This week the Reflective Groom and I hosted my in-laws for dinner and served the feast on the china we posted on our wedding gift registry – leading to me reminiscing about the process of deciding whether or not we would put china on our registry, and then which style to choose. We struggled with the decision and weren’t really sure how to go about, so I thought I’d share my layman’s experiences and first-hand advice on where to start.
Part 1: Do I really want/need china on my wedding registry?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to choose a china set to include on your wedding registry, let’s start with whether or not you would want to. The first question the Reflective Groom and I asked ourselves was whether it was lame to ask for china. Isn’t that old-fashioned and stiff? While it’s certainly not as funky as a honeymoon registry or registering at a design boutique, china as a wedding gift was hardly out of style – all the weddings my groom and I attended in the previous two years, with friends our own age, had included china, glasses or cutlery on their gift registries.
So that sorted the lameness question; the next thing to consider was whether we even needed china. We already had a full set of hip white square plates, with matching bowls and dinner plates, which we got compliments on and were proud to use when guests came over – even though they are also our everyday crockery set. We wondered when we would ever use a china set… It wasn’t like we were hosting the family Christmas dinner at our apartment every year so needed a special-occasion serving set.
Our discussions soon turned to what we would put on our registry if we didn’t include a china set. With our wedding being on the other side of the world to my home country, we asked guests from my side to contribute to a virtual honeymoon fund – but, in my husband’s culture, physical gifts are more common for weddings. We had been living together for several years by the time of the wedding and owned our apartment, so didn’t need a mortgage or renovations fund, and also didn’t need any appliances or furniture. In the end, we decided to indeed add china to our physical wedding registry… mostly for a lack of other ideas.
The other reason we decided to go for it was not the question of whether we needed a china set now, but whether we would need or want one in the future. We may not be hosting Christmases now, but in 10 years we might be. China sets can be expensive, and adding it to your wedding registry will be a rare opportunity to have to 50+ of your nearest and dearest chip in on the costs.
Now that it’s almost two years since our big day (where has that time gone?), I can also offer some insights from the other side, in terms of how useful the china set has been. In hindsight, we’re very glad we got it! We’re still not hosting Christmases, but we’ve had family over for dinner, friends over for afternoon tea parties, held a New Year’s Eve soiree, and even just private anniversary and Valentine’s dinners for the two of us. The china has been brought out on average every three months (and we actually entertain quite rarely), so it’s hardly collecting dust in the cupboard. We’ve felt like we have gotten good use out of our china set and are quite happy with choosing to add it to our wedding registry.
That was the situation for the Reflective Groom and me. Think through about your own wedding registry. If you have something far more important to put on there, feel free to skip the china. Consider also your entertaining needs – whether you need a grander crockery set now, or whether you might want one in the future.
Decided you will indeed go for adding china to your wedding registry? Tune in next week for Part 2: practical advice on choosing which china set is best for you.