Creating the perfect place setting for your wedding typically entails a delicate balance of getting the style right and finding the right price. Knowing the average cost of creating a table setting — from china to glassware to flatware — will help a smart wedding shopper pull it all together well within budget.
Many wedding planners opt for renting tableware because it’s easy to find and it takes a lot of hassle out of creating a beautiful table setting. A typical rental package should include flatware, wine glasses, drinking glasses, bread plates, salad plates, dinner plates, hot beverage cups, saucers and dessert plates. Expect to pay about $5 per person for a low-end table setting in clear glass and up to $10 per person for high-end gold or silver-rimmed china settings accompanied by gold- or silver-plated flatware with crystal stemware and glasses.
Clever bridal planners take the opportunity to outfit wedding tabletops with table settings purchased from discount restaurant supply houses, low-cost retail chains or dollar stores that offer inexpensive dinnerware. A casual setting, including flatware, wine glasses, drinking glasses, a small plate, a large plate, hot beverage cups and a dessert plate, can be bought at as low as $7 per setting. A benefit to buying, instead of renting, is that sets purchased for small weddings can be kept for the couple’s future home. Larger purchases can be resold to recoup some of the money spent after the wedding.
Depending on personal preference, inexpensive and disposable table settings can be purchased for the wedding party. The advantage of disposable settings is the large array of colors and patterns available as well as the potential of a super-low cost. A full place setting of disposable flatware, wine glasses, drinking glasses, bread plates, salad plates, dinner plates, hot beverage cups, saucers and dessert plates can be purchased for as little as $1 per setting. However, intricate patterns and quality disposables can cost upwards of $5 a setting.
A frugal bride and groom can opt to outfit their tabletop for free by borrowing flatware, dinnerware and glass items from friends and family to create an eclectic mix in coordinating color schemes. Mixing whites, solid colors, and a sprinkle of patterned items — often used in shabby-chic decor — lends itself perfectly to a casual wedding for the budget-minded.
Terry Mulligan has been writing since 2007. As an accomplished artist, decorator and business professional, she enjoys covering art, decor, business management, real estate, education, computers/software/ERP, animal rescue, cooking and self-improvement. Mulligan holds an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix.