After a year of watching people delay or cancel weddings due to the pandemic, with things finally returning to normal, you might be taking more care than ever to find a good gift for any you’re invited to. 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. We combed through our archives, cherry-picking the best things that any newlywed would want (other than the Le Creusets, Cuisinarts, and KitchenAids you’re probably already drowning in). Think of it as the Strategist’s Greatest Hits: Wedding Edition. Whether you’re looking to give 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. It’s the ultimate alt-registry. (If you’re looking for gifts to mark a wedding anniversary, we’ve got you covered, too.) To help you shop, we’ve broken the items up into the below sections; if you know the type of thing you’re looking for, you can click on any of the links below to jump straight to that category.
Bath and bedding
In our big roundup of the best linen sheets, Strategist writer Tembe Denton-Hurst said these Belgian linen sheets “have this automatically lived-in look, soft and rumpled and ultraluxurious.” There are plenty of color options to choose from, too, like forest green, terra-cotta, and peacock blue.
We found that these more affordable linen sheets from West Elm held their own against some of the fancier ones. The set includes a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases, making it nice and substantial.
The gift of two fluffy down pillows will make any couple’s bed feel more like one at a fancy hotel. Alex Savy, the founder of sleep-product review website SleepingOcean, describes Brooklinen’s down pillow as a “fairly affordable option that does not sacrifice quality for the price tag.” It comes in three densities, including plush, mid-plush, and firm. Whichever you choose, Savy says they are “nicely made, with neat stitching and a 100 percent cotton cover that uses a sateen weave and feels heavenly soft and silky to the touch.”
A non-fusty coverlet, recommended by writer–slash–creative consultant Harling Ross, who put it on her own registry. “I’m just as big a fan of the brand’s home stuff, and in warmer months, this seems like a really practical alternative to a heavier comforter,” she says.
These large, lightweight towels are quick-drying as well as soft and cozy. According to Strategist senior writer Karen Iorio Adelson, “They actually dried me off quicker than my old towels and didn’t get wet and soggy in the process. Apparently the secret is the towel’s loose weave, which promotes air circulation.”
Matching bathrobes make a nice gift. These plush ones from luxury linens brand Frette come recommended by Dinah Cooke, who directs social media for the Joanna Vargas spa. “I’m absolutely in love with mine. It’s luxurious yet simple,” she says. “I wear it after taking a long bath or while I’m sheet-masking.”
Pantry and kitchen
This eye-catching bottle of olive oil will complement all of their shiny new kitchen gear. And it’s not just a pretty package: The Tuscan oil is made from olives harvested only in October (when olives are green and just starting to ripen) for the most potent flavor.