Plastic Plates at a Wedding…Tacky or Smart? (+ perfect options)

Share with your friends!

Planning a wedding is rarely straight forward, and you have countless details to arrange. One aspect that is often overlooked is the plates for your wedding meal. All of a sudden, you realize dishes cost a lot to rent and you may have to clean them too. If you’ve heard of plastic plates at a wedding, you may be on to something to help ease the burden.

Plastic Plates At A Wedding..Tacky or smart?!

Wedding Plate Options:

Popular options include:

  • – Purchasing disposable plastic plates
  • – Renting wedding china
  • – A catering package which includes plates- some caterers offer the chance to ‘upgrade’ your plates for a nominal fee
  • Paper plates
  • Purchasing wedding china

In this article, we examine the pros and cons of having plastic plates at your wedding.

Things To Think About When Choosing Your Wedding Plates

When it comes to figuring out your wedding tableware, you may want to think of a few things…

Rental Cost

Some caterers will allow you to rent their dishes for your wedding. But you may have a caterer who doesn’t, and then you may have to go to a rental place and rent each piece. This can get quite expensive when you add up plates for appetizers, dinner, dessert, coffee, drinking glasses, flatware, etc.

Clean Up Responsibility

When we were looking at rentals for dinnerware, we often saw a cost for cleaning the dishes after the event, and some that required you to wash the dishes before returning as well. This could end up costing you more money to have someone wash them, or more time or stress having to wash all the dishes after your event.

Damaged Items

Rentals can also come with a risk of some of your dishes being broken by a guest, and having clean up from that as well. Take that into consideration as well.

What Makes Sense For Your Venue

We had an outdoor wedding reception, so we decided that it was easier to go with nice plastic plates for our wedding. It would make clean up a breeze (since we were responsible for clean up after the reception), and we didn’t have to worry about guests with glass outdoors.

silver plastic plates on a table at wedding reception

The Advantages of Plastic Plates at Weddings:

Save Money

Almost everyone planning a wedding will be looking to minimize their costs. Plastic plates are a cost-effective option that can help you save money on your wedding. Hiring traditional wedding china can be much more expensive than you think, with some companies charging up to $5 per plate! You have an extensive guest list; this can quickly add up.

Small Details

Most people don’t care! Many of your guests will be focused on what is on their plate rather than what it made of! With so much going on during the big day, this is a tiny detail that most people just won’t notice. 

Easy Clean Up

Disposable plates can be thrown away at the end of the night. This saves time cleaning up after the evening, or money if you hire others to clean up afterwards. 

Several Options

Plastic plates have come a long way when it comes to the different options and varieties that are available. We chose plates that looked like real china plates, but were disposable. There are some very pretty options you can find online.

table settings at an outdoor wedding

The Negative Effects of Plastic Plates at Weddings:

Not As Fancy

Some people view plastic plates at weddings as ‘tacky.’ This is very much a matter of personal opinion, and the majority of guests will likely not judge the details of your wedding so harshly! 

Can Look Cheap

Plastic plates can be less attractive. Some plastic plates on the market look cheap and not in keeping with the formality of a wedding. So if you decide to go with plastic, try for a fancier version that can class up your tables.

Not Strong Enough

Some plastic plates can be flimsy, and ‘bend’ when picked up. This is something you should consider if you have a buffet. You may also want to give some thought to how much cutting the food you serve requires. For example, if you are serving steak, this will require a sturdy plate for cutting on.

Doesn’t Match The Theme

Plastic plates may look out of place. This largely depends on your menu. If you are serving something fancy, like lobster, a plastic plate may not be well-suited.

table setting with plastic wedding plates, placemat, and napkins

Tips For Having Plastic Plates At Your Wedding

Mix & Match

You may wish to go for plastic plates, and then add real silverware and glasses, to give your evening a touch of elegance. If you do go for plastic plates, ensure they are durable, sturdy and attractive. 

Read The Reviews

Check out any online reviews before purchasing. You should buy your plates well in advance, in case they don’t turn out to be quite the quality you hoped for! Pick styles and colors which are in keeping with your wedding theme. Pinterest is an endless source of inspiration for gorgeous table settings.

Match Your Meal

If you’re doing plastic plates, make sure it makes sense for your meal. Think about the meal and food you will be serving. Are your plates strong enough to hold the meal? Are they big enough? Do they make sense for your food choices?

Opt For Plastic Plates For Dessert

If you’re not sure about doing plastic plates for your dinner, you can still decide to do them for you dessert and/or appetizers as well. Lessen the cost of rental dishes, and clean up time too!

wedding reception with tables set and LOVE sign in background

Examples Of Plastic Plates For Weddings

There are countless options to purchase online. Here are our top picks:

Classic China Look

Keep it simple, with an elegant white plate that looks the real deal:

Modern Plates

Vintage Plates:

If you are more of a traditional bride, go for these vintage plates, available in various sizes:

Add a real wow-factor to your wedding meal with these unique plate sets from Amazon. These sets come with 3D butterfly models for the edge of the plate!

Get Creative With Colors

Match your wedding colors with these plate sets available from Amazon. Colors to choose from include blue, pink, green and grey.

Go for Gold!

If you are a bride who loves her bling, add some glamor to the night with silver or gold detailing plates. We love these sets from Amazon.

Biodegradable Plates For Wedding

If you want to go the more eco-friendly way, you can try some biodegradable plates like these:

Mix Up The Shape

Sara, a seasoned expert in wedding planning and date ideas, brings a wealth of experience to our couples blog. With a background in the television industry and hands-on involvement in a dozen weddings, including working as a wedding assistant on "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera," Sara has an innate understanding of the magic that makes weddings truly special. Growing up with four sisters has given her unique insights into the dating world, making her a go-to source for practical and heartfelt dating advice. Her knowledge and enthusiasm make her the perfect guide for couples seeking to infuse their relationships with creativity and love.

Share with your friends!