Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Setting a Pretty Table

This one was H.A.R.D for me...   When Kathleen said she wanted to have a wedding china challenge, at first I was excited.....then...reality set in...That lovely wedding china that I got in 1973 was from a marriage that ended in divorce..hmmm....what to do...I most certainly do NOT celebrate that wedding..even thought I still love the china I picked out as a young twenty year old.. I pulled it out weeks ago and set the table, and then..I waited..and waited.  pondering what to do about this challenge. whether to even join in the challenge.

When I married my present husband, we eloped and their was no big wedding..the focus this time was on marriage, not wedding....  There were no trips to the jewelry store to pick out china, crystal, and silver..  No bridal registries, there is no 'official wedding china'...

I finally decided this morning..what the is what it is...  I love this china, I do NOT love my first wedding or my first marriage... I do not in any way want to dishonor the man I am married to now.  He is my forever husband threw me a curve ball...
and now, I consider this china SPOILS OF WAR!!

That was a very long introduction to this wedding china post...Thank you Kathleen for making me consider and rethink some issues in my life....wink, wink

That dried rose is there because what once was alive is now dead....but I am choosing to see the beauty even in that dead marriage...this china lives on and we still enjoy the beauty of these plates...
It is Provencal by Royal Doulton and was special ordered from England just for me...nothing like a small town jewelry store to be so personal..

I chose timeless Chantilly by Gorham for my sterling..

The stemware is Antique by Lenox..  I also chose a fine crystal by Wallace but this one matches these plates... Every bride was expected to have a fine china, crystal, and sterling and then the everyday china, crystal, and silver....This was my everyday china and crystal...

Now, here is the twist and turn...the plate on the left is Harrison Rose by Haviland and belonged to my paternal Grandmother.It was what I used as my 'fine china' ..I sometimes regret not choosing the pattern of fine china that the lady who owned the jewelry store talked me out of getting...something about hindsight and 20/20.. LOL  One day I might buy it anyway..but I doubt it...

I have a small collection of cake toppers..the romantic in me...

And these lace bells...ahhh, yes..just thinking about them makes me tear up...  They were handmade by my Grandmother Lewis in 1948 for my parents wedding reception.. Just holding them and knowing how much work and love and artistic effort she put into the decorations for her only son's (my Daddy's) wedding reception.  They had eloped so there was no big wedding but there was a BIG reception later...  I treasure these little bells made from lace and glitter and satin ribbons with a little wooden ball for the clapper...

This is the bride and groom that reminds me the most of me and my husband.  If we ever redo our vows, I will use this one...

Well, I made it to the end of this post and so did you....Thank you for hanging in there...Believe me, I would have written my story differently..all roses and no thorns...but that is not how my life has been..there have been thorns and I am sure there will be more..BUT..I have decided to smell the roses anyway even if there are thorns.. Just because it has been hard at times, I still press on..and on...and on....a lot of life is still left to live.....

Thank you all for being my means a lot..Knowing you all are there helped me to press on and get this post about wedding china done..even if it is a bittersweet part of my life...

Love, Mona

I am joining Kathleen's wedding china challenge
Tablescape Thursday

Come visit....lots of people have gorgeous wedding china to show you and other goodies too...


  1. What an intriguing read as you processed it all. Your china is beautiful! I did not get to select a china set for either wedding so I think it's great that you have one and I'm glad that you won't hold the marriage against it! (My grandmother was engaged to a young man who gifted her with a beautiful hope chest. It graced the bottom of her bed for seventy years. I remember asking if my grandfather was offended by it. She said that he always thought it a fine piece of furniture and not to be wasted. What does your husband think?)

  2. Mona, I have already seen one other china story that ended in divorce, as did my first one (but no link for mine, I was too late before I found Kathleen's party - just as well). Your china is lovely, the stories behind it and you bells, even better. The common thread - we have all found happiness the second time around. We are older and wiser. ♥
    Rita C at Panoply

  3. I am impressed with your collection of cake toppers. I still have mine packed in a box somewhere. The brides aren't using those as much now so your collection is a good one.

    You have the gift of words and you have expressed life and its ups and downs beautifully. You also have chosen to enjoy the beauty of the present.

    I am glad you chose to do this tablescape challenge and use the beautiful Royal Doulton plates ordered especially for you. I am sure you can change the look using the china for more tablescapes.

    Yes, we are your friends and am glad to be. I also want to say how special your lace bells your grandmother made are. I can understand why you cherish them.

  4. Yes, you did receive a curve ball, dearest Mona, but all those experiences led you to your true love and soulmate. I'm glad you shared your pattern and all your memories with us. I do love your grandmother's romantic pattern. All those wedding toppers are sure treasures. Blessings and hugs sent to you.

  5. Mona, First I would like to say that your china is beautiful.. Lovely selection. Your collection of bride and groom cake toppers is marvelous. They look splendid in a wedding china tablescape. We had Elenore's gift shop when I was first married. Nearly all birthday, anniversary, and wedding gifts were bought there. I miss having a local store that carries beautiful gifts. Walmart just don't cut it. I love your story. Here's to dried roses! I walk in those same shoes myself.

  6. Dear Mona, Your post is so interesting and moving. I am glad you were able to look at these dishes and see the beauty in them (they are gorgeous!). Now you can enjoy them and maybe use them with your true love! I think you should celebrate your next anniversary with the darling cake topper!! I just love those and wish I had one of my own. We used flowers on top of our cake. And finally, those lace bells!!! I have never seen any before. They are absolutely wonderful and you are so lucky to have such a remembrance of both your grandmother and your parents. I wish you much happiness! You are so sweet and it seems you have found the right one now, even though the road to him was a bit rocky. Linda

  7. Lovely china -- and there is nothing like Royal Doulton -- And I do understand about the china and the marriage! Love your bells and bride and grooms!

  8. Your china is very beautiful, possibly the most beautiful I have seen tonight (and there have been a lot of beautiful ones, too!). I'm glad you pulled it out and joined the challenge. I love the part about the rose and I grinned when you called the china the spoils of war. I love your attitude.

    I also loved the cake toppers and the lace bells. I would LOVE some like that. They are the kind of thing that I would love to hand down.

  9. If you love the china, that's reason enough to use it and not have regrets about how it was chosen or what it represented. The important thing is you met the challenge both in your life and the challenge. It all turned out wonderfully well.

  10. The china is beautiful. Why throw the baby out with the bathwater? 😄

    I made a few messes myself before I got it right -- I think you are in good company.

  11. As Ellen (Scribbler) said, you are in GOOD company, girlfriend!!! You know Ramon is #5 for me, right? I kissed a lot of frogs before finding my prince. As hurtful and messy as all that was, I don't try to dismiss it from my life. All of those experiences made me who I am today. It all contributed to my fortitude, serenity, self respect, increased self esteem, and best of all...knowing who/what I DIDN'T want. Without all of those duds, I never would have been able to find the real deal who is Ramon. I didn't get rid of any vestiges of past relationships/marriages out of anger or resentment. I kept what meant something to ME and got rid of what no longer did...the guy! :-) :-) :-) I'm not making light of your feelings at all...just trying to bring a little levity to the conversation. Broken hearts and broken promises are the toughest to sweep up, aren't they?

    Your spoils of war make a beautiful table, and your topper collection is A-1. I hope that one day you and your husband are able to do something very, very special to commemorate your union and that you use that favorite topper on that occasion. You'll be glad you did. Doesn't have to be big...just something that makes you feel like the happy bride you always had inside of you and that he brings out in you.

    Have a happy weekend, darling!

  12. Well, the china was a beautiful choice even if the guy wasn't. '-) I'm sorry you had the heartache, but sounds like you found your true love. Enjoy these beautiful dishes.
    Your wedding topper collection is fabulous. We didn't have a wedding topper on our cake, but I always thought these little couples were fun and would make a great collection. Great idea to share them in this post. I hope we see more of them again. '-)

  13. Your china is beautiful and elegant...don't dwell on how and when you got it. Just enjoy it now for what it is! Lovely table.

  14. Mona, I really enjoyed the story behind your china! I love Royal Doulton patterns -- they are all appealing to me. And Gorham's Chantilly is a family favorite. My mother-in-law collected a large set, as she gave huge dinner parties, and it is now divided between my two adult offspring, who treasure it.

  15. Yes, my dear, you are in 'good company' !!! The china is beautiful and timeless.....enjoy it!!! But....I am in love with the lace wedding bells!!! What a treasure!!! I have to figure out a way to make those!!! Thanks for sharing your story.......

  16. Mona, you always manage to find the deepest meaning of everything - from china to flowers. I envy your heart and how you manage to use it, along with your head (I know how smart you are!!). I love your comment, about the spoils of war, so much. The china we receive, when we marry, is really ours and I love your pattern. We probably ordered our china from the same small town jewelry store - my everyday pattern is Royal Doulton and my silver is Strasbourg. I think almost everyone near our age has either Chantilly or Strasbourg, However, both are timeless like us - hahaha!! Love this post!!

  17. It's hard smell a dead rose. So glad you moved on and kept the beautiful china!

  18. The Provencal is gorgeous. I'm glad that you all chose to continue to use it. I'm also glad that God led you to your life's soulmate the second time around. I'm in love with the lace bells and the story about your grandmother making them...true treasures. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  19. What a poignant post! I found your use of the dried rose the perfect way to bridge your two marriages! And oh, what gorgeous china!! Your grandmother's china is beautiful but I so love yours. I'm glad you took this challenge. It sounds like you've come away with a good perspective. (Love your cake topper collection, too!)

  20. Hi Mona,
    Love your honesty. Life is what it is.........enjoyed seeing your china they are both beautiful, and those
    lace bells made by your grandmother are amazing, and how nice you have them. Also liked your wedding cake post and hope it help you get passed some things form the past!! lol
    Blessings, Nellie
    Also thanks for coming by my blog and for your comment, I am your newest follower.

  21. Beautiful pattern, Mona! I think many of us have had a few thorns among the roses, it makes us who we are today.

  22. The china is still as beautiful as ever. It always reminds me of my childhood. It was just such a permanent part of whatever house we were in.

  23. Mona.
    This post got to me so much, as I am a bit of romantic myself. I don't know where to was so special because you see past the bad times and rejoice in the present. The handmade lace bells that your Grandmother made are beautiful, and what a treasure they are. The cake toppers are sweet too. I still have my cake top, but it is not as gorgeous as these are. I love the rose china that belonged to your Grandmother. My wedding china is similar to this one, and I only received two settings. Wish I got more so I could have used them throughout the years on holidays. I love what you said about the roses and thorns......especially since I love roses so much hehehe.

    Have a beautiful week, and this post truly was heartwarming to me.


  24. aaahhh, the red rose on your Header......I smiled big when I saw that. :~)

  25. Into each life some rain must fall! I am so glad you put the thorns behind you and focused on the rose! What gorgeous china, and you had very good taste for such a young girl! I had already finished college, graduate school and taught for a year by the time I married at 23, an old lady! I love your table, and I love your story, and I am honored you made the difficult decision to join in. After all, it is all about the dishes, LOL!
    Thanks for being part of the party! It was really so much fun to read the stories behind the dishes.

  26. You did this post with so much grace. Being divorced and now with my true love you know I understand all of this. I have no idea what happened to my wedding china from 1981. love, olive

  27. What gorgeous china, so pretty and detailed. Sorry to hear about your divorce, but another chapter opens for you. The wedding lace bells are such a treasure. Enjoy them all and smile, because life has something beautiful to come.