With the promise of clear skies and sunshine, the summer months are popular choices for couples planning their weddings. In fact, July and August are among the most in-demand months for nuptials and busiest for wedding-related businesses, say wedding experts. Friends and relatives of engaged couples are busy as well, making decisions about wedding, shower and engagement party gifts that can help create a foundation as a couple begins building their home life together. Gift-givers looking for alternatives to standard wedding registry items like toasters or candlesticks will find special and unique items at Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen that will make a thoughtful addition to any new couple’s home. Meanwhile, brides and grooms-to-be can compile a one-of-a-kind registry at Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen with unique and authentic items not found in typical department stores.
Bridal experts recommend doing a bit of homework before shopping for a wedding gift. Getting a sense of the couple’s style and taste will come in handy in picking the perfect present. Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen has a wide variety of wedding gifts for all types of budgets and tastes – but here are a few suggestions to help you get started.
For the “contemporary” couple -
Basic black always makes a statement, and those seeking clean, modern lines in this always-fashionable color will appreciate pieces from the Black Alloy collection – which offers plates (both rectangular and square), bowls, saucers, and teacups which are made of smooth, black stone and offer a slightly rippled finish. Also simple, yet sleek with a touch of color is the Blended Shades Matte Black and Shiny Blue collection. Its bold colors and clean cuts are featured on plates, bowls, sauce dishes and spoons. The combination of a matte and shiny finish works well with all types of meals – both formal and casual.
For the “vibrant” couple -
Perhaps the couple’s tastes veer more towards vibrant colors and lively designs. Those favoring a more colorful aesthetic will like plates, bowls or saucers from the lively Lime Crackle on Brown collection or the deep blue of the Rustic Dark Green, Blue and Cream Karakusa. Both collections feature bright bursts of color while keeping its Asian style intact. Other colorful options include items from the Blue Flower collection – which offers a bright blue bloom on an olive background, or the Washi Paper Pattern plates that have an intricate blue, cinnamon and green design resembling colorful Japanese washi paper.
For the “nature-loving” couple –
Our Snowmelt, Tropical Teal or White Cherry Blossom collections are designed to reflect just that – natural elements and earthy hues. Inspired by nature, these pieces are perfect for the couple that enjoys the outdoors – or simply appreciates a rustic and natural aesthetic. The rustic blue-green Snowmelt bowls and dishes resemble the melting snow of spring in Japan, while pieces in the Spinning Sky collection are bright, swirling bands of white and blue. The deep blues, glossy blacks and speckled olives of the Deep Sea collection are meant to reflect what may lie beneath the waters off of Japan’s coast. Or perhaps the couple will appreciate having a small “piece” of the outdoors in their home with the crackled Green Leaf plate and the celadon-style Blue Flower plate.
For the “traditional” couple –
Maybe you know a couple that will appreciate pieces with traditional Asian symbols or characters incorporated into its design. The stems of bamboo, which are a symbol of strength, durability and luck in Asian culture, resemble silk-screened artwork on the plates and saucers from the Bamboo Glass. Similarly, Japan’s celebrated cherry blossom, which is associated with loyalty, patriotism and femininity graces multiple pieces in the Cherry Blossom (white blossoms on a light blue background) and Cherry Blossom in Black (white blossoms on a smooth black background) collections.
Cranes are also popular Asian symbols – and are especially significant as Japanese couples fold 1,000 origami cranes to symbolize unity and commitment before marriage in a ritual known as sembazuru. Gift-givers wanting to pass on the tradition of the crane, which in other cultures also represents peace, happiness and fidelity, can choose pieces from the Crane in Flight and White Waves collection. This ocean blue and white collection also offers two larger bowls (a 8 ¼ in and a 10 inch) which can be used as serving dishes – looking equally lovely as a compliment to the collection or as stand alone pieces on a tabletop. (For more information on the special significance of cranes, please see the newsletter from March 2004.) Or perhaps you’d like to gift the couple with wishes of “fortune,” “prosperity” and “longevity” – the Chinese characters adorning the rust colored tea set in the Cinnamon Fortunes collection. The character for “longevity” – a ubiquitous symbol throughout Chinese culture also adorns the blue porcelain pieces in the Longevity line, which depicts various styles of the character on its plates, bowls and cups.
At Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen, tableware can be purchased individually or in sets. While bridal guides suggest registering for two types of dinnerware – “formal” and “casual” – our site has plenty of options to fill both entertaining and everyday needs.
Those interested in buying a complete setting from a collection have lots to choose from, too – though an Asian setting may look a little different from a traditional Western one. (For those wanting to learn more about setting a table with traditional Japanese aesthetics, please see our Japanese Tableware newsletter from November 2002, located in the Newsletter Archives.) According to bridal guides – traditional china settings are 5 pieces – a dinner plate, a salad/dessert plate, a bread plate and a cup and saucer – each piece with a specific use. But here, our collections are a little more interchangeable.
Rounding out many sets, such as the Multiple Fish line, is the inclusion of chopsticks and a matching chopstick rest. While serving as a stylish table accessory, the chopstick rest also functions as a raised place to set your chopsticks upon – saving your table or tablecloth from food stains. Named for the Japanese characters for various fish decorating the pieces – the mossy stone chopstick rest and the olive green chopsticks match perfectly – though mixing and matching throughout all the collections will produce a colorful and attractive table. Choices for single or sets of chopsticks abound at Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen (the Chopsticks section has over 300 offerings including chopsticks, rests and sets).
Many of our collections offer vessels for Asian beverages, like the Green Cherry Blossom series, which offers a sake set and a tea set. Decorated with delicate blossoms, the pale pink pieces come in different sizes for tea and sake to accompany your Asian meals. Those wanting a variety of options should also consider the Blue Karakusa line. Offering delicate tea and sake sets with its signature blue karakusa floral design– those preferring a sturdier cup can select the 4-inch mug – perfect for serving coffee or cappuccino after dinner to guests. Bridal experts also suggest registering for a wide array of items to accommodate all types of budgets and tastes. Along with dinnerware, our serving dishes and platters are functional and artful.
Couples are likely to receive compliments when using pieces from the Yellow Flower series – its striking 24-inch black and yellow dish is perfect for serving sushi or other appetizers. Others will like the simplicity of the Turquoise Blue Plate – a crackle-glazed 12-inch platter that comes with two small dishes for sauces. Our distinctive platters, such as the colorful porcelain Orchid Round Plate or the vibrant Koi Porcelain Plate are almost too beautiful to use to for food – and can double as beautiful additions to your décor.
For new couples, entertaining can be a big undertaking. And whether it is having new in-laws over for dinner, or throwing a cocktail party for friends – having an attractive and inviting table is an important piece of the puzzle. Consider buying placemats to help dress up a table– such as the Gold Longevity placemat that comes with a napkin and chopstick holder or a bamboo placemat, which comes in a wide array of styles and colors. Adding a table runner can also add a nice touch to the table – whether it be the simple Black Bamboo table runner to compliment colorful dinnerware – or the dramatic black and red Happiness Pattern table runner to offset more basic tones. Or perhaps you’d like to highlight the couple’s new duo status and offer a gift set especially designed for dinners-for-two, such as the turquoise crackled-glazed Dahlia Flower Dish set or the earth-toned Ginko Emblem set, both which offer matching plates, sauce dishes and chopsticks for two. The Sake and a Snack For Two gift set, or the Flying Fish Sushi Set, which also comes with a pair of bamboo placemats also make good gifts for newlyweds.
With so many choices, choosing the perfect gift may take some time. But be sure to complete your gift with a thoughtful card and gift-wrap, services also available by Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen. Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen offers an easy, accessible gift registry service that’s easy for recipients of all types. Simply make a list after perusing the site, submit it to Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen, and we will notify family and friends of your choosing by email of your selections. For more ideas on gift giving, please see our December 2004 Holiday Shopping Guides in the Newsletter Archives.
OUR 2005 NEWSLETTERS
Fortune Cookies: The Real San Fransisco Treat
Full Of Fortune
All About Sushi (part II)
Secret Lives Of Geisha
Specialty Japanese Cookware
Rice The Golden Grain
Summer Wedding Gift Guide
Washi Paper Production and Uses
Symbols of Happiness and Longevity in Asian Culture
Bamboo – A Versatile Plant
Symbolism in Asian Motifs and Patterns
MAY WE SUGGEST: