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Etiquette

Just how tacky are disposables at the reception?

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Re: Just how tacky are disposables at the reception?

  • I would wonder how you could afford a live band and not real plates.

    And I agree...nice disposables aren't cheap, so you're really only saving yourself time and trouble at the end of the night, which I think will look obvious to your guests.
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  • Did you already sign a contract with this caterer and venue? The venue doesn't have plates and silverware? I almost ran into the same problem. I wanted to use a specific caterer, whose a family friend, but he didn't have plates and silverware and any venue that would actually allow us to bring in an outside caterer didn't have them either.

    I unfortunately had to go with another venue that had all of this and took care of the food as well-- they also provide the linens and clean up which works out great.

    If you've already signed a contract, go with the upper end plasticware, I don't think its worth renting. If you DO buy the plates and silverware, you always have the option of selling it afterward to re-coup some of the costs.
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  • In Response to Re: Just how tacky are disposables at the reception?:
    [QUOTE]I would wonder how you could afford a live band and not real plates.
    Posted by sucrets4[/QUOTE]
    I was thinking the same thing.
    kd.joseph's wish is my command
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    Just call me "Brothel"
    And betrothed, I'm disgusted with most of the comments that you have posted. I don't think I've ever read such judgmental comments in my life. I'm so lucky that the girls I speak to on theknot are nothing like you...I would've never come on here for ADVICE if I would've encountered a big a bitch as you. I genuinely feel awful for your children or your future children, and I think it would be irresponsible of YOU not to invest in their future therapy sessions starting now. Because trust me when I tell you honey, they're gonna need it. ~jcaruncho2010
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  • A live band was my fi's only real "must have."  So we made it a cost priority. 
    The caterer is giving us an amazing deal, so I am happy with that decision, too.  The limited bar is the best we can do, and I hope the lack of mixed drinks isn't too annoying to our guests; I don't think it will be, as most of them will be pleased with a beer or a glass of wine. 

    My dress is costing $200, max, and flowers will be whatever I can buy from our local farmer's market the day of the wedding (I've budgeted $200).  Centerpieces will be borrowed vases filled with those flowers and candles in borrowed holders.  Well, actually I did buy 75 pretty votive holders on craigslist.  So we're doing the best we can on a budget. 

    On the one hand I think "Geez, don't be such a cheapazz - lay out the $500."  On the other hand, I think "Crap! $500 for one detail of one day when that same $$ could be used for, oh I don't know, our kids' college fund?" Sigh.  This sucks.  And to be honest, it is discouraging to be assured that yes, we will be judged as tacky and cheap.  I was hoping we'd get away with it! 



  • In Response to Re: Just how tacky are disposables at the reception?:
    [QUOTE]I would wonder how you could afford a live band and not real plates.
    Posted by sucrets4[/QUOTE]

    This.
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  • I'm using disposables for our casual backyard wedding.  I got the plates from Party City.  They are pretty heavy and are "premium" - I like them.  I don't think my guests will mind.
  • In Response to Re: Just how tacky are disposables at the reception?:
    [QUOTE]I'm using disposables for our casual backyard wedding.  I got the plates from Party City.  They are pretty heavy and are "premium" - I like them.  I don't think my guests will mind.
    Posted by bbyckes[/QUOTE]
    It sounds like disposables will fit your wedding.  I have been to weddings where they had casual backyard BBQs for their recpetions, and the disposable plates were absolutely fine because of the feel of the events.
    kd.joseph's wish is my command
    image
    Just call me "Brothel"
    And betrothed, I'm disgusted with most of the comments that you have posted. I don't think I've ever read such judgmental comments in my life. I'm so lucky that the girls I speak to on theknot are nothing like you...I would've never come on here for ADVICE if I would've encountered a big a bitch as you. I genuinely feel awful for your children or your future children, and I think it would be irresponsible of YOU not to invest in their future therapy sessions starting now. Because trust me when I tell you honey, they're gonna need it. ~jcaruncho2010
    my read shelf:
    Betrothed 123's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
  • I'm using all paper plates and plastic utensils. Even cheap plastic table cloths, because in the end no one really gives a crap. I'm having a backyard bbq after the ceremony with our close friends and family, then we're having a hors d'oerves reception later with friends that we couldn't afford to invite to the ceremony.

     I went to a wedding with an expensive plated dinner it was probablyon expensive dinnerware but I don't remember, I don't even want to know how much it cost, the food was gross and I'm pretty sure nobody noticed the dinnerware (like me).

    Don't let this be a big issue for you, I know a lot of brides on here spend way too much on the little things, but since you're on a small budget like me definitely go for disposable. Do not spend more on plates and silverware then you will on your dress, that would be crazy.
  • In Response to Re: Just how tacky are disposables at the reception?:
    [QUOTE] Do not spend more on plates and silverware then you will on your dress, that would be crazy.
    Posted by brit_bell90[/QUOTE]

    This for sure.
  • I honestly don't see anything wrong with them... but maybe that's because I'm using paper napkins and clear plastic cups for water at my wedding.  I'm having it at a 1930s school house in the courtyard and, although we're renting champagne flutes, I couldn't justify renting the same amount of cups for water (we're only having cupcakes and a champagne toast... no formal reception).  Anyway, the bottom line is if you are comfortable with it, who cares what the guests think????  It's not about your expensive glassware, it's about your union!  If they're offended by the plastic and paper, they came to the event for the wrong reasons to begin with (IMHO).  Wink
  • Why don't you see if you can find cheap place settings?  Mix and match the dishware and the flatware (go tagsaleing!!!).  You don't have to be matchy-matchy with everything.  Go for a beautiful, whimsical look!

    Check for stuff at:

    Dollar Stores (coffee mugs, drinking glasses--see if they offer a discount if you buy a ton)
    Tagsales
    TJ MAXX or Marshalls
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  • I think if someone is juding you for anything at your wedding they shouldnt be at your wedding.  Who cares, do what you want its your day. If people complain about the plates you are using.....they would complain about something else if you had the finest china.
  • look on goodwill.com.  Seriously.  You should be able to get mis-matched lots of silverware on their auction site for CHEAP.  Then you'd only need plates. 
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  • I think that it depends on how formal the wedding/reception is.  I would at least invest in renting just dinner plates (or dinner and salad plates if you are serving them as separate courses), and then find some fun disposable plates for dessert, because people are going to be so wow'd by your cake they won't care what they are eating it off of.   I don't know what the local rates are where you live, but I rented all of my tableware for my wedding last year and I only paid $1.00 or less per plate, and the rental company was really new so everything was still almost new!  Check everyone's rates and then use their competitor's rates to try to get a better deal!
  • Not sure where all you've looked but my best friend had a huge wedding 2 years ago and bought all the flatware at Sams Club, i think it ended up being the same as renting it, and she was able to negotiate with the caterer to wash it all with the dishes. (the caterer supplied plates, cups)

    Also I could always ask if she wanted to sell. lol She bought 1200 forks 600 knives 300 spoons (just for coffee) and 600 white linen napkins, that have all been cleaned and packaged in storage containers.

    GOOD LUCK
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  • Not sure if this will help, but we are planning a tented reception at my parents house for 600 people (40x200 tent). Even though it is a tented wedding and outside, we decided to rent china because we are having formal lighting and decor. Just to give you an idea, our caterer is renting out all of the china and flatware for us at a cost of around $1000.00. This includes clearing all the tables, cleaning it and hauling it away. Keep in mind it will be for 600 people. I thought that was a pretty good deal, but everyone has their own opinions. If you have a wedding of around 200 people, that could cost you around $300.00.
    Visit The Knot! Wedding Countdown Ticker T L = Mr. & Mrs. Bell 8.28.2010
  • In addition to PP (Ikea sales, TJ Maxx, Dollar Store), try yard sales and re-sale shops, I think the mix-match look could be very cute. Or try borrowing from friends and family- even if you borrow sets of 10 from 10 people, that give you 100!

    http://www.countryliving.com/cm/countryliving/images/stacked-vintage-plates-de-25950074.jpg

    I don't think that I would go with disposibles, but it won't be the end of the world if you do, I don't think the Dish Police will come after you or anything.

    Also, still look at rentals, a place in Boston quoted me 0.38 per plate, which would be $53 for 140 guests...

    As for washing at the end of the night, try hiring some local teenagers? I remember as a teen being eager to make some cash however I could!
  • edited January 2010
    i think it's fine. what you described sounds like it looks okay. it doesn't have to make it tacky or inappropriate & i do think that you can use them for a formal wedding. basically it just depends what they look like & how they go with everything else. we're having a formal recep & we're probably going to do that. the color we want the caterer also doesn't have. it's not a sit down dinner but i think it could still be fine at one depending on a few factors. 
  • If the people coming to your wedding relly care about having to use disposable plates, should they even be at one of the biggest days of your life? Those present should just be happy for you and accept that which you are able to provide.
  • I think it's perfectly fine... Who cares what they are eating off of? Why spend the extra money on dishes you will probbaly never use again?

  • Yeah, I'm not gonna lie, but that sounds so tacky/trashy. It's one thing to do it if you're having kind of the backyard bbq/picnic style reception but if I went to a wedding that was attempting to be "classy" and saw the plates were disposable I'd most definitely be passing some harsh judgment.
  • I would think of it this way: with the food I'm serving on the disposable dishes I am thinking of getting, how likely is it that I will send it flying onto my lap while cutting it?  With meats like chicken and beef, probably pretty likely.  You can save the disposable stuff for cake, and if you are having appetizers.  Maybe think of other ways you could save money as well: order your flowers and cake from Jewel or Sam's Club instead of a regular florist and bakery.  You might be able to save a lot of money that way, which might make the difference on silverware and dishes.
  • Have you looked into volunteers for dishwashing duties?  It's very possible that you could get someone to do it as community service.  I don't mean criminals, before anyone says that!  A lot of high school students need service hours to graduate, some scouts need service hours, things like that.  The worst that can happen is you don't find anyone who will do it, and you're back where you started.
  • Here's what I've done:
    I went to a local thrift store and bought 600 plates for $60.  Will they all match, no.  Will they work. Certainly.  The plates will go into a bin w/soapy water and be recylcled post-event.  OR if someone finds a pattern they love they can take it home!  i found my Grandmother's patern...for $1.80:-)

    Silverware is coming from restaurant supplier on ebay.  300 place settings for about 250-300.
    monogramed pint glasses are our favor/glassware and will be 347 total.

    I have family traveling anywhere from 4 hours to thousands of miles.  I WILL NOT serve them dinner on a paper plate.

  • We are going to be using plastic flatwear plates and glasses. Our ceremony is an outdoor one overlooking a lake and our reception is a short walk down the hill into a big red barn at a park reserve. we are having a pig roast and it will be more of a buffet walk through. we are keeping it casual . so we felt that disposables would be a wonderful way to keep costs down and would also be a breeze to clean up! We are using clear plates and colored silverware to match our colors. Besides we want easy clean up so we can dance the night away!!!! Go with the disposables and put your money toward your honeymoon or something your guests will really remember! besides i tend to have more fun at the laidback weddings with plasticware than at the uptight weddings with 5 sets of silverware and crystal glasses. which fork do you use first??? 
  • we're doing disposables. for one thing, it's a casual outdoor BBQ reception. for another, my venue doesn't have a staff, just the two owners. I'm bringing everything in myself. therefore, I'm not going to make my family stay behind and wash dishes all night long while I'm sexing up my husband, nor do I have the budget to hire staff just to take care of the dishes.

    my sister did have a semi-formal indoor reception on clear acrylic dishes (plastic, but really hard plastic, almost like glass but less breakable) and it looked nice. I liked it and told my mom that I wanted the same thing. she replied, "oh good, that way I don't have to wash your dishes." the difference with my sister's wedding is that she was able to have real silverware since her venue did have the staff to wash forks and knives.
    image

    Glenna Harding Photography
  • I say go for it! I am planning an outdoor wedding with a reception in the quansit behind my house. I plan to do the same (my future nother in law will probably have a melt down) but really its your choice and I highly doubt that will be the topic of anyones conversation when the night is over. Remember you are inviting family and friends that love and support you and they wont be judging you for your choice of flatware but rather, enjoying your beautiful wedding day. Use em! Thats my vote!!!! Hope your day is amazing!!!!
  • I'm a catering manager and I've done a few wedding receptions. One of them was VERY formal and she requested clear, heavy plastic plates with the Reflectiveware plastic silverware. NOBODY had any complaints about the food or the dishes (and like I said, it was FORMAL!).

    Most of the brides that come to us request nice looking dishes. But china cost money. I had a client (not for a wedding) tell us to use plastic/paper plates and we got him some really nice plastic ones. He made us switch to china, then complained about the cost of the plates. But considering we had to use china for three meals a day, wash them every day (it was a VERY long catering), and then transport them to wash them and set them up again, he got a fantastic deal (it's normally at least $1.00 per plate).

    For my wedding, which is semi-formal, we're using the nice clear plastic plates with reflectiveware. It's nice, durable, and most people aren't going to judge you over it. Besides: you're the one who is paying money to feed people and in this economy people understand if you're on a budget. Just don't use paper plates. They don't speak highly of the bride and groom.

    So my advice: ask the caterer how much they would charge for the nice clear plastic plates and reflectiveware (guests love those-I always hear compliments on those). Then ask him if he would be willing to charge HIS cost for them. I promise you, he's making a profit off you already, if he charges you cost for the plates and silverware, then he's not losing money or gaining money. He breaks even on that part. He might be willing to go at cost too. If the food is fantastic, he might get another catering contract off your wedding and for him...that's free publicity.

    So ask the caterer for the price of plates and silverware and cups per person. Also: what time of day is your reception? Because in my experience (and my bosses' experience) coffee almost never gets finished and you create a lot of extra work after the reception for cleaning the mugs. Just a thought.
  • We are in a recession people!! Over-spending is so out of style.

    I think if you are going to get disposable dishes then you should have disposable napkins as well -- if you wanted to get your names on them or a pretty design that matches your theme that would be cute :)

    The people you are inviting to the wedding shouldn't judge you based upon the type of dishwear you use -- and if they do they should not be invited in the first place.

    Enjoy your day and cut costs where you can-- because you will not enjoy the debt you will pay for it afterwards by overspending!
  • Try www.smartyhadaparty.com the disposables on here are suprisingly nice and affordable.  I was pleasantly suprised by them.
    -Good Luck
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