Paper/plastic for wedding reception - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 19 Old 03-24-2005, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
PapayaVagina's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pretreating stains
Posts: 1,131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Help! I couldn't decide where to put this.

I'm getting married in August. We were planning on renting plates, glasses, and silverware but the cost is really expensive and our location doesn't have a good dishwasher. I would hate to have my mother spend hours washing dishes at the reception.

We're thinking that we might have to use paper plates with plastic silverware. I was wondering if anybody knows of companies that make good biodegradable paper plates/cups or plastic silverware companies that maybe have an option of sending back the clean silverware for recycling. Our local recycling depot will not take the plastic silverware. Does anybody have any resources, I really, really want to cut down on the waste as much as possible!!!
PapayaVagina is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 19 Old 03-26-2005, 01:57 AM
 
luv my 2 sweeties's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,157
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No ideas about the disposable stuff, but here are a couple of brainstorms if you still want to make "real" dishes work:

1) Your mom should not touch a dish except to eat off from one! I totally agree with you on that. How about hiring a teenager or two to come by and wash dishes after the reception. That would be pretty cheap labor.

2) You mentioned that the cost of rental is high. Is anyone close to you active in a church (or Moose Lodge, or community center, etc.) that has a stocked kitchen? When I got married, the reception was at my parents' home. We borrowed (for free) the dishes and silverware from my parents' church. Come to think of it, I wonder if it was my mom who washed them all?

Stephanie mom to Brianna (6/00) , Alexander (6/02) , and Ethan (9/07) .
luv my 2 sweeties is offline  
#3 of 19 Old 03-26-2005, 04:04 AM
Banned
 
peaceful herbivore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 163
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
another thing you can do if you have to use paper and have leftover product that you can't return is to donate them to a homeless shelter, who use a lot of paper products during meal times. I mean, it is not as if you are contributing exactly, as they would be using them anyway, this would just cut down on some costs (for them) and would be considered a donation...know what I mean? It is not ideal but at least you won't just be throwing them away or something.
peaceful herbivore is offline  
#4 of 19 Old 03-27-2005, 12:04 AM
 
Ruthla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 43,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quite honestly, for something like a wedding (or a Bat Mitzvah, or any other big party) I'd probably just go with the disposable stuff and not worry about it. In fact, I'd probably go with the more expensive/less eco-sensitive plastic dishes with color-coordinated napkins, table"cloths", utensils, etc. I try to limit my use of disposables in everyday life, but for special occasions I don't worry too much.

For more environmentally sound choices, I think I've seen paper plates made from recycled paper. I know I've seen recycled napkins. I've also seen disposable wooden forks, spoons, and knives as an alternative to plastic. Real cloth tablecloths (rather than plastic) aren't that much more work- just throw them all in the washing machine after the party. I still have the 3 matching tablecloths originally purchased for my engagement party 12 years ago (when we used fancy disposables that coordinated beautifully.)

From a purely economic perspective, the cost of buying "nice" disposables is often less than the cost of hiring somebody to wash the dishes (even if you can borrow dishes for free.) Then there are the "intangable" factors- how important is it to you to have all the dishes match? Will you feel "less special" using disposable plates? Do disposables just feel "wasteful" to you?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
Ruthla is offline  
#5 of 19 Old 03-27-2005, 06:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
PapayaVagina's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pretreating stains
Posts: 1,131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm just feeling guilty because I want our reception style, food, etc. to be representative of our lifestyle which is really important to us. It's difficult for me to justify purchasing plastic products to throw away when that is something I would never do for myself. I'm a recycling nazi. Maybe I'll get lucky and find a brand that I can send their clean stuff back to them and they'll recycle them.
PapayaVagina is offline  
#6 of 19 Old 03-27-2005, 06:15 AM
 
liawbh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: got the boo-less blues
Posts: 2,805
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hmm - aren't there compostable forks? I swear they had these at the Oregon Country Fair last year. Not sure where to find out about them though. And Wild Oats' deli containers are now made from corn or something and are compostable. Again, don't know where you would get them, maybe a google search will tell you more?

Congrats on the wedding. DOn't let the planning get to you too much (easier said than done, I know).
liawbh is offline  
#7 of 19 Old 03-27-2005, 06:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
PapayaVagina's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pretreating stains
Posts: 1,131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oooh. I have seen those ones made from corn. I will look into that. Thanks for bringing that up .

Actually, the planning is going really well. I found an awesome spot and we're going to come in WAY under budget .
PapayaVagina is offline  
#8 of 19 Old 03-27-2005, 06:24 AM
 
liawbh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: got the boo-less blues
Posts: 2,805
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ooh, I loove under-budget :LOL
We had a great place for our wedding too, and just in time, as they raised the rates and switched to in-house catering two months later.
liawbh is offline  
#9 of 19 Old 03-27-2005, 10:46 AM
 
tboroson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Honalee
Posts: 6,187
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I've rented plates and stuff, they didn't expect me to wash it all, just scrape it off and put it back in the crates and the crates in the huge bags. After all, they would have to rewash it all anyway - they can't count on you doing that well of a job, from a liability perspective. At least for that reason, I'd check with the rental company.
tboroson is offline  
#10 of 19 Old 03-27-2005, 11:43 PM
 
PikkuMyy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: hmmm
Posts: 7,271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I second Tara's suggestion to check with the company about their washing policy (spread them out on the lawn and hose 'em off before putting them back in the crates!)

And then my second solution would also be recycled paper plates and napkins, and compostable utensils (which are washable and reusable, BTW.) If you do a search on google, there are quite a few different brands, some made from different materials, in different styles. I bought some years ago and I'm still using them. but when I bring them with me on a trip, etc. I don't have to feel at all guilty about throwing them out. And neither will you! You can buy them and the paper stuff in bulk as well, and save money. Might I also suggest compostable garbage bags for cleanup afterwards?

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
PikkuMyy is offline  
#11 of 19 Old 03-28-2005, 03:32 PM
 
Throkmorton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: The sunny beaches of Canada
Posts: 4,043
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, the place that rents dishes here does not expect you to wash them, just give them a quick scrape and pout them back in the crates. They have huge dishwashers and wash them when they come back.
Of course, after that I went to Ikea and discovered that their basic plates are cheaper than renting from the local company, so I was kicking myself for not buying a couple cases of plates from there, and simply giving everyone I knew a place setting for 10 after the wedding. If you have an Ikea nearby, the basic plates appear to be 50c US each. Granted, you have to wash them, but you will never run out of dishes at another family gathering.
Throkmorton is offline  
#12 of 19 Old 03-29-2005, 04:45 AM
 
Ruthla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 43,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by PapayaVagina
I'm just feeling guilty because I want our reception style, food, etc. to be representative of our lifestyle which is really important to us. It's difficult for me to justify purchasing plastic products to throw away when that is something I would never do for myself.
OK, so you DO have an emotional attachment to "not using sposies" for the wedding- the same way I wanted real silk on my wedding dress and no polyester for the lining (I ended up with rayon) because I knew the difference between silk and polyester and I couldn't feel like a princess in polyester (even if it was in the lining that nobody could see.)

If you're under budget so far, then why don't you go ahead and rent the plates? Or buy inexpensive plates and hire somebody to wash them at the reception?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
Ruthla is offline  
#13 of 19 Old 03-29-2005, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
PapayaVagina's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Pretreating stains
Posts: 1,131
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks to everybody for your advice. I had no idea that rental places only required a rinsing. I'd never even thought about that . I think in the end we're going to do a combo maybe some recycled easily biodegrable plates/cups and rent some silverware .
PapayaVagina is offline  
#14 of 19 Old 04-12-2005, 07:55 PM
 
shaper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Ontario, far from home!
Posts: 194
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When we got married last year, we went down to the thrift store and bought a whole bunch of pretty plates & silverware & teacups for like 25c each and just re-donated them when we were done! of course our wedding was small (22 people) and we didn't need/want everything to match. Just a thought

 

shaper is offline  
#15 of 19 Old 04-18-2005, 06:56 PM
 
yitlan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: NM
Posts: 1,988
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, most rental places expect a sraping, so check into that.

For my reception, I scoured thrift stores for a punch bowl and glasses. They didn't all match, but that didn't matter to me.

We had paper plates and napkins for the appetizers I provided before the caterer arrived. I bought them all from Seventh Generation and made nice signs gently requesting everyone please re-use their items so as create the least amount of waste possible. I also had plastic cups, which weren't idea, but I did try to minimize waste with those, too, with the signs.

I was worried about asking this of people, but, I figured: it's my wedding and my friends can't be THAT surprised that I'd ask that of them. And I had several people take a look at how they were worded to make sure I wasn't offensive in my "request."

Congratulations! You can definitely work your values into your Big Day! And can I ask about your username?

Zia+Lane+Sonora=Mi Vida Loca! :
yitlan is offline  
#16 of 19 Old 05-01-2005, 10:05 AM
 
EmsMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
I was also going to make the suggestion about thrift store dishes and silverware. Buy, use, wash and re-donate. Frugal, sustainable and supporting a worthy cause. I also second the suggestion to hire a couple of teenagers to wash the dishes.
EmsMom is offline  
#17 of 19 Old 05-01-2005, 05:50 PM
 
yitlan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: NM
Posts: 1,988
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just went to a small wedding yesterday and wanted to remind you about BORROWING! I lent the bride my punch bowl and cups (thrift store finds) and plastic bins for sorting dishes, utensils, etc. They opted to rent serving ware. See what people already have (and barely use): cake stands, table cloths, cake servers, punch bowls and more.

Zia+Lane+Sonora=Mi Vida Loca! :
yitlan is offline  
#18 of 19 Old 05-01-2005, 09:08 PM
 
Clarity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 4,409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
we rented, and did pretty well budget wise by picking up and dropping off ourselves to the rental place. I cut corners other places and used real dishes - it's just what we preferred. I would use plastic cups before plates or silverware from a usefulness perspective.
Clarity is offline  
#19 of 19 Old 05-15-2005, 01:30 AM
 
DahliaRW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Near the beautiful Cascades!
Posts: 6,584
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Throkmorton
after that I went to Ikea and discovered that their basic plates are cheaper than renting from the local company, so I was kicking myself for not buying a couple cases of plates from there, and simply giving everyone I knew a place setting for 10 after the wedding.
:LOL You could always make the plates the wedding favors! JK.

But it is expensive to rent. We ended up doing the "wasteful" thing with plastic plates from Sam's Club. But it works and it is a one time thing (well for us atleast). I understand that you want your wedding to represent your lifestyle, though. Good luck finding out what to use. I wish I was more help!

Happily married to my dh, mama to ds1 (01/2005), ds2 (07/2007)  and dd (07/2009).
DahliaRW is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off