Choosing a china pattern
This is a challenge for sure! All these things to consider and to decide upon!
To start with, is this choice for you alone to make or is there a husband or a partner to be considered, and if so, you might need to share in this task and together find the pattern, design, material and manufacturer to reach this choice.
To complicate matters even more, you will find that there are a wide range of materials available, such as stoneware, which for the most part always tends to be a casual, artsy or informal table setting, it is pretty weighty and might chip fairly easy and as a rule is more affordable. Some however are hand painted by certain artists with great recognition and therefore can be quite expensive.
There is porcelain and fine porcelain, which might be the most common materials and actually are quite strong and will not easily chip, are dishwasher save and favored with most French Limoges, German and American and other china producing companies. Pending on the details of decor, color and designs, gold and silver hi- lights or cobalt blues can drive the cost up substantially.
Of course there is also bone china and fine bone china, both actually have real bone in their composition of materials and when held against a light are translucent. Both tend to be pretty expensive but are also considered the best of the best.
Now you need to decide which items or how many place settings you need in order to set your table to entertain and serve your anticipated guests for these great occasions and gatherings. The norm is 12 place settings. The standard place setting consists of 1 each dinner plate, salad/dessert plate, bread and butter plate and a tea or coffee cup with a saucer. You may choose not wanting the bread plate and since place settings are priced by totaling all the individual components, it helps saving the amount of this plate. With these place settings you will need 1 or possibly 2 serving platters, our suggestion is to choose the larger one for sure, normally 15″ long. Than add a smaller platter, normally 13″ long. You also should decide on at least 2 open vegetable bowls, three would be the better choice. These usually are offered in oval shape and are the most bought and functional ones, but there are also round ones. The capacity of these open vegetable bowls are not all this large and since most servings include 2 or 3 vegetables one is never enough.
You also want to consider individual soup dishes and here you have choices. You may choose between cereal bowls, rim soup plates or cream soup plates and cream soup saucers, maybe a soup tureen, and a salad serving bowl. Than of course you want to consider dessert and may choose ice cream bowls, and a cake or tart plate and 12 additional salad/dessert plates.
Consider plenty of time to find your pattern and perfect table setting, list it with your bridal registry and enjoy your selection for the rest of your life.