If I Use Plastic Plates At My Wedding Reception, Is This Considered Tacky

If I Use Plastic Plates At My Wedding Reception, Is This Considered Tacky?

Weddings are not cheap. Even if you compromise on the size of your wedding party or the date that you get married, your wedding will still cost you a hefty amount of money.

The average 100-guest wedding reception can cost more than $7,000 and that’s without all the expenses included. So it is understandable that you may be searching for areas to save money.

While there are some things that you simply cannot compromise on, there are some areas of your wedding day when you can make changes to save a few bucks. One area that some people choose to cut costs is through tableware. 

Sometimes the cost of tableware is included in the cost of your wedding package, but often it is not. With the possibility of having to spend hundreds of dollars on renting tableware, it is understandable that you may be considering ways to cut the costs.

Swapping your china tableware for plastic plates is one way to save money. But is this considered tacky?

In this guide, we’re taking a look at whether, or not plastic plates are considered tacky on your wedding day. So keep on reading to find out more!

Is Using Plastic Plates Tacky?

Well without further ado, let’s dive right in and take a look at whether, or not, using plastic pleats is considered tacky.

Basically, it comes down to personal choice. A lot of people do consider using plastic plates to be tacky as it is clearly an attempt to cut costs, however most people will not comment on this, or even pay attention to it on your wedding day.

People are more likely to consider plastic plates to be tacky if the material used to make them is cheap. If the plates are flimsy, then people will likely find them annoying or unpleasant to use. But if you purchase top quality plastic plates, then people likely will not notice any issue.

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Ultimately, they just want plates that will allow them to comfortably eat their food. 

If you are looking at costs, and find that your only options are using plastic plates or cutting the number of guests, there won’t be a question of which is the best choice for you.

It is much more important to have everyone you want at your wedding than to worry about using plastic plates and what your guests think of this.

Pros and Cons of Plastic Plates

To help you decide if plastic plates are a viable option for your special day, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of plastic tableware. 


  • Reduce Costs – The most obvious benefit is that plastic plates cost a fraction of the amount that china tableware will cost. 
  • Spend Your Money Elsewhere – Saving money on your tableware allows you to focus the money you have saved on other, more important areas of your wedding. 
  • Tie Into Your Theme – You can get plastic plates in all sorts of colors, allowing you to tie the tableware into your wedding’s theme. 
  • Easy to Tidy Up – Plastic plates do not need to be washed, they can simply be thrown away making tidying up much easier. 
  • Better Value – If you rent tableware from the wedding venue, the cost will be fixed, but plastic plates allow you to shop around for the best value. 


  • Quality of Plates – Some plastic plates are very poor quality, and this could impact the function of the plates. 
  • Plastic Waste – By using plastic plates you are generating quite a lot of plastic waste which isn’t good for the environment. 
  • People’s Opinions – Some people view plastic plates as tacky, so they may think this about your wedding tableware. 
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What Tableware Should I Use?

We’ve seen how convenient plastic plates can be, and with many plastic sets, you won’t see any downscale in design; as you know, you only have to pay a flat fee for this tableware and avoid renting costs.

Below are a few options that you can consider which will work nicely for a reception menu that isn’t too extravagant.

600 Piece Wedding Dinnerware Set

This set conveniently comes with dinner and side plates, cups, forks, knives, and cups, so you have a comprehensive package with an elegant golden hue that will look nice on subtle table designs.

You may look at this set and wonder if they are really plastic, as they have a nice finish that gives each item a shine that is fitting for an occasion such as this. 

700 Piece Silver Dinnerware Set

This set is more subtle in design, so it is perfect for those who don’t want tableware that looks too loud or gimmicky, and it even comes with 100 linen-like paper napkins, so your arrangement looks more coordinated. 

The plates are also heavy duty, so you could consider these with more menu options as long as you consider the durability of your knives, forks, and spoons, so these have a quieter type of elegance. 

120 Piece Rose Gold Disposable Plates

This plate set comes with 60 salad plates and 60 dinner plates, and you might have to look closely to tell they are plastic, as they give off a heavy-duty and well-crafted look, so if you have an eye on rose gold designed plates, you might want to consider these.

Some Tips When Picking Out Tableware

One way you can save is to look at many catering options out there, as, during a quiet season, you may be able to find a deal on these services and ask yourself whether you need so many menu options and desserts that you could cut out.

If you’re doubtful about plastic plates, it’s a good idea to think about their durability, as most heavy-duty tableware should be up to the job, but there is going to be someone at your reception who may be a bit rough when cutting their meal.

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You also want to consider that people might move plates around, especially if you have offered a buffet-type system during the evening, so expect that many of these plates could get dropped or mishandled, as many people don’t really think about the plate they’re holding.

Like we’ve said, people aren’t going to be inspecting your tableware, so you have more space to get creative with your designs as you can get ones that fit with your theme, as with many reception tables, there are a lot of decorations and flowers which may clash with the color.

The Bottom Line

Picking out your plates and cutlery can seem like a difficult task, but with some careful planning, you can get the set that you’ve been thinking of, and there may be services that let you customize your plate design to look however you want, so get creative with it.

Lisa Plaitt