Chargers plates bring practicality and style to classy dinner settings—transforming and protecting your tabletop in your own unique way. But if you’re not familiar with how to use charger plates, you probably have some questions! We’ll show you how to use charger plates and more in our simple guide.
What is a Charger Plate?
At formal events, a charger plate is placed under the plates and bowls used to serve each course of the meal. Chargers plates are not intended to come in contact with the food that will be eaten. Their purpose is to add to the visual effect of your table, allow servers to easily replace the bowls and plates held on the charger and prevent stains and damage to your linens by catching food and spills!
How to Use Charger Plates
As with any piece of a formal event, there are guidelines for how to use charger plates correctly.
- Unify your theme with charger plates. Charger plates come in a variety of materials, shapes, colors and sizes to match your style.
- Pick charger plates that match the atmosphere of your dining experience. Consider the location, linens, decorations, silverware, glasses and formality of the event as you choose.
- When designing your table, the charger plate is placed on the table in front of the guest’s seat—between the flatware, below the drinking glass and one inch from the edge of the table.
- Set menu cards and napkins with napkin rings on the charger plate before guests arrive. Your guests will definitely be impressed!
- When the food is served, the bowls and plates go directly on top of the charger plate. Entrées occasionally replace the charger plate but are usually placed on the charger plate.
- Chargers are not used with the dessert plate.
- Servers can either replace or wipe the charger plate clean in between each course to preserve the neat and clean appearance.
*Pro Tip* - Use charger plates as a colorful base for floral centerpieces, as a base for candle arrangements or as a tray for small appetizers or sweet treats. But unless the charger plate is food safe, always place a napkin or linen on the plate when serving food.
Charger Plate Extras!
Charger plates actually come in handy for more than just visuals and stain prevention.
- Use charger plates to hold the dining tablecloth in place, effectively remove wrinkles and create a firmer foundation for other decorations.
- Have a minor imperfection in your table or tablecloth? Place your charger plate strategically, and no one will notice!
Now that you know how to use charger plates, your next formal dinner will have an extra special touch that takes your event from great to awesome!