The phrase "dinnerware" doesn't exactly have the most modern connotation, and it usually brings to mind the very formal china sets that were displayed but rarely used by older generations. Perhaps that's why this one-time home necessity has lost its luster for some engaged couples who don't see the need for complete sets. Well, let us set the record straight: a beautiful collection of plates elevates even the most everyday dinner into something special. And more importantly, today's popular designs are much more casual than they were in the past — so they don't need to be saved for special occasions. We've rounded up 10 examples that have a modern, but accessible, aesthetic and range from budget-friendly to splurges. Whichever one you pick to put on your registry, these are choices you'll actually use.
Though this set from Williams Sonoma ( starting at $29.99 ) may look delicate, each piece is made from a combination of clays that gives it unusual strength and durability. You can put them in the microwave and the dishwasher, and yet they look impressive enough for holiday meals with the in-laws.
Ikea's registry is apparently one of the best-kept secrets on the wedding circuit. This affordable set ( $24.99 ) features 18 pieces in a glossy turquoise finish.
Custom Clay Dinnerware
The swirling pattern of this dreamy Anthropologie set ( $20 for one ) makes even humble sandwiches seem special. They're a bit more delicate than the other options, so it's best to save them for occasional meals.
Graphic Dinnerware Collection
If you're the type who really wants fine china but gravitates toward things with character, this set from Michael C. Fina ( starting at $55 ) is for you. The geometric and marble pattern bring a bold appeal to the table.
Minimalist Dinnerware Set
Snowe's curated selection of home decor has made it a favorite for minimalist couples. This simple white set ( $195 for 16 pieces ) has clean lines that are a timeless take on the trend.
Handmade Charcoal Grey Dinnerware
Subtle imperfects and organic shapes give this handmade set from Food52 ( starting at $104 ) a slightly rustic feel. They're made of stoneware, which means they're dishwasher and microwave safe. Another bonus? They're oven-safe, too, as long as they're preheated with the oven.
Patterned Dinnerware Set
Color and pattern combine in this charming set from West Elm ( starting at $12 ). The motif was created in collaboration with Potter's Workshop, a collective of South African artists.
This interesting set by Michael Aram at Neiman Marcus ( $150 ) gives extra character to versatile white plates through a dimensional abstract pattern. This pick is perfect for those who like experimenting with colorful meals — those shades will really stand out!
Handmade Ceramic Dinnerware
Made by TagliaferroCeramics, a studio based in Oregon, these gorgeous hand-thrown plates ( $102 ) are works of art. No two items are the same, making for a collection that's truly original.
Costa Blue Dinnerware
CB2 is a favorite for decor, but it also has a great selection of modern dinnerware. This set ( starting at $5.95 ) has an interesting mix of shapes, coupled with a rich deep blue glaze, making for a collection that mixes well with neutral accent pieces.