(Closed) to have real plates or not to have real plates…?

posted 11 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Which would be ok with you at a wedding you attend?

    Real plates and servers! The $1400 is worth it! Any less, not classy!

    I'm ok with bussing my own plate... and I'm sure you can find some nice friends to help out!

    Work with the budget! It's ok, those people love you. They'll forgive you for plastic.

  • Post # 18
    63 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    Most plastic plates can be recycled, as opposed to the biodegradable which won’t biodegrade packed in a dry landfill. We went with mismatched China plates and utensils, but have to do plastic cups and plastic plates for appetizers. I truly don’t think anyone is going to care, and if they do I don’t care… 

    Post # 19
    2343 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I personally don’t think you should have your guests bussing their own tables, but that’s just my opinion. I would go with the plastic and pay people to clean it up before I had my guests clearing their own tables.

    Post # 20
    7172 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    Is there anyway you can do fake plates and real silverware?  Having a disposable plate isn’t as big of a deal to me as plastic forks and knives (that always seem to break).  I don’t know if you have a Smart & Final store by you, but I’ve seen faux plasticware knives/forks – they are plastic, but made to look like the real thing.  They a little more expensive, but totally worth it.

    Have you priced out what buying the disposable goods will run you?  It might be worth doing that, just to have a dollar for dollar comparison.  I’m always surprised how much disposable plates cost!

    Post # 21
    325 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I’ve been to casual barn weddings and a wedding in a fancy ballroom where both have used plastic plates (and at the barn wedding we all bussed our own plates right to the trash cans). Both times my friends chose plastic so they could save money so they could invite all their friends and family. I would say try to go for the eco-friendly plastic options if possible if you choose the disposable route. But I have to say, I wouldn’t be offended if I was expected, at a casual, family-style reception, to buss my own plate.

    On a side note–beware of plastic that’s too realistic. We were at a wedding and Mr Spin and some of the other boys didn’t believe that the silver charger plates weren’t porceline. They were playing around with them, tapping and bending them, and SNAP! Mr Spin snapped off a chunk of the charger. Smooth, I know. ^_^

    Post # 22
    14181 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    I went to a wedding with plastic plates, forks, and knives and it sort of….made me feel like I was at a backyard bbq. And we were inside at a relatively nice venue. I kinda went, “hum” at it. I could barely cut my damn food and chicken was flying off peoples’ plates. I can imagine someone was upset with chicken stains on their lap. Sorry, it left an incredibly negative impression and I was sooooo happy to have real plates and real silverware at my wedding. I can see how at some venues it’d fly, but I’m on team “real plates” too

    I’m sure you can find a way to budget through everythign else–maybe go get some pricing first?

    Post # 23
    1700 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    Thought I’d add this – I voted plastic and even said that I’m using plastic in a fancy ballroom.  However, we aren’t doing plated meals – just heavy hors d’oeurves – everything will be either one bite on a fork or something you eat with your hands.  esj4y8’s post made me realize that I should’ve said, that if I were having more substantial food, or a plated meal, I would probably go with real.  So depends on what kind of food you plan on having in my book!

    Post # 24
    54 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    it is a tough decision when you have to figure out where to allocate the money for sure!

    i agree with honeybun- if you are having a full sit down meal i would have to say real plates and silver. i’ve tried some of the ‘fake silver’ when cutting chicken and i can’t say it was the best.

    good luck!

    Post # 25
    34 posts

    It always depends on a number of things.  Budget – go with real if you have the money to spend on real, plus pay people to take them up and wash them.  Type of Food – A sit down dinner demands real, where a finger-food type buffet could be fine with plastic. They make pretty fancy plastic stuff now and at the end of the day, clean-up is a breeze compared to real dinnerware.  With all of the elaborate things at receptions these days and some venues want the rooms cleaned out by midnight, it is almost impossible to deal with dirty dishes.  Under only the most casual of circumstances would I ever suggest that people bus their own.

    Post # 26
    383 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    I do not like that idea of having your guests clean their plates either- I can just picture the talk amongst your guests as they line up to clean off their leftovers, it just isn’t what I would consider “good conversation.”

    It sounds to me that your reception is at a fairly nice place where plastic place settings may look a little silly. If the reception were in your family’s backyard underneath a tent I can see the plastic dinnerware being fine, but it doesn’t sound like that is the atmosphere of your venue. I would get the real plates; however, you have already said your venue is more than you can really afford based on the fact that you have barely anything left in your budget for a photographer, dress, etc. When you sat down and thought about your wedding was your venue the most important thing? Or was it photography? Or dress?

    If you have barely anything left for other really imporant things (photography/dress would be considered important to me) then I would ditch the real plates and just get plastic dinnerware. Your pictures are all you will have left, and I would never want to scrimp on the dress as that is what makes you feel bridal and what a lot of guests will remember.

    Based on your budget constraints I voted for plastic dinnerware; if it were me it wouldn’t be ideal but I probably would have chosen a venue with dinnerware included in the rental price.

    Post # 27
    453 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    We are using disposables! The heavy clear lunch/dinner plates that have some heft to them, and also the plastic that looks like silverware flatware. I just didn’t want the hassle of picking up the rentals, or paying the $ to have it delivered, hassle of cleaning it, hassle of paying for it! Okay, not really a hassle, but that means yet another task has to delegated for another person and another detail added to the list. And, more dollars to spend.

    We are disposable all the way. Smaller clear plates for cake with smaller white plastic pearly looking forks that are kind of dainly looking. I got heavy linen-type paper napkins that could have fooled me that they weren’t real. We are having clear cold beverage glasses and yes, sigh…styrofoam hot beverage glasses. Not the best, but at least they are the thinner kind that a a tad bit better than regular old styrofoam. It’s a casual brunch reception with lots of kids there, some sit down, some walk about, some perching going on-but given the venue and the order in importance of things we wanted to pay AND be responsible for, renting dishes, etc, just wasn’t part of it.

    Plus, even if we used our churches dishes (nice, heavy weight, white) we would have had to either provide for the clean up or pay for someone to run the dishes, etc. Way more hassle than I wanted to deal with, or anyone else (my mom, our hostess, friends & family).

    For our rehearsal dinner, the caterer is bringing all rented items-plates, flatware, dishes, coffee cups, and champagne glasses to the venue and is returning them, so her contract is with them, not with us-which helps too. One less thing-you know?!

    I think disposable is fine-really I do. Unless it is a super fancy seated dinner and you need then to have china, and nice china at that-I think for a casual reception, you are okay with disposable. Our plastic flatware really looks like it’s silver, which is funny…Fiance got onto one of my twins about throwing silverware away in the trash can at a party we were at bc it looks so real.

    One thing we had considered before deciding on a morning brunch reception, was afternoon tea, and we were all about the mismatched china for place settings-totally. I think that look is shabby chic in a socially chic kind of way. 🙂 Something feminine about pretty china and knowing that each piece has a story or has been a part of someone else’s life is even more entertaining.

    We had a distributor here in town who carries “all things paper goods and plastic” for parties, so that is where I got our stuff….for just under $100….supplies for a reception of 100-125. The even better plus side to this is that the leftover supplies, my mother is using for a brunch/luncheon at my house for FIs parents and bridal party before everyone leaves to go home on Sunday.

    Post # 28
    366 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    Disposable isn’t too bad…it depends on how you’re decorating and the mood you’re going for, I think.  Have you considering trolling local antique shops, flea markets, and Salvation Army stores to start a little collection?  You could donate them or re-sell them at the end of the day, and if you don’t mind mismatching a little, it could be adorable.  Maybe you could even tell a few friends that their wedding present to you could be to do a few dishes 🙂

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