Our Top 12 Most Useful Wedding Gifts

 Fridge covered in adorable save the dates, calendar quickly filling up, and many joy-filled and long awaited reunions in the near future...is this sounding familiar? It's wedding season!!  As invites come in I love looking at everybody's registries and getting a glimpse of each couple's style and an idea of what their future home together will look and feel like--it feels like a sneak peak! Registry perusing has also made me reflect  on our own registry and which things have  proven to be our most useful wedding gifts. We were beyond blessed by the generosity of our wedding gifts, and are so grateful for  each and every one of them, but it is definitely  interesting, (and in some cases surprising!) to see which we have ended up utilizing most in our day to day life a year and half later! Read on for the low-down.

Top 12 Most Useful Wedding Gifts:

1. Cast iron skillet: I was a little wary of the seasoning process that comes along with cast iron, but after a little bit of research I realized it is cinch. We use our cast iron all the time, for everything from sauteeing to baking. We even brought it camping last year!

2. Kitchen-aid mixer: This was a gift from my bridesmaids and a staple in our kitchen. Although it does take up space on our galley-sized counters, it sees enough use that we haven't been able to justify putting it away. 

3. Tea kettle: I am in love with anything Le Creuset as their pieces are as beautiful as they are long-lasting and functional. We use our kettle every day, usually multiple times, to fill our french press or make cups of herbal tea. 

4. Dining Room Table: While our table wasn't on our registry, it is one of our most beloved gifts. My dad and I found it at an antique store in Pensacola, and my parents gave it to us as our wedding gift. We had no idea at the time though that the table and accompanying chairs are almost exactly the same as the set that John's mom and dad had in their first apartment in New York, which John's mom shared with us during her toast at our rehearsal dinner. Tip: Round tables are perfect for smaller homes where space is at a premium, and they remain versatile in bigger spaces where they can serve as breakfast tables in a kitchen or even a foyer table. 

5. Nespresso Machine: Oh, how we love our Nespresso. We can't say enough good things about the quality of the brand and their pods--we even did a side by side taste test with shots of Nespresso espresso and espresso from a traditional machine and the Nespresso easily held it's own. While it certainly is a luxury appliance, it is such a treat to be able to whip up our own cappuccinos or iced lattes, and we have almost entirely cut out our Starbuck's habit, which has been great on our wallet!

6. Pots and Pans: If you have been following along with The Gallivant for a while then you may have picked up on the fact that we are big foodies and love to cook, especially moi. When compiling our registry we were encouraged by  older and wiser foodie friends to register for top of the line cookware (despite the price-tag) because ultimately it would produce better food, wear better, and last longer. Like decades longer. We went for a mix of All-Clad D5 and copper-core pots and pans, and we opted out of a set so that we could customize a bit. 

7. Lamps: Lighting isn't necessarily the first thing you think of with a registry, but we were gifted some beautiful lamps that we adore. The chinoiserie-style set in our bedroom on either side of our bed completely make the room, and we have a couple of others that really elevate our living space. Turns out, lamps are an easy way to make a space look chic, even if it is still in its stage of "first-home style/decor schizophrenia." 

8. Couch: This is another gift that wasn't actually on our registry, but which makes our home/entertaining/reading/netflix-binging life so much more comfortable. John's mom gave us a beautiful couch when we got married and we just love it. Although we didn't register for ours, I have seen large furniture items on registries before and think it is a great opportunity for family or friends (and maybe even the wedding party) to band together and pitch in on a bigger gift. 

9. Dutch Oven: Another Le Creuset fave. From chili to coc-au-vin to bread-- this classic staple is endlessly versatile. 

10. Breville Smart Oven: John was obsessed with registering for a good toaster oven and I just didn't get it until we started using this puppy. Not only does it toast beautifully, but it is an actual little oven so we have done everything from cook chicken to make cookies in there! It is a life-saver during meals that are composed of multiple dishes that require the oven, and the clean up is way easier. Win win!

11. Cookbooks: This one doesn't need much explanation but needless to say, cookbooks make great engagement/wedding gifts, and we use ours all the time. 

12. Extra Sheets: We registered for both extra sheets for our bed, and for our guest room twin beds. Having extra twin sheets is particularly useful because we have often had guests back to back while living in Pensacola, and being able to just throw on a clean set and not have to wait for the set in the washer/dryer is a god-send. 

A quick note on our registering process: While compiling our registry I had a lot of reservations. I didn't want to register for too much, I wanted to be considerate of my guests (ie. lots of different price points) and I had a hard time registering for things that we didn't really need, but would love in our new home. My mom kept repeating to me, "Now is the time." over and over again, and she was completely right.  If you are anything like me, it helps to remind yourself that giving newlyweds gifts to help them start their life together and furnish their home is a  time-honored tradition, and the people who make up your village will enjoy doing it. It is an opportunity for them to give you something that you love or really need, and as is the case with many bigger gifts, something you may not be in a position to afford for some time.  Plus, everyone will love to see how you use their gift in your new home when they visit!

Anyone else have any wedding gifts that they couldn't live without? I am so curious to hear--obviously many of ours are food-centric because that is a big part of our lifestyle, but I would love to hear which gifts you love and still use in your daily life. Comment below, and stay tuned for a post about a few things that in hindsight  we wish we had registered for! 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Our Wedding.

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My 2014 Christmas Wish List

Christmas Wish List w Text.jpg

Happy December! It is the full-fledged holiday season and I know that I am not the only one with holiday shopping on the brain...John and I got most of our shopping done for our families on Monday night, and are now tackling our lists for each other. (Mostly me for him, my big present is already on the way as Amazon has an amazing deal going on right now!)

What is on your Christmas list this year? Here are the things which have been catching my eye in the past few months...

1. & 5. My new camera is on the way, equipped with it's kit lens, but I would love to add these lenses to my kit as well. Both are super practical for the kind of photography I do, and the canon pancake lens would be amazing on the smaller body of the SLi. I used to have the 50 mm with my old camera, but alas, that perished with the camera body. It was my most beloved lens, so I would love to replace it. 

2.  I have recently been trying out the Bobbi Brown skincare line, and have fallen in love with it. The lavender used throughout the line is perfect for my sensitive skin, and the creamy cleanser and moisturizer are hydrating, which has been a lifesaver over the past few weeks as the weather has gotten colder. The tonic also smells heavenly, and has really helped to even out my skin-tone. If you have sensitive combination skin like I do than definitely check this line out. 

3. This cookbook. And this baking bible

4. Loving this adorable cross-body purse for Winter, especially with the free monogramming.

6. I just adore these cool double pearl earrings. They have been getting serious hype since fashion week, and I am all about them. Classy with a twist. 

7. I have talked about my love for the UK before, and the british edition of Country Living is holding me over until the next time I can get over there. I pick it up at Barnes and Noble every month, but a subscription would be amazing. If you like living magazines you will love this one--it is full of amazing recipes, home and garden tips, and lots of fun articles about stuff going on around the UK. 

8. I love everything Lara Casey stands for, and her power sheets look like an amazing tool. 

What is catching your eye this season? I would love to hear! 

xoxo,

Emily

P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on instagram and pinterest! And Twitter!