Whether setting a wedding table or updating the tabletops at your restaurant, charger plates can add depth, dimension, and a personal touch to each place setting. Creatively using them will leave guests with a lasting impression of your dining experience.

Coordinate the colors and textures of your chargers with the other dinnerware, glassware, flatware, and linens.


So, what are charger plates used for? Charger plates can elevate a table setting to the next level when paired with the right dinnerware and decor elements. These decorative and functional pieces are typically larger than the dinner plates on top, creating a layering effect and adding visual interest to the tablescape. They also serve as a canvas for creativity, offering an array of color, pattern, and texture options to enhance the theme or ambiance of any occasion. 

By following proper charger plate etiquette and styling tips, hosts can navigate formal dining settings with grace and poise while creating a memorable dining experience for guests.

The material and texture of charger plates are essential when selecting the right ones for a particular event. For example, glass and porcelain chargers can create a sleek and sophisticated look, while metal chargers offer a contemporary feel. On the other hand, woven materials like wood or rattan provide a rustic and natural aesthetic, perfect for beach-themed events or bohemian-inspired themes.

When it comes to color, it’s essential to choose charger plates that complement the colors of the dinnerware and the overall theme or ambiance of the event. For instance, if you’re hosting a formal event, choosing charger plates in complementary shades of blue or gray will create a visually pleasing and coordinated look. For an added pop of color, try pairing them with a colorful centerpiece or floral arrangement.


Charger plates offer both aesthetic and functional value to tablescapes. They help preserve the surface of tables and tablecloths from being ruined by hot or cold dinnerware and retain heat to keep food at its optimal temperature. In addition, they enhance and elevate the look of the tableware and other decorative elements on a table, making them an essential component of any event design.

The materials, colors, and textures of charger plates offer limitless opportunities to bring the style and theme of a tablescape together. From woven rattan and bamboo to smooth glass and lustrous porcelain, a wide selection of options are available to suit any occasion or venue decor.

To create a visually cohesive and harmonious arrangement, choose a charger plate material that complements the color palette of the dinnerware. Complementary colors add elegance and sophistication while contrasting colors make a statement and enliven the table setting.

Another way to add texture and dimension to a table setting is through pattern play. Experiment with different patterns and designs on charger plates to create a striking visual experience for guests. Alternatively, choose charger plates with a monochromatic scheme for an elegant and timeless appearance.


A bohemian-inspired tablescape can make a massive statement with just a few carefully placed accents. For example, a floral print charger plate can add a pop of color that ties into the centerpiece and napkins. Or, a marble charger with a linear design can complement a neutral or monochromatic palette.

When a theme requires a more rustic look, try using woven or rattan charger plates. These organic textures bring a sense of nature to the table and work well for outdoor weddings and beach-inspired themes. Alternatively, use a textured plate that reflects the locale of your wedding. For example, azulejos—Portuguese tiles painted in blue and white—would be perfect for a wedding in Portugal.

Pair the charger plate with gold flatware and crystal glassware for a cohesive and visually stunning tablescape. However, remember that the charger plate should not come into direct contact with food, so it should be covered by a placemat or table linen and removed before dessert is served.

Although most brides think of charger plates as decorative elements, they can also serve a functional purpose. Adding them to the table can protect the surface from spills and stains and make it easier for guests to pick up their dinnerware. Additionally, chargers help prevent a plate from sliding off of the plate or getting stuck under it.


Whether your event is casual or formal, decorative charger plates are an integral element of the tablescape. These elegant accessories come in many designs, materials, and colors to perfectly match your theme, creating a pleasing and harmonious arrangement. For example, consider using a charger plate with a geometric design to complement the colors in your tablecloth and dinnerware. Or layering your charger plates by placing one with a contrasting color or texture underneath to create depth and dimension.

You can also use your charger plates as a canvas for decorative accents, such as floral centerpieces or pillar candles. The plates act as a base for these elements and help them stand out on the table, creating a beautiful display that will impress your guests. You can also add personalized touches, such as monogrammed chargers and engraved nameplates, to create a unique and memorable setting for your special occasion.


Incorporating charger plates into your event’s table settings is easy and fun, with endless possibilities for creating unique and captivating arrangements. Be sure to adhere to charger plate etiquette guidelines so that the plates do not come into contact with the food served and make it difficult for servers to replace them. When the main course is ready, remove the charger plates so your guests can enjoy their meal comfortably and in style.


Kenny is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheTalka. He launched the site in 2019.

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