Each Spring, when wedding  season begins to ramp up, I start storing not only cash but also creativity to help me navigate through the bridal registry process. Thankfully, I've got many years of wedding gift-giving behind me, and plenty of useful ideas for couples who are starting a kitchen anew. From an everyday coffee brewer to the perfect serving tools, here's my foolproof list of practical kitchen items that any bride and groom will make use of. Here, what you can't go wrong with.
— Additional reporting by Nicole Perry
Le Creuset Dutch Oven
There's a reason why a Le Creuset dutch oven  ($130-$500) tops many couple's registry wish lists: Because it's a heavy-duty, multipurpose piece of cookware that's nonreactive and can be used on top of the stove as well as in the oven — making it the ideal gift for both beginner and advanced home cooks.
For the café aficionado, the Technivorm MoccaMaster  ($280-$300) is a sure bet. Its simple yet high-performing copper heating technology produces the best cup of coffee. But even if you don't have that kind of money to spend, you can still invest in an elegant, well-designed French press  ($54) for the couple.
A serving fork, spoon, slotted spoon, and gravy ladle  ($25) are just the kind of items that tend to be overlooked, but come in very handy at those oh-so-important holiday dinners with the in-laws.
Electric Rice Cooker
Sure, they could make rice on the stovetop, but a top-of-the-line rice cooker, like Zojirushi  ($150) does it so much better while freeing up stove-top space.
Elegant Serving Platter
For many, marriage marks an entry into the regular dinner party circuit. Make sure the couple's well-equipped for entertaining with an elegant serving tray, like this versatile oval platter  ($80).
Ever wanted to rip your hair out trying to cut into a baguette with a regular chef's knife? That's why a classic bread knife  ($40) is the perfect present for friends with sold-out registries. Nobody has one, and everybody needs one.
A jet soda maker might sound frivolous, but with the SodaStream  ($149), a household could stand to save hundreds of dollars that would otherwise be spent on sparkling water.
For an engagement or bridal shower gift, turn to the VeggieChop  (230). It's useful for everyday meals, and, at $20, it won't break the bank, either.
A Really Good Blender
Someone else is likely to buy the obvious big-ticket item — the KitchenAid standing mixer — so if you're hoping to go big, select something else that the newlyweds will be grateful for. My vote goes for the Vitamix blender  ($450), which is the most powerful and reliable blender known to man. Your friends will never need to worry about blades breaking, engines overheating, or the possibility of ever needing to buy another blender again.
Like a bread knife, steak knives are one of those kitchen items that few newlyweds have. Give them a solid set  ($148 for 4) that'll last a lifetime.
That fine china may make a nice wedding  present, but it won't be put to nearly as much use as a slow cooker  ($130). It's an ideal vehicle for preparing dinner on a busy weeknight  or any day, really.