• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Reception Ideas

How to handle utensils for a non catered wedding.

We are planning on having a simple relaxed wedding reception with a bbq style menu. However the "caterer" does not cater at the reception, they just prepare the food and will bring and have it ready in dishes that we provide for the buffet. They don't provide plates, utensils or napkins. After meeting with them they had mentioned that most people they've worked with have used disposable utensils. I was weary on using them for the fact that it would look tacky. But how would I handle using real plates if i would purchase them if there were no waiters or such? 

Thanks in advance. 

Re: How to handle utensils for a non catered wedding.

  • btj357 said:
    We are planning on having a simple relaxed wedding reception with a bbq style menu. However the "caterer" does not cater at the reception, they just prepare the food and will bring and have it ready in dishes that we provide for the buffet. They don't provide plates, utensils or napkins. After meeting with them they had mentioned that most people they've worked with have used disposable utensils. I was weary on using them for the fact that it would look tacky. But how would I handle using real plates if i would purchase them if there were no waiters or such? 

    Thanks in advance. 
    Exactly. At the end of the day, someone has to clear the tables and clean the cutlery/dishes and garbage. Likewise if there are any spills on the table/ground/buffet area.

    You can place the plates and cutlery at the start of the buffet line for guests to help themselves to. But there is still the clean up aspect at the end- and this is regardless of if you buy disposable to rent "real" plates/cutlery.

    What was your plan for set up and clean up? Who would be doing that?

    I think you should hire some sort of wait or clean up staff, even if you are hiring a teenager or student to do this job, for your event. I don't imagine you want to be running around collecting plates and garbage after dinner while your guests are mingling.

    P.S. I don't think disposable has to be tacky. You can get some pretty nice looking plastic utensils and plates. So nice that I'd want to keep them and re-use them for future BBQ/party events ;). A party rental place should have these, or a large wholesale store.
    InLoveInQueensOurWildKingdomcowgirl8238
  • You would hire staff. You can do that separately from the caterer. 
    InLoveInQueens
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Regardless of if you use proper plates/ cutlery or disposable, you are going to have to hire some staff. Staff to clear plates, refill food, clean up spills etc. 

    If you want proper cutlery, you'll have to hire a few more people to do the washing up and re packing to go back to the party hire company. 
    InLoveInQueensOurWildKingdom
  • The company that you hire wait staff from may also offer plates/utensils for rent.  If not, I know that the party rental companies by me rent everything you'd need for a party- from large tents to tables, chairs, and linens, to coffee urns and space heaters...all the way to plates, glasses and utensils. 
    InLoveInQueensOurWildKingdom
  • Hire either a company or a local teenager or family friend to handle set up/clean up/garbage/etc. You won't want to deal with this at your own wedding and trust me, your guests don't want to either. I can handle throwing my own trash away if I'm all dressed up, and if no one appears to be working an event I will do my best to clean up any mess, but I'm going to be pretty peeved about it. (As opposed to a dinner at a friend's house...if I spill something there you bet your butt I'm jumping up immediately to clean up after myself, as wait staff are not expected there.)

    Also, depending on the formality of your event, disposable utensils & plates don't have to be awful. Other posters have recommended Smarty Had A Party on other posts, and they have very nice looking disposables. I've also seen large packs of china-looking plastic plates at Costco for a reasonable price.
    OurWildKingdomSP29cowgirl8238
  • Every non-wedding BBQ I've ever been to has used disposable stuff and people through away their own plates in trash barrels around the edge of the space. The hosts of the party were responsible for the ultimate clean-up...like guests who forgot to throw out their plates, taking care of spills, emptying the garbage, etc.

    I think the only difference with a wedding is that you are the hosts and really can't be performing the duties of being ultimately responsible for the clean-up, so you need to hire someone instead. It's not acceptable to have guests be responsible.

    If you were to use non-disposable stuff I'd expect you would have big dish bins next to the trash barrels for people to use, and still have staff needed to be the ones ultimately responsible for cleaning up and emptying the bins, etc. And doing the dishes! 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    We rented all our stuff from a local rental place.  That can get expensive.  There are delivery fees and cleaning fees.  If some thing gets broken or thrown in the trash (common for utensils), you pay.

    There are some nice disposables out there.  I suggest something like this from webrestaurant.com   -
      

    They are pre-rolled and heavy weight for BBQ.    Go plastic with a heavy plastic for plates.   Buy extra napkins because, well BBQ can get messy.   Even find wet wipes in baulk to have around.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    cowgirl8238
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards