How Much Does It Cost To Rent Dishware, Flatware, And Glassware For A Wedding

It’s surprising how quickly the costs can start to add up when planning your own wedding.

It can be confusing when trying to figure out just how much you should spend when it comes to renting dishware, flatware, and glassware. We’ve done all the hard work for you and worked out what the average cost of hiring these essentials is.

  • Dishware can cost anywhere between 40 to 85 cents a plate. Some of the cheapest options tend to be cream or white, whereas the more pricey options feature pearl white or plates with added decorations such as gold trim.
  • Flatware can cost anywhere between 35 cents to $1.10 per item. This will include your forks, knives, and spoons. Stainless steel is one of the cheapest options available. There are even more expensive options available if you want more decorated items such as those with a gold-brushed finish.
  • Glassware can cost anywhere between 40 cents to $1.50 per item. You will typically find that the more expensive choices are those which are crystal wine glasses or vintage glass goblets.

We’re going to break down the costs of most style choices that you may want at your wedding to give you a better idea of how much you will have to spend.

Dishware costs and choices

You’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of dishware. The information we’ve collated below covers the cost of several different rental companies to give you a better idea of how much each option will cost you on average. This should give you a ballpark estimate of what you can expect to pay to hire the different types of dishware for your wedding. 

Remember that prices will differ between companies as well as in different regions.

  • Standard white plates – 40 to 50 cents a plate
  • Standard cream plates – 75 cents a plate
  • Small side plates – 75 cents a plate
  • Dessert plates – 75 cents a plate
  • Pasta bowls – 75 cents a bowl
  • Soup bowls – 75 cents a bowl
  • Decorative plates – 85 cents a plate

Flatware costs and choices

Most people will opt for the basic stainless steel flatware for their wedding. However, you can also go for a fancier design if you so wish. These will include things such as premium utensils or utensils which have decorated finishes. However, you should bear in mind that these are often more expensive options. 

We’ve covered a couple of average prices for these options below to give you a better idea of what you can afford for your wedding.

  • Stainless steel dinner fork – 40 to 60 cents apiece
  • Stainless steel dinner knife – 40 to 60 cents apiece
  • Stainless steel dinner spoon – 40 to 60 cents apiece
  • Premium stainless steel dinner utensils – 65 cents apiece or more
  • Gold brushed or gold-plated dinner utensils – $1.10 apiece

Glassware costs and choices

There are even more options to choose from when it comes to glassware. The majority of your guests will opt for champagne, water, or wine glasses.

There may be the odd few who like to use a more specialty glass for a specialized drink, such as shooter glasses or old-fashioned glasses. These more specialized glasses will be better suited if you’re hiring a bar. 

Prices for glassware will typically range between the below figures.

  • Standard wine glasses – 40 cents a glass
  • Standard water glasses – 40 cents a glass
  • Old-fashioned glasses – 40 cents a glass
  • Highball glasses – 40 cents a glass
  • Pilsner glasses – 40 cents a glass
  • Shooter glasses – 40 cents a glass
  • Champagne glasses – 50 cents a glass
  • Stemless wine glasses – 55 cents a glass
  • Long stemmed wine glasses – 55 cents a glass
  • Brandy snifters – 75 cents a glass
  • Mason jars – 75 cents a glass
  • Vintage glasses – 85 cents to $1.50 a glass
  • Margarita glasses – $1 a glass

Additional costs to consider

Another factor you might not have considered is the delivery charge to get your dishware, flatware, and glassware to your venue or your home.

Before you sign any rental contracts, you should double check what this delivery charge will be. You should also ensure that you know when it will be delivered, as well as if the vendor expects a tip. If you want to cut out the cost of delivery, there may even be an option for you to collect the items yourself.

Remember that most companies place a requirement of a minimum number of items that need to be hired out at the same time. If you’re hoping to have a smaller gathering, renting out your own dishware, flatware, and glassware may not be the cheapest option because of this fact. There’s no point in hiring a load of items that you won’t use just to have a cheaper option. 

When it comes to renting out your items, you should ask what the minimum number is that you will need to hire. It will also be easier for you to hire everything from the same place because of this fact.

You may also have to have the items cleaned before you can return them. This will depend on the company. Other companies will ask you to place everything back in the supplied crates and they will clean it all for you. Make sure you ask before you rent your items so that you know what to expect.

Insurance doesn’t usually cover the items you hire. So if anything gets broken or lost, it will be down to you to replace them. It will be worth factoring in a couple of smashed plates or glasses into your budget just to be on the safe side.

How much should you spend on rentals?

So how do you choose which is the right amount of money to spend on your rentals? Should you opt for the more premium options or go for the basics? It will entirely depend on the wedding that you are planning as well as the budget you have to play with.

For weddings that are in your backyard, garden, or a casual wedding on the beach, then the basics will be perfect. Your guests won’t mind having something basic and practical so you can focus on spending more on other elements of your wedding.

You should only spend more money on the pricier options if you’re trying to plan an elegant, luxurious affair where all the little details will matter. In this case, you’re unlikely to be renting your dishware, flatware, and glassware from a third party vendor as your venue will likely supply them.

This being said, you shouldn’t spend more than you can comfortably afford. Your guests won’t mind using the basics just because you don’t want to spend extra on decorated items.

When should you rent dishware, flatware, and glassware?

When you start to choose your venue, you should ensure that you check if they supply these essentials for the big day. Most venues will supply all the dishware, flatware, and glassware you need. However, some may not, in which case you will need to go to a third party vendor.

If you’re having a more unconventional wedding or a backyard affair, chances are you’ll have to hire out your dishware, flatware, and glassware. It will also be best to arrange your rentals at least 2 months in advance if you are arranging everything yourself. 

If you’re getting married in one of the more popular months such as between April to June or September to October, then you will need to get the rentals organized at least 3 to 6 months in advance.

How to find a rental company

It will be important not to hire your items from the very first company that you stumble across. You should make sure to look at a number of different companies so that you can shop around in terms of prices. 

Make sure to look at the reviews left by other customers, too. If you can find a vendor based on the recommendation of a family member or friend, this will be even better, as you’ll know you can trust them.

Ask these questions when you’re trying to choose a rental company.

  • How much does it cost to hire each item?
  • Are you able to deliver?
  • Is there a delivery fee, and if so, how much is this?
  • Do you expect a tip?
  • Is there a minimum number of items that need to be hired?
  • What is the total cost of hiring the items including delivery and tax?

Alternative methods to renting dishware, flatware, and glassware

It’s worth bearing in mind that you can often buy these items for less than it costs to rent them out. Some stores such as Costco, IKEA, The Dollar Tree, and even online retailers such as Amazon will be able to sell you dishware, flatware, and glassware in bulk.

If you want to be super thrifty, you can even take a look at your local thrift stores to find a range of mismatched items for you to use. This may not be for everyone, but it can give your wedding a quirky edge.

Of course, you may not want to be lumbered with a whole load of dishes, utensils, and plates after your wedding. You can always sell these on to other couples hoping to get hitched and keep their costs down, which should help you to make back some of the money you spent on these items.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to rent table napkins?

Cloth napkins typically cost around $1 each to rent.

How much does it cost to rent table linens?

Table linens typically cost around $10 to $20 to rent for weddings. This cost will also be dependent on their size as well as the quality of the fabric.