9 Tabletop Items You'll Forget to Add to Your Wedding Registry

Whether you're hosting friends and family or just heating up leftovers, your serveware should make you feel at home. Add these tabletop items to your registry for a standout spread.

By McCall Minnor

tabletop registry item side plates
Photo by Juliska

While you may be on top of the kitchen portion of your registry, have you considered your tabletop? After all, cooking gadgets and appliances are no good if you have nothing to serve your food on. Before sending out your wedding registry, take a peek at these tableware items that’ll take you from brunch with friends to an elegant dinner party. Because sometimes you need to dress (the table) to impress.

Serveware Sets

Serving Sets Photo Credit // Willow Park

Serveware sets are tabletop essentials. Whether you’re dishing up a salad, pasta, sides, or another communal dish, you’ll want a pair of these nearby. Using proper serveware helps you plate food, mix food, and avoid food messes. Plus, they add a decorative touch to your tabletop spread. We recommend one set for up to eight people, two sets for eight to ten people, and up to three sets if you host meals for ten-plus people.

Serveware sets, like all tableware, come in a variety of styles. From the natural-looking, darkwood Artesano Original Salad Server Set to a more modern, gleaming Gold Deco Serving Set. Both sets, in this case, include your two main utensils that make for effortless serving. If you’re interested in registering for a larger, more comprehensive set, check out the Diameter 6-Piece Serving Set. This contemporary set can piece meat, spread butter, and even ladle gravy.

Standout Serveware

Standout Serveware Photo Credit // Willow Park

Now that we’ve covered serveware sets, it’s time to touch on the main serveware. We’re talking platters, trays, serving boards, bowls, and the like. In short, these are the dishes you’ll be presenting and serving food in. Your registry is a major opportunity to swap out your basic serveware for more elegant, upgraded pieces. Doing so will take your dinner parties and holiday get-togethers to an entirely new level.

Serveware comes in plenty of shapes, sizes, and styles. Let’s start with platters, of which we have two standouts. The Berry & Thread Small Oval Serving Platter and Taormina Oval Platter are durable enough for daily use and gorgeously fit for special occasions. Both are 16 inches long, making them large enough to hold a variety of dishes. Whether you prefer the first’s scalloped edges or the latter’s contrasting border, either will look stunning at the center of your table.

If you’re looking for something a tad smaller, we suggest the Eivissa Oval Platter. At 13 inches, it’s bowl-like shape helps contain foods that might slip off of a flat platter. As a plus, it matches the previous taormina platter (in case you’re going for a set). On the other hand, if you’re seeking a more modern, unique piece, try the Loring Marble Round Serving Board. Polished and contemporary, it’s handcrafted from black and white marble. Use it to serve appetizers or as a chic charcuterie board. And when all else fails, bring out the chips and dip (in the timeless Colorwave Chip & Dip bowls, of course.)

Bar Tool Sets

Luna Marble 5-Piece Hanging Cocktail Tool Set Photo Credit // Willow Park

Let’s be real: Sometimes (perhaps oftentimes) there’s nothing better than a nice drink with friends. Forgo the bars and bring handcrafted cocktails into your home with a handy bar tools set. As you can guess, these sets contain the tools you’ll need to create your favorite drinks (or try new recipes), at home. Gone are the days of lacking a muddler or strainer when needed. Each time a new recipe calls for more than a cocktail shaker, you’ll be prepared. Besides, what’s more impressive than asking your guests, "would anyone like a Vieux Carré?" and making them to perfection.

The sleek, silver Hammered 9-Piece Bar Tool Set and Cool Cocktails 9-Piece Mixologist Bar Tool Set both include every tool you need to create a bevy of cocktails. Each has a slightly different selection of tools, from strainer and stirrer to bar knife and tongs. Regardless of which meets your needs, both are as presentable as they are useful.

If your home bar or kitchen is chic or minimalistic, the Luna Marble 5-Piece Hanging Cocktail Tool Set will fit right in. The marble stand adds a stylish touch to bar, counter, or bar cart, and the gold-plated stainless steel tools will definitely stand the test of time. Even more eye-catching is the Godinger 9-Piece Copper Bar Set. Made of copper and stainless steel, this set is a steal with nine pieces.

Wine Decanters

decanter Photo Credit // Riedel

If you’re more of a wine drinker, consider registering for a wine decanter. In short, decanting is the act of pouring a liquid from one vessel (typically a bottle) into another. Doing so with wine separates it from any sediment, as well as aerates it. As it’s poured into the decanter, the wine takes in oxygen, which aids in opening up its aromas and flavors. Your full-bodied wines will especially benefit from this (Cab Sav, anyone?).

Use a decanter to beautifully display your wines while they breathe, then pour up. For days when you’re not drinking (or have run out of wine), use one for a flower arrangement or infused water.

Most wine decanters are crystal clear (so that you can see the wine) and come in an array of gorgeous shapes. The Diva Decanter cuts the bitterness of your wine with its extra-wide base and long neck. What’s more, it’s made of shatter-resistant glass, helping it to serve you through years of parties and get-togethers.

The Cabernet Decanter, on the other hand, has a more narrow base, almost mimicking the shape of a flower vase. Made of crystal, it’s a beautiful accent to any table.

Beverage Tubs and Ice Buckets

Old Dutch Wine/Champagne Chiller Photo Credit // Old Dutch

Whether you’re barbequing, tailgating, or hosting an outdoor party, you’re going to need a drink chiller or ice bucket. Luckily, your wedding registry is the ideal opportunity to swap out your years-old cooler for something better quality. Different types of tubs cater to different libations. The Galvanized Steel Beverage Tub, for example, boasts a wide capacity that’s ideal for chilling beers and bottles of liquor. It’s galvanized metal texture adds a rustic touch to any outing. Similarly, the Oval Ice Bucket (with scoop!) is perfect for a six-pack or two bottles of wine. The matching scoop is just the right size to fill your glass or shaker ASAP.

The Wine/Champagne Chiller, on the other hand, is a smaller, taller bucket made to keep one or two bottles of wine cold. As a plus, a copper coating and hand-hammered finish bring top-notch elegance. Go rustic with the Rustic Farmhouse Cheers Galvanized Beverage Tub. Perfect for outdoor entertaining, this country-inspired painted galvanized ice tub will keep your beverages cold and toast your guests.

Cake Stands

Cake Stands Photo Credit // Mosser Glass

Cake stands are a tabletop classic. Despite the name, these pretty displays typically hold, yes, cakes, but also pies, cupcakes, brownies, and the like. Cake stands make for a beautiful (and fun) food showcase. When desserts aren’t on the menu, avoid stashing the stand away and use it for appetizers or even as a decorative piece.

For a sleek, simplistic cake stand, we recommend the Le Creuset Cake Stand or Ralph Lauren Home Ethan Cake Stand. Both feature a minimalistic design, placing the spotlight directly on the desserts. Another minimal piece is the For Me Footed Cake Plate. Made from high-quality premium porcelain, it’s white, polished appearance is sure to match beautifully with the rest of your serveware.

If your get-togethers lean more towards a rustic theme, opt for the Artesano Original Footed Serving Plate. With its unique shape and wooden look, it brings a modern touch to an outdoorsy stand. But if, in the end, you’re seeking a traditional, beautiful cake stand, see no more than this Large Cake Stand from Mosser Glass. Made of glossy flint glass, it comes in a variety of colors. Go classic with white or marbled grey, or make it pop with green, pink, or blue.

Melamine Tableware

melamime Photo Credit // Le Cadeaux

We’re not exaggerating when we say melamine is a life changer. This durable material is shatter-resistant so dropped dishes are a non-issue. When paired with stunning designs, melamine tableware sets are essential to indoor and outdoor entertaining for all ages. From family gatherings to daily dinners, this is a go-to choice for mess-free meals.

Melamine has been used to craft countless tableware sets, meaning there’s tons to choose from. For a minimalistic, high-gloss set, we suggest the Ruffle Collection. Each piece features a unique texture, adding to an organic, one-of-a-kind feel. The Rustica Collection is just as it sounds, with an antique look and textured surface. Mimicking the appearance and feel of ceramic, it’s basically table art. The Heritage Collection brings on the color with dreamy blue patterns and washes. All functionally unbreakable without sacrificing style.

Appetizer and Dessert Plates

Appetizer Plates Photo Credit // Royal Doulton

Obvious enough, plates aren’t just for main dishes. When registering for tabletop items it’s important to remember that you’ll need dishes in a variety of sizes (no one wants to crowd the table with tons of large plates). Appetizer and dessert plates are perfect for entertaining guests or for everyday small sides. Take into consideration the number of people you host for get-togethers and register for around two per person.

Fun patterns take center stage on the Blue Bay Dessert Plates and Colorwave Floral Appetizer Plates. Register for duplicates of one and use for both appetizers and desserts or register for both and mix-and-match for a colorfully eclectic set up. If you prefer a modern look that’s still artistic, take a look at the Wanderlust Iberian Journey Side Plate (and it’s similarly patterned tableware). Register for several to create a consistent look across all table settings. For a similar but varied set, opt for the Pacific Tapas Plates, which come in a set of six.

Table Linens

Hello Basics Bristol 8-Piece Table Linen Set Photo Credit // Hello Basics

We couldn’t forget table linens—and neither should you. The addition of a runner and placemats is an easy upgrade for any table. Not only do they keep your table safe from spills, but they add colors, patterns, and textures. Using them can completely transform a meal with decorative or personal touches.

From the basic Rectangular Mini Basketweave Placemats to the watercolor-inspired Aurora Placemat, placemats are a must at your table. Both can be mixed and matched with a variety of colors or kept monochrome with each table setting. Because they’re made of linen or cotton, you can simply throw them in the wash post-party.

To continue the lived-in yet put-together look, add the Handloom Stripe Table Runner. This is a casual runner that’ll work for countless occasions. Not to mention, it too can be put in the wash when needed (score). For a complete set, consider the Bristol Placemat set. Complete with placemats, napkins, and cocktail napkins, it has just about everything you need for a beautiful gathering.

Bonus: Holiday Adds

Toy's Delight Red Wine Glass, Set of 2 Photo Credit // Villeroy & Boch

Nothing brings the magic of holiday season to life in your home like a few festive adds to the dinner table. Delight in the mythical motifs featured on the Lastra Melamine Holiday 3-Piece Dinnerware Set and Berry & Thread North Pole Tree Platter. These plates are fantastic as gifts or to use on your table to serve appetizers, sides, Christmas cookies or cheese and crackers! The Star Fluted Serving Bowl from Royal Copenhagen pays homage to many Christmas traditions, and the Challah Tray with Wood Insert from Spode's Judaica Collection celebrates Jewish festivals, holidays, and occasions.

Last, and certainly not least, complement your table with Toy's Delight Glassware designed to complement Villeroy & Boch Toy's Delight Dinnerware collection. Enjoy wine and champagne in perfectly clear lead-free crystal glass highlighted with etched nostalgic Christmas motifs.

Make every meal amazing with the right tabletop assortments. Whether you're hosting friends and family or just heating up leftovers with your partner, your serveware should make you feel at home.

Build Your Zola Registry Today (It’s free!)