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What's a Plate Charger?

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Gold Plate Charger

Gold Plate Charger

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Question: What's a Plate Charger?
What's a plate charger and when it is used?
Answer: A plate charger is a tabletop accessory that is used as part of the place setting. Think of it as an elegant tray that is placed under the dinner plate for style rather than function. Sized slightly larger, the finish or color of the charger plate frames the dinnerware and enhances the table setting.

Originally used more with wedding meal settings, plate chargers are quickly becoming an economical way to add glamor, elegance and shine to a dinner table. Using festive and colorful plate chargers for holidays or other events adds a seasonal flair to an otherwise plain table. Festive plate chargers are also easier to store than a full festive dinnerware set.

Although it's the charger finish that usually compliments a table setting, you can now find dinnerware sets that have plate chargers included with the setting. In this case, the plate charger is the same finish as the dinnerware, but it still adds a certain elegance much like a saucer adds to a cup on a formal dinner table.

Plate chargers are available in a variety of materials and colors including poly or acrylic, metallic and porcelain. Although round chargers are more common, you can find various styles and designs in the marketplace. Not all plate chargers are dishwasher safe so you should confirm before buying.

Other uses for plate chargers include:
  • Single candle or candle grouping tray
  • Under a floral centerpiece - a metallic charger adds reflection and elegance
  • Tray to support a disposable plate
  • Festive serving plate or candy dish
  • A tray for nuts and crackers
  • Base for small table ornaments or decorations
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