A charger plate is a large decorative plate that acts as a base for other dinnerware. Often made of pearl, crystal, or even wood, these plates are not safe for food service and are a staple at weddings, corporate events, and banquets. Besides their aesthetic value, these elegant plates also offer practicality and versatility.
They Protect Your Tableware
Charger plates add a decorative element to tablescapes while preserving the integrity of the dining tables they are placed on. They also serve several practical purposes, including catching pieces of food, preventing spills and messes from staining the tablecloth or flowing onto other dishes, and helping retain the heat of dinnerware.
Whether your event is a formal dinner for 20 or an intimate family gathering, using charger plates can make a dramatic difference to the overall aesthetic of the tablescape. Plate chargers come in various colors, sizes, and materials, from glass and porcelain to wood and rattan. Some even feature a pattern that ties the entire look together; others are neutral enough to work with any style.
Plate chargers also create a clear boundary between the guest dining space and other tableware, eliminating clutter for streamlined service and allowing servers to find the appropriate place for each piece of dinnerware easily. They can also be a thermal barrier, keeping food warm for extended meals with multiple courses.
To ensure that your charger plates fit seamlessly with the rest of the dinnerware, choose a color and texture that complements the colors in the tablecloth, napkins, centerpiece floral arrangements, and other decorative elements.
They Add Elegance to Your Tablescape
Charger plates add elegance and sophistication to your dining tables that cannot be achieved with simple place settings alone. They’re a popular choice for weddings, high-end catered events, and elegant restaurants but can also elevate a dinner party or family gathering. Whether you choose decorative chargers with intricate details, interesting shapes, or shimmering metallic finishes, these unique plate accessories offer endless possibilities to complement the theme and décor of your event or meal.
In addition to elevating the look of your dining table, charger plates serve a practical purpose by helping to protect the expensive tablecloth from food crumbs and spills. They’re typically placed underneath the diner plate and can help prevent these items from falling onto your beautiful table linens during the meal.
Dressing your table with charger plates is easy and can be done before guests arrive. Place them in between the arranged flatware and below the beverage glasses. You can set the soup bowls, salad plates, and dinner entrees on the charger plate when your guests are seated. Once your guests have finished their main course, the plates should be removed from the charger plates and cleaned. They can then be returned to the table with dessert or other special items on top to complete the ambiance of your dinner table.
They Are Versatile
Charger plates are one of the most versatile additions to your tableware and can be used in several ways. They’re available in various designs, styles, and colors to coordinate with the theme or color of your event or dinner. They can even be used as a centerpiece base and highlight decorative accents like mini pumpkins, seashells, or personalized place cards.
Often larger than dinner plates, chargers are made from porcelain or metal but can also be found in glass, plastic, and natural materials like wood or rattan. They’re available in various lengths/diameters and colors, making them suitable for virtually any table linens or dinnerware style.
When layered underneath a regular plate, chargers protect your tablecloth from food crumbs and spills while ensuring your guests’ hassle-free dining experience. They’re particularly useful when serving seated meals because they prevent your table from looking bare and allow you to designate a specific course for each plate. However, you can also use them at buffets or family-style events by placing them on each table before the meal begins and removing them as each course is served. This ensures that your guests don’t forget their plates and helps maintain the ambiance of your event and dining experience.
They Are Affordable
Most people have seen a charger plate on the table at a fancy restaurant, wedding reception, or another formal event. They serve two purposes – they elevate the tablescape decor and provide a protective layer underneath regular dinner plates. This prevents food crumbs, spills, and other debris from contacting the expensive tablecloth, causing damage or making it dirty.
Charger plates are available in various materials, colors, and designs to complement or enhance any tableware set. They are typically larger than dinner plates and soup or salad bowls. They add size and depth to a tablescape, creating an elegant foundation for artistic food presentations and other centerpiece decorations. They are also an excellent option for banquets, catered events, and other upscale dining settings where you want to make guests feel special and enhance the ambiance of the dining experience. Although they are not as common as once, charger plates still play a significant role in fine dining and upscale catered events, such as weddings, anniversaries, corporate dinners, and bar mitzvahs. These plates are a classic staple for these events and can be easily incorporated into everyday home dining.