Don't go crazy with that registry gun and end up with way too many versions of a chip-and-dip set. BRIDES' editors pare it down to the basics. (Whatever else you register for is just gravy—hello, flat-screen TV!)
1. Dinnerware A casual set of plates and bowls will definitely get more use than fancy china, so pick a style you love and wouldn't mind seeing every day, whether for informal dinners with friends or just the two of you.
Tip: Choose a neutral color or pattern that won't clash with changing tastes and can be accented with fun colors.
2. Glassware A set of standard glasses is a staple of day-to-day dining, so register for ones that are sturdy but also won't break your heart should they meet their demise.
Tip: Break a glass? It's okay to mix and match.
3. Flatware No table setting is complete without the eating utensils. (Duh.)
Tip: Make it easy on yourself—register for something dishwasher-safe. Silver will tarnish if not used on a regular basis, so also keep that in mind.
4. Mixing bowls Great for prepping ingredients for your first meals as a married couple.
Tip: Get a supercute one, and it can double as a serving bowl.
5. Mixer The horsepower of a mixer will save you a lot of time when it comes to baking and cooking.
Tip: An old-fashioned stand mixer is more expensive than a hand mixer, but it's stronger (especially good for making dough) and a great way to decorate your kitchen.
6. Cookware Whether you're an experienced chef or a beginner, good basic cookware is a must. Look for a set that includes basics like a saute or fry pan, a stockpot (for boiling pasta), and a saucepan.
Tip: For optimum fashion and function, an enameled cast-iron pot (which usually comes in fun colors) is great for stews and sauces.
7. Bakeware A baking sheet (for cookies), a roasting pan with a rack (for meats), and a casserole (usually glass) are oven essentials.
Tip: Go for something nonstick; this will make it easier for you to clean up.
8. Toaster oven Bigger than a toaster but infinitely more useful. You can reheat leftovers (like pizza) without their going limp, cook small batches of cookies, and even, uh, toast bread.
Tip: Choose a stylish finish or color to match your kitchen decor or appliances.
9. Blender For making frozen drinks, smoothies, prepping ingredients, or pureeing soups—this appliance has more uses than you can shake a whisk at.
Tip: Get it! Did we mention frozen drinks?
10. Wineglasses Nothing is more grown-up than serving wine in wineglasses instead of beer mugs. Don't go fancy with these (see the glassware entry, above).
Tip: Wash wineglasses by hand to avoid dishwasher residue that can affect the taste of your next Bordeaux.
11. Cutlery Good-quality knives tend to be a bit pricey, but with the right care, they should last you forever. Be sure to pick up the basics: a paring knife, a serrated knife, and a chef's knife.
Tip: Splurge for the wooden chop block to store your knives in. There's less of a chance they'll get bent in the drawer or lose their sharp edges (and it's safer for you, too).
12. Serving platter As soon as you wed, friends and family will be rushing over to see your new home. Be prepared with a nice serving tray to make entertaining easier (and elegant).
Tip: Don't let uncooked meats make contact with your serving platter—that's a food-safety no-no.
13. Luggage Most people won't splurge on good luggage and don't think about it for the registry, but it's probably the first thing a new husband and wife will use—on their honeymoon. Woo-hoo!
Tip: You'll come back home with more than you left with, so pack a foldable duffle bag inside to put gifts in on the return trip.
14. Bedding Your first year of wedded bliss will include time between the sheets, so overlooking this category would just be a shame.
Tip: A higher thread count will cost extra but feels oh-so luxurious.
—Taryn Berkowitz, BRIDES magazine