(Closed) Is it tacky to ask people to bring their own food?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2400 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@JaineyLou:  Oh you might get alot of flack for this. haha Just be aware. Personally, I LOVE pot luck weddings(:

Post # 4
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Personally, I’ve never heard of a potluck wedding. However, if it’s just close family and friends that know you both really well, I think that’s okay since I’m assuming it’s a casual wedding. It’s not that much different from the brides that have a 100% DIY wedding and it’s like the cousin bakes a cake and mom makes all the entrees. I wouldn’t phrase it like a potluck wedding but I would approach those nearest and dearest to you and say you need help with food and refreshments for the wedding and see what they can do.

I wouldn’t expect an additional gift from them, or at least nothing extravagant.


Post # 5
3210 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@JaineyLou:  are you having a casual potluck dinner? If your wedding was presented as a lowkey backyard potluck, I’d be suprised if attendees thought it would be tacky.

…but if you have a one carat diamond on your hand, a swanky designer dress, etc, then yes, I’d be irrate and think asking me to bring food was tacky.


Post # 6
8041 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

My knee jerk reaction is that yes, it’s tacky, but it’s probably also the smart thing to do if money is an issue. I think as long as you make it clear beforehand and give plenty of notice, people should be ok. You know your friends best. If they won’t turn their nose up at it, then go for it. I would maybe consider making it slightly more organized than your typical potluck, though. Maybe coordinate it a little bit so you don’t get five people bringing chicken wings (that happened at my last office potluck lol).

Post # 8
633 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I would not be opposed to a pot-luck wedding, as long as it’s organized. I hate any event where everyone just brings whatever they want…always too much food and lots of the same thing. My family did a ‘everyone bring dessert’ Christmas dinner last year, and everyone only wanted 2 of the desserts, so there was all this other stuff leftover, and nobody touched ours. SUCH a waste.

But yeah, as long as you think your family wouldn’t be snobbish about it, and everything is kept fairly casual, it woudn’t be bad.

Post # 9
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I think it kind of goes against the entire idea of a reception, which is to recieve your guests.  At the root of the word and the custom, you’re (since you’re the host, or the one throwing the party) are supposed to be welcoming them to your celebration, and it’s not very welcoming to expect guests to bring their own food.  

Works great for a birthday party or Superbowl-watching or work celebration, but really not consistent with my tastes for a wedding. Especially not if you will be expecting gifts (so if you do decide to go through with this, be absolutely clear that any dish a guest brings IS their gift) or spending a lot of money on clothing, a DJ, or such. (This last comment is not to say that people who do pot-luck weddings don’t deserve to have nice weddings; it’s meant that if you’re choosing the fancy dress over feeding your guests, then your priorities are wrong.)

Post # 10
2390 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

It’s not tacky, it’s rude.  You are hosting the party, which means providing whatever there is to eat and drink.  If it’s pizza, BBQ, or cake and punch that’s totally fine!  It doesn’t have to cost a lot.  But it is a thank you to the guests for attending the wedding.  

Also the logistics of it can be a headache.

Post # 11
2286 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Central Park

My mom’s wedding was pot-luck but that wasn’t uncommon in the 1970’s. I think a potluck backyard wedding would be awesome!

Post # 12
2437 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@JaineyLou:  I think if you are having a casual wedding with few guests a potluck is perfectly acceptable.  🙂

Post # 13
2550 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@JaineyLou:  I think it’s okay so long as it’s handled appropriately. We are eloping and doing a super low key BBQ fiesta at a park afterwards with maybe 40 ppl. We specifically had family offer to bring food though, we didn’t have to ask most people. We also are not requiring everyone to bring food, just whomever volunteers. THat at least helps majorly with the out of town guests, ppl busy with kids, and people that I know cannot cook a good meal to save their lives. We are hosting the main meat dishes from the BBQ for a taco bar & the sides and desserts are potluck. Then your at least hosting a  little bit. If your serious you should checkout Perfectpotluck.com – you can setup an event & it creates a sign-up sheet you can distribute to everyone so they can put what they are bringing in each category. 


Post # 14
3256 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@JaineyLou:  I’ve heard of it.  People do it.  Be aware that, the more you ask of people, the less some people will give with their gift.  That shouldn’t be a motivation for what you plan, but you might get a few people who think “well I’m helping feed everyone so I guess that counts as a gift.”  Just know that so you aren’t disappointed/hurt when some people give smaller gifts, or no gift.

Post # 15
2555 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

instead of asking each guest, why don’t you ask your closest friends and family member? each person could cook for, say, 5 people easily.

Post # 16
490 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

I think it would depend on who you’re asking. If my brother asked me to contribute to his potluck wedding, I wouldn’t think twice. If a friend or family member I’m not particularly close to requested that, I would definitely be put off.

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