A lot of thought goes into one’s wedding registry: What stores should you visit? What price points should you include? And, how many items should you list? Is appropriate to ask friends and family to help fund your honeymoon? Is requesting straight cash gauche. Regardless of the trends, there’s one thing that continues to crop up on many couples’ lists year after year: china. You gotta have something to eat off of—right? And, even if you’ve been living together for years, this is a chance to get something you really like, rather than continue to use the hodgepodge you’ve collected over the years from various Ikea runs and past roommates. It’s the center piece of the table, so it’s important, and no matter how formal or informal your style is, it’s an investment, and potentially something you can keep for ages and pass down to future generations. But what kind of dinnerware constitutes “china” and does it need to be super nice?
More often than not, one thinks of china as fancy, formal dinnerware, made of bone china or fine porcelain (you know those plates that are hidden away in a special sideboard or armoire for most of the year and emerge on special occasions and holidays). Yet, today more than ever, there are budget-friendly versions that give off a polished, pulled together, “I’m an adult now” vibe, but are made of lower quality (and less expensive) materials, like stoneware. So china for all—bring on the options! Before diving headfirst into finding that perfect set (or two!), we’ve outlined a few notable favorites and why so you’re well-schooled ahead of making this major decision.
1. Herend, Chinese Bouquet Blue Five Piece Place Setting
Herend is a historic staple (over 180 years old) in the china industry and certainly the wedding world (Queen Victoria’s wedding china was Herend). The Chinese Bouquet Blue Place Setting is strong enough for every day use but formal in look and feel with its 24 carat gold accents. It is the perfect china for a couple who seeks a traditional place setting that works for both a Saturday luncheon and Christmas feast.
2. Bernardaud Palace Collection
Bernardaud is another historic brand, but unlike Herend’s Hungarian roots, this maker of fine china, home accessories, and even lighting, hails from France. The brand’s storied history is evident throughout their traditional place settings but they also have newer lines that feature subtle and more modern motifs, as shown with The Palace collection. The soft gradation of gray to pearly white is neutral enough to go with almost any linen and occasion, an ideal china for the couple with a more minimalist aesthetic.
3. Wedgwood English Lace
Wedgewood is a brand with a popular brand with lots of options. Carried everywhere from Amazon to Bloomingdales, they produce affordable place settings ranging from busy botanicals, like the Wedgwood Hibiscus, to extremely simple solid whites. Catering to a plethora of personalities and decors, their design lines fit into any budget and table setting. Below is a glimpse at Wedgwood’s English Lace 60-piece place setting, a very subtle but formal style, which would work well with many different kinds of tablescapes.
4. Anna Weatherley Palette Dinnerware
Adding a twist to the traditional circular dinner plate is Anna Weatherley’s Palette dinnerware, available at retailers like Anthropologie and Bloomingdales. The scalloped like edges and playful color options are ideal for the couple who wants variety and elegance in her china. Did we mention they are hand painted AND dishwasher safe, now that’s versatile dishware!
5. Royal Copenhagen
This china set can certainly take one’s breath away with its delicate and unique design. Like the other heritage brands on our list, Royal Copenhagen has been around for over a century and the Blue Fluted Half Lace design we love so much was designed by Arnold Krog in 1888. Though it may be a work of the past, it certainly isn’t dated and is perfect for the couple that wants a romantic, truly luxurious and formal feeling. It’s safe to say this is a keepsake to be passed down for generations!