With so many weddings designed to reflect a couple's personal style, why is there still this outdated expectation that a registry needs to include formal china? Many couples today live in small spaces where they can't host huge parties or store a giant tureen. And people who are marrying later or for the second time are concerned with blending their stuff, not getting more. For you smart, stylish couples, here are five practical essentials you'll want in your real-life registry.
1. White plates work with everything.
Your plates should be able to serve everything from pizza to pumpkin pie. White plates put the focus on the food, and they're an easy way to tie a table together. To dress them up, add patterned placemats, make a runner out of wrapping paper and confetti or put sprigs of herbs on each plate.
2. Add patterned plates in small or large sizes.
Consider registering for white dinner plates and then choosing a pattern for your salad plates and/or chargers. Having multiple sizes gives you options when you're serving several courses. During special occasions, you can layer each place setting to elevate your everyday table.
3. Go for glass and ceramic basics (instead of crystal).
Don't overcomplicate things. Choose glassware that works for your day-to-day life. Don't have the space for stemware? It's perfectly fine to drink red wine out of a demi tumbler. And skip the crystal candy dishes...ceramic bowls work for soup, cereal and even mixing. Plus, unlike heat-sensitive crystal, they're dishwasher-safe.
4. Choose fuss-free flatware.
Who wants to polish the silver every time they have a dinner party? Opt for dishwasher-safe stainless steel with beautiful design and craftsmanship that's made to last. Hammered metal or plated handles add just enough detail to make your flatware feel distinctive.
5. Get something special monogrammed.
You don't need to go over the top and monogram everything, but it's nice to have a special, signature piece in your registry. Mugs are great because you can use them every day. We're big fans of the Moscow Mule mugs because 1) they don't shatter when you drop them, 2) the copper insulates cold drinks and 3) they look pretty awesome serving up classic cocktails. Napkins and linens are another essential that feels more personal with a monogram.