How many hours of my childhood were spent drying dishes?
In our house it was the chore from which we were never excused ~~ the dishwasher served only as a storage place for assorted containers.
I usually detested that chore, which had to be done after the three meals each day, and then twice a year when all the already spotless and dustless dishes came out of the cupboards to be washed for spring and fall cleaning.
But twice a year and during assorted holidays my dishtowel (it had to be fresh and dry) lovingly and patiently caressed ~~ yes, that is accurate ~~ the dishes I thought must be the most beautiful ever created.
my mother’s wedding china
~ Lenox Rutledge ~
january 14, 1956
january 14, 1956
Lenox calls this a springtime pattern because of the floral design, but when I hold it I hear my dad calling from the den, “Franny, come and see this.” Marching band music from the television plays in the background as the Thanksgiving Day parade floats by.
The china is the trademark Lenox ivory, almost white but softer, the color of my wedding dress. (Do you remember when the fashion world flirted with this bridal look for a short time in 1980?) The fluted edges of all the pieces are hand painted with tiny flowers in a process Lenox calls “jewelling,” and these highly polished petals are the result.
I know my mom stored these beautiful dishes in a hope chest, and purchased them by working hard after school and then full time, in factories and at those old-fashioned department store counters selling makeup and candy, where her mad men era bosses chased the girls around trying for kisses or a pinch. Yes! True stories and my kids are amazed.
By the time I found Mr. Fun and chose my wedding china, I of course wanted something different. Lenox was no longer giving these lovely tiny swans to brides, and I chose a pattern from Minton.
(you can see it here).
Now my daughter is getting married and my mom mentioned that she was planning to give this exquisite china to her!! I must admit that I was more than a tad envious. Of course, Charlotte is looking at her own totally different patterns, as every bride has, and should have, her own style, reflective of her own experiences and generation.
I do, however, think that true beauty is timeless, and these dishes are perfect examples of that. I have set a table with these classic dishes and modern touches that I think will please both a grandmother and her modern, young bride granddaughter.
post wedding brunch
just the bride and groom
newly Mr. and Mrs.
Somewhere far from the madding guest reception crowd ~~ none of this new thing where everyone stays in the same inn and a huge brunch starts the first day of the marriage. No, no ~~ just quiet, just two, who cares what food is served, and who even knows. The minister has said “I now pronounce you,” the toasts have been raised. God is in his heaven. All is right with the world.
This Lenox pattern, created in 1920, easily mixes with mason jar vases ~~
which are filled with flowers from my yard.
The modern rusted metal urn gives a nod to classical style in its shape
and holds delicate flowers on the table under my pink tree.
Ribbons in the color of the jewel-like flower petals on the dishes flow from the urn and can tie together the flatware,
or lend a more casual and modern look to the delicate vintage sherry glasses, perfect for a morning toast.
Did you know that flowing ribbons are making a return to bridal bouquets? A welcome (imo) change from the rigid tightly bound inflexible look popular now.
Speaking of weddings and flowers, I know it’s not all about me (I chant this to myself before bed), but I think every bridal bouquet needs a sprig of lily of the valley to add a delicate and sweet scent. I have so much growing in my yard in May and June, but where can I find it in January??
but a touch of candlelight adds another romantic touch.
Instead of the silver candlesticks my mother used I’ve added more jars with beeswax candles, casting a soft glow over an evening table for the bride and groom.
Of course by evening the new couple will be winging their way
to a wonderful honeymoon.
(the blue hour came on just as I snapped these shots!)
Mr. Fun and I will be here, exhausted, jubilant.
I think that a table set for my daughter’s wedding breakfast with my mother’s wedding china
will be the perfect place for us to sit and recover!
something old, something new
~~ perfection ~~
p.s. The dishes are dishwasher safe. They say so right on the backstamp. But I’m sure I’ll be hand drying them the next day, with help from my own groom.
please join me at