Embracing or ignoring the tradition of two sets of dinnerware

I went to a tea party this past weekend in honor of my friend Caroline who is having her second child. The hostess of the party took her china down from the top shelves of her kitchen cabinets for the event and said she was glad to “have a chance to use it.”

I know having two sets of plates is common practice in the U.S., one for using every day and one for using on special occasions, but I’m not a practitioner of this tradition. For starters, we didn’t have cabinet space in our previous home to store more than one set. And, the second reason is because I would rather use my china every day.

Our china is made by Wedgwood and is their White pattern:

The pattern has been produced by Wedgwood since 1920 (not surprisingly, around the same time wedding registries became popular through department stores), so if we need a replacement piece it is extremely easy to find one on Replacements.com. In 10 years, though, we’ve only had to replace one plate. It’s also dishwasher and microwave safe, and bone china is more durable than porcelain and stoneware. Plus, we’ve never had a problem with it staining.

Our 21-month-old son even eats off it.

Most bone china is similar and is made to be used every day. In fact, it can last many lifetimes. The exception to this is bone china with platinum, silver, or gold bands that have to be hand-washed and are unsafe in the microwave.

If you have china in storage, what keeps you from using it? Are you like me and have ignored the tradition of having two sets of dinnerware? I’m interested in knowing what resides in your cupboards.

49 comments posted

  1. Posted by KateNonymous - 03/23/2011

    For the first several years of our marriage, we had only one set, and we used it daily. It had platinum trim, but we didn’t have a dishwasher, so we were hand-washing anyhow. A few years later we bought a house, and now we have a dishwasher. We continued to use the “good” plates, although we did acquire a number of plain, cheap plates that could go in the dishwasher. We host a lot of large cookouts, and this allowed us to clean up quickly without throwing away literally hundreds of paper plates a year. (Making us the opposite of many people, in that our “good” plates were for every day, and our “regular” plates were for entertaining.)

    Late in my second trimester, I just didn’t have the energy to wash many dishes, so we started using the plates that are dishwasher-safe as our everyday plates. More than a year later, we’re still using them that way, primarily because we’re running the dishwasher anyhow for our daughter’s bottles. As she transitions to cups rather than bottles, I suspect we’ll find our way back to our old pattern of plate use.

  2. Posted by infmom - 03/23/2011

    When we got married in 1972 we inherited some lovely china that had belonged to my aunt. It’s almost a complete 12-piece set. Over the years we have used it as our everyday dinnerware from time to time. Right now it’s in storage because we live in earthquake country and our inexpensive Mikasa dinnerware would be less of a loss.

    When we move someplace where the china doesn’t go flying off the shelves from time to time it’s very likely we’ll bring out the good stuff again.

  3. Posted by Gin - 03/23/2011

    Having multiple sets of plates would be ridiculous for my lifestyle, so we only have one “set”–purposely mismatched Fiestaware. I look at ads and think I’d like to have fancy china as my everyday dishes, but the Fiestaware suits us fine–plus opening my cupboard door to a rainbow of colors makes me happy. :)

  4. Posted by Sapphire - 03/23/2011

    When I got married, I deliberately chose a (relatively) inexpensive pattern from Mikasa called Italian Countryside. It’s oven, dishwasher, and microwave safe, so I can use it every day, and on the inevitable occasions where a piece gets broken or chipped, it doesn’t break the bank to replace it. And as a bonus for those like me who like things to match, it’s available in all sorts of serving pieces and the like.

    Even aside from storage space issues, it seemed silly to me to have a ton of money invested in a set of china that I’d only use a few times a year. What seems even sillier to me is those holiday china patterns. A whole set of dishes you can only use one day a year?! Must be for people with a whole lot more space and money than me.

  5. Posted by Matt Fetissoff - 03/23/2011

    I’m with Gin on this one. The variety of purposely mismatched plates, bowls, and glasses makes me happy. Plus, if you ever break anything you can just replace it with a new and unique find.

  6. Posted by Erin Doland - 03/23/2011

    @Gin and @Matt — Instead of buying crystal, we opted to get glasses of all different shapes and sizes. We have 10 styles of water glasses, another 10 styles of wine glasses, and none of our highball, margarita, or other mixed drink glasses match. It’s so much easier to replace them, and it makes entertaining simple since everyone knows which glass is his.

  7. Posted by DeAun - 03/23/2011

    I have probably 6 sets of dishes – I love dishes! I have creative space to keep them all and I love using each different set.

  8. Posted by Anna - 03/23/2011

    I, too, use Mikasa’s Italian Countryside as my only dishes and LOVE IT! Because it is so affordable I got ALL the pieces I wanted as wedding gifts vs. only a partial set if I had registered for expensive china. I use it every day and have never wished I had registered for “real” china.

  9. Posted by Deborah - 03/23/2011

    Erin,

    I am so enjoying your posts.

    I registered for china when I got married but it was a Lenox everyday pattern – can’t remember the name. We didn’t get much of it and used my Grandma’s wheat dishes she collected from Duz dish detergent. When I got to the place I could buy my own dishes, I chose multicolored Fiestaware. I’ve since added some bistro style white dishes with blue rings because they’re smaller and help us eat better portion sizes.

  10. Posted by Sheryl - 03/23/2011

    We had a set of good china that my mil gave us when we got married, but never used it, so I sold it at a garage sale years ago.

    Right now I have a “set” of white dishes that are all thrift store finds, and I love them. The patterns on the dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls are different, but since they’re all white they go together beautifully.

    I also have a set of dishes by Blue Ridge Pottery that were my husband’s grandmother’s. They live in the china cabinet, but I love them and we do use them on occasion.

  11. Posted by B - 03/23/2011

    I have two sets of dishes – but no “good china” – I have a single set of corelle plates/bowls for everyday use (I’m a single gal) and then a nice set of casual Johnson Brothers china that I got on clearance when I was in highschool – which I still would use if anyone came over to eat, or probably would use more often if it was anyone more than just me – but its just so much easier to slide corelle in and out of the cabinets since there’s no chance of the bottoms scratching the plates -that’s the big reason I use corelle on a daily basis instead of my other – I hate trying to lift all the bowls to put a salad plate in, etc, so corelle that can get slid in without scratching up good stuff is a good thing.

  12. Posted by penguinlady - 03/23/2011

    I actually have 3 sets of china; everyday, my inherited bone china, and my set of Christmas china that was a gift. I try to use my bone china for all special occasions, and the Christmas set becomes everyday in December. My family always was like that – we had enough sets of china to distribute to me, my sister, my sister-in-law and some cousins. I find that special plates elevate what is served on it. Setting my table with my real silver and good china and crystal makes dinner feel truly special.

  13. Posted by Bren - 03/23/2011

    We have an 18-piece set of dinner plates, bowls and side plates from Ikea which was about $25. It’s all bright green, about 3 years old and going strong. It’s beautiful and simple and that’s what I love about it. It would never occur to me to have another, expensive set just for special occasions. If I wanted to dress it up I’d probably just buy some brightly colored napkins.

  14. Posted by ErinMarie - 03/23/2011

    I got all my dishes from walmart, mostly the Mainstays collection. Four dinner plates, four lunch plates, four mugs, and while the set came with four bowls I actually went out and bought four more. I use bowls for practically everything since I eat a lot of soup, chili, stir frys and other things that are more suited to bowls than plates. I also have four short clear plastic glasses and four tall plastic glasses. People think they’re glass until they have them in their hand :) .

    They’re all white and stackable, by the way. It would be really space saving, if my cabinets had the room to stack instead of layer!

  15. Posted by Calico ginger - 03/23/2011

    I love my sets! I have just changed from my summer set (Romance of the sea, by Johnson Bros) to my winter set (Dream town, also by Johnson Bros) and I have a very special set that comes out for Christmas and parties. I consider all my china, glass wear and flatwear the “good stuff” – using cheap and nasty pieces would depress me. And you are right Erin, the better quality it is, the less likely it is to break.

  16. Posted by Shalin - 03/24/2011

    Great topic – I can count on 1 hand how many times my family used our china set when I was growing up. I think I’d rather have a nice looking, durable everyday dinnerware set and fancy placemats and high quality food for the fancy dinners. :)

    –S

  17. Posted by Kai - 03/24/2011

    I don’t understand fancy plates, but I REALLY don’t understand having two sets. I can’t believe people actually still ‘register for wedding china’.
    I have a collection of plates I’ve acquired over the years. They belong to a few different sets. They all hold food very well, and go in the microwave and dishwasher.
    I’d say, decide whether pretty plates really makes a difference in your life or not. If not, just don’t get them – don’t clutter up your home with something to use a couple times a year. If it does make a difference for you, then get something nice and use it every day.

    But really, if cheap plates (meaning perfectly functional food-holders) are considered ‘nasty’, and eating off of something plain would really depress you, you should really really re-evaluate your priorities in life.

  18. Posted by Jenn - 03/24/2011

    I only registered for one set of dishes: everyday ones that are still going strong after nearly 12 years of marriage and regular use. Sometimes I dream of something new but I’ve grown exceptionally picky in my old age and I can’t find anything I like.

    I didn’t register for anything more because I already had 2 sets of good china: a beautiful grecian key design china from my great grandmother that is still in a box from a recent move. It will get unpacked as soon as I have a place to put them. And a set of franciscan ware from my grandma which is not my style but is definitely of an era so I’m saving it for my daughter.

  19. Posted by Living the Balanced Life - 03/24/2011

    Never had good china, always used an everyday set. I did buy a *nicer* set of plates, but they were not usable in the microwave, and so they just didn’t get used much. Ended up giving them away. Looking for the day to get rid of all the mismatched pieces and buy simple white everything.
    Bernice

  20. Posted by Sarah - 03/24/2011

    We registered for C&B’s “Aspen,” which is plain white and about $3 a piece. One size of plates, one size of bowls, and no cups (we halve the mug collection every once in a while, but still acquire more somehow).

    But as much as I’d love to be all high-and-mighty about that, I also have my parents’ china in a cabinet, their silver in a box under the cabinet, and almost certainly a pattern or two coming to us from the other side of the family, much of it from 2-4 generations back.

    To me, it’s less about having “fancy” china to show off, and more about respecting family history.

  21. Posted by Mackenzie - 03/24/2011

    No need for two sets. IKEA 365+ are actually really great dishes. My sister snarfed my set when I stored them at the parents’ while living in a furnished place, so now I have a new set of something from Sears, but the IKEA ones are really ideal, IMO. The bowls are perfect for a goodly helping of soup or chili, and it’s all sturdy.

  22. Posted by Mackenzie - 03/24/2011

    I don’t understand wedding registries, by the way. You’re both adults, right? You’ve likely both been living on your own and have complete sets of everything you need to live your life. Moving in together, you now have twice as much junk as you need. Why would you then *ask for more*?

  23. Posted by Anna - 03/24/2011

    I didn’t register for dishes at my wedding, because I knew we would be moving a lot. My husband was in medical school, then had residency, etc, and our eventual plans were to go overseas. Now that I am in Africa living in a house with hard concrete floors, I have red speckled enamelware plates and cups. I think you could drop them and jump up and down on top of them without breaking them. (I haven’t tried, though!)

  24. Posted by coco - 03/24/2011

    We have corelle winter frost white and use them for everything. I love that they are light and durable. I’ve never wanted china or a china cabinet. Have pretty much always been a minimalist, even before i knew what it was. For very large events like Thankgiving, we buy the heavy duty plastic disposable plates and cups. If we want a “fancy” meal, we’ll go out for it!

  25. Posted by Carson - 03/24/2011

    We have no less than three sets of dinnerware—one everyday, one more fancy that my wife got piece-by-piece when she was in school, and one (also fancy) that we got as wedding presents. Despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to convince her to do any of the following, all of which I’ve tried at various times:

    Get rid of two sets
    Wash the wedding set in the dishwasher (it says “Dishwasher Safe” for crying out loud!—though to be fair, she is the one who washes them)
    Get rid of one set

    But the truth of the matter is that while, yes, I would like to use the space they take up for something else, I don’t need to do so. So I just let it go; it’s not an argument worth having.

  26. Posted by Jenna - 03/24/2011

    @Mackenzie – I agree with you. I’d rather people help pay for a great honeymoon than buy things we already have or things we really don’t *need*.

    I’m not planning to register for china when I get married. A few reasons for this: 1) I have a small house and don’t have the space to store them, 2) also due to the small house, holiday gatherings are typically at other family members’ homes, and 3) I’m not sure I can pick something now that I’m supposed to love for decades!

    At some point I would like to get ONE nice set of white dinnerware. The great thing about white is that you can always buy some festive chargers for special occasions, which are easy to switch around as your tastes or the seasons change.

  27. Posted by Loretta - 03/24/2011

    @Sarah–I’m trying to figure out the “respecting family history,” too, as I’m likely to inherit my grandmother’s wedding china. She was my dad’s mother and died when he was in college. Her will promised her china–hand-painted in a pre-World War II factory in Belgium (?) and thus irreplaceable–to the first son to marry, which was my dad. He cherishes this reminder of her, and even though I never knew her, I like having at least this connection with her. But the china is not dishwasher safe and is fragile. One time my mom broke a teacup and my dad could barely speak to her for days! He knows it’s only stuff, but it’s stuff with a rich emotional history for him, and I’m terrified every time we use it.

  28. Posted by MamaCat - 03/24/2011

    I have three sets .. an “everyday” Mikasa pattern (I think it is bone china though), a lovely Wedgewood set that I bought piece by piece from eBay over several years, and a partial set of Denby stoneware that I love but never use. I’ve thought of getting rid of the stoneware set in various uncluttering passes through the kitchen, but just can’t. None of the advice in this blog has ever been able to convince me to part with it. I know that is crazy! But something makes me hang on to it.

    I didn’t really have a wedding; we only had 7 guests, one of whom was a baby, and never registered anywhere. I don’t know why I so badly wanted nice china but I did. Buying it was fun – I was so happy about each of my hot eBay scores!! I know it seems silly and wasteful but it sets aside those special days. So many of our traditions have gone by the wayside. It is nice to keep some of them alive.

  29. Posted by Heather - 03/24/2011

    I too went the multicolored Fiestaware route when I registered for dinnerware. It’s durable enough for everyday use and pretty enough for “fancy” uses too! And I love the fact that it’s fairly easily replaceable.

  30. Posted by Jasi - 03/24/2011

    ikea 365 white set for 16. price is ridiculous (sale $9 service 4), practically unbreakable and lovely. i could want for no other dinnerware.

  31. Posted by Xarcady - 03/24/2011

    My starter set of dishes was my grandmother’s every day china. That ended up with a brother when he got his first apartment. Then I had, one after the other, two sets of stoneware. They were okay, but I tend to move a lot and pieces would break no matter how carefully I packed them, and there was no way to buy just one replacement piece, because they were only sold as a set of 16 pieces.

    Then, completely on impulse, in my 30′s, I bought 4 place settings of “fine china,” which I believe is a step or two below “bone china.” I’ve had that set for over 20 years. One plate broke in an unfortunate cat-related incident and had to be replaced. And I’ve purchased two more place settings bit by bit on Ebay, so that I can serve 6 people at once. Since I’m single, that’s more than enough.

    It’s pretty china. Even after having it for over 20 years, there are still mornings when I pull out a bowl for cereal and think, “Gee, that’s pretty, and cheerful.”

    Food would taste just the same off white china, I’ll admit. It’s just, well, just like looking at a favorite piece of art can affect your mood, having pretty, cheerful dishes affects me in a positive way.

    My parents had everyday dishes and good china. We used the good china every Sunday for dinner, along with the good silver. It had a platinum border and had to be handwashed, usually by me. My nice dishes are the only ones I have, and can go in the microwave and dishwasher, which I really appreciate.

  32. Posted by Re - 03/24/2011

    We entertain a lot so having both an everyday set (only 4 plates, mugs and bowls) and a “good” set is necessary for us. We do use the “good” set a lot because we have to if we have more than 2 people over :)

  33. Posted by Lynn - 03/24/2011

    Ummm…I’m afraid I’m a bit of a dish hog. I love dishes, and have several sets; however, I do not own any expensive china. Years ago when my kids were little, I wanted them to learn to eat on “nice” dishes, so I bought a set of cobalt blue glass dishes that were very inexpensive yet beautiful. I figured if they broke a plate it was no big deal because they didn’t cost much. I still have every one of those plates! Never had one break yet, and my kids are grown.

    I can mix and match most of my dishes since one set is blue and white, one set is clear glass, and the other set the cobalt blue. I also have a few solid white pieces that I mix in. If I called any of them my “best” dishes, it would be the blue and white stoneware, because my mother bought them from a grocery store when they had “buy X amount and get a plate…” type sales. They were made in 1976 for the American Bicentennial celebration and the patterns all have historical images on them. I cannot easily replace them (except I have seen them in antique stores) so I treat those gently. Funny how even inexpensive dishes can become so treasured!

  34. Posted by Keter - 03/24/2011

    I’m going to be 50 soon and still have never had “good” dishes. I have 20 year old Corelle, which replaced 20 year old melamine that was a hand-me-down and was falling apart (and probably toxic). I also have never had good flatware, just cheap stuff. My drinking glasses and barware were a an inexpensive but kinda nice set I got at a discount store (to replace jelly jars and gimmes), but my husband has done most of those in. I promised myself that when I get my kitchen redone, I will get all new dishes, flatware, and glasses. I don’t want fine china or crystal, it would just get broken, so odds are I’ll go the Ikea route.

  35. Posted by Jess - 03/24/2011

    I have 7 year old diner whites (bought from the Fish’s Eddy store in NYC, but it can also be ordered from Fish’s Eddy online). I liked that the diner dishes have smaller sized plates, cups and bowls– nowadays, all the dishes at C&B, etc. are ridiculously huge and (IMHO) encourage over-eating because a normal portion, or oven a double portion of, say, pasta, looks minuscule in one of the vat sized “pasta bowls”. I also like Ikea for bowls and mugs for this same reason. On a side note, I’ve found it almost impossible to find small dessert bowls and orange juice glasses except at antique stores and flea markets. Our dessert bowls are actually small bowls meant for holding sauces that we found at Target.

    The diner wear was cheap and durable and easy to replace (though nothing has ever broken)– we were able to buy it in quantity for entertaining. Everything else (various cups, bowls, glasses and stem ware) is mismatched. We use everything every day; someday, if and when I upgrade to “nice china” (someday being when we have a bigger place with more kitchen storage), I would definitely use it all the time. No point in having nice stuff if you’re not going to use it!

  36. Posted by Jess - 03/24/2011

    Sorry, that should be diner “ware”, not wear :-)

  37. Posted by cathleen - 03/24/2011

    I too love dishes. I have probably 10 full sets and about 100 pieces of mismatched monogrammed Limoges “wedding band” dishware which you can find at flea markets and antique stores…we entertain a lot (we owned a restaurant for 15 years) and I love setting a table. It brings back so many memories of my childhood and setting the table at my grandparents’ tables :)
    Thank g*d my husband is a chef so I’m not needed as much in the kitchen!

  38. Posted by Gillian - 03/24/2011

    I’m the one who uses silverware everyday. I’ve retired the silver-plate and use the sliver I inherited. I do hand wash it, as I do all my knives. I’ve also noticed that the silver forks are actually wearing out. Who knew? I have several sets of dishes and would willing dispose of my Denby. I’d pick up a set of Corelle which is what I started with many years ago.

  39. Posted by Karen - 03/24/2011

    We have everyday dishes that were on our wedding registry 12 years ago. Still love them and use them every day.

    Our ‘good china’: individual place settings that we’ve collected over the years, often from places we’ve traveled. When my dear step-mother-in-law passed away, I was able to request one complete place setting of her everyday dishes–what she always served us on–to add to my good set. I’ll be able to the same with my mother and mother-in-law’s china sets one day, using one setting of each.

    The variety of settings is so nice at dinner parties, and makes for good conversation.

  40. Posted by Mirinda - 03/24/2011

    To me, mismatched dishes scream clutter, cheep, and I never think they go together as well as the owner does. I have one set, service for 36- we like to host LARGE dinner parties. Its stoneware I bought when I fell in love with Emile Henry but couldn’t afford it. It won’t last forever but I have enjoyed it.

  41. Posted by irishbell - 03/25/2011

    registering for wedding china is- an older tradition, when the woman came from living at her parents house and not having any of her own kitchenware(unless she had been stockpiling in her “hope chest”. she needed to set up “housekeeping” and needed all the stuff with which to do that.
    if someone wants wedding china- why not get it? who really cares how many sets of dishes you have- as long as you use them and love them. while i did not use my wedding china much the first 15 years or so- i’m glad i had it, when the time came to host family dinners and such. 29 years later, i still do love what i chose years ago.
    a good set of everyday dishes seems more practical these days.
    if you don’t have the space to store extra dishes, do’[t host larger gatherings,don’t think you’ll use extras,or just plain don’t want extras- don’t register for them. simple.

  42. Posted by JC - 03/25/2011

    Our family still has the “hope chest” tradition of getting a chest (or trunk for the boys) at age sixteen. My china (set for eight) was a birthday gift one year when I was in high school. I think my parents bought it at Costco. I didn’t pick out the pattern, delicate pretty wildflowers, but 25 years later I still love it. We are carrying on the chest/trunk tradition with our children and they look forward to having a special place for their “treasures”.

    I have my great grandmother’s china (set of four) and a tea cup, saucer, and a serving bowl from my husband’s grandmother’s set. All of these “good” dishes are currently in packing boxes above the cabinets in my kitchen. My son is still terrible on dishes (he’s had a few really awkward stages as he grows), so the special ones only come out on special days. Our everyday dishes are an amalgam of 35 year old correlle and stoneware.

    My mother had plain white correlle for years because she made special place mats and napkins for the holidays and seasons. The white dishes went with everything from black bats to purple tulips. I like white dishes because you can really see what you are eating and presentation is nice.

  43. Posted by Maureen - 03/25/2011

    It’s amazing how many of us have such strong emotions tied to our dinnerware, but it’s obvious from these comments. I have two full sets (with serving pieces) of “good china”: 12 place settings that we received as wedding gifts (Mikasa White Silk, now discontinued) and 24 place settings of Wedgwood White for everyday use and casual entertaining (which we do quite regularly for family and friends). Of course, we have the silver and crystal to go with our wedding china and very nice stainless and simple glassware for the rest.

    I also have a few breakfast/luncheon/specialty sets (i.e. pewter, pressed glass, and Jadeite)of 4-12 place settings. Some are antiques and family pieces and some I have acquired during almost 26 years of marriage. Yes, that’s a lot, but we use it and enjoy it all. As long as we have the space for it and don’t let it collect dust, it’s well worth it to have beautiful things which are also practical.

  44. Posted by crunchycon - 03/27/2011

    I married for the first time back in the eighties, so I had the “two sets of china” in my registration list. I am the daughter of a true lover of dishes and china, and I’ve inherited some (but not all) of that tendency. I’ve replaced my everyday china (along with the first husband, LOL), but hung onto the “good” china because I just love the pattern so much. Regretfully, because there’s two of us and we don’t entertain much, I rarely get to use it. I’m a pretty good declutterer, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of my good china. It pleases me to look at it up there on the top shelf of my cabinet.

  45. Posted by Beijingaling - 03/27/2011

    We have 3 sets. One lot of every day stuff that consists of 4 bowls, 4 mugs, 4 plates and 4 side plates that my husband and I use, are easily replaced and mean very little to me. Then we have a hand wash only set from vietman that we painstakingly carried back from a holiday. It’s great for bbqs and eating outside. Lastly we have a proper set that we use whenever we have guests (frequently). I love and use them all plus we have the space for them.

  46. Posted by Cyd - 03/28/2011

    I have Corelle I use every day, my great great aunt’s every day china I use to eke out the Corelle for family dinners and my own “good” china I use for parties

    My grandmother had every day dishes, good china for parties and a full set of fancy holiday china. The holiday china serving plates appeared under the pies and cookies for dessert at Thanksgiving dinner.

    After dinner, my father and grandfather would bring the Christmas ornaments and the rest of the china down from the attic, and that weekend, Grandpa would put up the tree and string the lights, but Grandma would decorate it a bit at a time. The rest of the china came out piece by piece at every dinner and especially every party between then and Christmas (at least one party a week.)

    It was used every meal between Christmas and Jan 6, when we had my father and grandfather’s birthday party. Then that weekend, everybody helped take the tree down and pack away the ornaments, and the holiday china, except for the serving plates which went on the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet so nobody had to broach the attic to get them down for Thanksgiving.

    One meal? How sad.

  47. Posted by green - 03/28/2011

    @Mackenzie – There are often situations where adults NEED stuff when they get married. I was 32 years old when I finally got married… and had been a grad student for years, as had my husband. We lived in a TINY place together and he came with almost nothing that I wanted to keep in the kitchen! We registered for Fiestaware and LOVE it. All different colors and they still make it so should something ever happen (and in 7 years, it hasn’t yet) it is easy to replace. And that is with a soon to be 3 year old and no carpeting…

    I think that many folk who marry often haven’t updated past their college years gear, so use the wedding as a reason to finally be “grown up”.

    Personally, I have no need or desire for more than one set of dishes. My mother in law had some that might have been some of a families…and none of us kids wanted it. Off to the thrift store it went! With as often as we move, I don’t want to pack dishes that get used once a year. If we ever are allowed to host Christmas gatherings, I might get a set of cheap holiday dishes… but that will be it.

    Long live Fiestaware! :)

  48. Posted by Nick - 04/01/2011

    We use Emma Bridgewater pottery and glassware. She does a wide range of beautiful bold colours and patterns – but the underlying pottery is all of a standard shape and form – for example we currently have 12 french bowls – all in a different pattern.

    If we break something then we have fun in choosing the replacement. You can also get replacement lids for coffeepots, teapots and butter dishes (we’re on our third butter dish lid) and if you’re on a budget or are worried about clumsy fingers you can also buy seconds (which are virtually indistinguishable from brand new and perfect)

    See the whole range at http://www.emmabridgewater.co.uk

  49. Posted by Diane - 04/13/2011

    I have 3 sets of dishes:a formal set of Noritake Ireland “Morning Jewel” (back when we got married in 1981 you registered for your “good” china as a matter of course), a set of Bennington Pottery stoneware in their blue agate glaze for everyday and most recently, I added a set of Apilco “tradition” simple white everyday porcelain from France that Williams Sonoma carries. I use my formal china for holidays and special events and split my everyday use between the other two. I find food really looks best on pure white but the Bennington has a casual, country look that is homey and warm. I’m not sure if I were getting married today I’d go the formal route – maybe just go with a high quality, simple style in white that could transition from casual to formal depending on the accessories.

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