(Closed) potluck wedding?

posted 4 years ago in Food
Post # 121
268 posts
Helper bee

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weddingmaven :   OK, but it is in the public. Banns – are you familiar with it – the time and date of the marriage, the names, all this are announced. They are read at the church, they are announced at village council, they are posted in the papers.  The church is open to any, even stranger walking off the street. It is polite to send a notice to loved ones announcing marriage in case they live away and do not hear the banns, but the real invitation, like the one just for them and not for their friends or any one else they wish to bring, is for the party – if there is one. I myself have gone maybe 3 or 4 marriages in my life that I do not really know the family. 

However I am thankful to listen about the rules for etiquette. It is suprising how different it is. I really never heard of it, the party being to thanks for the ceremony. Like, when the Duchess of Cambridge had her marriage, she had wedding in the morning and only like half the number that went to the church were invited to the reception. Not to say any one is like the Queen of England. But they are two separate things to them and I always thought this is the case.   I really never heard of it being so “connected.”  I think I read this forum the wrong, when people post the party is to “thank guests” I thought it is to thank them for friendship, relationship. However now I realize they mean thanking for coming to the ceremony. It is such a strange idea to me. 

Post # 122
9755 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I’m late to the party but IMO pot lucks are gross no matter what the occasion. I don’t participate in those, ever. I also hate buffet restaurants too so maybe i’m just too big city fancy.

Furthermore, the thought of going to a wedding and eating food prepared by people I may or may not know is a huge no from me.

Post # 123
3050 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

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aprilbrandi15 :  yeah you’re right.

Wanting others to celebrate *you* but being unwilling to incur the cost and passing the burden onto others..doesn’t make for a classy event. I don’t care where you live! It’s a private wedding at her parents home, not a church social/picnic that was mutually agreed upon by its members…

Going with the “T”word here….

Post # 124
1253 posts
Bumble bee

OP- you said you wouldn’t require anyone to bring food- so what happens if no one does?

Or lots of people bring apps (like chips and salsa) because they don’t know the fridge/reheating situation at your house? 

Post # 125
390 posts
Helper bee

I went to a wonderful potluck wedding!

This couple had not nmuch money and the bride was new to our country, many had flown in. They were very religious.

So in our small parish community (we knew the man), the priest put it in the newsletter that all were invited, all were welcome, it was a pot luck and to bring whatever you can, and just say if it was savoury or sweet that you were bringing.

A lady of the parish had a friend who made the cake.

The flowers were done by the parish volunteers and paidd by the parish.

The tables and chairs and decor afterward were done by the volunteers in the parish. we had the whole hog, chair covers, head table, tablecloths, everything normal.

Everyone was so excited and many many people came. All brought fine delicious meals and we had a huge buffet for everyone!!! it was like one big family party! It went really well. everyone respcted this was aq big occasion and made a real effort.

those who could not cook,bought stufflike cakes, crisps, readymade stuff

i would add, this was a devout catholic parish where the vocation of marriage was seen as a gift to the community and a religious sacrament

Post # 126
6303 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

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maebae :  A friend of mine, who is a fellow wedding photographer, just got food poisioning from a self-catered wedding….last week. Apparently everyone else got sick too, including the bride and groom. Just throwing that out there.

I don’t eat at potlucks of any kind, big or small, so if I were a guest I would attend the ceremony and leave (or not come at all) if it was potluck. It’s not easy to cook for that size crowd, and your guests will not be able to properly keep food cold/warm as needed. The wedding professional side of me knows how this will end, but also in my experience people who are dead set on something are usually not likely to change their mind.

I 100% do not think all weddings need to be giant expensive affairs. While I had a big expensive wedding because it’s what I wanted, my brother had absolutely no desire to spend thousands on a wedding. They did a super small event and had it catered by a local BBQ company that regularly does weddings (aka: proper cooking and food safety). It was just as awesome as mine was.

Host the wedding you can afford without making your guests work. You want to keep calling it a backyard party to get out of paying for your guests to eat, but at the end of the day you are inviting them to a wedding no matter how casual you envision it being.

Post # 127
10284 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

Ok, this is super gross so you might want to stop reading here if you hate bugs. Yeah. This story is going there. 

I went to a self-catered/potluck event at a friend’s house in the south, where these events are more common. I am kind of a picky eater for health reasons and just the way I am, so I ate beforehand. But they were having smores, too, so I thought why not. You only live once. 

After eating one, I went into the kitchen to refill my drink and a cockroach crawled out of the marshmallow bag.

and this is why I no longer eat at potlucks at all. 

Yea, I know bugs are everywhere. And my friend had a cleaning lady, she certainly wasn’t a slob or a bad cook or hostess. But she couldn’t control all of the food with so many people eating – and you need to control it if you want food safety. 

get the catered food for 10/pp. 

Post # 128
4835 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

maebae :  Damn, this thread has really blown up (not shocked).

Just watned to chime in with a helpful resource: https://apracticalwedding.com/?s=potluck 

In th above link there are articles about people who actually hosted potluck weddings.  A Practical Wedding is a great site when you are looking to do something a little unconventional.  A potluck is  real “know your audience” situation.  For most people, it wouldn’t work out well, but for some, it’s a great option.  Don’t let judgemental people on this site tell you what’s right for your life, but do be realistic about the pros and cons of this approach.

Post # 129
196 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I attended a potluck wedding a few years back. There were about 50 people in attendance and it was held in the bride’s backyard and super casual. Everything was going smoothly until one of the guests started feeling sick, wheezing and feeling short of breath. Turns out the guy was deathly allergic to peanuts and one of the dishes had traces of peanuts in it. An ambulance had to be called and the poor guy ended up in the ER with anaphylactic shock. I later found out that a couple people also got sick from the potato salad there too. 

Since then I’ve been a bit wary of potluck weddings. A punch and cake reception honestly seems like a better idea. Buy a big sheet cake, a couple cases of soda, a few food platters and a few bags of chips. If you do choose to go the route of a potluck wedding, just be careful. Be aware of any food allergies that guests may have and make sure that it’s communicated to others. Make sure food is maintained at the proper temperature and that nothing is left out in the sun too long. Good luck!

Post # 130
3133 posts
Sugar bee

My personal policy is to avoid potlucks. I’ve been hosiptialized with food poisoning (from a potluck) before, and do not care to repeat the expereince.  

I also have a serious food allergy and am unwillng to trust people who I may not know or know well to fully disclose ingredients, read the fine print, etc. (Example: Worchester sauce goes into a lot of casssroles and marinades. If you buy a bottle of marinade at the store, you probably don’t realize it’s an ingredient.)  

My SO has a less-serious food allergy, but to a more prevelant ingredient.  In our experience, people seem to think something is fine when it isn’t.  

I’ve also seen some dear friends/family members exposed to their allergens due to creative surprise ingredients, such as pesto (pine nuts) in lasagne, fish stock in a salad dressing, non-disclosed inclusion or substituion of cashew cheese in a recipe, etc.   

And don’t get me started on people who refuse to believe you actually have a food allergy (or even a food aversion) and think if you eat the food in question without realizing it, you’ll be fine. (This sent me to the ER as a kid, when an aunt was convinced I wasn’t allergic to shellfish but was just being picky.)  

That said… I’m in agreement with those who said that a potluck reception seems like poor hosting, given the circumstances, here. I have the feeling that the OP just wants to have a big drunken house party, though (given the emphasis on house parties, beer pong, and a party that goes “aaaallll night”.)


Post # 131
65 posts
Worker bee

You say you don’t expect gifts and you’re not registering anywhere, but it’s a WEDDING people are going to bring you gifts… it’s just part of the expectation of going to wedding! Don’t think people won’t bring you gifts, because they will. Then on top of that you’re asking people to feed themselves. NOPE. This is NOT a good idea… even for a casual backyard house party. 

Post # 132
13801 posts
Honey Beekeeper

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mrsnyctola :  What you are describing is different. If a wedding is publicly announced you have no obligation whatsoever to invite all of those people to a private reception. 

It is common in many such congregations to have light refreshments and mingling in a social hall with the entire community afterwards. Sometimes the couple is even asked to contribute a certain amount toward refreshments. 

But that’s not the same thing as a privately hosted reception. 

The two tier receptions you describe, where a very large number of people are invited to the ceremony and private reception immediately following and a smaller number to a more exclusive evening party is not considered acceptable  here.

Post # 133
4077 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I got sick at a wedding where a few people bought dishes to go along with a catered roast company. Lets just say I am NOT a fan. Echoing others who say that if you are throwing a party, it is your job to entertain, feed and water your guests. Anthing else is kind of rude. 

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