Registry 101: Plates

I obsessively centered our wedding registry around dishes—the number one thing we needed.

We like to entertain and have already taken over hosting the major holidays, so a good size set of nice dishes* was a necessity. I couldn’t think of anything formal china was needed for (and I already have my great-grandma’s antique Wedgwood, and my mom is happy to pass down her wedding china), and it just didn’t seem worth the expense or the storage.

So I wanted something nice enough for holidays but casual enough for every day.

In white.

Without metallic edges.

But with a little bit of interest.

Who knew that would be so hard to find!

I was hoping for an all-white set of dishes (the better to add fun accents to, and it will never clash with my décor or other table-setting choices), but I didn’t want a Hotel collection or similar—too boring. I wanted some texture to it, just no color (or at least no metallic; I probably could have settled for a little splash of color, but I can’t eat scrambled eggs on a gold-edged plate).

In case you aren’t familiar, these are the usual suspects in dinnerware.

  • Bone China: Thinnest, strongest, most expensive
  • Porcelain: Thinner, fairly durable
  • Stoneware: Usually heavier, more casual feel, can chip fairly easily
  • Other: Um, not the above. Plastic I guess?

So the dish hunt was on. My favorites was the Staccato line from Crate&Barrel, but Shamrock hates the little dots (and thinks it’s too feminine). They also have the White Pearl set, which is bone china instead of porcelain, but it isn’t in stores.


We liked Roulette, but it’s a little gray in person.


Maison was a little boring, but it was OK.


Same goes for Aspen & Essentials. We tried Williams-Sonoma, and both liked the Beaded Hemstitch collection, but it’s fairly pricey—as is the whole store, so I didn’t particularly want to register there.


Visits to Macy’s, Carson Pirie Scott, Bed Bath & Beyond, and everywhere else I could think of turned up no better choices. Frustration was rampant. Shamrock just wanted Corelle. I wanted grownup dishes that I wouldn’t get sick of, in a neutral look, with some interest, that would still go with whatever I wanted. (Clearly, Shamrock was the problem here.)

In the end, I settled. We went boring, but I registered for more than one style of accent plate, and I’m trying hard to be happy about it.

And in an added dose of irony, we found six place settings of Mikasa in a plain white look at Costco for $99.99. The week after we registered. I considered just getting that, but then I’d have nothing left off our registry and end up with a mess of toasters.

What kind of dishes did you pick? Anyone else surprised they were unable to find what they were looking for?

*Actually, I have my dad’s old Mikasa, which I loved for its shape and versatility, but the Monet pastel pattern was not my first choice. Shamrock had Noritake bachelor dishes (these things screamed “boy”), which I could have gotten over had he had more than nine of anything. But I really wanted dishes, so we registered for them.


Mrs. Clover

Wedding Date:
June 2014
Gallery of the Day: January 21, 2014
Going to the Chapel?
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  1. airplane Member
    Mrs. Airplane 395 posts, Helper bee @ 8:11 am

    We have the Maison dishes and, while they are a little boring, they are super easy to dress up and aren’t too fancy for everyday use (or to go in the dishwasher!).

    Which dishes did you end up deciding on??

  2. Member
    cateyes 504 posts, Busy bee @ 8:15 am

    I registered for mikasa elegance white. plain, but the interest comes from the shape. but MAN finding white bone china soft square (cushion cut to match my ring. ha!) was harder than expected. some were too round, some has bowls that we’re too shallow, etc, etc.

  3. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:21 am

    I agree, finding dishes is way more difficult than I ever anticipated! I still can’t decide on something that will work for us. GRUMBLE.

  4. Member
    BlairKid 7 posts, Newbee @ 8:28 am

    We went through the exact same thing you did. We chose Mikasa Italian Countryside. My husband liked the flutes, it’s enough of a design, but not frilly. It’s all white, but a slightly off white, but not too noticable. We really liked that there were a lot of serving pieces in the same line, and that the pattern has been around for 20 years, so if something breaks, we can be assured that it more than likely will be around for another 20 years. I’d look into it if it’s not too late. We have been using it for every day use and love it!

  5. Member
    FutureMrsphD 130 posts, Blushing bee @ 8:32 am

    I put the Lenox Kate Spade set on my registry. They are off white and not shiny, I love the way they look. I haven’t used them yet though.

  6. bracelet Member
    Mrs. Bracelet 279 posts, Helper bee @ 8:33 am

    Our requirements for everyday plates were pretty similar and we also had the toughest time finding something that we liked. White Pearl was among our contenders, but not the winner.

  7. msbicycle Member
    msbicycle 718 posts, Busy bee @ 8:34 am

    We have the Aspens and just like Airplane, we love how easy and versatile they are. Which did you choose?!

  8. Member
    lastgirlstanding 376 posts, Helper bee @ 8:39 am

    We wanted something similar to what you wanted; white but with a little interest. We chose Maze White by Gordon Ramsay for Royal Doutlon (16 pc box set is $99). It’s a great white set, dishwasher/microwave/freezer safe, and has that bit of interesting we were looking for. An added bonus, the glaze is a perfect match to Maxwell Williams Basic White collection, so we can add serving pieces etc from that line (which is SUPER affordable).
    We also registered for Denby Truffle, which will be out ‘fancy’ dishes. We’ll inherit fine china eventually, so didn’t want to register for that.

  9. milkcow Member
    Mrs. Milk Cow 215 posts, Helper bee @ 9:31 am

    We need every day dishes, so we’ve registered for those, but we’re also debating a set of white dishes for when company comes over and we want to be a little nicer (but not as nice as china). Between your post and the comments, my research time has been cut down substantially, so thank you! :)

  10. msclover Member
    Mrs. Clover 123 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:59 am

    @Mrs. Airplane: Hotel white in bone china from Macys. Lame.
    @cateyes: I understand exactly how you feel. Glad you finally found it!
    @Blonde17Jess: Good luck! I feel your pain!
    @BlairKid: I really like Mikasa–I think their dishes are great quality, and I wish we would have seen a pattern we both liked.
    @FutureMrsphD: Which one did you choose? All the Kate Spade is so pretty!

  11. msclover Member
    Mrs. Clover 123 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:21 am

    @Mrs. Bracelet: I was so surprised–who would have thought it be so tough to find something timeless!
    @Mrs. Bicycle: Hotel white by Macys. Honestly not what I wanted, but I couldn’t find anything else. :/
    @LastGirlStanding: Hmm…I like the look of that one. I’ll have to run it by Shamrock.
    @Miss Milk Cow: Ha ha, you’re welcome! I’m really hoping for one set period, which is what made it so tough.

  12. Member
    KMoon5314 518 posts, Busy bee @ 10:49 am

    Ah, this all sounds so familiar!!! Years ago, my grandmother gave me her Mikasa French Countryside dishes when she downsized. I’ve been using these since I got out of college (7 years ago). They’re a beautiful, creamy white. I thought we would get a new set of white dishes for the registry, as ‘our own’. Originally I was going to go with Sophie Conran by Portmeirion, but then I decided that the uneven-ness (they aren’t perfectly round, as they’re designed to look like hand-thrown pottery) would drive me batty. So I looked at every white dish on the planet. And in the end…FI and I decided we like the Mikasa French Countryside the best! So we ended up registering for some additional dinner plates, salad plates, and cereal bowls (which we don’t currently have – only have soup bowls), as some of our pieces are showing a little wear. It’s a beautiful, timeless line, and I already know I love it!

  13. Member
    OKJC 98 posts, Worker bee @ 2:23 pm

    @LastGirlStanding: Another Maze girl here too! It’s a nice, simple line :)

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Erica, Guest @ 4:22 pm

    I desperately needed grown-up plates, so I too went on the Great White Dish Hunt. We couldn’t narrow down our registry stores until the dishes were settled. The biggest sticking points were finding a set with a mug that I liked, and the right kind of bowl. I loved patterns with dots but the husband-to-be was having none of that. We ended up with Great White Traditional from Pottery Barn, and I am still super happy with it after 3 years.

  15. Member
    lac125 24 posts, Newbee @ 4:28 pm

    We registered for the Kate Spade Cypress Point for our fine china and the Noritake Colorwave Blue for everyday.

  16. Member
    jennyemm 138 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:50 pm

    lol these all look beautiful to me, although honestly they all also look the same to me… Guess I’m not very plate savvy. Then again I’m the type of person who thinks plastic plates work for everyday use. Thanks for the tips on plate material though! I didn’t know the difference and that really is something I should know for sure. And this definitely gives me more info I wouldn’t normally notice, but should.

  17. msfilly Member
    Mrs. Filly 65 posts, Worker bee @ 1:54 am

    We’ve got the Aspens. They’re versatile enough to go with anything, and they’re cheap enough that should something chip/break in the future, it’s no big deal to replace something. Stallion was vehemently against plain white dishes – he wanted something crazy like wood or weird colors – but he came around when I showed him how we could incorporate accent dishes into our place settings.

    I hope you guys get something you love – these are your forever dishes! You have to look at them every single day!

  18. msclover Member
    Mrs. Clover 123 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:16 am

    @lac125: Shamrock has the Colorwave bowls (for cereal) and they’re cute. They chip really easily though. :/
    @OKJC: Point taken! And I think its at Macy’s which is where we registered. I think I thought they were stoneware?
    @Jennyemm: Um, I think you’re right. (Possibly why I was driving Shamrock NUTS?). And after I’d been looking forever they REALLY started all looking the same! The material does matter though, so if you hope to use them for the next ten years, I’d stay away from Stoneware. Its heavy and it chips easily in my opinion.
    @Miss Filly: I went boring, but I did end up getting fun accent dishes, so I feel slightly better!

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    covellka, Guest @ 9:49 am

    My fiance and I aren’t married yet, however, we needed new dishes badly! We got the Essential set from Crate & Barrel and I LOVE them!! So classy looking, I think. Plus, I love that I can now get any other color/print/shape dish I want and they will all look good together!

  20. Member
    OKJC 98 posts, Worker bee @ 12:47 pm

    @Miss Clover: Yeah I thought they might be too but Royal Doulton and Amazon both claim porcelain.

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