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Reena
Savvy March 2011

Renting Dinnerware for Buffet - Help Please!

Reena, on April 30, 2010 at 4:26 PM Posted in Planning 1 7
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We're planning an outdoor tented wedding. To save, my caterer suggested I should rent dinnerware (chinaware, silverware, glassware, ect.) directly from a vendor, rather than through them. If I do that, what is the average amount that I should rent for a dinner buffet and cocktails? Would I have to rent twice as much as the number of people attending? We're estimating about 120-150 people to attend. Any ideas? Thanks!

7 Comments

Latest activity by Ariel, on May 11, 2010 at 9:52 PM
  • Kimmi
    Super May 2010
    Kimmi ·
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    A lot of these numbers are going to depend on what you are serving, particularly alcoholic drinks. Your caterer should be able to help you with the numbers. But in general you will only need one per person with about 5% extra in case someone drops something. Except forks. Due to having cake, people need a dinner and dessert fork.

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  • Caren Jeanty
    Caren Jeanty ·
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    Typical costs:

    On the low end, plain stainless steel flatware costs about 35 cents to 45 cents per piece and plain wine glasses cost about 45 cents each. Glass dinnerware costs about 40 cents each for a bread plate, salad plate, dinner plate, cup, saucer and dessert plate. The per-person cost works out to about $4.

    In the mid-range, stainless steel flatware with a simple design or contemporary look costs about 45 cents to 55 cents per piece and colored or contemporary-looking wine glasses cost about 55 cents to 65 cents each. Plain white China dinnerware costs about 60 cents per piece for bread plate, salad plate, dinner plate, cup, saucer and dessert plate. The per-person cost is about $5.50.

    On the high end, fancy silver- or gold-plated flatware costs about 65 cents to 75 cents per piece and fancy crystal wine glasses cost about 80 cents to $1 or more each. Ornate China with a gold rim costs about 75 cents each for a bread plate, salad plate, dinner plate, cup, saucer and dessert

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  • Celebrations
    Celebrations ·
    • Flag

    I would think long and hard before renting these items on your own. That means you will have to pick them up, take them to your venue, collect everything at the end of the night, wash them, and return them. It's a lot of work that no one will want to do on your wedding day. Take that in to consideration when you are comparing prices. I would leave it to the caterer! What about disposable tableware? It's much less expensive and virtually no clean-up.

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  • J.J
    Master September 2011
    J.J ·
    • Flag

    I couldn't agree more with Celebrations! Renting dinnerware is not just a complete HASSLE but it can get pricey! Check out www.smartyhadaparty.com. They have amazing prices and from what I have heard the quality of their products is awesome! You are going to have so much going on throughout the entire day that the last thing you should have to worry about is dinnerware and making sure it all gets returned!

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  • Tara
    Super July 2011
    Tara ·
    • Flag

    I agree with Celebrations, disposable tableware is alot cheaper and hassle-free. Costco has plastic plates that look just like real china and plastic silverware that looks just like the real stuff, I went to a style show a couple of weeks ago that used these and until I actually picked the stuff up I thought they were real. My MOH's sister who is getting married a few months after me is actually going to use them because of how nice they look. I got these pics off of amazon.com so you can even buy them online if you don't have a Costco near you or don't have a membership.




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  • Reena
    Savvy March 2011
    Reena ·
    • Flag

    Wow thanks for all the help everyone! I totally get what you all mean about not worrying about the hassle of getting dinnerware separately, especially with all the madness that I expect that day. It's just so hard keeping costs down. My fiance is set to keeping our budget to $20,000 and we live in Hawaii, and we want an outdoor wedding. So I'm trying to cut corners but still keep it classy. I know it sounds pretty impossible. Maybe we will consider the disposable ones.

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  • A
    Just Said Yes October 2010
    Ariel ·
    • Flag

    Not impossible at all! Our budget is between $2,000 and $3,000 with about 80 guests, and we're getting married outdoors in the gardens around an 1800s mansion and having the reception in the mansion. So yes, you can do classy for well under $20,000! If you decide to go with the plastic china look-alike plates, I recommend ebay - although some sellers don't ship to Hawaii, so that could make things a little more difficult.

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