Post # 1
Earlier this month, one of my friends from grad school invited FI and I to her wedding which is to take place later this year. The invitation reads along the lines of, “we would love to have you at our ceremony on X date with potluck reception to follow.” I’ve never been to a potluck reception. It’s not usually done in my culture and truthfully, considered taboo. I’m wondering what is the usual routine or etiquette when it comes to a potluck reception?
Honestly, FI is a bit insulted and thinks we shouldn’t have to bring food if we are already gifting the couple. I’m actually ok with the idea of bringing food but the problem is the wedding is out of state for us so it may be a bit of a hassle to bring something with us (we fly in the day of the wedding). I’m worried, if we don’t bring food, will there be enough for everyone to eat?
Post # 3
You could check with your friend to see if there is a certain type of food they’re having and then if it’s really casual bring some pre-prepared stuff from a deli or something?
Post # 4
Honestly, unless this was one of my absolute best friends, I would decline an invitation to a potluck wedding, especially if I was flying in from OOT. Also, I’m pretty sure when you contribute to a potluck wedding reception, that is considered your gift, you don’t need to bring an additional gift.
Post # 5
I don’t think that it’s terrible etiquette wise; a lot of bees suggest it on here to people who are really worried about not being able to pay for a wedding but want to celebrate with their friends and family.
That being said, I definitely think that contributing food counts for part or all of your gift. Depending on what you take, I would reduce the gift I gave accordingly.
Post # 6
we would love to have you at our ceremony on X date with potluck reception to follow
from this i wouldnt read it as you have to bring food, i get the impression the dinner provided will be low key/informal – but then again, we dont have potlucks down here
i would ask the bride to clarify the situation to be honest
Post # 7
I would think out-of-state guests could be cut a little slack in terms of bringing food. With pot-luck receptions, guests bring enough to feed 10 or so people, not all the guests. And one can always grab a fruit or cheese tray on the way there. However, I would also consider any food I would bring to be a sizable portion of the wedding gift.
I think we may be seeing more of this kind of reception in the near future. With ours -we are asking for no gifts but IF guests would like to bring a dish to our day-after pig roast, it is appreciated.
Believe it or not, it used to be when most “common folk” got married, men wore a new or their best suit and women wore their best or new dress. Vows were exchanged and ta da – done! Maybe a meal was served afterwards but more often it was punch and cake.
Post # 8
I went to a potluck reception once, but I didn’t bring food There was plenty of food to go around anyway, like any other potluck. I would just check in with your friend. Chances are, she’s thrilled that you’re able to make it and won’t mind that you can’t get a dish on your way to the wedding from the airport.
Post # 9
I don’t think you need to go overboard. Pickup a veggie or cheese or deli meat tray from a supermarket on the way over to the reception. I think it’s totally okay to give a smaller gift since you’re bringing food. Most likely this couple is on a really tight budget and trying to celebrate with family and friends.
Post # 10
i think the way the invite is written is confusing.
1. it can mean that you don’t have to bring food but the meal will be informal potluck-style and provided by close family.
2. or it can mean that it is potluck and everyone should bring something but there should be additional information saying something like: “if your last name starts with a-f, please bring a salad…” to make sure that everyone will show up with potato salad and it should probably say something about your dish should be provided in lieu of a gift or something like your dish is our present.
in any case, i think it is a good idea to contact the bride and ask for clarification. maybe you can email her and ask what type of food she will be serving so that you can bring something to complement the other dishes or if there was an offiicial sign up list somewhere.
Post # 11
I would ask her, or a bridesmaid or her mother. If someone wanted me to fly to their wedding, get them a gift, AND bring food… I’d decline. Potluck contributions in town are one thing, but you’re already flying, getting a hotel, renting a car (presumably). Where the heck are you supposed to be cooking this potluck dish?
I’m usually not a stickler for etiquette, but this seems super presumptuous.
Post # 12
Huh…. can’t say I’ve ever been to this kind of wedding. It is interesting, although I wouldn’t say “taboo”. Honestly when it comes to weddings these days I wouldn’t consider too much taboo anymore. They’ve become so personalized that anything goes as long as it works for the couple! I would expect, however, that your friend would be anticipating the food you bring to cut down on the gift they receive, to appease your fiancee. I would anyway. I certainly wouldn’t expect my friends to pay to fly in, stay overnight, feed my guests, AND get me my best China on my registry. Honestly if I were to have a potluck wedding (which I wouldn’t because I’m old-fashioned) I wouldn’t be expecting gifts at all. So in this instance, feel free to WOW the guests with an old family recipe and get something small for their gift! Or vice versa – which ever works best. She’ll be happy either way. 🙂
Post # 13
I don’t think she expects you to bring anything.Sounds like a heads up as the type of meal they are providing.
Post # 14
Thanks for all the input ladies! I don’t mind attending the potluck. It would be my first and sounds a bit fun. It’s just that with us flying in that day it would have been a bit of a hassle to bring food as we can’t cook anything before hand and don’t know the area at all. Trying to navigate to find a deli is more than what my FI wants to do. I also didn’t know the part about the food being a part of the gift as the bride has asked for contributions to her honeymoon and house renovation funds in lieu of gifts so thank you for that. I think I’ll give her a call next week to let her know that I probably can’t bring anything so hopefully she will understand.
Post # 15
I’m having a potluck reception myself in about a week, and while you definitely would want to clarify with the bride, I am most emphatically NOT expecting anyone who flies in from out of town to bring anything. What are they going to do? Cook in their hotel rooom? Nope. No, we did a sign up list online and since the vast majority of the guests are family and friends who’ve known at least one of us for years and years, it hasn’t been an issue. Also, you have to take into consideration the culture where you are. I was nervous about potluck, but then I had heard from other people who had been to that kind of reception and they said it was really fun. Plus, food you make yourself is ALWAYS better than catered food. It tastes way better. Also, a lot of people I know are used to potluck style dinners like at church functions and whatnot, so it’s not like it’s a foreign concept.
Post # 16
Just because it says potluck reception to follow, doesn’t mean you have to bring a dish. She might just be informing you that it’ll be low key and family catered: not professionally catered. Since you are not a close relative and oot, I don’t believe she expects you to bring something. If in doubt, you could call and clear things up. But I don’t think she would trouble you like that.