Registry Tips from a Gourmet Groom

The clever methods one groom used to achieve his dream kitchen.

Registry Tips from a Gourmet Groom

Photo: Phil Kramer

Negotiating your wedding registry with your future spouse doesn't have to be fraught with peril. When David Stempel moved in with Lauren soon after they got engaged, his passion for cooking quickly revealed that the kitchen was ill equipped. Although the rest of the house was beautifully furnished, the collection of chipped plates, mismatched silverware, and freebie coffee cups didn't fit anyone's idea of a gourmet kitchen. "My shelves were stocked for someone who made dinner by ordering take-out," Lauren admits.

When it came time to register, Dave was more than happy to seek out the pots, pans, knives, and electrics the couple needed to create a new kitchen together; Lauren, however, was preparing to add the best in decor items to the list so their home would reflect both of their tastes. With two very different goals in mind, the couple began to discuss and devise a registry plan that would satisfy them both.

First, Lauren and Dave went from store to store to get ideas about the types of things they wanted to include on their registry. Excited by all of their options, the couple found that they were actually having a good time. Together they decided that Williams-Sonoma was the perfect retailer for their primary focus: kitchenware. "[Williams-Sonoma] has it all in one place, and their staff is so helpful and super knowledgeable," Lauren explains. Dave quickly added his favorite All-Clad items ("I had to have some All-Clad to do more experiments in the kitchen!"), a convection oven, a food processor, and an espresso maker, along with a set of Wuesthof knives. The couple also included non-stick Goldtouch cookie sheets, glass mixing bowls, Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, and other essentials such as oven mitts, colanders, and graters.

Lauren and Dave also agreed to include china, silverware, and crystal on their registry. "I started to dream about a perfectly lit glass china cabinet filled with sparkling pieces!" Lauren laughs. "There was a huge selection at Bloomingdale's," she adds of the couple's go-to store for classic wedding gifts. "I think it's a wonderful choice for a registry." Kate Spade china, serving platters from Tracy Porter, and Christofle sterling silver rounded out the couple's selections and met their joint standards for heirloom quality.

With the kitchen and china cabinet squared away, Lauren was able to concentrate on adding accent pieces for the home that would combine her style with Dave's. "New things were appropriate as we were beginning something new together," she explains. Drawn to fun items at Neiman Marcus, the couple had a ball choosing ice buckets, cake platters, candlesnuffers, and candy dishes.

Butterfly salad servers, nut bowls, and a chip and dip server by Arthur Court Designs also joined a tea set from Michael Aram on the list. "The ornamental pieces were Lauren's cup of tea," Dave smiles, but he kept close tabs on his bride when it came to other things. "Keep an eye on your fiancee as she picks out linens and towels to ensure that you keep pink, salmon, and peach tones to a minimum," he warns. "It might be embarrassing when friends are over and see all the shades of pastel that were chosen if you play the 'I'm too busy to work on the registry with you' card." The couple's pact to work on their registry together ended in making each extremely happy with their selections. "We both really got into the process," says Lauren. "I honestly would not have changed a thing."