For a wedding shower, most people check the registries for gifts the bride-to-be has selected in china, crystal and silver. These gifts are usually more appropriate for wedding gifts, unless the bride happened to mention some more ordinary items, such as bath towel sets of a particular color. Registry items tend to be expensive, which is why they are registered – so that the couple can collect various gifts to complete a set.
A shower, on the other hand, is usually intended to shower the bride-to-be with all those types of items she wouldn’t normally purchase or request herself, such as lingerie and special serving pieces. This is the perfect opportunity to supply the kitchen with items that can add up to a tidy sum,
Start with a kitchen-tall (eight gallon) waste can with a quick-release cover. This can have a pedal, swinging top, or flip top. Remember that odors attract pets and the hands are usually full of garbage. Find a style that suits the bride’s taste – very modern , traditional, or natural fibers (wicker, wood). You can wrap this or just provide a big bow.
Fill the waste can with all kinds of relevant items that one may or may not think to purchase in preparation for the communal home. Again, consider the bride and groom’s planned décor and needs. Wrap each item separately before placing it in the waste can.
If the couple will both be working, consider a tea or coffee-for-two brewer, preferably one with a clock-timer so that the couple can wake up to the fresh scent. Think of any time-saving gadgets. For instance, whether processed or pre-prepared, dinners will probably be microwaved during the week, so consider microwave tools such as grilling plates (metal wrapped in porcelain), covers for different sized dishes, microwave-safe dishes, and sturdy mugs.
If the bride and/or groom is planning to get into gourmet cooking, they would appreciate a garlic press, crepe pan, whisk set (at least three sizes), a zester, a grater, a flour sifter, an apple corer/parer, cake and pie servers, a good paring knife collection, which should include a fruit knife, tomato knife and sharp parer, a good set of preparation knives, including bread knife, meat cleaver and vegetable chopping knife, a small double boiler for melting chocolate and butter, and a large sieve. You can add an egg slicer and a flour blender.
Even if the bride will be able to stay at home or is more interested in traditional cooking, there are many small items which can add up if one has to get them after the expensive wedding. There should be a good hand can opener; even if the bride receives an electric one, they often fail and usually at a time when one cannot go running out to the store. Short and long handled spatulas are a must. Large cooking utensils are also a must; these can be wood, plastic, metal or Teflon, depending on the cook’s preferences and décor (these are usually kept in some sort of open container, which you can also supply); large utensils could be solid and slotted spoons, a large fork, a sharpening rod and rubber spatulas. If you can find out the cook’s color scheme for the kitchen, coordinate these utensils with that. Of course, add pepper and salt mills, loaded, and large enough for cooking.
Now to the nitty gritty – scrubber sponges in the right color, pot holders and dish towels which reflect the décor and colors, a pump of hand cream, dishwashing and dishwasher soap, a small set of food saver containers, a jar opener, a well-stocked spice rack and a paper towel holder (both of course in the right décor.) A can of abrasive powder (such as Comet) and a box of scouring pads (such as SOS) will start the kitchen off.
You might find that filling the waste can is becoming very expensive – which, of course, is the whole idea – so consider more than one person joining in on this gift.
There are many items which are too large for the waste can; these can also make excellent kitchen gifts. These include a bread box, a company-sized coffee/tea maker, a toaster oven (especially valuable to a new household with only two members), a toaster, a canister set, a mixing bowl set, a cutting board set, and of course small appliances like a blender, mixer and food processor.
While the bride is choosing china and silver, there are less expensive everyday needs, such as a flatware set for four or eight, and dish sets which are usually boxed in sets for four. This allows the couple to enjoy morning cereal and lunch without breaking out the china. If they have a service for eight and a dishwasher, they will not need to wash dishes more than twice a week, which of course saves on utility bills.
You can expand or shrink this list of ideas according to your budget and still come out a winner, even if the bride-to-be has already starting keeping a house.