5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Registering for Dinnerware

A collection of blue and white eclectic dishes from a wedding registry.

Is it finally time to start your wedding registry? There’s a lot you will need to consider. Picking items for your registry isn’t all fun and games. In fact, it’s actually a lot of work. You need to carefully assess your needs as a couple and then balance those needs with items that you really want. The process can be extremely time-consuming, so it’s important to get started as soon as possible.

A very common registry item for newlyweds is dinnerware. Before you start throwing plates, bowls, and glassware onto your registry, however, the two of you should sit down and seriously discuss your options. Not all dinnerware is made equal and not every couple has the same hosting preferences. Ask yourself the following questions to better determine the type of dishes to include on your wedding registry.

What Kind of Entertainers Are We?

A group of friends eating a meal outside with casual dinnerware from a wedding registry.

When choosing dinnerware for your wedding registry, this is one of the first questions you should ask. Are your social gatherings often formal or casual?

While fine china, silver cutlery, and crystal glassware are lovely, are they actually something you and your husband or wife will use regularly? In some cases, the answer to this is “Absolutely!” If you plan to host an extravagant Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinner for your entire family every year, then don’t hesitate to include high-end items on your registry if that’s your style.

Not all couples are huge entertainers, however. If you and your fiancé tend to invite smaller groups over for a nice homecooked meal now and again but probably won’t use fine china regularly, then it’s likely best to opt for a more durable and economical dinnerware set. After all, burgers, lasagna, and pizza don’t care what kind of plate they’re served on!

How Do We Tend to Serve Food?

When you invite family or friends over for dinner, how do you serve the food to your guests? Family-style dinners served at the dining room table usually require several larger dishes that are deeper and can hold each dish. Couples who prefer to have the food laid out in another room as a buffet may, on the other hand, prefer tiered dishes that allow them to create attractive displays.

Take intentional time to reflect on previous hosting situations. The two of you might find that you’d like to adjust your serving habits now that you are getting new dinnerware. If you’re both having trouble determining which option is best for you, consider speaking with family and friends. Someone you know will likely be able to provide some helpful advice.

Does Everything Need to Match?

You’ll also need to decide whether you need all of your dinnerware to match. If you’re a stickler for consistency and want as many matching pieces as possible, it’s likely worth requesting complete dish sets. Standard dishware is typically comprised of five pieces: a dinner plate, cup, saucer, salad plate, and either a bread-and-butter plate or soup bowl.

Not every couple will need the smaller saucers, salad plate, or cups. If you fall into this category, you will probably do well to include open stock dishes on your wedding registry. This will allow you to mix and match the specific dishware items you request. Only need matching plates, bowls, and cups? No problem! Open stock allows you to select the exact dishes you want and you can order as many as you need.

If you like the idea of open stock dishes, it’s a good idea to avoid selecting products from stores like Target. While they will often have a nice selection available, they don’t always keep it stocked. These stores tend to rotate goods regularly to meet current trends. This can make it difficult if you want to later add to your collection or replace a broken item.

How Many Guests Are We Likely to Have at a Time?

A holiday table with crystal cups and candlesticks.

Another important factor to consider is the number of guests you have over at any given time. If you do host holiday dinners, how many family and friends will be joining you? While eight is a pretty standard number for dinnerware place settings, many couples prefer to include 12 settings on their registry.

The important thing is to keep your personal habits in mind. If you and your significant other have large family or friend gatherings, opting for more place settings is obviously the best decision. Couples without children who don’t regularly host, however, may need no more than four place settings.

Do We Have Room to Store the New Dishes We Want?

A drawer in a kitchen with dishware from a wedding registry stacked and organized inside.

This is something many newlyweds overlook when picking dinnerware for their wedding registry. You may have fallen in love with a certain set, but do you actually have room in your cabinets to store it? Before committing to anything specific, take time to assess your storage situation. Doing this ahead of time will ensure you have enough space for your beautiful, new dishes!

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