I started with dinner plates, and I think that’s all I’m going to have the energy to do. However, if I were to start over, it seems like saucer plates would be super easy, but they are not always cheaper than the larger dinner plates. I am collecting 275 plates, so I’m not limiting my search to just ‘china’ in the formal sense. We are also collecting nice/interesting ceramic plates as well. We are having an outdoor rustic reception at a barn, not super formal.
I go to various thrift stores around where I live and where my parents live to do the collecting.Whenever I travel somewhere I try to remember to stop and check out their local thrift stores. The best luck I’ve had has been in the small rural town stores outside of the city. They have a lot more of the vintagey types of plates and a way better price. I just went to a flea market that gets their stuff from estate sales where they were selling plates for .25 cents a piece! I only got 12 plates, but still it helps to counteract other more pricey plates. I try not to spend more than $2.00 on any plates, but sometimes there are a few I just have to have. Since we are collecting so many, I take up to 2 of any plates that we want.
At first when I started collecting I was really overwhelmed with all the colors, different materials, etc… and started to second guess myself, I thought it was just going to look like a jumbled up mess because I wasn’t getting all super fancy china plates like a lot of the pictures you see online. So, as I collect the plates I’ve begun to sort them in piles based on their style and color. This way each table will get a set out of just one pile, so they look like a cohesive set of mismatched plates. These are my current piles and I’m about 1/3 of the way there:
Ceramic- blues and greens
Ceramic- browns, oranges, yellows
Ceramic- multicolor floral
Ceramic- multicolor other
Ceramic- white/ivory pattern or textured (to be mixed in later or to fill out seats)
China- White pattern (to be mixed in later or to fill out seats)
China- blue and green
China- yellows and multicolor floral
China- off white plates with floral pattern
Now that I have them split up, I feel like it’s going to look really great!
I plan to sell my plates after the wedding. I would have bought from another seller, but no one was really selling in the quantity that I needed in my area. I hope to help out some future bride with this project after my June wedding.
Also keep in mind you will need to spend hours removing stickers and price tags with goo gone and finding a way to wash all these plates before and after the wedding. I’m also currently looking for the best way to transport all these plates. I’d take any suggestions from others who’ve done this!
Hope this helps others looking to take on this project– it is a daunting one!