Wedding season is upon us, which means of course that wedding-gift season is rearing its (anxiety-inducing) head. But while the process can be a beast, we here at the Strategist have honed a pretty good sense about what makes a great wedding gift. (Here’s our guide to the best wedding gifts, according to recently married couples.) So we combed through the Strategist archives, cherry-picking the best things that any newlywed would want — think of it as the Strat Greatest Hits: Wedding Edition. Whether you’re looking for something off-registry, or trying to find the just-right thing to put on your own, we’ve come up with a megalist of all of our favorite items that would make fantastic wedding gifts. And because you’re likely swimming in a sea of Le Creusets, Cuisinarts, and KitchenAids, you won’t see any of those here. Think of this as the ultimate alt-registry. If you’re feeling inspired, you can get started on your own Amazon registry, too.
Bath and Bedding
These are the luxurious linen sheets that senior writer Lauren Levy tried and loved — they feel expensive, but aren’t prohibitively so.
These are a consistent Strategist best seller, and for good reason. They’re designer-approved, light-as-air bamboo sheets that you can buy on Amazon.
This set is just, ahem, peachy. How can you be mad sleeping under this?
These Japanese-made Lattice Towels are painstakingly woven on antique looms in Imabari, and dry exceptionally quickly. Strategist writer Hannah Morrill also notes that “these Towels still feel soft and luxe, and not sad and scratchy, wash after wash. And secondly, they keep their integrity and don’t look like doormats, even after years of wear.”
For something a little simpler: As big fans of Parachute’s bedding and linens here at the Strat, we can vouch for the quality of these towels, too.
Not one but two Strategist editors (Alexis and Jason) own a bamboo bath mat and much prefer it to their formerly soggy cloth ones.
His and her (or her and her or his and his) matching bathrobes makes a nice gift. These heavyweight washed-linen ones from Northern California–based Coyuchi, are the favorite of Shannon Vaughn, founder of Pursoma, a line of fancy bath soaks. After a soak, Vaughn recommends wrapping yourself in one for 30 minutes, then promptly heading straight to bed. “You’ll sleep like a baby,” she says.
This exact Coyuchi robe has limited sizing, but here’s a similar style from Coyuchi.
Food and Kitchen
Hands down, no question, this is the chef knife to get. We talked to more than two dozen experts and even tested some ourselves: It’s the best.
For something on the much more extravagant side, you can’t beat this stunning chef-approved Japanese Miyabi knife.
Experts have told us to forgo the standard cheese knife set and instead buy a universal cheese knife, like this stainless-steel version from Swissmar.
Sure, All-Clad is great, but this copper pan from Mauviel is a work of art. It’s the favorite of Vic’s, Rosie’s, and Cookshop chef Marc Meyer, who told us why he loves this pan: “It’s beautifully made, and the handle stays cool, even when using high heat. It’s a pleasure to cook anything in this pan.”
Another alternative to the All-Clads and Cuisinarts of the world is chef-beloved French cookware line Matfer Bourgeat. This pan was recommended to us by John Fraser (Dovetail, Narcissa, Nix).
There are few prettier pour-over coffee makers than this Osaka version, which doesn’t require disposable filters thanks to its mesh metal one.
The key to a good cup of coffee is fresh beans ground to the perfect consistency. This is the one to geek out with.
Nobody will not love a beautiful matte-black electric tea kettle.
A slightly more fun, splatterware alternative to the standard Le Creuset kettle.
Sometimes you want to finish a whole bottle; sometimes you don’t. The very best sommelier-approved system for preserving open bottles of wine is the Coravin.
These tumblers (the second from the left in the photo above) have already been called the best by designers and us — on a recent trip to Spain, we noticed that every restaurant had them, too. They’re perfect.
Writer Ming Thompson, in her piece on essential apartment things you should buy in your 20s that you’ll have for the rest of your life, recommends these Iittala glasses. “After breaking dozens of paper-thin glasses, I invested in these timeless and durable glasses in the colors of the sea and sky. They feel just right in your hand, with a heavy bottom and a comfortable shape.”
Hands down, the finest universal wine glasses you can buy. Adored by civilians and sommeliers alike.
These differently shaped IPA glasses are made for different kinds of craft beers, which is just the kind of extravagant nonnecessity a wedding calls for.
These mugs will not be to everyone’s taste; they’re ours.
Take a page from our very discerning senior writer Lauren Levy, who fell in love with these Hasami plates when creating her own registry.
Nobody could object to these delicately speckled dinner plates that are reminiscent of the stoneware at Two Hands.
Designer Sara Story first told us about these elegant sets, and we’ve been smitten ever since.
Senior writer Lauren Levy not only obsessed over dishes, but flatware sets for her registry, too. She didn’t choose these tortoiseshell ones ultimately, though they were strong contenders.
This is the set that Lauren ultimately went with, which she calls “classic stainless steel, with a bit of an edge.” Seven months later, she still loves them.
For the activated charcoal aficionado.
This Falcon enamelware bake set is a favorite of Strategist writer Katy Schneider. She told us: “They’re very pretty and vintage-looking without hitting you over the head with it, but most of all, I love that since they fit into each other, they store super easily. And you can use the smaller tins as serving bowls.”
“The best dinner napkins by far are Le Jacquard Français,” blogger Darcy Fogg told us. “Not only are they beautifully made, gorgeously designed, and able to stand alone as the statement piece in your tablescape, but they also last through more washings and wear than you can imagine.”
These, from Tenfold, are interior designer Meg Sharpe’s favorite place mats. “They are so chic in their simplicity,” she told us.
The beloved Yeti Hopper cooler (perfect for camping, tailgating, day-at-the-beaching, and afternoon-in-the-parking) will survive nearly anything. And it better, for $200.
Home Furnishings and Accessories
A plant that you can order from Amazon that isn’t hideous and won’t wilt in the mail? Yes, it’s true! This one comes with a lovely ceramic planter.
Strategist writer Lauren Levy has been evangelizing about this Tom Dixon vase for months, and finally bit the bullet and bought it in November.
Big furniture pieces are weird to register for, but this Strat favorite, a Yamazaki Home wall ladder — an alternative to everyone’s dreaded “clothes chair” — feels fine on a registry.
Same with this folding chair, which is meant for outdoor decks and terraces, but can be used when extra folks come over for Vanderpump Rules viewing parties or for movie-in-the-park outings.
Another extra seating solution, which we’ve written about before; they also make wonderful plant stands.
A Lucite tray for breakfast-in-bedding.
A splurge-y set of fancy matching umbrellas makes a fun and useful gift. This one is a favorite of writer Christopher Mason, who told us: “There’s something incredibly solid about the quality of the London Undercover City Gent umbrella — it has a Malacca-wood handle (which is used to make the finest canes), a beechwood shaft, gunmetal spokes, and a bronze ferrule.”
This, the best beach umbrella (which happens to be a World War II–era beach umbrella), has some serious bona fides: It’s the official umbrella for the entire city of North Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach and Chicago. They use a version of the Frankford when you rent an umbrella at the Ritz-Carlton in Miami, as well as the Delano, the Fontainebleau, and the Eden Roc.
Here’s a tip — put ten of these smart plugs on your registry, and you’ll be able to transform your home. Turn on the AC before you arrive. Start the slow cooker from work. Leave the lights on when you’re on vacation. The possibilities are endless.
This allergist-approved air purifier is the cream of the crop, the best at removing allergens, pollutants, and dust from sneeze-inducing air.
This “natural” clock (it wakes you up with a soft light as opposed to a blaring alarm) is a Strategist favorite, and good for SAD-inclined couples.
A recently married doctor we spoke to told us that a friend got a Nest Cam off-registry that turned out, he said, “to be the most incredible gift. We have a Siberian husky, who often gets restless when left alone. It is great to be able to keep an eye on him with the Nest Cam, and possibly come home early from an evening out if he is getting stressed out.”
Strictly speaking, nobody needs a Sonos Playbar, but nobody would be upset about six or seven friends chipping in to buy one to make TV-viewing cinematic.
Duh. You don’t even need to get two of them — just two brush heads.
This tiny cube of a mini-projector lets you pretend that you’re at the movies, even when you’re just at home (or in a hotel or camping).
A smart camera-assisted doorbell for the added layer of security — never lose a package or worry about who’s at the door again.
We own and adore this no-frills suitcase — load up on two of them for any couples’ trip or honeymoon.
Then there are those of us who want elegant, long-lasting luggage that will never go out of style — also useful for the days when you (of course inevitably) fly first.
We are obsessed with this unisex bag, which pretty much works just as the ultimate everyday bag that happens to be big enough for short trips.
Or go with a set of matching super-customized L.L. Bean bags.
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