Sunday, November 28, 2010

Congrats, Here's One Plate

Hey there Hive, I'd like your input on this one.  Allow me to elaborate...We have friends who are celebrating their engagement with a fairly fancy-schmancy party (whoohoo, I love fancy parties!) in a few weeks.  Great, grand, wonderful, right? Right, but I want everyone's opinions on something-the gift for the party.

I was browsing their registries yesterday (one was at Crate and Barrel and the other was at Bloomingdale's) and couldn't quite come up with a suitable present (I'm mega-weird about presents. Don't ask.) While the stuff at Crate and Barrel was nice, it lacked a certain j'ne sais quoi. I guess I think presents should be special, something splurge-worthy, and nothing from C and B really jumped out screaming to me as the perfect gift.

Which leaves the Bloomingdale's registry.  Suh-weeeet! Well, here's the thing:They registered (as many couples do) for a set of fine china for twelve.  Beautiful stuff (from Bernadaud. Yum) but fairly expensive for a plate.

See? Suuuuuper pretty plates! The bride has excellent taste (at least, I'm assuming the bride is the one who picked these out although I suppose I could be wrong on that.)

First off, let me be explicitly clear and say that in no way am I judging the couple for their pricey registry choices.  If anything, all it's making me do is wish we had registered for fine china (and about a million other things.  Damn me and my principled, anti-presents, pre-wedding self!) but we didn't.

Since it's an engagement party and not the actual wedding, I'd like to keep our gift in the $100 price range.  And as I mentioned before, I prefer to give presents that are something the receiver would not buy for themselves instead of just a random kitchen item or whatever.  In short, I'd like to get them some of their fine china, because I know if I had registered for it, I'd be hella excited to actually start receiving pieces.

So here's my question: Is it weird to gift the couple plate? See, it sounds strange, right? I mean, they registered for a service for twelve, so most likely everything's going to come in bits and pieces and not as a whole (unless they have extremely generous wedding guests, in which case I will be very, very jealous.  Don't judge me, I like presents and shiny new toys. Shush.) I could also do, um, three bread plates or two coffee cups.

What do you think? Would you think it was bizarre to receive a single plate as a present, even if said plate did  reach the gift-giver's generous budget? Or should I just suck it up and pick out a few things from good ol' Crate and Barrel? If you registered for fine china, I'd be especially curious to hear your opinion on the matter!

Has anyone else had this conundrum before? What did you do, buy the single plate or look for something else?


  1. hummm....we didn't register for fine china so I have no idea how people actually receive it - but we did register for nice table ware and we received entire place settings at a time. That being said, anything from their registry would make your friends starry eyed...when we got stuff from ours it would make us SOOO excited - weather it be a dish rack, a cutting board or towels :-)

    Also, goodness, a $100 sounds really generous for an engagement gift! Maybe it's different in different areas of the country, or among different social classes...I dunno. We got small sweet gifts for our engagement party - like cookie cutters, Christmas ornaments, ummm...a Le Creuset batter bowl. Nothing over $20! Then again, over half of our guests didn't give us wedding gifts - so maybe it's just the peeps we socialize with :-)

  2. I think it'd be a little weird. Esp since if the whole set did come in pieces, most people would most likely at least buy plates in pairs. I'd go with the two coffee cups! You can say something about them enjoying time with each other over coffee! Two coffee cups is definitely less awkward than one plate. Even if it's a very expensive plate!

  3. I think it's a wonderful idea to get them something special for their party! I agree with Alvina, I would shop in pairs for dishes/china. If two plates is outside the budget, than 2 coffee cups / tea cups / two salad plates would be the way I would go.

  4. When it was popular to register for fine china/silver, (1950). Brides were gifted with 'pieces'. After the wedding a bride would go and 'make up' what ever sets she still needed. One piece is therefore a fine gift. because eventually it all groups together as a whole. Have you thought of a serving piece, a platter or bowl? Sugar/Creamer, salt/pepper...

  5. My friend registered for extremely expensive plates at Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus...I forget...whichever has the registry. Anyways, she was really disappointed because no one bought them and she thinks it was because no on wanted to buy just one plate. I made sure I got her a plate for her wedding gift. I think we did a dinner and salad plate and it was a little over $250. It seemed crazy, but I knew she woudl be really excited. I say go for it! Especially sicne if people see one or two have already been bought it will make them more likely to purchase, too! I bet the couple will love it!

  6. Gorgeous, but dude - Bernadaud stuff is no joke. Some of their serving pieces can be a couple thousand dollars. I wonder if she'll even get the whole set (or half), so buying just 1 plate -she may end up returning it anyway.

    How about just getting her a $100 gift card to Bloomies to use as she pleases. Plus, if she uses it to buy her china, she'll get the extra % off her purchase that you wouldn't get. Good luck! :)