We asked you to send pictures of your wedding china
Wedding China is often defined as dishes and dinnerware that a couple receives as wedding gifts. Perhaps the couple has registered a specific china pattern at a department store, jewelry store, or big box store. Sometimes the “wedding china” is purchased years after the actual wedding event, but is always referred to as their wedding china. Usually it’s not for use every day, but reserved for special occasions or fancy events.
The International Museum of Dinnerware Design is presenting Wedding China as a virtual exhibition based on wedding china that has been donated to the IMoDD permanent collection, and wedding china submitted by the museum’s friends and supporters. We asked people to submit photographs of their wedding china, along with photos and stories from their weddings, and they are also part of the exhibition.
My favorite wedding dishes were my un-wedding dishes
Our wedding was amazing although it was a NON-Wedding from the start….
Having a career in the arts I wanted the event to be someplace art-related so we looked into the Detroit Institute of Arts and found that as long as it wasn’t called a wedding but only a corporate party it would be acceptable; so we were the first UNWedding wedding to be had at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
I wore ivory and the five bridesmaids all wore black velvet Singer Sargent-esque pencil thin dresses but there was no sign of a wedding cake, just a tall sticky French croquembouche for dessert.
My wedding dishes more or less were picked out by my X, not me, but as I often now refer to him by my Y. He picked the wedding-ware for the Griffin-like birds of silver and gold wrapping around the plates. They looked more or less like flying dragons trying to eat each other’s tails in mid flight. Evil and rather harsh. But I went along with it.
However my dear family friend gave us these plates in this photograph as a wedding gift. A complete formal set of a magnificent powder blue Italian porcelain china by the designer and manufacturer, Richard Ginori of Italy given to the Y and me by our family friends Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Pozzi purchased from Italy. The chinaware came complete with the Italian soup and pasta bowls, elegant dinner plates and a lager under service platter, butter dishes. vegetable, pasta and soup terrine, two serving bowls, a gravy bucket and the longest oval fish plate one could ever admire!
I lost the fish plate to a fall by a clumsy electrician during a renovation. There was a funeral. For the fish platter.
They were not the original Wedding dishes. I called them my UN-Wedding dishes and we, my daughter and I use them all the time after I divorced.
Any opportunity I had they were on my table brought out from the under cabinet; for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, half birthday’s and quite often for breakfast brunches. I love having them in the house WAY more than well…I am so grateful that I live happily ever after with these lovely, lovely UNWedding ware.
A Story of Plates
Lyn Latta Sleator
I began working in a fine gift shop in our town when I was still in high school. It was 1968. I continued to work there until 2010 when the store closed. I worked every Christmas holiday season. Some years I worked only the holidays and other years I worked full time and every thing in between depending on other jobs and life circumstances. The store sold every day china, fine china (wedding china); crystal: stainless and sterling flatware and many gift items for your home or entertaining. They kept hand written wedding registries from the year they opened until the store closed. The store took pride in working with the bride and groom to help them pick china and accessories that they would love for years.
My duties at the store included window and interior displays. I enjoyed putting items together that highlighted their beauty and how they could be used in your home. This love of display carried over in my own home and to my dinner table. I did not own an elegant bone china pattern. Even though I was working at the shop when I married and did register there, weddings were low key in 1977 and I registered for a stoneware pattern. In the 1980’s I began collecting single plates that appealed to me to use on my dinner table for special occasion meals.
I enjoyed the variety of plates and they were always a source of conversation. I collected floral patterns and elegant gold, and blue and gold plates. Some I chose because I loved the pattern and some because they were available and fit in with other plates I owned. Most were no longer in production by the manufacturer. Typically discontinued patterns were put on sale and I was able to purchase the plates for a very reasonable price. A few had been discontinued prior to the time I began working at the shop and others were discontinued during my time there.
Any of these plates could create a beautiful dinner table for a bride and groom, family, or special occasion.
My parents had two sets of wedding china
My parents had two sets of wedding china. One (image attached) was Royal Albert “Heirloom”, which had such an opulent appearance with the cobalt rim. The other had a delicate turquoise rim with Lily of the Valley flowers and I have been unable to find an image online, despite exhaustive searching. I believe the second set of china may have been Royal Albert as well, but I am not sure.
My parents most likely purchased the china themselves rather than getting it as wedding gifts. My parents were married at thecourt house in downtown Detroit on their lunch hours (!) and never had a reception. My parents married in the late 1940’s, and at that time most people probably purchased their wedding china at the landmark J. L. Hudson Department Store downtown Detroit.
I actually believe my parents may have purchased their china at Shanfields in Windsor, Ontario (across the Detroit River from Detroit.) I know my parents always shopped there if they needed to pick up a piece of china or some special gift.
I was always curious how my parents came to have two sets of china (and these were complete sets I am sure, with a multitude of service pieces). We had a large extended and very close family back in the day and my parents entertained frequently, particularly during the holidays; maybe they purchased one set of china then found it wasn’t enough for entertaining. It is curious that they had two completely different sets of china, though; another thought is they liked both and couldn’t decide on one, so purchased both!
This story does not have a happy ending and that is one reason I am sharing it. My parents passed away (Dad in 1996, Mom in 1998) and I contracted with a local, well known estate sale company to sell most of their estate. I decided to include the china in the sale, because at the time both my husband and I didn’t think we would ever use it, and we didn’t have any place to store it properly.
When the sale sale was over, I immediately regretted including that beautiful china in the sale, and I continue to regret it to this day. As I mentioned, I am sharing this story as a warning to people who may find themselves in a similar situation some day with regard to selling a family heirloom as part of an estate sale. Think carefully before committing an item to the sale, because once it’s gone, it’s gone. In retrospect I wish we would have just had the china boxed up and kept in the basement until we were able to make a more careful, measured decision.
The ironic thing about my story is several years ago my husband and I decided that we did want to have a set of china for special occasions, and wound up purchasing two sets – one for special occasions, the other, Christmas themed for the holidays.
Kosmos by Arabia (Finland)
Jack Weinstein and Fran Rubin were married on August 26, 1971.
We invited 50 guests who were immediate family and friends. A reception was held about a month later at the Elmwood Casino in Windsor for my parents’ friends and other relatives. The ceremony was held in my patents’ living room in our family home in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. My sister was my matron of honor and a friend of my husband was the best man. Dinner was served buffet style in our recreation room in the basement level. The ceremony was held by candlelight because there was a big thunderstorm and the power went off. I had registered at Shanfield’s China Store in Windsor. The Arabia / Kosmos China set was a gift from my parents. We also received our George Jensen stainless as a gift.
The photo shows my brother and sister and their spouses after the ceremony.
The Kosmos pattern was designed by Gundor Olin Gronqvist, and was produced by Arabia in Finland from 1962 to 1976. It was hand painted. The shape was designed by Ulla Procope, and is called “S” Model.
Gemma by Royal Copenhagen
Inge and Don Balch, 1967.
I met Don while I was frying hamburgers in a bowling alley. He could not hit a pin, but had a great appetite for hamburgers. The rest is history.
If plates could talk! My parents were not able to make the long trip to Kansas for our wedding. Instead they celebrated our “big day” in Denmark with a dinner and festivities. Danes never miss a chance to celebrate life and enjoy a party! My Danish wedding china, that my parents used for celebrating our 1967 wedding 5000 miles away, was designed by the Danish designer Gertrud Vasegaard (1913-2007) for Royal Copenhagen. The pattern is called “Gemma“. My father wrote our wedding song to the tune of a danish “cowboy” song. Just too funny. A specially bought wedding table cloth (I still have it) and the beautiful Gemma China were later shipped to Kansas. Sadly enough shipping it to Kansas did not do it any good, but I still have dinner plates, soup plates, salad plates and bread and butter plates. Not easy to come by, but I find a piece now and then.
Thomas China by Rosenthal
David and Louise Rosenfield
David and Louise Rosenfield married on June 21, 1975 in Austin, Texas.
Their wedding china is Thomas China by Rosenthal. They were able to purchase china directly from the manufacturer through the Dallas Market Center where Rosenthal has a space in the Trade Market building.
Alas, my mother’s blue and white Wedgwood wedding china was stolen from our Chicago home
My mother’s wedding china was the Wedgwood pattern known as Etruria/Barlaston Queensware white on blue. I was supposed to inherit the 12 place settings and the silverware when I married. But it was not to be.
In the winter of 1972 they embarked on a vacation to Acapulco and while they were gone, thieves went meticulously through the house. They filled old suitcases with china, silver, jewelry and even the Lalique shades on the dining room chandelier. My parents suspected it was the cab driver who tipped off the thieves, though they also believed it could have been my brother’s drug addled friends. I always opted for the former and his friends vehemently denied breaking in. But meanwhile, there went all my wedding china and other things I’d hoped for. My parents were married in 1943 at the height of World War II and didn’t really put a household together until 1947, which is when they purchased the china.They had to wait a long time to acquire the dishes and furniture as supply chains had to be recalibrated for peacetime.
One day at Treasure Mart (a beloved consignment shop in Ann Arbor) I found a gravy boat in the pattern. I bought it and put it on display in my breakfront. I would bring it out on special occasions and my siblings would ooh and ah, remembering fondly those old dishes and all the events they represented. Even one piece is a treasure and reminds me of wonderful family dinners and parties.
Dubarry Gray by Lenox
Our wedding china is Dubarry Gray by Lenox. The elegant pattern caught my eye immediately while at a thrift store in Houston with my sister, Mary Mann, who was looking for costume jewelry. She offered it to me as a wedding gift, and I accepted happily. The service for 8, (dinner, salad, bread/butter plates), came with cups and saucers, sugar and creamer, a platter, gravy boat, and serving bowls. It also had 8 tiny plates of another similar pattern thrown in.
Ned Logan and I held our marriage celebration at Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle on August 12, 2017. The photographer, Sean Hoyt, acted as a witness along with a visiting friend from New Mexico, and the photographer’s wife performed the ceremony inside the sculpture ‘Stinger’ by Tony Smith. It was held at 9am so there were a few joggers and strollers passing by as we wended through the park to make a photo record and story to share with our friends and family afterwards.
We served our cake on the Dubarry Gray china with champagne adjacent to the sculpture ‘Wake’ by Richard Serra. After which we enjoyed brunch at Matt’s in the Market, and took a few photos at Pike Place Market, before taking our visitor to Sea-Tac to return to Albuquerque.
Marie Abaya and Ned Logan
Ronald and Susan Koval, Rosenthal Lotus Azure
by Lindsay Pracht
My parents, Ronald and Susan Koval, met in college at the State University of New York at Buffalo. My Dad was selected among a cohort of American students who were sent by the Rockefeller University to European medical schools. They were both from New Jersey and wed in Maplewood, NJ on July 31, 1966 and a month later boarded a ship bound for the UK and then to Brussels, Belgium where my father attended the medical school of the Free University of Brussels. Since they were in fully-furnished housing, they knew they would only buy home furnishings when they returned to the US, which they did in 1973. As they prepared to return and for my father to start his residency in Manhattan, they went to the Rosenthal Studio-Haus on the Avenue de la Troison d’Or in Brussels and purchased service for twelve in Rosenthal Lotus Azure, including roly-poly serving dishes and tureens and a coffee pot with votive warmer base. They rarely used the china, only for the most special occasions. Some pieces retain the original quality control stickers.
Royal Worcester Evesham
Suzanne Schluederberg and John Lesko
I started collecting Evesham when I was in college in the early 1970s. I fell in love with the many botanical drawings of fruits and vegetables (more appropriate for dinnerware than flowers, in my opinion at the time) and bright colors that could go with so many different tablecloths. Later I found an English tea set (shown in the hutch) when i visited London with my parents in the late 70s. I also found a couple of small jam jars in Windsor, Ontario during one visit. But most pieces arrived as wedding presents.
The porcelain oven-to-table ware that could be put in the dishwasher seemed more practical than fine china. But when my mother sent me my first microwave as a baby present in 1985, I discovered that the gold rim on my dishes prevented them from use in the microwave. We use that appliance every day, so i mostly use my Evesham for special occasions. As you know, Evesham became Evesham Gold when Evesham Vale with a green enamel rim was designed not to arc in the microwave.
Although John and I lived in Ann Arbor and met at the Heidelberg Restaurant when he asked me to dance a polka with him, it turned out that we had both grown up near New Haven. So, we married in my family’s former church, even though my parents and brothers had since moved to the Baltimore area. John’s family was still in Connecticut. We’ve been married for 41 years.
Manufacturer: Royal Worcester
Date and Place of Wedding: August 9, 1980 at Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut
Bride and Groom Names: Suzanne Schluederberg and John Lesko
The wedding china was purchased from Macy’s in New Haven and Jacobson’s in Ann Arbor
Still using this china everyday after 50 years
Dansk Generation Blue Mist china
Wedding: May 1, 1971, Port Huron, Michigan
David Lau and Jo Warner
Purchased from (registered at) John Leidy Shop and Artisan’s, Ann Arbor
Husband’s Grandparent’s Wedding China still used for special occasions
China: Theodore Haviland, Limoges – Pink Asters (Schleiger 151)
Wedding: June 19, 1915, Chula Vista, California
Bride and Groom: Christopher Daniel Lau and Josephine Sanger
It is unknown where the china was purchased. It was inherited first by James (son) and Virginia Lau and then by David (grandson) and Jo Lau.
Candlelight, by International China
This particular set was a wedding gift in 1953 for my Husband’s parents Sam and Connie Zingaro. They lived in New Castle, Pennsylvania, home of Shenango China/New Castle China. They were married in St. Vitus Catholic Church. The pattern is Candlelite by International China, Alliance, Ohio and a fine bone china. Although, it is the same as Castleton’s (a division of Shenango China) Pink Shell pattern (without the medallion) most likey made by Shenango or Homer Laughlin and stamped for International China. These manufacturers often did china for many of the Ohio river valley china companies. The stamp on the bottom of the pieces are scraped off. This was done because most likely the china was purchased by an employee who was a relative of the Zingaro Family. Factory employees weren’t allowed to buy the china without the stamp being removed so they wouldn’t resell. Interestingly, but not really as uncommon as you may think, the china has never been used to this day. During that era when a gift this precious was given many people honored them more as a keepsake to cherish and not risk damage. We plan one day to actually serve on the china as long as we can find 6 guests who won’t grind out the medallion. It is in perfect condition and there are 8 complete place settings. Candlelite is a wonderful example of American made fine bone china from the mid 20th century. As avid china collectors, with over 80 sets in our personal collection, we are pleased to share our cherished legacy set to the museums special wedding china exhibit. Please enjoy Andy Mahoney and Sam Zingaro, Galien, MI
Painted Desert dinnerware by Royal Embassy and Wind Song flatware by Nobility
Robert and Deanna Drobka
August 10, 1957, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Dinnerware: Painted Desert by Royal Embassy, Japan
Flatware: Wind Song by Nobility
The Painted Desert pattern by Royal Embassy was available locally in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, at a store called Rummele’s. They carried a variety of products, inclusing jewelry, cameras, and a selection of dinnerware that incluses patterns by Franciscan and Castleton China. They had a bridal registry, buy also offered a convenient program where customers bought one place setting at a time until they had the complete service they desired.
After my parent’s engagement was announced in the local paper, my mom says she was contacted by door-to-door flatware salesmen. One who came to visit sold her the set of Wind Song. “All of a sudden, I had a whole set of beautiful wedding flatware.”
When my parents moved out of their house in 2012, my mom was very concerned about what would happen to her wedding china. When I agreed to take it all – and ship it from Wisconsin to California – she was so relieved that it would survive. Her attachment to the set after more that fifty years of marriage was as strong as the day they were married.
– Jim Drobka
Arcadia by Royal Berlin
My parents, Raymond Forslund and Jacquelyn Silcroft were married on the very snowy night of March 11, 1950. They shopped a long time to find a china that met their discriminating, modern and neo-classical tastes. Finally at Tatman in Evanston, Illinois they found the perfect choice—Arcadia by Royal Berlin. They entertained often during my childhood, and setting the table with china, silver, and crystal is among my fondest family memories.
Black Ulander by Wedgwood
We met at a Christmas party in 1971. A year and a week later, Christmas Day 1972 Doug and I married in Florida, at my grandmother’s house. Our favorite photo is waving “Good-bye” to the photographer who lived up the street and had his Christmas turkey on time bake.
Being cost conscious, when I picked a China pattern, the limit was $30 a place setting. After narrowing it down to Wedgwood Wild Strawberry and Black Ulander, the sophistication of the simple black and gold of Black Ulander prevailed – especially since the tea cup had a handle which was easy for a man to hold (my wonderful father’s solicited advice).
From my cousin we got a couple of place settings (Rich’s Department Store in Atlanta) and then, on a cruise, Doug’s parents bought service for 4 from a shop in St Thomas USVI.
It is loved to this day and often mixed with the Maria Theresia by MZ Altrohlau CM-R Carlsbad China from Czechoslovakia that my grandparents used after they eloped in 1919 (but who knows when they had time to concentrate on a China pattern?).
Black Ulander, Wedgwood bone china, made in England, gold edge w/black stencil, currently discontinued but it has come back before.
Dinner plate 10.75”
Salad plate 8”
Bread plate 6”
Tea cup & saucer, footed
Cream soup & saucer (bought in London, 1980’s)
Maria Theresia, Altrohlau/Carlsbad, porcelain, made in Czechoslovakia
White w/gold & black stencil
Dinner plate 9.625”