Wednesday, February 5, 2014

We swoon when couples incorporate the charm of vintage eras in their wedding décor. One of our favorite wedding DIY’s is one that just takes a little patience and perseverance! Mismatched vintage dishes have been showing up in wedding place settings and every time we see it our hearts go pitter patter. Using mismatched dishes with different colors and patterns for your wedding is beautifully unique, because no two thrifted collections could ever be exactly the same. The advantage of using mismatched dishes goes beyond charm too— it can save up to half of the cost of renting dishes!

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If you do decide that the input of time and energy in thrifting your wedding dishes is worth it for you, here are five essential tips to creating the perfect collection:

1. Start early: As they say, the early bird gets the worm! It will take time and patience to amass a collection of thrifted wedding dishes. Count up how many dinner plates you will need, and chargers too if you decide to have both, as well as dessert plates. Mismatched vintage glassware can also be a beautiful addition to your table settings. Start your search up to 9 months in advance, that way you can slowly collect what you need without any last minute anxiety, and clearly label every box or container along the way so you remember what you have.

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2. Create color or thematic rules: Even a collection of mismatched dishes should be unified by a central organizing element of some kind to tie them together, so you don’t veer from sweet DIY whimsy to hodge podge chaos! Take cues from the look and feel of your wedding for the appropriate design motif. Perhaps you will search for any patterns with colors that fit with your wedding, look for floral or bird motifs, or pick up dishes with the same embellishments, like gold rims. Victorian floral patterns work well for a garden wedding or rustic affair, while a 60’s retro look fits with a mod wedding.

3. Make it fun: Thrifting your wedding dishes should be one of the most fun DIY’s you do! Turn every search at the Goodwill, Salvation Army, local flea market, or estate sales into a fun excursion. Grab a coffee and recruit your fiancé, friends, or bridesmaids to search for vintage gems with you on a weekend afternoon.

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4. Be cost-conscious: If part of the reason you’re choosing to source your mismatched plates from thrift stores is to save on costs, be sure to have a per-plate budget in mind. Research the price of renting a plate, and then decide on a per-plate cost you’re happy with. Then when you score a major deal on one set, you can splurge on a really special find! Most thrift stores have sale days, so make a note of those! And keep in mind that you will often pay less for dishes that are no longer in complete sets. 

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5. Buy the silverware: Plates and cups are one thing, but thrifted silverware? First, it can be a little more time intensive to find good pieces. Second, we’re not sure you can scrub the rust and crustiness in between the fork tines off, so just buy a new set on the cheap (there are even disposable cutlery sets that look like silver)!

Remember, patience is a virtue when it comes to thrifting vintage dishes for your wedding. If you only want to showcase a few vintage plate finds, try this cute cake stand DIY that would be perfect for a pie table. Happy thrifting!


  • Great ideas and beautiful photos! Enjoyed reading this :)

    Posted on February 6, 2014

  • Great information<3

    Posted on February 6, 2014

  • great idea! i also think it would be nice just for your own personal china! got some thrifting to do.

    Posted on February 7, 2014

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