please advise

Ask Chris Black: What Are Your 10 Wedding-Registry Essentials?

Photo: Sirui Ma

If you’re looking for the most powerful hair dryer or the handiest chef’s knife, those things can be easy enough to find. Other objects of desire are a little more taste-based. What’s the next status water bottle or hand wash, for instance? Chris Black (he’s a partner at brand consultancy Public Announcement) is here to help in the form of a regular column. If you have a burning question about the next fanny pack or Noah rugby shirt, drop us an email with the subject line “Ask Chris” at

My fiancé and I are getting married in January, and are starting to work on our wedding registry. Do you have a top ten when it comes to items that must be included? 

Any wedding registry needs to be both fun and practical. The items should span a wide range of prices and tastes, so there are things that all of your guests will feel compelled to buy. Plenty of necessities, of course, but also a few wild cards that you might never buy for yourself!

The Nest x Yale smart lock will make married life easier, because when you lock yourself out of the apartment after a long day at work, your wife won’t have to leave happy hour with the girls to let you in — she can do it from the gadget’s corresponding app! Crisis averted! I love the future.

Parachute’s Classic towels are the best you can buy for the price. Nothing says adulthood like having a linen closet full of crisp, clean, white towels — and this Supreme set includes six hand towels, six washcloths, and six bath towels (for $390, Parachute also sells the set with six larger bath sheets instead of towels). Your practical sister-in-law would likely love to bless you with it.

The big-dog three-wick Diptyque Feu De Bois candle will have your home smelling nice for months while you force yourself to write an ungodly amount of thank-you notes for these gifts.

I love this simple jug from Hay for its versatility. You can use it to serve water with lemon slices to your guests, or for the weekly flower arrangements you buy because you ignore your new bride to play video games. Win/win.

Every registry must include some truly practical items, so I had to add a few to this list. Steamery’s Cirrus No. 2 steamer is tiny and powerful; it will allow you leave the house looking like the young, regal, married couple that you are. Wrinkle-free screams happiness.

Vitamix 7500 Blender

Taking care of your partner means concocting a well-made smoothie packed full of fresh produce, superfoods, and protein powders after a tough workout. The Vitamix 7500 is the Rolls Royce of blenders. Like your love, it will last forever.

I learned about the Chilipad (sick name) from my friend Andy just this past weekend. If you tend to run hot like I do, then you need this contraption. Strap the pad to your side of the bed, and control the temperature (igloo levels preferred, but it ranges from 55–110 degrees fahrenheit) while your wife slumbers away on her side, unbothered. This device could save a marriage. [Editor’s note: Amazon also sells less expensive, refurbished versions of Chilipad’s Cube 2.0.]