By Azure Nelson,
Published Sep 10, 2009
Get ready for some fine dining with this week’s Amazon Wedding Registry Tip
, it’s all about dinnerware.
Whether your dining style is mac and cheese or parmesan soufflé, you'll find occasions in your wedded life to dish up everything from basic to brilliant. And while thrift-store plates may have suited your budget as a single, as a couple you'll find that having a cupboard full of dinnerware you love will turn those everyday meals into special occasions and will make hosting the family at the holidays a breeze.
Doing Dinner for 2 or 12
When registering for dinnerware you'll want to choose both a formal pattern and a casual one. If you're limited for space, go for just the formal--you'll have everything you need for a fancy dinner party, and these days there's no harm in dressing up a frozen pizza with a pretty piece of porcelain. Seriously, we've passed the days of stowing our fine china at the back of the cupboard, only to be brought out for dinner with the queen--or your mother-in-law. If you've got it, enjoy it--there's no time like the present.
Choosing your patterns can be almost as difficult as agreeing on who's doing the dishes. With so many choices, you may find it difficult to pick just two. When deciding, think about your general decorating tastes, the colors you love, and the motifs--fruits, flowers, or stripes--that show off your personal style. But most of all, choose patterns that excite you--that you'll love every time you set the table.
To put together your assortment, you'll be looking at place settings, serving pieces, and individual pieces to make your table unique. Most formal place settings include a dinner plate, a salad plate, a bread and butter plate, and a teacup and saucer. Casual settings come in various configurations of dinner plates, salad plates, soup-cereal bowls, teacups, and coffee cups. For serving pieces you'll want to be sure to have enough bowls and platters to feed a crowd, as well as necessary accessories like butter dishes, sugar bowls, and gravy boats. As a rule, you'll want to register for enough dinnerware to set fine and casual tables for 8 to 12 people. This may seem like a lot, but when your sister calls to say it's your turn to host Thanksgiving, you'll be glad to only have to worry about the food.
Dinnerware Materials Demystified
Here's the lowdown on deciphering dinnerware:
: Earthenware is popular for its bright colors and weighty appearance. It's slightly porous and not as durable as porcelain, but easier on the checkbook and perfect for casual settings.
Stoneware, used exclusively in casual dining, is similar to earthenware in weight, but slightly more durable and softer in color palette.
Although it may bring forth memories of dainty teacups at Grandma's, porcelain is actually the most durable dinnerware material. You'll find it in casual and formal settings and love it for its delicate, elegant look and chip-resistant nature.
Bone china: Bone china is a type of porcelain used in both casual and fine dinnerware. It shares the same qualities as porcelain and differs only in its creamier-colored body.
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