Registry 411: Dinnerware

what dinnerware to register for
Need some help completing your gift registry? This handy guide will help you with answer your most basic registry questions.


How many place settings you’ll need:
Some people say 8, some people say 12. I think the magic number is 10. If you can only buy in multiples of 4 (why do they do that, anyway?) then opt for 12. You might break one (or three!) and need a replacement.
Different types:
There are two types of dinnerware you’ll have to choose between: fine china and everyday. Here’s the difference:
Everyday: There are various types of everyday dinnerware. The most common ones (ranked on a durability scale from high to low) include:
  • Earthenware- This can be glazed or unglazed, and is fired at the lowest kiln temperatures which makes it more porous and less durable, and therefore less expensive.
  • Stoneware- Fired at an even higher kilm temperature, stoneware is handmade like Earthware, but is slightly more durable. It’s microwave and dishwasher safe, and tends to be a popular choice for serving platters and more casual dinnerware.
  • Porcelain-This is the most durable of the everyday dinnerware, and is microwave and dishwasher safe (as long as there’s no metallic detailing on it)

Fine/Bone China: Is basically just a slightly upgraded version of porcelain, but with a heftier price tag. Fine china is very durable and tends to come in elegant patterns. Bone China is considered the “mother of all china,” and is said to be the most durable of all dinnerware types. As you can see, there are several options. If you’re registering for dinnerware, pay attention to what type it is. The average “fine china” collection could cost you upwards of $1,000. Porcelain, which is of similar quality, will cost you considerably less.

What You’ll Need: Most dinner settings come in five pieces, or by the piece (called open stock) which allows you to mix and match. Here is what comes in a typical place setting:

1. Dinner plate

2. Salad plate

3. Bread and butter plate

4. Teacup

5. Saucer

Here’s a look at how a typical place setting is set up…

Have a registry question? Send it to [email protected] and I’ll get you the answer.

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