Reception Ideas

Dinner Reception and multiple questions

As the title suggests, looking for some ideas. Being tight on budget.

1-Is it better to buy plastic disposable plates or rent china or any other ideas to take care of utensils?

2-Any way to save money on table clothes? ~$15 is a rent for each table cloth. Can skip on chair clothes, being banquet chairs.

3-Decoration, we can skip on it. But if it's cheap enough, might as well do it.

4- Other dinner accessories; napkins, glass and all. Go disposable or rent them as well?

Thank you for any advice and help :)


Re: Dinner Reception and multiple questions

  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
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    I think it depends on the vibe you are going for. Plastic plates, glasses and utensils will definitely be more casual and not formal. It is also not environmentally friendly. You also want to make sure your plates are sturdy enough to support your food without collapsing - paper plates are notorious for this but there are sturdy options.

    DD's caterer had a base line chine, flatware and glassware that was included in the quote for food. We didn't upgrade any of that because we felt it wasn't important. We also went with plain white table clothes (classic) with colored napkins. No chair covers because IMO they are a pain to deal with (slipping and such). The only decoration we had were simple floral centerpieces with votive candles. Some venues include some centerpieces so check with yours.  
    ahoyweddingshort+sassy
  • I think it depends on the vibe you are going for. Plastic plates, glasses and utensils will definitely be more casual and not formal. It is also not environmentally friendly. You also want to make sure your plates are sturdy enough to support your food without collapsing - paper plates are notorious for this but there are sturdy options.

    DD's caterer had a base line chine, flatware and glassware that was included in the quote for food. We didn't upgrade any of that because we felt it wasn't important. We also went with plain white table clothes (classic) with colored napkins. No chair covers because IMO they are a pain to deal with (slipping and such). The only decoration we had were simple floral centerpieces with votive candles. Some venues include some centerpieces so check with yours.  

    Thanks, I appreciate the input. Did you buy white table clothes or rented?

    I am thinking, maybe vinyl table clothes of white color or something of that sort.

    But can't think of anything for china, flat and glassware. Yes, paper might be too flimsy, so will leave it.

  • Chinex makes some pretty heavy-duty plastic plates these days..as PP said, not great for the environment but they don’t fold under a hearty portion of food.  They can be found at Costco along with other classy-looking plastic utensils (if your wedding isn’t super-casual).

    I would definitely look into renting as opposed to buying things like tablecloths (and cloth napkins).  I’m guessing you’re not having your wedding at a venue that provides all of this?  I’d rent table clothes, nice plates, glasses, etc.  Compare prices between your caterer and local party supply companies.
    ahoyweddingshort+sassy
  • eileenrob said:
    Chinex makes some pretty heavy-duty plastic plates these days..as PP said, not great for the environment but they don’t fold under a hearty portion of food.  They can be found at Costco along with other classy-looking plastic utensils (if your wedding isn’t super-casual).

    I would definitely look into renting as opposed to buying things like tablecloths (and cloth napkins).  I’m guessing you’re not having your wedding at a venue that provides all of this?  I’d rent table clothes, nice plates, glasses, etc.  Compare prices between your caterer and local party supply companies.
    Thanks, yes I have seen those plates at Costco. I am going to do a cost comparison between Costco prices vs rental.

    Point noted in terms of renting stuff like table clothes and cloth napkins. I am trying to go with some of the options listed there:https://forums.theknot.com/discussion/1044321/dirt-cheap-venue-in-northern-virginia#Form_Comment

    So renting a place, then have a caterer do the food and I'll do other things on my own.

    Hence consulting folks who know better than me :)

    Thank you again.

  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    We rented table clothes and napkins. Like I said plain white were cheapest and we didn't do any fancy overlays. 
  • The benefit to renting table cloths & "real" plates and utensils is that someone else (typically the rental company or caterer, if they're linked up together) usually brings them to the venue for you. If you try to bring disposables or purchase your own table cloths, you'll need to make sure they get to the venue. If you purchase table cloths, you'd also need to wash and iron them, and make sure they get to the venue unwrinkled. You'd also have to deal with taking a bunch of dirty table cloths and napkins home at the end of the night.

    We rented table cloths & napkins because I didn't want to deal with all of that. I also priced out cost options and it really wasn't a significant savings one way or the other. I chose the cheapest options in a basic color because no one gives a hoot what they look like. I would suggest linen or some type of fabric over plastic too. It holds up better and looks a little bit nicer. We also rented the most basic china and silverware options from the same company. I do feel like the formality of most weddings requires using real dishes. Plus, there's the environmental impact of throwing away at least 90 plastic everythings. You don't need anything for the chairs, although a rental place may try to sell you on that idea. We used the basic chairs included with the venue and within like a week of the wedding I couldn't have even told you what they looked like. 
    eileenrobILoveBeachMusicshort+sassy
  • Definitely think about what the actual full cost would be. If buying seems cheaper, add in the cost of getting it there, making sure someone will take care of it once it's there, disposing of it or cleaning it, etc. It may end up being more expensive AND more of a headache. 

    Have you talked to the catering company about what they typically use? Or the venue? They probably have suggestions. 
    short+sassy
  • Yes, for now I am leaning towards disposable plastic from Amazon because with actual China things are getting expensive and more work. But have not finalized it, currently it's the best option.

    BTW, should I rent table clothes or have any advice/website to buy my own? Thank you
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    As noted by previous PPs it depends on what you want to do. If you buy your own, you will have to wash and iron them prior to the reception. You will need to get them to the venue and on the tables with maybe touch up ironing. Afterwards, you will have to gather them and wash them. If you rent them from your venue (or caterer), all that work is taken care of for you. You need to decided what is more important for you. For DD's wedding there was no way I was going to iron and transport table clothes the day of the wedding OR take them home to wash and store - what would I do with all those afterwards? However, if you don't care about the time and work AND it is considerably cheaper, go for it. I'm sure your venue could give you advice for buying/renting.
  • Thanks very much ILoveBeachMusic, I'll just rent them because I won't have any use for them afterwards either.
  • edited July 15
    We rented linens, chairs, a punch bowl and glassware for a harpsichord recital we had at our house two years ago, but bought the "fancy" plastic plates that look like china from a distance. We actually saved many of them (they could be washed in the dishwasher once or twice) but wanted the option of just throwing them in the recycling bin.

    And I agree with @ahoywedding about picking the cheapest colors. No one says, "Oh, I would have chosen the Moroccan sunset over this dull ecru."

    Sometimes the rental cost is worth it, especially if you don't have anywhere to store the things and don't see using them again. Renting the glasses was great, because as soon as someone was done with their champagne, we just put the glass in the rack. The next day, the rental company came and picked up the racks of dirty glasses. I think I'd like to do that with my dirty dishes for the rest of my life!
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