Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Formal and Informal China - Who Wants It Anymore?

Freshman year at college, a new friend on my hall asked me what china pattern I had chosen. At first, I didn't know exactly what she was talking about, then I figured out she must be referring to the formal china my Mother used in the Dining Room for Sunday Brunch, Thanksgiving, Christmas and guests.

My friend had already decided china in general was a priority in her life and that she wanted to make an investment in fine and every day china. So, when the time arises, a few burning questions are: As a young singleton or bride, do you want formal and/or informal china?

How many of each of the different matching pieces do you need? Do you like your serving pieces to also match your pattern or should they be a different pattern altogether that compliments your pattern? Do you entertain often or not at all? Are you rough on china or do you have butter fingers? These are practical and pertinent questions each bride or singleton should ask herself or himself.

Traditionally, wedding guests once gave place settings (dinner plate, salad plate, bread & butter plate, cup and saucer) as a gift. Then, place settings became prohibitive in price. So, giving a dinner plate, or salad plate became de rigueur. Now, the unfortunate trend is to give a "unique" gift. A bride once said to me she can remember that her Aunt gave her a dinner plate as well as some other gift she may not want as well. As a Registered Bridal Representative, I can say with 12 years of experience; brides just want their china!

Back to my friend Freshman year in college; she had already and smartly picked out her formal and informal china. One can give a piece of china for any type of gift including Christmas and Birthdays. Easy gift giving 101!!

My college friend had also considered condition, shape, and how the china would "wear" in her mind and in the dishwasher. She had considered the colors and style of each of the formal and informal china patterns as she was going to match her dining room decorating with her formal fine china and her kitchen decorating with her every day kitchen dishes. Even if you never marry, you may still want a set of china once you are out of school and have your own place!

My Freshman year friend, wisely weighed her decisions, and smartly picked out her formal and informal china patterns. One can give a piece of china for any type of gift including Christmas, Hanukkah and Birthdays. Easy "Gift Giving 101"!

So, figure out your china priorities and enjoy!