Whether you're a regular Sunday brunch hostess or a laid-back dinner party planner, there's a china set here for you.
Photography: Emm and Clau1 of 6
You and your spouse-to-be have a lifetime of happy gatherings ahead of you. Whether you're both fans of laid-back dinners that go well into the night, or Sunday brunches at home with your greatest friends, it's important to prepare for some level of entertaining. That's where your registry comes in. To make sure that you have all you need for all of these fun moments ahead, be sure to put a dinnerware set that suits your needs, personalities, and way of life, on your wedding gift list. These days, table-setting etiquette may be looser than it used to be, but great dishes—from everyday essentials to fine china—will make every one celebratory meal even more enjoyable.
We've gone ahead and put together a few example place settings, so you can see how your lifestyle can (and should!) inform the dinner set you eventually settle on. From clean and modern designs for the casual entertainers to the ornate, Versailles-inspired china for those who wine and dine on the regular, there's a dinnerware option that's sure to fall in line with how you and your love lead your lives. We've even included an option for nature enthusiasts—someone who's more likely to entertain outside, rather than indoors—with a rustic, fois-bois inspired pattern and neutral color scheme.
Whatever your lifestyle—and whatever your aesthetic—there's a dinnerware set here that you're sure to love. After all, the china you register for should be used in the years to come. Not just pulled out once every few years, when it's your turn to host the holidays.
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Durable dishes, asymmetrical shapes, and dark flatware all give off a relaxed and contemporary feeling that will put you and your guests at ease. We find these pieces especially soothing at the breakfast table, but they're the kind you'll turn to at any time of day.
Jayson Home "Beldi" Glass Carafe, $34; and Petite Glass, $5, jaysonhome.com. Nason Moretti "Dot Sunflower Yellow" Glass, $375 for 6, jungleeny.com. Seletti Estetico Quotidiano "The Milk Jug," $19, zola.com. Noritake "Colorwave Slate" 12-ounce Mug, $12, noritakechina.com. Lenox "Colebrook" 5-piece Place Setting, $115, macys.com. Jars "Reflets de Maguelone" Bowl, $42; Extra-Small Plate, $27; and Medium Plate, $40, all in Rosemary, mottahedeh.com. West Elm "Frayed Edged" Place Mat, $19 for 2, westelm.com.
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Brunch with friends? Bring on the bling! If you love any excuse to get gussied up, there's no reason to wait till dark. Give gilded pieces a fun, modern edge by mixing different patterns, rather than buying a matching set. Just be sure the body of each piece of china is the same—here, we chose white porcelain with gold accents—so they're still cohesive.
Anna Weatherley "Golden Patina Large Leaf" Tray, $150, jungleeny.com. Herend "Golden Trellis" Teacup, $100; Saucer, $55; and Dinner Plate, $145, herendusa.com. Crate & Barrel "Gala Appetizer" Mini Spoon, $25 for 6, crateandbarrel.com. Vera Wang Wedgwood "Jardin" Salad Plate, $22, wedgwood.com. Moser "Royal" Champagne Coupe, $155, moserusa.com. Mikasa "Lux Gold" Stemless Wineglass, $40 for 4, bedbathandbeyond.com. J. L. Coquet x Achille Salvagni Atelier "Lutèce" Charger Plate, $215, jungleeny.com. Robert Haviland & C. Parlon "Daphne" Dessert Plate, $125, mottahedeh.com. Juliska "Variegated Metallic Stripe" Napkin, $15, juliska.com. Skandia by Hampton Forge "Refined Gold" 5-piece Place Setting, $68, macys.com.
Photography: Alpha Smoot4 of 6
Vibrant and Fun
Marble designs are trending right now, and for good reason. The versatile pattern is a classic— but it can be quirky, too, so have fun with it. Think vibrant colors (like white-and-green plates and coordinating flatware) with winsome details (bowls with a gold-and-platinum crab motif, perhaps?).
Nikko Ceramics "Kira" China Rectangular Plate, $72, barneys.com. Crate & Barrel Scissor-Handled Serving Tongs, $17, crateandbarrel.com. Riedel "Vinum" Water Glass, $30 for 2, riedelusa.net. Prouna "Marble Collection" Teacup and Saucer, $45; and Dinner Plate, $40, all in Verde, kiyasa.com. Kim Seybert "Malachite" 5-piece Place Setting, $105, kimseybert.com. Caskata "Crabs" Coupe Soup Bowl, in Gold and Platinum, $45, caskata.com. Mode Living "Antibes" Napkin, $72 for 4, mode-living.com.
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A stylish table doesn't have to be fussy. To suit more down-to-earth tastes—or an avid hiker's aesthetic—look to rustic pieces and a muted palette. Textural details like faux bois can add interest to this clean, uncomplicated look.
Rosenthal "Junto" Bread-and-Butter Plate, in Pearl Grey, $20, rosenthalusa-shop.com. Jayson Home "French Marbled" Small Plate, $58; and "Quarry" Cup, $16, jaysonhome.com. Mikasa "Cheers" Stemless Wineglass, $40 for 4, macys.com. Tomodachi by Hampton Forge "Dali Marble" 20-piece Place Setting, $49, macys.com. Royal Crown Derby "Studio Glaze" Dinner Plate, $46; and Side Plate, $26, both in Classic Vanilla, jungleeny.com. Serax "Dusk" Assorted Pieces, available at zola.com and wayfair.com. Heather Taylor Home "Blanc" Napkin, $82 for 4, heathertaylorhome.com.
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Photography: Alpha Smoot6 of 6
There are lots of reasons to break out your best china, whether it's a holiday dinner or a weeknight candlelit meal for two. Go ahead and mix colors or even metals if you wish—just find an item that has hints of both, like a napkin or charger, to bring all those chic pieces together.
Ralph Lauren Home "Dagny" Wine Decanter, $575; Wineglass, $150; Water glass, $150; and White-Wine Glass, $150, ralphlaurenhome.com. Waterford "Aras" Saucer (comes with teacup), $48; and Accent Salad Plate, $70, waterford.com. Bernardaud "Canisse" Bread-and-Butter Plate, $58; Dinner Plate, $92; and Teacup, $77, bernardaud.com. Christofle "Albi" Silver-Plated 5-piece Place Setting, $500; and Dessert Spoon, $96, christofle.com. Prouna "Luminous Collection" Charger, $85, kiyasa.com. Juliska "Metallic Ribbon Lattice" napkin, $25, juliska.com.