The Paper Plate Debate

Yep, it’s okay – I cringed at those words too when they popped up in my “wedding sphere”, but before I go further, let me give you the down low on why this is even a subject of consideration for me right now . . .

Ok, so we haven’t officially chosen our caterer, but we’ve basically chosen our caterer.  Rhonda was a reference from friend, a lot of fun and offered tons of ideas for us to pick and choose from – she was an easy decision.  However, her on-the-side wedding catering is done with the resources from her current job – New Hope Missions.  Because of this, her prices are lower {the food is just as good!} but, so are the tableware options – as in one choice basically.  Described as “ugly” by the lady herself, Rhonda suggested if we decide not to go with those, to use paper plates instead to save on costs. 

Speechless.

Yep.

Wedding + Paper Plates.

Nope.

I, for the last month and a half now, have chosen to ignore this situation and let that problem slide right off my shoulders.  However, having recently phased into “wedding mode” again, this dilemma has been at the forefront of my mind.  Naturally, I took to Google.  I wanted to see what others were saying about this . . . surely I wasn’t the first one to approach the subject.

There were mixed reviews + opinions and plenty of them.  I was humbled however.  As one person pointed out {in a nutshell}, “it doesn’t matter what you eat off of, and you shouldn’t care what other people think. It’s your wedding, your budget, your day and a free meal for them”.  I’ve never been to a wedding with paper plates so I really don’t know what would cross my mind.  Anyway . . . I began researching rental companies (see YV Bride’s list here) and dishware/stemware/glassware prices.  If I guessed my #’s correctly, these rentals will be almost an extra $500 chunk from the budget PLUS our responsibility, not the caterer’s {unless she chooses to be the middle man}.  That’s a lot of money and a lot of dishes to wash. 

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Innocently and curiously, I started checking out paper plates – this led me to some designer looking ones (if you will) and were getting pretty pricey.  However, I realized you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.  Wasn’t happy. Plus, that’s a lot of waste and paper/plastic plates do NOT biodegrade, spending years in landfills . . . not good.

This got me onto the green trail. Are biodegradable paper plates better than reusable plates? Are they even cheaper? This lovely little blog gave me great insight.  While the reusable plates are the better way to go {green speaking + if washed in the dishwasher ONLY}, there are some disposable alternatives right on their back.  Earthshell and Greenwave Paper Plates are both 100% biodegradable, eco-friendly + compostable options made from products such as potatoes, limestone, sugar cane and bamboo.  They’re not pricey – compared to their counterparts – either, you can get 240 plates for $35.99 and they promise “strong and sturdy”. 

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Hmmm . . . I can jump on this train I think.

Maybe anyway.

I do feel better about this whole thing after thinking about my research more. Our wedding is going for the chic barbecue feel and I think paper plates might be okay {but I know that reusable ones will always be okay}. Plus, I decided to take an internship this month, which means a huge pay cut for me and we really need to figure out where we can/are willing to cut corners.  If we let our guests know we’re trying to be earth-friendly and set aside specific bins for compostable materials (i.e. food scraps and the plates) can we really go wrong? Can we be humble and not turn up our noses? I have no idea which way I’m gonna go . . .

The great paper plate debate continues.

Let me know what you think readers, I’d love to hear your take on it.

X.O.X.O

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4 Comments

Filed under Catering, Dining, Food, green, Reception

4 responses to “The Paper Plate Debate

  1. I haven’t really thought about the paper plate decision – but I wanted to give you two thumbs up for choosing Rhonda! I used her for a family reuinion I planned this last summer and was so so so impressed with her and with the food!

  2. Kirsten Dahlhauser

    Personally, I would cut corners on decor, flowers, hair, makeup or cake before I served a wedding meal on paper plates. I LOVE the idea of eco friendly plates, compost and the like. With a BBQ type wedding it may work, although then everything else would have to follow (decor, location, invites, dress, party attire, etc). I had a friend who’s friend (yes a friend of my friend) had an $11,000 dress and served her meal on paper…maybe her dress was her important part (for we all have them right?, mine-photography) but I feel like it’s nicer and more of a treat for your guests to take a grand off a dress and devote it to renting ceramic or glass plates. Keep us posted on what you come up with!

  3. Holy wow, I just debated this same thing on my blog! I was thinking the bambu veneerware plates, but they are way pricer than the earthware… hmmm…

    Yes, the debate wages on!

    • kadeeswedding

      that is funny 🙂 Thank you for looking and commenting — I don’t think I’ll be reaching a decision anytime soon!

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