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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.]

When you are snuggled up watching Succession on the couch (you rarely go out anymore, lol, you are married), you need a chic throw to keep warm. This one from Mantas Ezcary is done in a very on-trend mohair, and I love the ombré dye.

As busy young newlyweds, you’ll probably be eating a lot of fast-casual takeout (including when you’re watching Succession on the couch). Taking your Sweetgreen out of its ugly (but ecofriendly) packaging and serving it on these plates from Heath Ceramics will basically transport you and your new wife to Chez Panisse. Bliss! Each Basic Set comes with three pieces, including a main plate, a salad plate, and a side bowl; for $184, you can get a five-piece Full Set that also includes a smaller café bowl and a mug.

Okay, this Frank Gehry–designed armchair is insanely expensive. But look, it’s far less than one of his houses, and you might have a very wealthy, eccentric uncle who wants you to stunt. Sure, you could take the cash, but what fun is that?

My husband’s birthday is coming up and I want to get him some really cozy and cool clothes for around the house — shorts, sweats, T-shirts, and other stuff that I don’t mind looking at, and will make him feel like another brother on Succession. Would love to know your thoughts at various price points.

Looking rich while lounging requires particular garments, which of course must be worn with the appropriate attitude and swagger. This garment-dyed Anderson & Sheppard Linen pajama set, for example, is truly beautiful. Put on some black leather Birkenstock Bostons for a quick stroll to pick up matcha lattes. And don’t forget to wave to the neighbors, because you look great.

I also love a pair of luxury Brooks Brothers boxer shorts. The fit is called slim, but these are pretty roomy by today’s modern standards. They are cotton broadcloth and have a double-button mother-of-pearl waistband closure, which is SO unnecessary and luxurious. Pair them with Sleepy Jones’ Marcel Pajama Shirt, which features a fun, all-over monogram print. (“AOK,” “PBS,” “LOL,” “THC.”) It’s a perfect look for reading the Financial Times Weekend in a beat-up club chair while someone else makes you an espresso.

The lounging t-shirt is easy for me, because I literally have hundreds of T-shirts in my closet, pantry, and oven to choose from. I only recently added these Supima cotton three packs from Brooks Brothers to my collection, but I already love them. Not too thick, not too thin, just nice and breathable. Ideal for a night on the sofa arguing about what to watch on Netflix.

Buying a designer sweatsuit seems a bit extreme to me. Instead, go for a classic gray sweatshirt from Gildan or Champion. They aren’t fussy, just roomy and warm. If your footsies are chilly, some matching gray Pantherella cashmere socks will do the trick. Happy lounging!

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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