Post # 1
I have just recently had to spend a huge chunk of money that I was so not expecting to spend 5 months before our wedding, and that chunk of money equals what we were going to spend on catering. So I have decided to do a potluck wedding. I think I am going to ask people to bring a lot of the same thing so that we still have kind of the meal we want, just more variety of flavors! I think it will turn out okay, but does anyone have any advice on how to make a potluck dinner for 150 people the best it can be?
Post # 2
- Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse
WeddingTime18: why not have a cake and punch reception instead? It many not fit your ‘vision’ but it will likely fit your pocket book.
There’s so much to go wrong with a potluck wedding reception, including your guests being offended that they are picking up the cost for your event.
My suggestion would be to change the time of day and do cake/punch.
Post # 3
I thought about that, but I had so many friends offer to bring lots of food because they wanted me to have the dinner I wanted! I’m still thinkng about just offering finger foods, but I don’t think many people will even care so much about the food, there will be alchol lol! I guess I need to just price out some finger foods and think about something like that too.
Post # 4
I think pot luck receptions only are acceptable and work for small family and very close friend weddings.
Post # 5
LDay1983: I agree. Cake & punch reception is the way to go.
If I received a “potluck” reception invite, I would politely decline. There is nothing wrong with a “cake & punch” reception!
Post # 6
- Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse
WeddingTime18: good idea. Even some deli trays (hell, roll the meat yourself), veggies and dip, some fresh rolls, crackers, cheese…cake, punch DONE!
Post # 7
WeddingTime18: I think you need to provide food. Even if it is just hors dourves and desserts.
I am having close family make a dessert for my dessert buffet, but we are catering dinner.
Post # 8
If I received your invite i would whip out my pots and pans to help give a friend/family member the wedding that they want. Also I love potlucks, its always interesting to see what people bring, i always leave with new ideas.
However potluck weddings are not that uncommon where im from so I guess it could be different in other places.
Post # 9
WeddingTime18: Are you accepting food in lieu of gifts? Because that is the only appropriate way to ask guests to bring food to a wedding. I agree with PP that there are so many things that can go wrong. Potlucks are meant for neighborhood cookouts and community get-togethers. Guests shouldn’t be expected to feed themselves and other’s at your wedding. I don’t mean for this to sound snarky, just giving my honest thoughts.
Post # 10
Please don’t, potluck’s do not belong in a wedding setting and will end up being a nightmare. Between how to keep things hot to how to keep things from spoiling if need to be chilled.
Post # 11
A potluck for 150 people sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. I think they only work (depending on your definition) for smaller weddings.
Post # 12
I think if you can recruit your family and bridal party (but only if they are willing) to make things the day before that are easy to make in bulk (like lasagna, stuffed shells, salad, etc) it could work. Will you be able to refridgerate or heat up food at your venue? There is also a food safety issue if they cannot be stored at the proper temperature. Otherwise, nothing wrong with veggie/fruit trays and cake.
Post # 13
- Wedding: December 2014 - 13th ~ TN
WeddingTime18: The first time my brother got married my mom did just this (my parents paid for the wedding). It was not too hard. Mom, the bride’s mother, me and several of my aunts cooked. We only had to serve about 75 people, but there was plenty of food. If you are from a region where potluck is common for large gatherings, I do not see where this would be an issue.
Post # 14
Bookaholic: Yes potlucks are very common where I’m from! I didn’t realize they were so unusual in other places. I’ve actually only even been to one wedding in my town with a catered dinner. My wedding is super casual, like wear jeans and a t-shirt casual. I think it could work! I am getting lots of different ideas from other poseters though, so I have a lot to think about!
Post # 15
I went to a wedding this past fall that was catered by the brides “friends and family”. My entire family ended up sick. I was pregnant at the time and that was the only throwing up I had during my pregnancy. I was extremely annoyed the bride and groom jeopardized my family’s health. I would rather go to a finger food reception or a desserts only reception that I know is safe than do that again. I learned my lesson and will be much more observant for future weddings. There were signs this wedding was potluck but I was starving so I ate anyway.
If you can help it I wouldn’t recommend a potluck. For food safety it is actually very hard to do proper food handling. Doing a potluck for a few people would be fine at your house. You can control food temperatures more easily at home. Also there are fewer people making the food and fewer people to feed.
Is there another area of your budget you can trim back? Have you looked around or asked friends for suggestions of up and coming caterers? Have you talked to a caterer about giving a bare bones meal? I would at least get someone equipped to do the work and properly trained for food handling.