Registry and Gift Forum

China or no China?

Hi everyone,

I'm having a really difficult time deciding if I should register for China. My fiance and I are very laid back.  We have already picked out casual dinnerware that we love but both of us are on the fence about China. My mom never registered for China and got Christmas plates instead. I was thinking instead of getting expensive China of maybe registering for just plain white dishes instead that could be used for holidays or special occasions. Does anyone have thoughts or suggestions?

Re: China or no China?

  • hoffsehoffse member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    I feel the opposite way.  If in doubt, register for it.  You probably won't buy it for yourself even if you want it in the future because there will always be something more practical to buy instead, especially when you are facing the prospect at dropping several thousand on it by yourself.  I collect china so I do buy it slowly... but I'm in the vast minority and don't have kids, a house remodel, furniture, etc. that I have to pay for right now.

    If you think you might want it, you should get it.  My mother was on the fence and chose not to register for it.  A year after she got married she changed her mind.  Guess who had to buy it for her?  My dad.  He still grumbles about it 30 years later and made sure I registered to complete the pattern I started collecting slowly a couple years ago.  Literally the only thing we didn't get from our registry was the gravy boat, and we got enough gift cards to cover it.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I would register for nice, but plain, china you could use at different times not the really fine stuff you'll never use.
  • I would register for something that could be used for several occasions like white with a silver rim or something like that. Once you guys are married you never know you could start hosting holidays or have the boss over for dinner or something like that. Plus I think people like to buy young couples china for their weddings. It's kind of a traditional thing.
  • edited June 2013
  • Personally, I would go ahead and register for the china. In my opinion, since wedding gifts are 'required,' they should hold value in the sentiment. For me, china/crystal/etc. is much more sentimental than a KitchenAid mixer, and I know that I could never justify spending that money on myself in the future. And if you're going to get a wedding gift, why not have it be one that you will save and cherish forever? You might need a toaster more right now, but ten years down the line, that toasters going to be replaced. China sticks around for years (sometimes too many if you're the unlucky inheritor of a particularly gaudy pattern!) and every time you eat from those plates, you'll be reminded of your wedding day and the special people who were there to share it with you.

    My parents are pretty causal and laid back, but my grandmother on my father's side was much for formal. All of the china, crystal and silver that we use to celebrate births, engagements, birthdays, holidays, etc. came from their wedding. Special pieces - like the Lenox annual christmas plate - were given to my mother each year by my grandma. We don't think we use china that often, but that's part of what makes it so special. It's for those special moments that you chose to honor the people and events that are special to you in your life. 

    However, times have changed and china truely isn't for everyone. My brother and his wife felt it was an outdated trend and chose to abstain, but my mother convinced my sister to register for it after her original registry was running low and I know her and her husband have become very glad that they did. Good luck!
  • We registered for Bone China.  Its just as sturdy as china, but its meant for everyday use.

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  • We were on the fence about registering for China too. My parents never registered for China, but they have a special set of dinnerware that they use when we entertain. In the five years I have been with my fiancee, I never knew that my in-laws have China, because they have never taken it out. Needless to say, we didn't think that we actually had to have it. Then, after giving it some thought, and looking at different patterns, we decided to register for it. I figured we would never buy it ourselves, and we found one that we really loved. We figured it we get it, we get it. If we don't, we don't. 

    I would suggest you look at some, see if there is anything you like, but if you like your casual dinnerware, then just use that. :)
  • We registered for china. I was pretty torn but realized it would be nice to have something a little nicer than everyday for entertaining and china is not something we would have purchased for ourselves. 

  • We thought about it, but decided against it for two reasons. One: my mom is planning on giving me the set she got when her and my dad got married. They're divorced now, so it's not sentimental to her anymore. Two: I just don't see the point. I find the vast majority of china to be plain, boring, and stuffy. It's just not my style. I would recommend only registering for it if you and FI both really love the patrern. Otherwise, why have your guests waste money on something you only kinda like and may rarely use?
  • We didn't register for fine China or every day dishes, but instead registered for very nice Villeroy and Boch dishes that are plain white and we felt could be either dressed up or dressed down. We felt like that was a great choice.
  • I would consider how much stuff are you registering for, vs. how many guests you are inviting.  If you are just starting out and need quite a bit of stuff, and are having a smaller wedding, you might want to prioritize the items you sure you would use.  The worst scenario would be if you receive 40% of your daily set, and 40% of your china, and don't really get a full set you can truly use.

    If you have been out on your own for a while and already have a toaster/ vacuum/ etc., I say go for it!  But if you would prefer to have a second set that is not china (such as a holiday set), I would get whatever you would really enjoy the most.  People want for you to enjoy their gift, not for it to sit in the cabinet gathering dust!

  • csuavecsuave member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    I agree with @courtneythesquid and like some PPs I have family china.  My mom gave me her wedding china 10 years ago (she has since upgraded) and I have used it 3 times in the last 10 years.  Usage may increase once I'm married so it is nice to have but formal dinners will not likely be at our house so if I didn't have it I probably wouldn't register for it.  Also I have an aunt that told me I can have hers since she is in her upper 60's and doesn't entertain anymore (I will not take her up on this offer since I have the set already from my mom).  On top of that my mom has a really cool set she inherited from her aunt that she will pass on to me one day and I will eventually use that as my "upgrade."  If I didn't have china from my family I could see myself checking out craigslist or ebay for china sets before registering since I like vintage stuff.  I would bet there are some pretty unique and elegant sets available.
  • I'm thinking about registering for more upscale casual set and then pieces of fine china that will match with the set to dress it up. If you don't use it everyday, I think it looks gorgeous in a cabinet on display when not in use.
  • mp5kmp5k member
    First Comment First Anniversary
    We, too, were very on the fence about it. In the end, as we were walking past the "fine dining" section, I happened to spy a dandelion set that I instantly fell in love with (I have a weird thing for dandelions, I guess. lol), so we thought "why not?" and decided to register for it. Because you can buy one piece at a time, it's not asking something outrageous from your guests. Each piece on it's own is quite affordable. It's the whole set together that seems really expensive (and usually is). I don't know if we will end up receiving any of it or not, but I can tell you right now that if we do, I will be making it a point to bust it out every now and again. Life's too short to be afraid to use your "nice stuff". So, my advice to you is this: if you find a pattern you love, register for it. The worst thing that could happen is you don't get it. If you do get it, make it a point to use once in a while, regardless of the occasion. Hope that helps!
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  • Thank you everyone! I think you all have some great points and maybe as we register I will see a china pattern that I love! I guess we'll see :-)
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