Not Your Mama’s China



The first dowry was recorded in 3000BC and included land and livestock.  In the event you do not wish to pass on the family cows this coming wedding season, read on to see what couples today would love to receive on their special day.


The Registry

Macy’s invented the gift registry in the 1920’s.  Retailers convinced all of us that newly married couples needed droves of silver, china and crystal.  These items were to be sold in place settings.  The soon to be couple would spend an afternoon picking out patterns and either dreaming of the dinners for the 12-16 people they would have, or frantic thinking about buying a china cabinet and a full dining room set.

On it went,  Aunt _____ wanted to buy the entire place setting for you but Uncle _____ had a stroke at the cost so they only got you part of it.  A plate, one knife/fork and spoon, and a coffee cup.  Someone else gave you more coffee cups with saucers.  You received several crystal candy dishes because they were less expensive than the wine glasses and after all they were from Waterford, too.  Every gift giver assumed someone else was going to complete your list.  If you were fortunate to get enough place settings to feed a few couples….you were afraid to use it.  What if something got broken? Or, how many have generations worth of china that is hardly used?

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A Better Way?

Sometime ago, couples made a bold move and started placing items on their lists that have everyday uses.  Why not ask for this canvas tote?  How wonderful for everyone.  A wider range of price points and gifts that are out and about all the time to enjoy.  Today you can register at Pottery Barn, Target and even Lowe’s.  Couples ask for more things to successfully set up a home.  We use Etsy when we want to find unique items for our clients homes.  This got us thinking that we could probably find wedding gifts this way too.  Let’s take a look at what each of us might purchase for the special people getting married this year.


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Kristen’s Friday Fav’s

Choose Gifts That Are Personal


Unless the happy couple has been living under a rock, they probably each have too many coffee mugs.  Ones from work events, ones with sassy remarks and the old ones your Mom gave you to weed out her stash.  They are all ugly and not a good way to start a life.  How about a complete set of these…with or without the mono.  Pretty classy.


Framed Art in Simple Black and White will be perfect in any decor.


Foodies abound!  There is nothing like putting on some tunes and cooking together.  Having a few close friends over and enjoying making a home together.


Just make sure to keep all the new jewelry, his and hers, away from the disposal.  What a kill joy!



Laurel’s Friday Fav’s

Choose Gifts Unexpected, But Cool


How about renting a cute little car for the couple to tool around in for a few days, or simply to drive to the hotel and airport.

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Or a vintage book about marriage or cooking.  They are a hoot in a sweet kind of way.  Just look at this fabulous aged cover.  How many couples have picked this up before?  And the color…bad!

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Any one can be a DIY expert with 8-10 pcs of unique door/drawer hardware.  Childhood dressers, Ikea finds can all become custom in a flash.

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Keeping up with the Foodie mode, a hand thrown set of bowls has so many functions.  Art in themselves.

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How about a pair of adoring birdie pillow cases.  Adds a little “ah” to the monochromatic Pottery Barn Linens they registered for!


Lastly, because we are a design firm and there are too many ugly lamps out there,  I like to give lamps that will last a lifetime no matter how your decor evolves.

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We confess, we have a personal interest in all things “wedding” this year.  Kristen is among the many planning a wedding and looking towards preparing their own new LBD!  It is an exciting time, a bit more on her To Do list and she is certainly up to the task.  Congratulations!-Laurel

Thanks to all the vendors on Etsy for giving us so many fantastic choices when looking for wedding gifts, or gifts for any occasion.  It feels good to buy from a private source offering goods that make our worlds a little nicer each day.

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In case you missed the post on china…we want to give you the link again.

We really are not against china at all.

Just want you to use it!

Thanks for spending a few minutes of your day with us.

Now you can share LBD via text!

2 thoughts on “Not Your Mama’s China”

  1. Wedding china should be something that the bride loves and will use often. It should be cherished. If she doesn’t get what she wants from her registry then she can go about buying and filling in the rest of the china before they discontnue the pattern. The same thing goes for inherited china from “Great Aunt Edna” or “Momma”. There is no point of having something unless you use it and cherish it for the memories that it holds–get rid of it if that is the case. Same for sterling. Most brides don’t get sterling today but some have been known to buy quality plate which, if properly stored, can be used on grand occasions and will look like the real thing. [I know someone who did this and it was such a smart decision for her. You can’t tell that the silver she uses on grand occasions is actually plate. A smart decision for her lifestyle.] Household goods should be registered if the bride has no interest in fine things because guests will buy cheaper items instead of fine china, silver, and crystal. Brides should not list both. List what you want others to buy for you and be prepared to fill in the gaps. I am lucky in that I inherited two fine china patterns that I love and cherish as well as two sets of sterling, which I use often and store appropriately. I have loved and used every thing that was “passed down” to me.


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