Cost of Renting Dishes, Glasses, and Flatware for Your Wedding

Cost of Renting Dishes, Glasses, and Flatware for Your Wedding

As I plan my own wedding, I’m in the position of trying to figure out the cost of renting dishes, glasses. forks, knives, and spoons for our big day. I was wondering about rental prices so I did a bit of research comparing various rental companies. How much does it cost to rent dishes and glasses for your wedding?

  • Dishware costs between 40 and 85 cents per plate, with the cheapest options being standard white or cream and the expensive options pearl white and/or gold-rimmed plates.
  • Glassware runs between 40 cents and $1.50 a piece, the higher priced items being vintage glass goblets and crystal wine glasses.
  • Flatware costs between 35 cents and 1.10 per piece (knife, fork, spoon) with stainless steel options on the cheaper end and more expensive options available with gold-brushed finish or other premium added details.

To make sure you’re getting a really accurate idea of what you can expect to pay for dishes and glasses at your wedding, Iet’s break down the different kinds of style options available (for ALL budgets) and the difference in price for each.

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Dishware Options and Costs

You have several options for dishware! Who knew?! The information here are averages based on my research of several rental companies and should give you a good ballpark idea of what you can expect to pay. Of course, prices vary from company to company and averages may fluctuate between different regions.

Basic white plates: 40 – 50 cents each
Standard cream-colored plates: 75 cents each
Side plates for bread and butter: 75 cents each
Dessert plates: 75 cents each
Pasta plates: 75 cents each
Soup bowls: 75 cents each
Pearl white plates with gold rim: 85 cents each

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Glassware Options and Costs

Glassware has an even larger range of options. Most people will settle for enough water, wine, and champagne glasses for all of their invited guests. And then add a smaller percentage of additional glasses for specialty drinks, such as old-fashioned glasses and shooter glasses. Usually you’re be renting the specialty glasses to stalk the bar.

You can expect prices per piece to be somewhere in this range:

Basic wine glasses: 40 cents each
Basic water goblets: 40 cents each
Old fashion glasses: 40 cents each
Hiball glasses: 40 cents each
Pilners glasses: 40 cents each
Shooter glasses: 40 cents each
Champagne flutes: 50 cents each
Long-stemmed wine glasses: 55 cents each
Stemless wine glasses: 55 cents each
Mason jars: 75 cents each
Brandy snifters: 75 cents each
Vintage water and wine goblets: 85 cents – $1.50 each
Margarita glasses: $1.00 each

“For a sit down dinner, one glass per guest for each type of beverage being served at the table. i.e. water, wine. For a bar or cocktail reception, we suggest 1.5 glasses per guest per beverage type. i.e. rocks glass, highball or pilsner.”

-Perfect Party Place (Source)

Flatware Options and Costs

You can order very simple, plain stainless steel utensils at a basic price per unit, or fancier, premium or gold-plated utensils for double to triple the price. Here are some average prices for you to get a general idea for your own rentals:

Standard stainless steel dinner fork: 40 – 60 cents each
Standard stainless steel dinner spoon: 40 – 60 cents each
Standard stainless steel dinner knife: 40 – 60 cents each
Premium stainless steel utensils: 65 cents +
Gold-plated or gold brushed utensils: $1.10 each

Additional Costs of Renting Dishware, Glassware, and Flatware

Keep in mind that in addition to the individual cost of these items, you may also have to pay a delivery charge.

Ask before signing any contracts how much the delivery fee will be, when you can expect their arrival, and whether or not tips are expected. There might also be an option for you to pick up, if you have enough space in your car and have time in the days before your wedding.

Another cost you might not have thought about is the minimum number of dishes or items that many rental companies require. So if you’re planning on having a small gathering, this might not be the most cost-effective option for you. Ask about minimums when you go looking for rentals. Try to rent everything from the same place for this reason.

Depending on the company, you may be expected to return the items cleaned, while other places just ask that you pack everything back up into the crates and they’ll clean it for you. Ask beforehand and make sure you know what’s expected, so you’re not stuck cleaning a hundred dishes the day after your wedding!

Finally, you should be aware that insurance doesn’t usually come with these rentals, so if anything gets broken, you’ll be responsible for replacing it, often at a price that’s too high for a glass that’s not brand new. And accidents happen. So perhaps factor a few broken dishes into your budget just in case πŸ™‚

How Do You Decide How Much to Spend on Rentals?

How do you decide to go with the lower cost basics or to opt for the gold-rimmed plates instead? It’s really a matter of considering the type of wedding you plan on having, and what your budget is.

If you’re having a backyard affair, a garden wedding, a casual beach wedding, or anything similar, the basics are just fine. Your guests are not going to mind.

I would only splurge on the expensive, fancy dishware, glassware, and flatware if you’re planning on having a luxurious, formal event. And if this is the case, you’re probably not renting from a third party rental service in the first place because most fancy vendors will supply them.

When Do You Need To Rent Dishware, Glassware, and Flatware?

Check to ask if your venue or caterer provides these items before looking for a rental company. They usually do, as mentioned. Most people renting dishware, glassware, or flatware for their weddings are like me– they’re having a backyard wedding or hosting at an unconventional venue.

If you’re throwing your own wedding and need rentals, make sure to arrange everything at least two months in advance if possible. If you’re getting married in a popular wedding month such as April to June or September to October, make it 3-6 months in advance.

Tips for Finding a Rental Company

Don’t buy from the very first place you come across. Do a Google search of places in your area and look for independent reviews. If possible, get a recommendation from someone you know, or a friend of a friend even! Recommendations are king.

As you shop around, remember to ask the following questions to each company:

  • What are the prices per item?
  • Do you deliver?
  • Do you charge a delivery fee and how much?
  • Are tips expected?
  • Do you have a minimum purchase?
  • What would the total price be with taxes and delivery?

Alternatives to Renting Dishware, Glassware, and Flatware

Did you know that in many cases, you can actually BUY these items for less than it costs to rent them?! It’s true. Stores like IKEA, The Dollartree, Cosco, and even Amazon sell glasses, plates, and utensils in bulk.

You could also choose to peruse thrift shops and get mix-matching items. I personally think this is a really cute look, but I know it’s not for everyone.

I also realize not everyone wants to end up with hundreds of plates and glasses after their wedding. If that’s the case, then maybe you’re on the right track with renting after all!

Related Questions

How much does it cost to rent linens? Table linen rentals for weddings can cost anywhere from 10 to 20 dollars each depending on the size of the table and the quality of the fabric.

How much does it cost to rent napkins? Cloth napkins usually cost around $1 each to rent.

Brittany

Brittany is a writer, teacher, and a graduate student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She started the website Wayfaring Weddings as a way to share her research on affordable, eco-friendly, and less stressful approaches to wedding planning.