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What to Register For If You're Taking Over Holiday Hosting Duties

From festive candles to serving plates.
Festive holiday tablescape
Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com
sarah hanlon assistant editor the knot
by Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon assistant editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Assistant Editor, Digital
  • Sarah is an Assistant Digital Editor for The Knot, with special focuses in fashion, pop culture and wedding trends.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Nov 04, 2020
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Attending a holiday party is one of the best ways to celebrate the festive season with loved ones, but hosting one is an entirely different experience. If you're taking over holiday hosting duties, you might feel overwhelmed at the thought of everything you'll need to entertain your nearest and dearest. We'll let you in on a secret, though: You can use your wedding registry to stock up on entertaining must-haves. Creating a holiday registry is a good idea for couples who often host seasonal gatherings and "just because" dinner parties. A wedding registry often includes common household items to fill your newlywed nest and cash funds for your honeymoon. But if you're a frequent host, consider also registering for a few holiday essentials. (After all, when else will loved ones have the chance to buy you the exact pie platter or pro knife set you've been eyeing?) 

While you don't need to explicitly create a holiday gift registry, there are some essential items to have on-hand for festive gatherings in the future. Here, we share exactly what to register for if you're taking over hosting duties. From pretty plates to essential serving utensils, these holiday registry items will get you through the most wonderful time of the year. 

A Chic Serving Platter 

Oval ceramic serving platter with heart engravings

The holidays are the worst time to realize you don't have a platter big enough to hold the ham, turkey or gourmet appetizer you're serving. Register for a large serving tray to avoid a potential mid-party mishap. We love this simple white platter, which has heart detailing ever-so-slightly engraved around the top. This piece is also oven-safe and stain resistant, making it a functional serving tool any host needs. 

Ayesha Curry oval platter, $25, TheKnot.com

Carving Knives

Stainless steel carving knives in wood case

You can't serve a holiday meal without the proper tools. Be prepared to cut and slice your entrée by registering for carving knives. This sleek stainless steel set comes with a walnut wood case for easy storage that'll eliminate potential wear and tear over time. 

Wüsthof 2-piece carving set, $70, TheKnot.com

A Multi-Use Pan 

8-in-1multi use pan

A pan that does it all deserves a spot in your newlywed nest. You've probably seen the Our Place pan all over Instagram—and for good reason. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it does the job of eight different pans (so you can get rid of old pots in your cabinet that take up too much space). If you're all about pretty and efficient cookware, this pot is a must, especially for holiday cooking.

Our Place Always pan, $145, FromOurPlace.com

An Elegant Cocktail Shaker 

Crystal cocktail shaker with stainless steel top

If you're going to serve custom cocktails, you'll need a bar station stocked with tools. One essential item an aspiring mixologist needs is a shaker. Whether you make a mean margarita or martinis are more your style, this crystal cocktail shaker will wow your guests almost as much as the drinks you make with it. Plus, the elegant design will look just as nice when it's not in use.    

Reed & Barton Soho cocktail shaker, $120, TheKnot.com 

A Grown-Up Cooler 

Stainless steel wine bucket cooler

With all that amazing holiday food taking up real estate in your fridge, you won't have room for bottles of bubbly. You'll need a cooler to chill the beverages—but we recommend upgrading to a fancy model if you're hosting the holidays. This sleek wine bucket is acceptable to pull out when you've got guests over.

Crate & Barrel Charleston wine/champagne bucket, $50, CrateandBarrel.com 

A Bar Cart 

Vintage bar cart with gold hardware and black glass

Between wine, beer, champagne and your fully-stocked liquor selection, you're going to want a space away from the kitchen to keep everything organized. Introducing your new best friend: the bar cart. Keep your bottles and bar tools on display with a cart in your living room or dining space (and off your much-needed counter space). We love the vintage feel of this angular gold design. 

Safavieh Silva 2-tier octagon bar cart in Brass/Black Glass, $331, TheKnot.com 

Extra Wine Glasses 

Set of six red wine glasses

One hosting faux-pas to avoid is not having enough wine glasses. Instead of waiting the day before a party to stock up on extras, add this crowd pleasing option to your holiday registry now. This set of six glasses is an elegant option for guests. 

Lenox Tuscany Classics red wine glass set of 6, $46, TheKnot.com 

Champagne Flutes For Toasting 

Set of 12 stemless champagne flutes

No holiday party is complete without a toast. Raise these stemless crystal flutes in celebration—your guests will be seriously impressed by your impeccable taste. Since this is a large set, no guest will be stuck without a proper glass. 

Libbey stemless glass flue, $26 for set of 12, TheKnot.com

A Smart Speaker 

Amazon echo dot 4th generation

If you're a master playlist curator, don't worry about keeping track of your phone to keep the music going all night long. With an Amazon Echo, just ask Alexa to do the DJ-ing for you.

Amazon Echo Dot 4th generation, $60, Amazon.com 

Appetizer Plates 

Set of four appetizer plates

Not every host has to be a master chef. If your strengths lie in arranging Instagram-worthy charcuterie and hors d'oeuvres spreads, appetizer plates are a must to pass around your yummy creations. 

Noritake colorwave appetizer plate set of 4, $30, TheKnot.com

Festive Napkins 

Cloth napkins on holiday tablescape

Save the paper napkins for casual dinners. If you're hosting a holiday gathering, festive cloth napkins are an essential component of the place settings. This 10-piece set comes in a whopping 40 colors, meaning you can choose the shade that best fits your style. 

Wayfair Basics 10-piece napkin set, $20, Wayfair.com  

Napkin Rings 

Gold sparkle holiday napkin rings

Wondering how to make your holiday tablescape look like it was created by a professional? Wrap your napkins in a festive ring. We love this gold sparkling design since it offers the perfect amount of shine for a holiday party. 

Design Imports sparkle napkin ring set of 6, $27, TheKnot.com

A Pretty Pie Dish 

Art deco pie dish

A holiday meal isn't complete without dessert. This art deco pie dish is an eclectic option for your homemade sweets. P.S. Don't forget ice cream on the side.

Anthropologie bistro tile A La Mode pie dish, $38, Anthropologie.com  

A Classic Gravy Boat 

Ceramic gravy dish on holiday tablescape

Every host needs a gravy boat for hearty holiday meals. We love all the color options Le Creuset offers, meaning you can pick the one that matches the rest of your serveware.

Le Creuset gravy boat, $37, TheKnot.com

A Large Roasting Pan and Rack

Stainless steel roasting pan and rack

Don't be intimidated by the idea of roasting your first turkey. Register for a pro-level cookware set that includes a roasting pan and rack. You'll be cooking like an expert in no time.

Cuisinart MultiClad pro roasting pan, $110, TheKnot.com

A Digital Thermometer

Digital meat thermometer

Dedicated to serving your friends and fam the best turkey they've ever had? Make sure all your hard work doesn't go to waste on a burnt bird. A digital thermometer will help you cook it to the perfect temperature.

KitchenAid gourmet digital probe thermometer, $30, TheKnot.com 

A Wreath 

Frosted wreath with pinecones, berries and lights

A festive wreath will set the celebratory holiday tone for your guests from the moment they arrive. If you're making a holiday registry, don't forget to add a few decorative pieces. This celebratory design is holiday appropriate without being too over-the-top. We love the subtle red berry accents and warm glowing lights.

West Elm frosted wreath, $150, WestElm.com

A Festive Ornament 

Tiffany's star ornament with red ribbon

Even if you're not getting married around the holidays, making a Christmas registry  with high-quality ornaments to start your collection will be worth it when December rolls around. Plus, you'll want to commemorate your first holiday season as a married couple. Your guests will marvel at your exquisite taste

Elsa Peretti star ornament, $200, Tiffany.com

A Menorah 

White and blue china-inspired menorah

Who says your menorah can't make a statement? Your wedding registry is a great opportunity to ask for something that may be a little out of your price range, but that you'll use every year. We love how this design looks like a piece of fine china. If you wouldn't normally think to splurge on a high-end menorah, register for one instead.

Spode Menorah, $133, TheKnot.com 

A Winter-Scented Candle

Wood fire luxury candle

A winter-scented candle will keep your home feeling (and smelling) cozy long after all the presents have been opened. This one smells of a crackling fire—perfect for all the wintry  months of the year.

Diptyque Feu de Bois/wood fire candle, $68 for 6.5 oz, Nordstrom.com

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