A Wedding Needs These Many Plates For The Reception

How Many Plates Do You Need for a Wedding?

Planning for your wedding includes the process of creating a wedding guest list, which is a challenging task that you must complete before your big day.

While this allows you to determine the expected number of people attending your wedding, knowing how many plates you need for the reception is different.

Some plates may break during the event, or more people may come than you expect. To avoid possible mistakes on your wedding day, here is a guide to help you out.

How many plates do you need for a wedding? If you plan to host a buffet, prepare for two to three plates per guest. Having 100 guests requires 300 plates, while those who expect 150 guests need to prepare 450 plates. On the other hand, those who expect 200 guests need about 600 plates.

In this article, I will talk more about these estimates and provide a separate estimate of how many dessert plates you need for a wedding.

Aside from that, you will learn how to calculate the number of disposable plates you must purchase when staging an outdoor wedding.

Estimating How Many Plates You Need for a Wedding

It can be tricky to estimate how many plates to buy or rent for an event, especially a wedding.

People want to have sufficient plates to use during such an important event, and no one wants to go wrong on their big day.

For others, the correct estimate will allow them to save money on renting or buying plates that they won’t end up using.

To avoid mistakes during your wedding, check out the following tips.

Buffet Reception

If you plan to host a buffet at your wedding reception, you must prepare more plates than your number of guests.

It would help if you considered how many times a guest may go back for seconds, as well as the number of plates you need for desserts.

While other guests may use one plate to get their meal and dessert, you can’t expect all your guests to do so.

A person may use two to three plates. Consider the number of times your guest might return to the buffet table to get seconds.

If you multiply these numbers by the number of guests you are planning to invite, you will get the possible estimate of how many plates you need for a wedding.

For example, if you are planning to invite 100 guests, prepare about 300 plates.

For 150 guests, you must prepare 450 plates. On the other hand, inviting 200 guests requires 600 plates.

For an in-depth calculation, you can also speak to your caterer about how many plates they usually prepare based on the number of guests you have.

However, it is best to know how to estimate the tableware you need for your wedding to avoid paying extra.

You never know; maybe the caterer wants you to pay more than what you need to pay.

Dessert Plates

While calculating the number of plates for a buffet is easier, knowing the correct number of dessert plates can be challenging.

The reason is that the type of food you will be serving can affect whether or not you need dessert plates or small bowls instead.

If you are sure which desserts to serve (for example, you will be serving cake at your wedding reception), coming up with an estimate will be easier.

The suggested calculation on dessert plates is 1.25 plates for each person.

If you plan to invite 100 guests to your wedding, you should prepare about 125 dessert plates.

If you are expecting 150 guests to join the buffet, you should buy or rent about 188 dessert plates so that everyone can have their desserts on proper tableware.

On the other hand, inviting 300 guests requires about 375 dessert plates.

Disposable Plates for Outdoor Weddings

Disposable plates are much cheaper than ceramic or china plates. While paying for extra plates of this type won’t hurt your budget so much, buying more than you need is still a waste of money.

When staging an outdoor wedding, disposable plates are ideal, especially if you want less hassle after your wedding reception.

Plus, you don’t need to wash used paper plates. Just dump them directly into trash bins, and you’re all set.

If you plan to invite about 100 guests to your wedding, prepare two plates for each.

This means that you need to buy 200 paper plates to cater to the needs of your guests. On the other hand, if you consider 150 guests on your wedding day, you will want to purchase about 300 paper plates.

Couples with 300 individuals on their wedding guest list will need to prepare about 600 paper plates to ensure that all their guests have enough plates for their desserts.


Being hands-on during the planning stage of your wedding is a smart choice because you can be sure that things are done the way you want.

However, it can be a huge burden to carry for a single person alone.

If you have a wedding planner, allow them to do the job; then, you can sit back, relax, and wait for your big day.

However, for couples who want to know every detail of their wedding or those who want to cut costs, knowing how to estimate the number of plates needed for a wedding is a helpful skill.

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