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My Mess of a Masterpiece: Mix and Match China

Jun 19, 2012 05:18PM ● Published by Anonymous

At first, the idea garnered a bunch of “Oooh that would be pretty!”s and “What a great idea!”s. A few weeks or months later and a funny thing happened: people told me what they really thought. (Isn’t that always the case in wedding planning? No one wants to shoot down a bride-to-be’s dreams or ideas, so everyone is agreeable. Until you change your mind or get frustrated, then it “wasn’t meant to be” and there are “a lot of things that could go wrong.” Don’t worry, it’s been my experience that when you decide to stick it out, friends and family happily jump right back on board, and if you change your mind, that new idea is positively brilliant, too.)

At the slightest hesitation that collecting china for 100 wasn’t easy, friends and family were quick to explain their hesitations:

         “It sounds so pretty but it’d be a lot of work…I’m afraid the process will stress you out.”

         “I’m just not sure you’re going to be able to find enough pieces.”

         “The logistics sound sticky. Who packs them up after the reception?”

         And my fiancés favorite: “Where are we going to store 100 china place settings, and what will we do with it after?"

Ultimately, I decided it’d be worth it; Craigslist, yard sales, consignments shops, and eBay are full of china and I’d find enough; our day-of coordinator agreed that she’d be able to handle and guide the logistics of packing it back up; we’d turn the dining room into a staging area (okay, I didn’t so much decide this, as it just happened); and I’ll set up an eBay store or have a yard sale. BOOM.

So I’ve been collecting like crazy. I spend an obscene amount of time on Craigslist and I have the names and numbers of two consignment shop owners, who graciously agreed to pick things up for me on their various auctioning and yardsale-ing trips. I check in and pick up every couple of weeks, and it’s been working out well. And with ten weeks left to go this weekend, I unpacked all the boxes, counted the pieces, reorganized, and moved everything into the kitchen. What a relief! Not only do I have my dining room back, you barely notice the boxes in the kitchen, and I learned some great news: I’m more than 80 percent finished! In fact, I’m only short about 10 dinner plates, 30 salad plates and 30 dessert plates. That is HUGE, and I’m loving it!

I fully realize that no one will pay attention to the china as much as I will on our wedding day, but I’m okay with that. Picking out the pieces and collecting it has been an interesting, fun process and in the end, I know I’m going to love the way it looks, even if I’m the only one who notices.

Planning