Ding-Ding -- It's time to talk crystal!
Calling all soon-to-be-married brides! Wedding season is upon us, so it's time to begin making some fun, and sometimes exhausting, choices about those special items that you may only get the opportunity to receive once in your lifetime.
Today, we will be giving you some simple tips about selecting crystal stemware that I hope are as crystal clear as your potential selection!
To be considered "crystal", the piece must contain at least 24% lead. Why would anyone want to put lead in glass you ask? The addition of lead to glass makes for a cleaner cut. This is why you see crystal stemware with intricate designs and engravings but not so with glass.
When choosing a crystal stemware pattern, it is easy to become discouraged at the cost per stem. Don't fret! You're not alone if you think eighty dollars or more is expensive for an item that you probably won't use all that often. My point is that crystal is a little pricey in general. Some manufacturers are more expensive than others, so it's best to decide on a price-point that you are comfortable with and that your wedding guests and friends won't be offended by.
For the budget conscious, Richmond by Reed & Barton retails for $27.50
Another aspect to consider when selecting crystal stemware is style. Take some time to figure out what you like. I know, I know, mother knows best. But let's face it: If you don't love your crystal pattern, you probably won't use it very often. If you plan on selecting formal dinnerware or fine china to entertain with, you could easily pair a beautiful place setting with something equally stunning. Sometimes, the more elaborate the crystal stemware pattern the better. However, in some cases, an intricately detailed goblet might make your table setting look off balance or overwhelm the overall look you are trying to achieve.
Today, many brides opt for non-traditional, "high casual" dinnerware, with clean and elegant lines that can easily be transformed from ho-hum to ooh-la-la by the accompaniment of a somewhat simpler crystal pattern.
Let's take a look at Claire by William Yeoward, for example:
This pattern is hand-engraved with small dots and can easily go from luncheons to a formal dinner. If you are having difficulty imagining the look you want, most stores are more than happy to let you and your fiancé play around with plates, stemware, and linens to stage a mock table setting.
The lesson for the day is to have fun! Pick out something that you truly think is beautiful and that reflects your entertaining style. Don't settle for what you should or shouldn't like. If you are having trouble envisioning your table setting several years from now it's okay -- choose a pattern that inspires you to entertain! A crystal pattern that is a reflection of you, and not necessarily the current trend, is an investment that doesn't have to break the bank and will give you, your spouse, and your guests years of enjoyment and entertaining memories.
About the Author
Julie Shuford is the Marketing Manager for Bering's Hardware in Houston, TX. Julie is a girl's girl who loves a good sale, a long run, and time with her husband and new baby boy. Bering's Hardware is a unique retail store that provides everything from hardware to fine china and housekeeping products to grilling products.