(Closed) Thinking of having a potluck wedding reception?

posted 7 years ago in Food
Post # 3
459 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I think that a potluck wedding *could* be a great idea, but as the OBB post says, you really need to know your guests. If people are flying in from out of town, it is not practical to expect them to bring something.

I was also a little surprised to see so many comments on the OBB post that said, “people will want to help you with your wedding! If they can’t bring something, they can help in another way.” This may be true of a lot of wedding guests, but I think that this is also an example of needing to know your guests before setting expectations. Perhaps I am curmudgeonly, but I personally do not like being put to work at a wedding or at any type of event where I am supposed to be a guest. It would really turn me off to show up to a wedding and then be put to work if I wasn’t a bridesmaid (if I was a bridesmaid, then I would expect it). I also don’t like to cook, so I would not be excited to show off a signature dish at a potluck, although I would certainly make/buy something and attend if I were local. I guess my point is to not *assume* that your guests would be excited about cooking and bringing their favorite dish unless you know this is the case. It is the case for many people but not for everyone.

Post # 5
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Hey, love this post.  There are sooooo many rules!!!! Personally I’m going to do what works for my event and if its not perfect etiquette, oh well.

Post # 6
489 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

@Miss Tattoo:  I’m with you.  If I had friends who were on a budget (and I can’t think of anyone who would have a potluck reception who wouldn’t be on a budget)  I would be happy to make something and bring it and help them celebrate being married.  I would much rather have my friends do that than go into debt over a wedding.

Post # 8
489 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

@Miss Tattoo:  The word tacky seems to explode over a lot of things 🙂

Post # 9
1003 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I wish I could actually do a potluck for my wedding. But with my FI’s allergies, his mom and I are doing all the cooking. I don’t think there is anything tacky about bring your favourite meal to your friend’s wedding to share it with everyone. It would make the experience feel that much more personal, which I find is lacking of late.


Post # 10
109 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think you’re exactly right… you need to know you and your FI’s friends and families and do what’s acceptable in your social circle.

Obviously, if you have all out of town guests, a pot luck isn’t going to work. But if you and your Fiance both have friends and family that will be down with this type of party then throw your etiquette books in the fireplace 🙂

One positive about posting to such a general audience like here on the Bee is that you do get a broad spectrum and can learn that the norm in your area may be DRASTICALLY different from others. This is great if you and your Fiance are from different areas and your guests are widespread.

For instance, my parents are from Michigan. At their own wedding in the 70’s the did a dollar dance. Now my cousins who grew up in Michigan also have dollar dances at their weddings. I didn’t grow up in Michigan and all the other weddings I’ve been to have NOT had a dollar dance. I think the dollar dance is so weird and tacky but to my parents its something that they expect to see at a wedding. When I told them that my cousins were the only people I’d ever seen do a dollar dance they were very surprised. They thought it was the norm but when I explained that I thought it was tacky to ask guests for money. They were completely happy to omit the tradition from my wedding when they learned that most of my FI’s family and my east coast friends would not be familiar and perhaps uncomfortable with a dollar dance.

Etiquette exists to make people comfortable. If you’re having a diverse group from all areas and walks of life then listen to the etiquette, no one will be put off by what the etiquette books says BUT if you know your guests will enjoy something then it definitely won’t be bad etiquette  🙂

Post # 11
93 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Again, as the original post says, just depends on you and your guests.  The most loving wedding I ever went to was as a date.  I knew the groom well encough, and met his Fiance the night before.  Both really sweet lovely people.  We were invited to come early to help decorate for the reception in the church basement.  I felt honored to be asked and must have made a good impression the night before, because mostly it was family.  It was a baptist wedding with no alcholol.  It was different for me, but tacky?  Never!  Also, might I add I flew from another state to attend.  It was a long time ago, and I don’t know those people now, but I will never forget how family oriented and the love everyone put into it!  That to me is what the wedding is about.

Post # 12
1371 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

A somewhat distant relative of mine had a wedding that included a bunch of potluck elements, and everyone I know that went to it was not impressed (I was not in attendance).  I agree that you have to consider your guests and think about how they will feel.  I think if you can have a wedding with a successful potluck, that’s awesome!

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