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Planning An Outdoor Wedding? Here's How To Decide On Dinnerware

Planning any event can be stressful, but weddings undoubtedly take the cake. Approximately 50% of women find planning their wedding to be more stressful than they imagined, and the average bride spends around 11 hours each week planning her nuptials. While an outdoor wedding can be absolutely magical, there's a lot that can go wrong. Unpredictable weather conditions, venue logistics, and unexpected surprises can often throw the entire wedding party for a loop. So when it comes to planning your reception meal, you need a fail-safe. No matter what kind of food you're serving, you need to make sure your dinnerware will stand up to the task. Below, you'll find a few popular options for outdoor wedding dinnerware.


There's no doubt that "real" square dinner plates or delicately decorated china will make any meal look exquisite. However, those aesthetics come with a price. Many caterers won't provide anything more than plastic utensils and disposable plates. That might be totally fine for your wedding theme, especially if you've opted for a more casual setting. But if you want something a bit higher-end, you'll have to shell out the money to an outside vendor. That can mean cutting back in other areas. Plus, expensive china can easily break if there's a strong wind. If plates are a top priority for you, there's nothing wrong with opting for the real thing. But if you'd be just as happy with a different choice, spend your money elsewhere.

Disposable Plates

As we've mentioned before, there's nothing inherently wrong with plastic or paper plates and utensils. For instance, if you'll be chowing down on barbecue or are having an intimate backyard wedding, this can actually be a great choice. However, it's not a very eco-friendly one. Most of these options are not reusable, so you'll be dealing with a ton of trash once the celebration is over. Those who've embraced green living may want to consider something a little less wasteful. In addition, while there are options that look perfectly nice, they aren't well-suited for black tie weddings or in situations where tradition is of the utmost importance.

Melamine Plates

Looking for an awesome in-between? Consider patterned or white melamine plates. Rustic melamine dinnerware looks just like ceramic but is far more durable and more affordable. Even if these plates are dropped on the ground, they won't shatter and spoil the fun. And with so many available patterns and themes, there's likely one that will complement your wedding theme. Plus, since they're dishwasher-safe, you won't have to worry about painstaking cleanup or taking out the trash. Finally, you won't have to rent them from a vendor. Instead, you can continue to use your plates for all sorts of events in the years to come.

Your flowers, food, music, decor, and all other parts of your wedding are all completely personal to you. That means that what's right for your wedding won't be what another couple chooses. But by having the pros and cons in front of you, you'll be in a better position to make a decision in time to say, "I do."

Photo by Tatiana Valerie of Artvesta Studio

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