Thursday, December 13, 2007

Do I dare?

I found this Wilton Armetale shell server in the case at Goodwill. Originally marked $6, it had been sitting half-price for three days before I grabbed it for $3.

Of course, I'd really like to keep it for myself! It retails for $40 on sale.

When I noticed its pristine condition and original paper tags, though, I wondered if it was suitable for a wedding gift. It has clearly never been used.

I could fold it neatly in white tissue and slip it in a gift box.

Our "real gift" is providing brunch to the bridal party on the big day, but I had planned to purchase a modest--and more permanent--gift as well. She is registered at Target, not a department store.

Am I the only one who's so fond of this no-polish servingware? Or would another bride send it right back to Goodwill?


Andrea said...

Really depends on how well you know the bride, I think. For me, I don't mind receiving gifts that are thrifted. Do you think she can tell? If you think it is at all obvious the item is thrifted, I'd only give it if you know her well enough to tell her where you got it.

I just had a conversation with my niece the other day, in which I just came out and asked her how she felt about thrifted gifts (this was not brave, I already had an inkling it would be okay). She was thrilled with the idea, and of course, I told her we would be very happy with the same (or no gift at all).

Bottom line, giver, know thy giftee. :-)

Edi said...

I think it is very pretty - but it is not my type of thing. If you are uncertain as to whether or not the bride/groom would be able to use it at least somewhat regularly...I'd say keep it for yourself...where you know it would be used and appreciated.

What I would do if I could not use it either, would be to sell it on eBay. Items that are "new with tag" sell better than items w/out tags still on.

Goslyn said...

Oh my word, I would have loved to have received a wedding gift like that. If it still has the tags and appears unused, I'd say it is just fine to give away. But, if you REALLY love it, keep it for yourself. A $3 serving tray is a just reward for all your hard thrifiting.

It's a Mom Thing said...

If she does, she's crazy! That's a beautiful piece and I think would be a great wedding gift.

Meredith said...

Ha, ha! Unless she or her mother read this blog, there would be absolutely no way to tell its origin.

It looks just like it was sitting on the department store display table. It only lacks the box--and the ability to return it to the store.

I just hate to spend $10 on something from Target when I could give this much nicer gift for $3.

We will probably spend at least $60on brunch for 12 and in preparing snacks and drink coolers for the afternoon at the church. But you'll get to hear all about that in January!

melissa said...

It's pretty, but a new bride may not know what to do with it. I would recommend including suggestions of how it could be used including what she could put in the little bowl to go with the larger plate.

Jane said...

I think with all the things you host, you should keep it. I have one that I got for a wedding gift and I have only used it once or twice, but I know that once I have a house I will use it more. I so look forward to that day!

On the other hand it is a nice gift too. Sorry, I am not much help!

Kathleen Grace said...

If it is something she would like I would give it to her! I think it's beautiful and who cares what the cost was? Once it's out of the box and used it has the same value and beauty as one that cost $50!

Anonymous said...

I'm with 7gerbers about this. Some brides would be horrified to receive anything that didn't come out of a regular retail store. Others are open, even eager, to have "vintage" items in their homes, & knowing it's not a run-of-the-mill gift. Myself, if I were in your situation, I would be apt to keep the piece.


Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful piece-- and there is no reason in the world not to give it to the new bride. I love Armetale-- she'll have it forever.

I wouldn't think twice about wrapping it in some nice tissue and giving it to her.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that would be stunning with cold shrimp and sauce!

Unless she is an EXTREMELY casual person, I'd give it. Obviously better quality than anything from Target, AND you stay in budget. Do you really care if she dumps it in Goodwill? Isn't it hers to do as she pleases? Your thoughtful brunch gift is very valuable and that is what will be remembered!

As a new bride many years ago, I put my wedding-gift Armetale platter in the dishwasher! It looks awful now but still holds its temperature beautifully and is in weekly service.

Anonymous said...

Meredith, That is beautiful. Please tell us what you would serve in it. It looks much too beautiful for chips and dip and I am thinking maybe fruit would tarnish it. I would really be interested to know how you would use it and then, like someone posted, if you give it you should enclose a few ideas. I guess I'm not very imaginative. :-)

Meredith said...

The neat thing about this server is that the small dip bowl detaches--so you can use it as a regular tray for deviled eggs, finger sandwiches, etc.

I rarely serve shrimp, but this is perfect for that--just put the tray in the freezer before filling it and it will remain frosty cold for quite a while.

Likewise, you could preheat the tray in the oven and fill it with BBQ-ed chicken wings--and it would keep them nice and warm.

This isn't silver, so it doesn't need to be polished.

I would probably use it most as a smal fruit tray with a creamy fruit dip in the bowl--or for crudite with ranch dressing.

On the other hand, looks like she has registered for a wide variety of price range gifts at Target. There is a $5.99 white tablecloth and $5 napkins which would coordinate the hospitality portion of our gift, so perhaps I'll just do that instead.

Anonymous said...

I have this exact tray set and I love it although it doesn't get used a lot.

Since it is a shell shape I feel like I should serve seafood in it and I don't always have the budget for shrimp. But a hot crab dip in the small detachable part with chips in the larger part is excellent (and not expensive if you use canned crab, or catch your own like we do in the summer)

Have you considered using it at the brunch and letting her know that it is hers to keep after you clean it?

inspired said...

My anniversary is May 30th. Save it for a present for me, because I would love and USE it!!!


Anonymous said...

I can't believe you found a NEW Armetale piece for $3! I want to go shopping with you!

I think if you weren't 100% sure the bride would love it, then it would be a shame to let it get away. And *you* will surely love and use it! I think if you give it to her, you will always wonder if it's back at Goodwill or sitting in her drawer. If you give her the napkins, you'll know for sure she wanted them. :)

Amy said...

What an excellent tray and gift idea! I honestly don't know if I would have known what to do with it when I was first married, but I also had no idea how to cook or how to entertain. Maybe she is different than I was?

If she is the same though, perhaps tucking some of your recipes in there with the gift to explain its purpose would be helpful to a new bride. I know that is something I would have truly appreciated, particularly because I had no recipes of my very own :)

Lisa B. said...

I agree, That is the perfect serving tray for shrimp and coctail sauce!

I'm afraid at the price you bought it for, if I were you, I would be keeping it for myself.

Anonymous said...

I was excited to receive WA pieces for a wedding gift, even though I did not register for them. I used to work in the homestore dept. of Rich's and things did not always still have the original box, so we would do what you are planning to do, wrap it in tissue paper and put it in a box. I don't think the bride would ever know you thrifted this item unless she reads your blog.
That's my 2 cents...

Anonymous said...

If you know the bride well, give it to her. She may know your thrifty habits already anyway! My daughter and son-in-law's built-in craftsman cabinets are full of my thrifty finds--crystal, beautiful Johnson Brothers ironstone, service for 12 etc. They love it!

Tamara said...

I received a WA piece as a wedding gift. I was not registered for it, but I love it, and have often thought of purchasing one for a wedding gift, but cost generally prohibits it. Generally the less expensive items on a registry are the types of things that do not last. But a beautiful quality serving piece is something that will endure and can be used for display as well as service. I would give it without hesitation. Perhaps, as suggested above, include a personal note with suggested uses & directions. Or, perhaps, include with it some inexpensive linens on her registry (such as the napkins you mentioned).

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate said...

I think you should keep it, unless she has registered for something very close to it on her registry.

You deserve to have something lovely like that-and you would get good use from it.

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

That's really pretty! It amazes me how cheaply you find things!

Honestly, I think you should keep it, considering how often you host. However, I do think it would make a lovely wedding gift IF you think it's the bride's style. Personally, I would have liked that, but not all women would.

Anonymous said...

If the bride is known to entertain I think she'll like it very much. You don't need to let on that it is thrifted unless she wants to exchange it.

bluebonnetbelles said...

I think this lovely piece should be in a home where it will be used, i.e., YOURS. It would be a shame if it sat in a cupboard collecting dust when it could be serving you on a regular basis as you practice hospitality.

I say, give the bride a small item for which she registered, and put this gem to work!


Unknown said...

I would look at her registry and see what her dining ware is like. Is she registered for anything equally fancy? I'm getting married in May, and we registered for Fiesta ware so even though the server is beautiful ir wouldn't necessarily go with my other dining ware which would mean less use. But, if from looking at the registry it looks like it would go with her general decor/dining ware I would go for it. I recently received wine glasses as an engagement present that were old ones from a friend of my fiance's family, and I loved them. They are beautiful and will fit in well with the stem ware we did register for.

Hope that helps.

mama k said...

I agree with 7gerbers. If you think she would be ok if it's not a "brand new" item, go for it. But if you think it is something that she would not want either because of it's origin or because she wouldn't have a use for it, then keep it for yourself or save it for someone who would want it.
After all, giving a gift is about giving what the recipient would want or need, it's not so much about us and what WE want to give.

And I was offended when someone gave me a new, but clearly regifted picture frame for my wedding. (The stock picture was from the 80's and the box looked worn.) If it was the thought that counts, this relative (who clearly has some funds) didn't think much of me.

You clearly care a lot for this gal and are going through a lot of effort throwing her a party. A token gift from you would be all that is expected.

Anonymous said...

Is her taste similar to yours? I think it's a beautiful piece, but maybe her style may differ than yours?

For the price you paid I would go ahead and keep it. If it really gives you much joy already and you would use it often, why not keep it for yourself?

You mentioned spending about $60 for the food for the shower & that does not include your time and effort. I really think that is a very substantial gift in itself and don't see the need to give anything else. Just my .02. :)

Anonymous said...

Does she enjoy entertaining? You've probably taken a peek at what else she's asking for and see if that style fits. If she enjoys entertaining and has room in the kitchen, I'd give it! :)

Anonymous said...

OK-how badly do you want it? If you really like it, and you have room to store it without it becoming clutter, and you will use it often, then you might keep it. If you think she will use it often, then it is an equally good gift idea. Or I like the other idea to ebay it. You could use the profits to get something off her registry and maybe leftover to get a gift for your husband or someone on the list.

TheNormalMiddle said...

I love Armentale stuff. I have a few platters that I rec'd as gifts when we married. I don't use them a ton, but we use them more than average I'd say.

But these days, people would rather have plastic junk from Target, made in China than a classic that may not be used everyday....

I say keep it for yourself! :)

Anonymous said...

Just a comment to Mama K:

Please don't write off your relative who gave you a shopworn gift ... insted of not caring, (s)he might just not have gifts as a love language.

Since gifts are NOT my love language ... words and acts of service are ... I have given my share of gifts that bombed. But it doesn't mean I don't care; it just means that I have a hard time picking great gifts.


Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud when I saw this post. I bought the center dip holder portion of that set this summer at a yard sale. I couldn't figure out what it was. I thought it was a thistle because they had a lot of stuff from Scottland at the yard sale. I gave it to my scottish husband for his keys on his dresser. Shoud I tell him it's for crab dip. I still love it though. That material feels really neat.
I would keep it. You can always use it to catch your keys when you're not serving food in it.
Just kidding,

Anonymous said...

I think you should keep it for yourself.

Few people these days, especially young, newly married people do a lot of elegant entertaining. I'll admit I have my own collection of beautiful things languishing in the closet. At least if you keep it, you know it will be well used and loved.

I'm also a big fan of buying off registries whenever possible, especially if there are such reasonable choices as the tablecloth and napkins you mentioned.

Anonymous said...

OK, here's my two cents. I hope that this doesn't sound harsh, but most young girls getting married nowadays don't have a clue about hospitality. Many of them have been raised with moms that work, and hospitality just isn't something that they are really familiar with or even have an interest in. Most brides nowadays are very career oriented, too, and don't make any of the food if they do have people over. I keep thinking about the experience you had the one time when your very ungrateful guests (career women) made the comments when you were out of the room about how they would have just "outsourced" the food. (Maybe I shouldn't bring that up, but it still hurts me for you every time I think about it!). Honestly, unless this young woman has been raised in a home where they routinely practice hospitality and/or thrift, I think you're probably just wasting this gift on her. She won't appreciate it on any level, and you will always wish that you had kept it. I think there's a big learning curve in the early days of our marriages. My husband and I didn't have a lot of money in the early days of our marriage, and reading Amy Dacyczyn's book had a PROFOUND influence on my life. But prior to that, I'm not sure I would have appreciated a wedding gift of any sort if I suspected at all that it wasn't new. And if she doesn't like it and can't take it back, it will leave a different impression with her than you want. She will suspect that it was thrifted/regifted/used and possibly be miffed about it....even though you are spending a lot of money on the luncheon! (Aren't you thankful that God matures us from our young, immature days?!) I think you should just keep it, and spend the $10.00 on a gift certificate to a restaurant that this couple likes, (staying with the food theme!) and tell them they can have a fun luncheon time together after they are married (most likely when they are out returning half of the gifts they got!).


ChiefFamilyOfficer said...

I say that if you love it, you should absolutely keep it - you deserve something nice too!

MommyLydia said...

Honestly? Keep it. If I had gotten this gift, it would still be packed in its given box, stored in the closet with he rest of the obvious "serving" wear in hopes that one day I'll remember to give it out when entertaining (My husband and I will have been married 4 years in March). This just isn't my sort of thing. at least not yet. But it also isn't the sort of thing I would be comfortable giving away (yet anyway) but I've got 3 large serving plates stored away somewhere -- I don't even remember who gave them to me at this point so they can't even be useful for that :(. Never used.

OTOH, I HAVE used the stuff I asked for. Even the cloth napkins and fancy silverware that only comes out rarely, but still does come out.

Anonymous said...

this is exactly why we did not register when we got married- because we thought it was neat getting beautiful, unique things (and four toasters... but you can never have too much toast, right?) i love that the things that people gave us don't "match." i love the patchwork of a home made up of things that the people close to us saw and loved, as opposed to living in a crate and barrel catalog. i'm sure that a lot of it was thrifted- and personally, i think that more thought goes into finding a beautiful piece at a thrift store than in clicking on something in a gift registry. please note that i am not disparaging anyone who purchases items off the registry! i do not think that people who do so are not thoughtful or anything like that. i am just supporting the idea of giving it to her and including some suggested uses.
love, magda

Anonymous said...

After reading all these comments, I agree with Susan the most -- have actually changed my mind after reading her post. And we know YOU would use the Armetale.

Except, a $10 gift certificate also sends a message. I don't LIKE giving gift certs because I feel like I have to give more money, so as not to appear cheap, than I would normally spend. But that's probably my Achilles Heel talking.

I have too much to do to be online today! argh!

deb meyers

Anonymous said...

Hmm...I'd have to be honest on this one. I'd take it and donate it to MY local thrift shop. That being said, the only reason I would is because it isn't my style. Like 7gerbers said, giver know thy giftee.

And just as another comment, if she hadn't registered for items like this, she may 1) not need them or 2) not want them.

Guess it is up to you, but if I were you, I'd keep it :)

Kerry said...

Ok - there are 40 comments about this, so I'm sure what I'm going to say has been said before...but I'm sayin' it anyway.

Any bride who would even question "where" a gift was purchased doesn't deserve a gift at all. The gift is lovely, clean, in excellent condition and thoughtful. If it was the EXACT same item only purchased in a department store for 10 times the price and the bride would accept it as a lovely gift, then why should she care if someone bought it elsewhere?

Any bride who'd turn her nose up at ANY GIFT is a rude girl. Besides, it is very poor manners to question a gift's origin, certainly to the giver, but also to others (then that could be gossip).

Give it as a gift or keep it for yourself - it is a lovely dish that anyone would enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Can I make one more comment about this, and then say no more? I know the last commenter thought that a girl would be rude to question a gift's orgin, but in defense of young brides everywhere, I don't really see it that way. I think that weddings seem to bring out a lot of ideas of fantasy and perfection in most young women. They (and we did, too) all want the "perfect" wedding, with the "perfect" dress, the "perfect" colors, the "perfect" music, etc. etc. etc. I think there is this fantasy of finally living out the fairy tale and then living "happily ever after". If that wasn't true, there wouldn't be so many stories, and even TV programs, about brides melting down over things that, to everyone else, seem like absolutely nothing! Every girl doesn't go through this to the same degree obviously, nor is every girl conceited and rude. I just think that brides look at things differently during that time in their lives than they do later on when they've moved past that stage of trying to live out their storybook wedding. So my whole point about the serving tray, and a bride suspecting that it might be thrifted/regifted, etc., is to just give her something that is emotionally neutral and let it go at that. I think that most girls quickly begin to mature after "real life" begins, and ask them 5 years up the road if they'd like this tray, and they'd grab it in a heartbeat! And I don't think I am completely wrong about this wedding thing...or there wouldn't be 41 comments on this post! I don't think ladies are commenting about the tray, per se, as much as they are about their feelings that surround the whole brides/wedding thing. So that's my 2 cents again! (That makes 4 cents altogether!) Please let us know, Meredith, what you finally decide to do with this tray!

Jana said...

My husband bought that exact tray for me for Christmas last year and I know it cost no less than $50---makes me sick you found one new in the box for only $3. I would keep it I were you as it is a great serving piece...but, if I was a new bride again, I would be thrilled to have it as a wedding present. The non-polishable items are very hot for brides these days!