(Closed) Potluck Reception?

posted 6 years ago in Food
Post # 3
Member
5075 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

no.  A reception is a party hosted by the bride and groom.  Guests should not have to bring anything or pay for anything.

I would not be pleased if I had to bring a dish to a wedding reception.

All guests should be invited to all parts of the wedding.    

  

Post # 4
Member
284 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

What were you thinking when you say “the dance”?  How long?  Are you planning on serving any food or beverages?  Also, very important – what time of day?  I think the timing is key if you do not plan on serving dinner.  I would definitely plan on serving some light appetizers or doing cake and punch.  Keep in mind, from what I have seen events where a full meal is not served are typically shorter.

Post # 6
Member
2335 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Normally, weddings are ordered ceremony, dinner, then dancing.  So are you planning on having everyone at the ceremony, kicking some out for dinner, and then having them back for dancing?

Also, dinner & dancing are part of the reception.  If you aren’t inviting everyone to the same things, it would be better to call the dancing part a “celebration.”

And finally, it would not be ok to have a potluck for the wedding reception.  Feed people what you can afford (light appetizers, only drinks, ect.) and don’t make them bring food. 

Post # 7
Member
3720 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

In some circles a potluck is totally okay. If your circle is like that, then I’d invite everyone to the dinner and make it clear that their covered dish is their gift.

Post # 8
Member
1114 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Inviting people to separate parts of the wedding is the norm in the UK, but it depends on your circle – have you ever been invited to just the ceremony and dance for someone else’s wedding?  Some people might be offended by this if it’s something they’ve not heard of before whereas here, no-one would bat an eyelid.

 

In terms of the potluck, try to spread the word about your plans and see how people feel about it.  It also depends on what kind of a do you’re having – people will be much happier to contribute a dish if you’re having people over to your back yard or the town hall or something than if you’re spending loads of money on hiring a lavish venue but not on feeding them.  As far as I’m concerned, a wedding is about getting people together to have fun and celebrate, and if feeding people potluck style is what it takes then most people would be more than happy to contribute (and if they’re not, clearly they’re less interested in celebrating and only in having some kind of ‘holiday’ for the day!).  Only you know your family and friends.  If you think they’d be cool with this then I say go ahead with it.

Post # 9
Member
3720 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Something you may want to consider is doing a cheap buffet– pasta with marinara and garlic bread is cheap and a few relatives could prep that for everyone the morning of the wedding.

Post # 11
Member
13013 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@GroovyHippieChick:  +1

You are expected to host all of your ceremony guests for a reception following the ceremony.  Asking people to bring food to your wedding reception is a big rude, and IMO, does come off as cheap. I would look into doing cheaper food, like pasta, cheese and cracker platters, vegetable trays with ranch, etc. 

Post # 12
Member
1114 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@lauramae89:  Perhaps you could talk to those immediate family members to see if they’d be happy to make several dishes to bring?  I’m not sure about the dynamics of your situation so it might not be feasible, but perhaps 20 or so close family members would be happy to share catering as your wedding gift?

Try to ignore the bashing.  I say etiquette be damned Wink

Post # 14
Member
5075 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

see, threads like this confuse the heck out of me.

If a potluck reception is the norm in your circle, why post and ask if it’s okay?  

Post # 15
Member
13013 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@clumsylawyer:  I like this idea, actually.  The moms, sisters, and maybe bridal party could help cook things up the day before the wedding.  Someone would just have to be available to heat everything up during the ceremony (Maybe a classmate wanting to make a few bucks?), but it’s more polite than asking your guests to bring their own food.

I don’t think people intend to bash ideas necessarily.  You can never tell tone from these posts, and people are trying to help.  So put on a thick skin and just take each post for what it’s worth – an opinion. 

ETA – Your last post about people “who drop 25k on weddings” is a bit offensive.  You asked for help on ettiquette and your particular situation, why criticize people who have higher budgets?

Post # 16
Member
19 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I completely understand the small budget, and food is definetly a HUGE expense.  Have you considered cutting your guest list down to just family and close friends?  I know you said that’s close to 150 people but serving some light oderves to 150 is a lot more managable than over 300.  Besides, your close friends and family are the ones that should understand your budget and limits the most and be the most supportive.  A lot of alternative weddings are doing potlucks so as long as YOU are comfortable asking that from your guests than go for it.  If your guests are offended then they’re offended and there’s not much you can do about it.  I wouldn’t go deeper into debt to try to fend off some snooty hurt feelings.  It’s your day and you should enjoy it without being stressed out with the huge load of cash your dropping.  I think in today’s times people will be understanding if you don’t want to take out an additional loan to feed them!  

Good luck!

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