The towels and linens I received when I got married have long since disappeared. My everyday plates and mugs, too. Not a surprise since tastes and trends change over time. Yet, as I recently celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary, I looked around my home and realized that there are some wedding presents that I still use to this day. How have they stood the test of time? I chalk it up to quality craftsmanship — it's what you want when you're playing the long game. Here are my tried-and-true faves.
I simply love Riedel glasses. When my husband and I got married, we received several styles of these glasses, from white wine to Champagne to Cabernet. Each style of glass is meant to complement a specific beverage, giving the drinker the best experience. However, if you're not fussy, you can get one of their more versatile designs that's good for any type of vino. Handmade crystal with a thin, smooth rim is what makes drinking from them so good, year after year.
A big bowl is boss when it comes to serving salads. We received the T3-Vermont Bowl, along with four individual salad bowls for a full set. Ours is made with Yellow Birch (seen here is the Cherry), and it still looks amazing to this day. We have the medium size bowl (11 ½ inches in diameter), which is perfect for our family of four. As long as you take care of it, it'll last.
While the exact bowl we have is no longer in stock at this Vermont-based company, this design is a similar style. We received one of their large serving bowls from a family friend — and while it wasn't on our registry, it's been one of our favorite gifts. It's often sitting out on our counter filled with fresh produce, and looks as gorgeous today as it did 20 years ago.
Simon Pearce strikes again. We were gifted their adorable Shelburne Posy vase, which is perfect on a bedside table with a pretty little bud in it, and also the Shelburne medium-size vase. We use them all the time. As they say on their website, these vases are handmade by glassblowers using centuries-old techniques. Whoever started those techniques long ago was really on to something because they look as pristine and pretty as they did on day one.
I've raved about this cookbook before because it's one that I believe everyone should have on their shelf. When I was newly married, I made so many of Madison's recipes for my husband ... and also the bachelor who lived in the apartment across the hall from us. (He had a knack for stopping by at dinnertime.) This is one cookbook I highly recommend, whether you're a vegetarian or not.
These hand-blown glass lamps demonstrate how skill really does matter when making things. Perhaps it's the fact that the lamps are made from borosilicate glass (known for its strength and clarity), but somehow, I've managed to not break these lamps — and I've moved three times since receiving them. They currently sit on my mantel looking as crystal clear as they did from day one and give off a gorgeous glow. According to their site, these lamps have been included in the Whitney Museum of American Art exhibition, "High Styles: Twentieth Century American Design." So, yes, they are that good.
One Note of Advice
You obviously do not have to be getting married to add these to your home. Treat yourself, or add them to a birthday or holiday wish list this year. These pieces are worth every penny … and so are you.
If you are getting married and want to add these to your wedding registry, I recommend keeping a list of the gifts and gift-givers in a keepsake journal or folder. Somewhere along the way I lost my list. (Maybe I "lost" it right after I sent all those thank you notes.) But I really wish I had it today since I can't remember exactly who gave me what. I would love to send another note of thanks, 20 years later, letting that person know how their gift continues to bring me joy.