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Not Just a Pretty Plate

As well as enhancing your place setting, decorative charger plates serve a purpose. Charger plates are used in fine dining to catch spills and help dishes such as soups to stay hot. They aren't designed to be eaten on as plates can contain decorative finishes and using cutlery on these delicate plates will cause damage to the surface. Instead, each course is served on a plate or bowl and then placed on top of the charger plate.

Pearl glass charger, oatmeal linen and gold cutlery hire from Party Squared, Essex. Stationery from Lottie Louise Designs
Pearl glass charger, oatmeal linen and gold cutlery from Party Squared with stationery from Lottie Louise Designs

Chargers remain in place for both the starter and main course and are then removed after diners have finished their main course.

If you are considering having chargers on your wedding guest tables, you won't be disappointed, they really do add something special to place settings, but there are some points to note. Here's five things you should know or consider when hiring charger plates for your wedding meal.

  1. Space

  2. Materials

  3. Transportation

  4. Rental terms

  5. Price

1) SPACE First up, is space. If space on your tables is limited and you have organised your seating plan to have the maximum number of wedding guests per table you may not have enough space for charger plates. Charger plates are around 33-35cm in diameter so you'll need to allow a little more space at each place setting, especially if you are having a setting with lots of cutlery and glassware per guest. A good rule of thumb is a maximum of 6 guests on a 5ft round, 8 on a 5ft 6" round and 10 on a 6ft round. If you are having banqueting style tables with guests on either side opt for 3ft wide tables to be sure you can comfortably accommodate charger plates on both sides.

Tableware hire Essex Green water glass hire gold cutlery hire
Gold rim charger, napkins, runners & green wine glasses available for hire from Party Squared based in Colchester, UK

2) MATERIALS Next is materials. Charger plates come in a range of materials including; glass, plastic, wood and ceramic. As materials vary so will the price. Expect to pay more for glass or ceramic charger plates, especially those that are hard to find or are exclusive to just a few hire companies based in the UK. The rarer the design, the more expensive they are likely to be. More popular plates such as beaded charger plates will be more readily available with event decor hire companies and therefore will have a more competitive price tag.


Transportation is the next consideration. Charger plates are tricky to pack and transport to and from your wedding venue. If you've ever moved house you'll have had the dilemma on how to pack crockery and glass items, well hiring crockery is no different. Glass chargers are heavy to lift out of the van and into the venue; they are extremely delicate and need specialist boxes or crates and careful packing to be transported safely. Expect to pay a separate delivery and collection fee which takes this into account and remember delivery fees will vary greatly based on the companies operating costs and proximity to your wedding venue.


Rental terms will vary from company to company however, charger plates will likely be hired as 'return dirty' and you may be charged an additional wash fee on top of the rental fee. This is usually because charger plates are hand wash only due to their delicate finishes. Although you won't need to wash the plates and return them clean for the next hire, you will need to ensure they are returned in the correct packing materials. For glass chargers this is usually a layer of bubble wrap between each plate to protect them getting damaged or broken during transportation.


Finally, there's cost to consider. When comparing pricing from wedding hire companies or decor rental businesses remember some companies will charge an additional wash fee and VAT if VAT registered. Usually plates hire for around £3 to £3.50 per plate, so factor this into your budget and remember you will also need to pay a delivery and collection charge and a refundable security deposit. The security deposit is a refundable charge, held for the duration of the hire period against items lost or damaged preventing future rentals.


I'd recommend trying out some different styles of charger plates to see which best suits the aesthetic you are looking for. Search out both local and national wedding and event rental companies who hold different textures and finishes; like my newest addition, the pearl glass charger, shown at the top of the page. You don't have to have beaded charger plates just because that is what you've seen at wedding fairs or open days! Look at the plates on option first hand, by visiting and mocking up a table with your chosen stylist.

Interested in the chargers shown in this post?

To view the glass charger plates available to hire from the Styling Collection as well as the rest of the props and styling accessories available for styling your UK wedding or event get in contact via the contact form and request a 45 minute styling consultation* at the Party Squared Prop Store based within Hills Self Storage in Colchester, Essex, UK.

*Consultations are currently priced at £30 at the time of writing.

Sourcing props and decor for your wedding doesn't have to be hard. If it all seems too time consuming or you can't find exactly what you are looking for please get in touch with a professional stylist. Stylists like myself will be happy to offer as little or as much help as you need to create your dream wedding. I offer a range of services to help clients achieve the aesthetic they desire, whether you have the concept or vision nailed or no idea on how to start!

To find out about my styling services, click here then begin a styling enquiry for your 2023/2024 wedding, here. For styling inspiration or ways to style props in the collection check out the ALL PROPS section of the website. or follow me on instagram and look at my inspirational wedding styling boards on Pinterest

Thank you, for reading my post. Comments and sharing are welcomed and encouraged.


Photography credit: and Party Squared

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