaries. If I ever have visiting dignitaries who are desperate for soup, we’ll muddle through with my cereal bowls. After all, there’s a 99-percent chance my soup is coming from a can.

Champagne flutes would be off the list. The only time I find myself in want of champagne flutes is on New Year’s Eve. Even then I remember that I don’t actually like champagne. What I like are glasses that don’t shatter in my dishwasher. As a blushing newlywed, I had no idea how many things I would try to shove into the top rack to avoid handwashing.

Instead of cup and saucer set for tea parties I don’t have, I’d ask for platters of every size. It’s hard to arrange a roast turkey on tea service for 12.

In place of a ceramic cake plate with matching ceramic serving utensil, I’d take two dozen wooden spoons or rubber spatulas. Try scraping a bowl of cake batter with a stoneware pie server and tell me which you’d rather have.

I guess I should give my younger, more naïve self a pass. I still have that lasagna sever, you know. It’s never been used to serve a baked pasta, as far as I can remember. And why would it? It’s too busy reminding me that in married life, priorities change and needs with them, and that’s quite important enough work for a glorified spoon.

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