Logrus Etiquette: Registering for wedding gifts

This is just a shadow of the Logrus. The real Logrus is at http://members.shaw.ca/pamela.mclean/wedgifts.html

The Trousseau

A wedding is a new beginning, and an appropriate time to acquire new household effects: fine linens, beautiful china and crystal, well-crafted necessities. A wise couple will consider first, what household goods they already possess; next, what possessions would grace thier home of dreams; and finally what they wish to acquire, replace or dispose of, to bring the reality and dreams together. High standards and a long view will never be in error.

By all means, a bride should register. Much crass advice is given that registering helps guests choose appropriate gifts and prevents duplicate gifts. No gently-bred bride would dream of influencing her guests in this way; indeed, she expects no gifts at all. But registering greatly helps a bride plan the trousseau which, acquired over the years, will graciously complement her way of life. Good shops retain such records for many years -- and the very best shops will keep such a registry for a good customer of whatever marital status.

In planning tableware, consider how you will entertain. If you never serve a formal dinner, acquire only glassware, stoneware and stainless steel; if you never entertain casually, acquire only crystal, porcelaine and silver. Unused "Wedding China" is a silly affectation. Determine the minimum courses you will serve, and obtain first the pieces you will need for that, ignoring the china-shop's definition of a "place setting" (a china-shop's "place setting" contains five pieces, only two of which are correctly used at a formal dinner). Consider also how many guests you will sit down at one time: four, eight or twelve guests (in addition to the host and hostess) are pleasant numbers.

A young couple who are beginning to practice hospitality, will do well to try first simple three-course meals; first for one another, then for only four guests. Thus for soup, a meat course, and cake -- a gracious example -- they should have available: six each soup-plates, dinner-plates, glass dessert plates, and dessert dishes; six each dinner-knives, dinner-forks, salad forks, and dessert spoons; six red-wine glasses; a soup-toureen, a platter, two vegetable dishes, and a cake plate; a soup ladle, carving knife and fork, two serving spoons and a cake knife. Alternately for a meat course, salad, and pudding they should have available: six each dinner-plates, salad plates, glass dessert plates, and dessert dishes; six each soup-spoons, dinner-knives, dinner-forks, dessert forks; six red-wine glasses; a platter, two vegetable dishes, a salad bowl, and a pudding bowl; a carving knife and fork, two serving spoons, salad servers and a pudding spoon.

If one has acquired for each cover -- a "cover" being that which the china-shops call a "place setting" -- a large spoon, a large knife, and a large fork; the most versatile piece of cutlery to obtain next is a smaller fork, which may serve as a fish-fork, salad-fork, dessert-fork, or for the appetizer course. Dinner-plates, ten inches in diameter, are the most necessary piece of china; followed by eight-inch plates which may serve for salad, appetizer or dessert. Soup-plates are used only for soup and so may seem dispenable; but may be omitted only at the cost of omitting to serve soup.

A silver-chest which contains for each cover a soup-spoon, fish-knife and fish-fork, dinner-knife and dinner-fork, lunch-knife and lunch-fork, salad-fork, dessert-fork, dessert-spoon, tea-spoon, coffee-spoon and demitasse-spoon; and appropriate serving-pieces; will meet the most ambitious requirements of most couples. Similarly even the best-stocked china cupboard rarely contains more than soup-plates, cover-plates, ten-inch plates, six-inch plates, glass eight-inch plates, tea-cups and saucers, coffee-cups and saucers,demi-tasses and saucers, and three sets of eight-inch plates; and serving dishes.

if you're looking for a church marriage in Calgary Alberta, see also: getting married at Saint Stephen's

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