Making a potluck wedding work?

posted 2 years ago in Food
Post # 2
Member
743 posts
Busy bee
  • 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 # 4
Member
42469 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think pot luck receptions only are acceptable and work for small family and very close friend weddings.

Post # 5
Member
2429 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

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
Member
743 posts
Busy bee
  • 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
Member
2150 posts
Buzzing bee

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
Member
175 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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
Member
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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
Member
6644 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

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
Member
3693 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

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
Member
2565 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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
Member
1737 posts
Bumble bee
  • 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 # 15
Member
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

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. 

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