When it comes to choosing what to add to your wedding registry, the process can be overwhelming to say the least. There are boundless options, especially since registering online is now more popular than ever and couples are no longer limited to the traditional scan-gun, brick-and-mortar form of registering. Thanks to sites like Zola, you can pull wedding registry items (and experiences!) from virtually anywhere. But this may make narrowing down what you should put on your list seem impossible. One of the most difficult categories to narrow down? Kitchen goods—specifically cookware.
Whether you're new to cooking or a pro in the kitchen, registering is a time to start fresh and get the pieces that will carry you and your partner for years to come—and good quality pots and pans are key. But where do you start when there are so many options to choose from? We spoke to the founders of one of our favorite cookware lines, Great Jones (a female-founded startup in NYC) to get their expert tips on what you should look for—and where you should start—when you're looking for the best cookware to add to your wedding registry.
Great Jones cofounder Sierra Tishgart even says that the cookware company got its start for this exact reason. She and cofounder Maddy Moelis found purchasing cookware an anything-but-easy experience. "We both faced frustrations in purchasing cookware. We had trouble figuring out what we actually needed and why. Was a 14-piece set really necessary in our small New York kitchens? We wanted high-quality pieces that would last, but not break the bank. We also wanted our cookware to look beautiful, so we could store it on our stove tops and also use it as serving ware."
Thus, Great Jones was born. As Tishgart explains, "We saw an opportunity to modernize the process of outfitting your kitchen from start to finish—offering personalized education around materials and use cases, designing a curated collection that reflects personal style, and working with chefs to ensure we achieved the highest quality without having to charge the inflated prices of antiquated luxury brands."
So, what does this mean for your registry?
According to the Great Jones founders, there are three top things to look for when choosing the best cookware for your wedding registry.
"You'll set yourself up for success in your kitchen if your cookware crosses materials, and we designed our set with this in mind," says the Great Jones founders. "Our ceramic nonstick Small Fry is best for eggs and pancakes; our fully clad stainless products are great for searing chicken and boiling; and our enameled cast iron Dutchess is amazing for stews and roasts."
"Size is crucial!" emphasizes Tishgart. "If you're cooking for one, there's really little need for a giant stockpot (I learned this the hard way). We believe our Family Style set (below) covers your bases, but we also offer all our pieces à la carte, because everyone's cooking needs are different."
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"Over the years, cookware has gotten heavier and heavier," notes the Great Jones founders. "And that's not a design decision that's always grounded in quality. (It's perhaps an indication that most cookware is designed by men!) You want your pots and pans to feel substantial so they don't warp and they conduct heat evenly, but you also need to be able to reasonably lift them (especially because all our Great Jones designs go from stove to oven to table). If cookware feels unmanageable to you, you're going to avoid using it, and that defeats the purpose."
Now that you know what you need to look for in cookware, it's time to start registering!
To begin, the Great Jones founders have a few suggestions that you should purchase or add to your wedding registry, first and foremost. "I use our Great Jones Saucy more than anything to make rice, pasta, grains," says Tishgart. "We'd definitely suggest you get a mix of materials. We often hear from married couples that they regret only registering for heavy and expensive enameled cast-iron pieces, which are usually reserved for special occasions, or copper cookware which is extremely hard to maintain."
"We're obviously biased, but if you're starting from scratch, our Family Style set is an easy answer." You can even engrave the stainless pieces in the set (along with Great Jones's other stainless steel options)! Talk about the perfect wedding gift.
See more: 11 Amazon Wedding Registry Must-Haves