I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this idea. Renting dishes that are exactly the same (see: white; plain; boring; impersonal) for a wedding seems so yesteryear to me. Sure, it’s probably the easiest thing to do, and I can see why lots of brides will go this route in attempt to cross one more thing off their to-do list. But if you have time to exact the project of mixing vintage dishes for your wedding guests to nosh from, do it. Trust me. I don’t mean to be bossy, but you’ll thank me later.
First off, think of how much fun this project could be! There are thrift stores, consignment shops, and antique outlets a plenty where you could pick-up orphan dishes who’ve been separated from their porcelain families. Don’t forget about Craiglist too. While they weren’t dishes, I once picked up a box of maybe 20 picture frames from a guy for $15. He just wanted to get rid of them, and I’d venture to guess there’s someone on there hocking old dishes too. I know I’ve seen them on Ebay, but you run the risk of things breaking in transit if your seller doesn’t package things properly. If I saw a dish or two that I couldn’t live without on Ebay though, I’d go for it. Another idea: ask your friends and family if they have any mismatched dishes they’d like to offload on you. You know Aunt Millie probably has a box of something stored in her basement that she’s been holding onto but doesn’t know what to do with.
I love this idea for color too. Imagine this: a very plain backdrop, or even all white flowers, with color coming from the melange of old school dishes upon the tabletops. It’s brilliant, and could end up saving you quite a bit of money in decor as well. This is also a place where you can impart a bit of your own personality and taste. If you find a fantastic set of teacups, for instance, think about having an after dinner tea or coffee for your guests to highlight your finds. Serving your all white wedding cake on a colorful plate will allow it to pop. Plus, you eat with your eyes first, so taking in the whimsical colors and prints on your dishes will surely put your guests in a charming mood.
Start your collecting early on so you have enough dishes to mix together for your tables. And if you’re hard-up for time, ask you friends if they’d like to be a part of your hunt. You’d be surprised how much awesome stuff is out there just waiting for a new home. And that’s the great part: when your wedding is over, and you’ve returned the linens to their rightful rental company, you can take these dishes home with you. Better yet: send everyone home with a piece of china as their thank you for attending.