Department stores, luxury goods manufacturers, and housewares shops are just a few of the places where registering for fine china is possible. Years ago—even as recently as the early 2000s—when a couple set up their wedding registry, a brand-new set of china was certainly on their list. Who wouldn't want gorgeous porcelain plates decorated with flowers or birds and bands of silver or gold? Today, the answer would be: many engaged couples.
Brides-to-be are feeling less compelled than ever to follow in the traditional footsteps of their mothers and grandmothers, and they're rethinking whether or not having a formal set of dishes fits in with their lifestyle. If you're on the fence, our answers can help.
Yes, if you like the idea of honoring tradition.
Is there a gift out there that feels more wedding-appropriate than fine china? If you love the look of a formal table and can't wait to check out the many (traditional and contemporary) patterns available, you should go ahead and honor this tradition and include it on your gift list.
No, if you just don't have the space.
If you two have decided that you're not looking to move to a larger home for the next several years, you may think it's silly to take up space with many pieces of china. If there's no place to display or store china in your current home, don't feel obligated to register for it.
Yes, if you want an entertaining staple.
If you and your future husband are already planning on having the family over for dinner often, especially Sundays and during the holidays, it's worth having something nicer than your everyday dishes on hand. Fine china is a dinner party staple, and you'll be glad you registered for a set at your first fancy evening spent in the dining room.
No, if you don't see yourselves throwing formal dinners.
If you and your future husband just aren't the types of people who love to entertain, a set of fine china might just gather dust. Instead, register for things that will get tons of use in your newlywed home.
Yes, because if there's ever a time to ask for a luxe gift, it's now.
Your wedding is probably the one time in your life that family and friends will spring for such a luxury gift, so take advantage of that. Even if you're not sure how often you'll use it but know it would be nice to have, then it's worth choosing a pattern. You'll probably never buy a set of china for yourself, will you?
No, if you don't like single-purpose items.
You're the no-frills types prefer to fill your home with items that serve multiple purposes. Fine china, which you'll only use rarely, just doesn't make sense for you. Plus, you have no problem using your everyday dishes when you have dinner guests.
Yes, if you like the idea of creating a new family heirloom.
A truly beautiful set of fine china is something you can pass down through the generations. If you love the idea of having a family heirloom to one day share with your future children, this could be it.
No, if there's a set you're hoping to inherit.
Your grandparents have multiple sets of china, and one will be yours someday, so there's no point in choosing a different pattern when you love the one that's already in your family.
This story originally appeared on Martha Stewart Weddings.