In my last post, I talked about two things from my childhood that I saved for my kids: my baby blanket and a box full of Ranger Ricks from the mid-80s.
Today I’m writing about saving my wedding china, and I don’t mean in a box in the attic.
On Facebook, Annie from Mama Dweeb asked if anyone had a complete set of china from their wedding. The majority of the answers could be summed up as either “No, I didn’t bother registering for china” or “My china never sees the light of day except for Thanksgiving- if even that!”
I’m definitely in the minority because I love my wedding china! My family doesn’t have a tradition of registering for china, but on my husband’s side, great Nana insisted on this rite of passage. The exact moment we announced our engagement, she exclaimed in her Long Island accent (I’m horrible with accents-but I’m pretty sure she pronounced it chiner), “Have you picked your china yet? No?! Oh, Christine, what are you waiting for?”
So my fiancee and I went to the Dining and Entertaining section of Macy’s which I previously had never stepped foot into. It was a total Frosted Mini-Wheats commercial. I felt like any second the jig would be up and my engagement ring would loosen and fall to the floor, revealing the kid in me that really prefers the sugar-coated side to china patterns.
Wall upon wall of patterned plates was slightly overwhelming, so we decided to split up and peruse at our own pace. My pace went something like, no-nope-nah-no way-yeah right-ha! as I walked back and forth scanning each row. Somewhere in that 5-minute search was a whole-hearted, love-at-first-sight, “Yes!” However, I never let in on it. Why? Because I didn’t want to give my fiancee any hints as to what I liked. I was curious what patterns HE would pick and whether this would be our first disagreement as an engaged couple. What if he insisted on something so ghastly I’d have to call off the wedding right then and there in the Dining and Entertaining section of Macy’s?! I’m sure I wouldn’t be the first.
When we came back together to announce our contenders, I only had “the one.” I went first, pointed to my choice, and turned for his reaction. “That’s the one I picked, too,” he said. Really? Out of at least a hundred? I was blown away! And how did I know he wasn’t just saying that to please me and get the china ordeal over with? Because he followed with, “It reminds me of my mom.” Well, that sealed the deal on both our china pattern and our upcoming nuptials because I also had a flash of his mom when I saw it, and I wasn’t just saying that to please him. My mother-in-law is a beautiful, kind, and simple Japanese woman. My husband definitely got his good looks from her.
We registered our china pattern and left Macy’s for Bed, Bath, and Beyond where I felt right at home listing measuring cups and dish towels on my bridal registry.
It turns out we never received a complete set of china for our wedding so we were left to complete it ourselves (insert laughter). What we do have, though, is stored right alongside our everyday dishes. My philosophy is if they break, they break. But they haven’t. If there’s a fire, I certainly wouldn’t care about saving them. But while they’re around and I’m around, I’m going to enjoy my china dishes and the thoughts I have when eating off them. They remind me of my wedding, one of the happiest days of my life. They bring to mind those who contributed to our collection- mostly aunts and grandparents- the elders who blessed our marriage and gave the brand new china an aura of being in our family for generations. The food we eat is infused with all those thoughts and feelings. That is why I love my wedding china.
As far as saving it for my children, though, I have no idea how that works or if any one of the four will even want it. I know that when I set the table with the china dishes, both of my daughters get excited and tell me how much they like them. Perhaps I’ll divvy it up between them one day, or they’ll divvy it among themselves when I’m gone.
I googled our pattern after that Facebook post and found it on Replacements.com. It’s really pricey, but with our 10-year anniversary coming up in June, I might look into a buying a dish here or there.
So, where do you stand on the china issue…wedding china that is?