Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: Formal & Everyday China Registry

 A few weeks ago, in a Wedding Wednesday post, I mentioned my first real wedding planning panic and how it revolved around finding a time to sit down with my mom and order our invitations. We got them ordered soon after that panic, thanks to my mom coming to Birmingham, and we rewarded ourselves after doing that by going to our local jewelry/china store to register! My mom since we got engaged has been eager to join in on “the fun stuff” which, to her, meant picking out patterns for china. So, since she was in town, we made it happen during her visit.

Truthfully, I think I had a bit of decision fatigue just from picking out our invitations right before and the other wedding-related tasks I had been trying to get to that week, so I think she may have had more fun than I did. Overall it was still a great experience, but there’s a lot to keep in mind when deciding where and what to register for and my previous career left me familiar with all of the options, but probably a bit pickier than some when it came to narrowing them down. 

Having styled so many tables for various editorial publications during my team as a magazine photo stylist, I feel like I had a bit of an advantage when it came to familiarity with different brands and places to shop for great tabletop options. Because of this, I knew Bromberg’s, locally and Over The Moon, online would be great hubs for our everyday and fine china registries. We’ve registered a few other places to give people options, but if they are looking to add to our china collection those are likely the spots where shopping will make the most sense. It was so nice to be able to see different options in person at Bromberg’s and play around with what I already had in order to create a place setting I love, and Over The Moon allows you to register for items directly on their website as well as from other retailers online giving us the flexibility to include smaller shops that we otherwise wouldn’t have found enough items at to create a registry. 

Formal China 

I am very fortunate to already have twenty-four (yes, you read that number correctly) place settings of Wedgwood’s Regal Gold china which gave me a great starting point when it came to registering for our formal place settings. It’s a simple pattern that has a white base and gold rim around the pieces, which I know will be useful when it comes to mixing and matching when I want to expand my china collection beyond what we’re registering for for our wedding. Mixing and matching is what we did so much of for editorial spreads, so I had no concern doing that on our registry since we’re starting with such a versatile set. In addition to all of the Wedgwood pieces, my mom started my silver collection on my first birthday with Towle’s Old Colonial pattern. so I don’t have to register for silver either! Knowing this, my mom was clever enough to think to bring some of those items along with us to our registry appointment to get a better idea of how everything would look together. 

One thing that I tried to do a good job of while making selections for formal china was hitting different price points for items. While I’d love a table full of Herend, their pieces are incredibly expensive, and I knew I’d only end up with a few things leaving our table feeling bare. Instead, I opted for one of their dessert plates in a pattern I loved so that I can have a touch of it at a lower price. Ultimately, I decided to go with a matching color and shape charger and salad plate by Packard and paired that with a William Yeoward footed tumbler and Waterford iced beverage glass. I love that the overall look feels age appropriate enough to actually want to set a table with now, but versatile enough to mix with other pieces should I choose to later down the road! 

I was looking back through my camera roll to find a photo of everything stacked altogether, but I realized I forgot to get the finished product and just had a couple of variations along the way (like above). That just means that eventually, when I set a table, I’ll be able to excitedly share the finished result with y’all! 

Casual China

I think deciding on casual china was even more challenging than the formal pieces since I knew they’d be used more frequently. There are still some holes in our registry here, and I may end up adding a plain white dinner plate or some melamine pieces into the mix, but for now, I’m excited about my selections! 

Growing up, our everyday plates were either white with a rim, or more frequently, a blue and white patterned plate. I blame that for why I was drawn to the blue and white “Jane” collection from Madison Madison. I hadn’t heard of the brand before, but I immediately stopped scrolling when I saw them on Over the Moon. Although that website says they are hand wash only (cue devastation since that does not work in my mind for everyday china), after some research and messaging with the brand turns out they are good to go in the dishwasher, hallelujah! The price point for a set of four also couldn’t be best, so we registered for the side plates, a few platters, and their pasta and cereal bowls! Because it was all so matchy and I love to mix things up, we also registered for Cabana’s dessert plates to get a touch of green in with our blues. I already have a collection of cobalt blue stemless glasses from Estelle Colored Glass, and we chose a variety set of plain wine glasses from Williams Sonoma to register for too. With Hunter’s love of golf, The Links set of Tervis Tumblers were a fun addition based on his interest. I picked out Rosenthal flatware at Bromberg’s and love the idea of having a few different placemats on hand to use for various occasions too! I’m staying on the lookout for white everyday plates and white coffee mugs, so if y’all have any favorite brands for those do let me know! 

Making all of these decisions felt a bit easier knowing that with a registry, pretty much everything is returnable/exchangeable. So, if once we’ve received our gifts we feel the need to make edits based on practicality or what we’ve been gifted I’m glad to know that that is a possibility. At the end of the day, I know I’m going to love setting these tables to host people in our home while thinking of the people who gifted the items to us! 


  1. For white plates and mugs you really can’t go wrong with Open Kitchen from Williams Sonoma or Everyday White by Fitz and Floyd. Crate and Barrel also has some lovely white patterns; mine is White Pearl, and I still love it after years of using it.

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