With the rise of fancy disposable plates on the market, more and more brides are opting for this on their tables. As a lover of all things beautiful for the wedding reception, I have to admit that I too have fallen in love with some of these new options. Let me take you through the pros and cons of using disposable versus real china.
PROS: The new plastic plates that have hit the party market look almost like the real deal except they are not.
They are plastic and therefore you can throw them away. This is probably the most appealing of reasons for their purchase.
They are also less likely to be broken.
They are gorgeous.
There is a wide variety of options available (colors and shapes).
Clean up is easy.
Transportation is easy (because they are quite light).
Can be purchased in groups as low as 10 or as high as you desire.
Children can't break them.
They are a fraction of the cost of real china (this is true of our rental costs); they average $0.50 - $1+
CONS: It might look real but it's not! Plain and simple this is the bottom line.
Although the plastic-ware looks very nice, it does not look real.
Plastic does not bring the same elegance to your event that real china does.
The nostalgic value that real china brings is unmatched.
Real china has so many more options: All the same, mismatched, semi-mismatched, etc., plus all of the patterns that go back to the 20th century.
Although a stylist can guide you with the selection of plastic-ware, a stylist can be an even greater asset in the choice of real china for your event
So there you have it! The pros win! So if you are considering all plastic for your next event, I get it! It's a great option. In fact, the plastic flatware & glassware have been around even longer than the fancy plastic plates. You can find flatware in a variety of colors and depending on the style of your event, you can even choose drinkware in different colors and styles.
Of course, I'm going to let you know that my vote is still the real stuff. Don't get me wrong, if I'm helping you style your next event, I'll make these plastic plates look marvelous in their setting. But nothing beats the real thing. Here's why (in my humble opinion):
When I'm holding a china plate, I know I'm somewhere special. Whether it be at home around the dinner table with my family or at a loved ones wedding.
Real silver flatware cannot be topped. Have you ever tried to stab a piece of meat and your plastic fork broke? I cannot think of a time it did not~even with salads. I don't trust these tools of the table. It makes my experience less enjoyable. Who wants to anticipate the breakage of a fork prong or their knife? Not me.
Plastic cups are amazing for a beer bash. You've heard the song Red Solo Cup, right? It's a winner for a hang out with friends. But elegant wedding or anniversary party? Nahhh! Go for the real stuff. Even if crystal is not an option (hear that ring!), glasswork is! I can drink wine from a plastic cup, even a plastic 2 piece goblet. But I don't want to. There is nothing like an elegant glass stem.
Paper napkins? Well here I go with the hypocrisy. Before I start, I will say that I recently went to Grimaldi's Pizza in Destin, Fl. Even though we arrived in our shorts, hot and sweaty from our day on the beach, sitting down to a cloth tablecloth and cloth napkins made me feel so special. That's what real does! But there is something about paper napkins that also makes my heart soar. Is it the feeling against my lips as I wipe away the food? Nope! They normally feel kind of useless, like they really are not absorbing anything. But I can tell you that the way they look on a table is breathtaking. The designs, the shapes, ah, I just love them. In fact, I have an entire drawer full of paper napkins in my personal kitchen. I love them even though they serve no purpose other than making the table look prettier! So there's my hypocrisy.
The combinations that we can create with multiple china/glass plates is infinite!
Although men can be clumsy and the thought of real china may make you uneasy, let me just say that a man likes something sturdy in his hands. He wants to know he can load that baby up and it won't crumble underneath the weight. China plates can do that!
Real sparkles! I can assure that plastic does not. Those wedding pictures will be far more glamorous with real china, silverware, and goblets.
I'm sure I continue giving you more reasons to choose real china but I'll refrain for now. This is your event and you know best what suits your environment, guest list and food choices. Each of these tablescaping pieces can work for any event. It's up to you to analyze just what your goals are and which of these options will accommodate your needs best.
(And a little help from a stylist could also come in handy!)