Dinnerware is one of the top categories on bridal registries today. If you’ve never bought dinnerware it can often be a confusing process. Dinnerware is divided into two major categories formal and casual. Formal dinnerware is considered your “good dishes”. This is the dinnerware you will use only on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Easter, thanksgiving or Christmas. This type of dinnerware often has platinum, gold or silver detailing and should be handled with care. Never put these plates in the microwave or dishwasher.
The next category of dinnerware is Casual Dinnerware. Casual dinnerware are the plates you are going to eat breakfast lunch and dinner on every day, so you should find something that’s durable, can go into the microwave and dishwasher and is pattern you both are happy with. There are literally thousands of dinnerware patterns from white or bone plates with simple embossing to bold designs and colors from famous designers.
While some dinnerware is sold in sets, it is much more common to by dinnerware by the place setting. A typical place setting consists of a dinner plate, soup bowl, dessert plate and either a mug or cup and saucer. When deciding how many place settings you should try to estimate what the maximum number of dinner guests you will ever have at one time will be. If you usually entertain 10-12 guests you should probably get service for 16. Having extra place settings allows you to not be as concerned about breaking a plate or mug which inevitably happens. Another reason to purchase extra place setting is dinnerware patterns become discontinued from time to time. Casual dinnerware is considered a fashion item and vendors and retailers add, change, or drop patterns every four to six months. When choosing your dinnerware pattern be sure to keep your flatware and glassware in mind. The styles should match or at least be complimentary.
When you are shopping for dinnerware here are some popular manufacturers you are likely to encounter Mikasa, Nikko, Noritake, Lenox, Spode, Royal Doulton and Wedgwood.