(Closed) Having a bit of a dinnerware issue…

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
12247 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

What’s the formality going to be like?

I think if you’re okay with people attending in jeans or khakis and you’re serving casual food, I think disposable plates would be totally natural!

But if you’re having an evening wedding where people will be attending in cocktail dresses and suits, I think that would be a little unusual.

Still, I wouldn’t be upset or anything if I saw that as a guest!

Post # 5
1784 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I personally, even at a casual wedding, wouldn’t LOVE to eat off of a cafeteria-like tray. I’d at least expect a regular, heavy-duty Chinet plate or something. Can you just go to a thrift store and buy a bunch of mis-matched china for $1/plate? That’s informal because it’s mis-matched but way better than styrofoam, IMO. When we were looking for china we could buy huge sets super cheap at Goodwill, Savers, etc.

That’s just my opinion though! It really depends on your guests. 🙂

Good luck!

Post # 6
1696 posts
Bumble bee

@marinesfiance:  No, you are not being silly. Disposable tableware lowers the tone of your event: you can claim even “semi-” formality if your guests will be eating from styrofoam, with plastic forks.

Do you or any close friends belong to a church or club from whom you could borrow plates and cutlery?

If not, you can certainly proceed with plastic and styrofoam, but keep the other aspects of the wedding — your invitations, your dress, your flowers and other decor — informal and understated to be consistent with the style of your dinner.

Post # 9
1784 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@marinesfiance:  I’d definitely ask! Then you will have a better idea of it is worth considering the thrift store route or at least upgrading the plates to something not styrofoam. 🙂 Let us know!

Post # 12
339 posts
Helper bee

We used them for my son’s reception and they worked out fine, we had sandwiches and sides.  For a meal like (?) steak I probably would get some and look them over before getting them all.  Are you near a FlowerFactory that you could get a pack or order one pack and see if you want more.  Really, even if you don’t go with them, the price is right, and you can always use them when you don’t feel like doing dishes, lol. 


Post # 13
46672 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999


1. ask your venue about bringing in your disposable plates.

2. Check out nicer looking eco friendly plates like bamboo and palm leaf.

Post # 14
5950 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

Honestly, that would bother me.  I’m the type of person who thinks spending a lot of money on details is silly…but what you eat off of effects your perception of the quality of the food and I personally dislike eating off paper plates, especially styrofoam.  

CHeck with the caterer to see if you can bring your own.  If you can, check with them to ensure how many plates you need (if your having a buffet you’ll need a lot more than 160 plates, and you’ll want matchin desert plates etc.  Then see if you can find inexpensive real plates or nice disposables (Costco usually carries some nice options) for a good price.  If you start getting close to the $3 mark though, just rustle up the extra $500 and spring for the stuff through the caterers though, since 1) it’ll be way less hassle, and 2) they’ll provide you with all real dinner ware, not just the plates.

Post # 15
1348 posts
Bumble bee

I hate styrofoam plates. They tend to get weird with hot food, aren’t biodegradable, and get those gashes in them when you press a knife or fork into them. I agree with PP’s try asking about bringing your own disposable dishes.

Post # 16
7357 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Styrofoam really is out of place at a semi-formal event. Just don’t do it.

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