(Closed) Potluck for reception

posted 6 years ago in Food
Post # 3
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

This is tricky to think of because I am such a control freak who would want to know exactly who was bringing what, how much of it, and how can I be sure that enough people would follow through.

Instead of meal choices on the RSVP card, you could request that they write the name of the dish they are going to bring. That way you not only have a good idea of what you are getting (if all want to bring the same thing you can talk to them beforehand) but you can also display your RSVP cards in front of the dish to label the dish/use as decoration.

You should also make explicity clear on the invitation itself that is a potluck such as

“Potluck reception to follow”


“In lieu of gift, please bring your favorite dish to share”

This thread can also give you some ideas.

Best of luck!

Post # 4
428 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@CrazyCoffeeGeek:  Took  the words RIGHT out of my mouth! Very well explained and GREAT resoltution, I think.

Post # 5
5657 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2012

I’m not sure how you can “spice up” a potluck reception in to feeling like a special event instead of a get together.

As for organizing what people bring, could you or a tech savvy friend set up a website where guests could sign up for what they’re bringing? You could set it up so that there are a certain number of spots for salads, entrees, desserts, ect. That way you wouldn’t end up with 50 desserts and no actual dinner.

Post # 6
1798 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

To make sure you get enough food for a whole meal (sides, entrees, and desserts), maybe you should assign people a certain type of dish to bring. For example, on 1/3 of the initvation you can write, “Potluck reception to follow. Please bring your favorite side dish to share”. Then do the same for desserts and entrees.

Asking people to write down the dish they’re bringing may work. But I think a lot of people may forget what they wrote on the RSVP when they start trying to make something for the wedding.

Also, you and your family should provide as much food as you can to make sure there’s enough. Pasta is generally cheap and easy to store, so maybe you can make a few hearty pasta dishes. That should be enough to make sure no one leaves hungry.

Good luck!


Post # 7
1962 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would do what CrazyCoffeeGeek suggested and then set up the food buffet style. Based on what types of food people are bringing you could get some cute inexpensive trays, baskets, platters, etc. to put the food on.   

Post # 8
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@DeathByDesign:  Exactly what I was thinking.

If you can’t do that, the relatively lo-tech version would be to set up a Google Document open to all your guests.

No matter what you do about getting the food there — you are going to need a lot of hands on deck to handle storage, set-up, and heating. If you have such a sign-up sheet, you might also want to create some kind of task list or flow-chart for food drop-off and whatnot.

Post # 9
19 posts
  • Wedding: June 2012

For those wondering about keeping track, there are websites out there that you can use to create an electronic potluck signup (I used http://www.signupgenius.com). I had no idea! I put the link to it on our wedding website along with a little blurb about the potluck and people can supply the recipe so we can compile it into a book to distribute via electronic or hard copy form. Doing it this way allows you to put in what you need brought, how much of it, and any extra info, and then people can sign up and you know who is bringing what and how much. It’s easy!


As far as storage goes, that depends on your venue. For hot things – crock pots are your friend for sure, and for cold things it’s less of an issue unless it has to be refrigerated.  Does your venue have a kitchen facility or staff that can help set things out and rotate things out as they empty? You won’t have room for all the dishes out at once.


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