(Closed) Why don't people like potluck receptions?

posted 9 years ago in Food
Post # 17
Member
831 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

For a wedding, the event hosts – bride and groom, parents if they’re paying – are responsible for the full cost of the Event. It isn’t polite to ask guests to bring their own food. Also, think about the potential liability. If anyone got sick from any of the food, they could sue you or your family. I would seriously advise against this idea.

Post # 18
Member
2567 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

For me, a potluck menu doesn’t set or acknowledge or live up to the celebratory style of a wedding. Potlucks call up ideas of everyday food, and weddings should be more special. It’s kind of like serving filet mignon for kindergarten graduation: the concepts don’t match, and just feel awkward.

Post # 19
Member
356 posts
Helper bee

It’s going to take a master magician to figure out what everyone will be bringing and keeping it at the correct temperature.  Forget just hot food, what about Aunt Ethel’s devilled eggs? Not to mention the liability with people with food allergies.

I’d say call a local caterer and figure out how they can accommodate your guests in the church hall and then you’ve got (almost) nothing to worry about.  Or call your local community college and see if they have a culinary arts programme that can help.

Post # 20
Member
1082 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I’d check out A Practical Wedding or Offbeat Bride for ideas on how to coordinate, if you really are committed to the idea.  It could work out okay if planned well.  I’m not big on the idea of wedding potlucks — mostly because I’ve never not had to do lots of travelng for a wedding, but if your guest are mostly local, and used to the idea, it might be fine.

Post # 21
Member
237 posts
Helper bee

Honestly… If I was invited to a potluck wedding I wouldn’t attend. I have a lot of issues with other people’s dirty hands preparing my food. If you have no way to heat/cool the food everyone at your wedding could get sick. 

Post # 22
Member
199 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

@fishbone:  But caterers in a church basement don’t match up, either, I think. All of the church basements I’ve been in have had tile floors, folding tables, 70’s walls… All of which are charming and fun, not fancy.

Post # 23
Member
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

Personally I don’t really see what the big deal is? lol Maybe its because I have been to 2 potluck receptions lol No one ever had a problem with it but maybe it depends on the family? I dunno I say go for it lol

Post # 24
Member
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’ll add a vote to the “bad taste” category. If your wedding is 20 people, then that’s fine but any more than that, especially with friends and family thrown in the mix, it’s going to get confusing logistically and leave people with an unpleasant taste in their mouth unless it all gets executed perfectly. And potlucks are never, ever executed perfectly.

Also consider if everyone is going to bring enough main courses or appetizers to even things out and what people are going to eat. What if 10 people swing by the local supermarket for pasta salad and no one brings a full on entree? 

I don’t know. Just seems like something that might work for an engagement party but not a reception where you’ll be in your wedding dress and having your first dance.

If budget is an issue, then do cocktail and light finger foods and skip the dinner. It’ll go down easier for all involved.

Post # 25
Member
2567 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Catering doesn’t have to be fancy; you can get more “comfort food” or casual meals catered, which takes away any questions about the skill of the cook, ensures you have enough of each choice for everyone, and frees you guests from having to work for their place at the reception. Plus it’s a lot easier than coordinating a potluck. You could get pans of lasagna, stuffed shells and chicken parm from a local restaurant or have a caterer bring in roast chicken, just as examples. Lots of events are catered and not fancy.

Post # 26
Member
3457 posts
Sugar bee

I think potlucks are awesome for informal gatherings, but it really doesn’t work for a wedding. In a wedding, the bride and groom are the guests of honor. But in a potluck situation, other people divide up the responsibility to “host.” So now you’re in a situation where you’re inviting your guests to join in to host a party honoring you! Would you ever tell a bunch of people, of different closeness to you, to throw you a party where you’re the guest of honor? I suppose if the guest list is small and just close family and friends, it’s less big of a deal. But if it’s a large number of guests, some of whom aren’t as close as others, it’s an awkward situation.

Post # 27
Member
2294 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

My guess is that guests don’t want to have to be hassled or bothered to make and look after a dish. Some people just don’t like to eat “other peoples'” food. Yeah, I know that sounds strange. I don’t think I’d look forward to attending a potluck wedding as much as I’d look forward to a traditional sit down or catered buffet style, but that’s my preferences and thoughts on the subject!

Post # 28
Member
2567 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Another big challenge is having enough of each choice for everyone. If you’ve got 50 guests, that’s a whole lot of swedish meatballs for one person to make. If you pick the entrees and divide the quantity— 5 people making Swedish meatballs, for 10 people each— it’s still a mismatch unless you’re handing out the exact recipe to use. That might be a big deal, might not, but for me that’s a big deal. If you cycle through 5 different main courses because everyone didn’t make the same thing, it’s really confusing for the guests.

Post # 29
Member
2639 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

I think you can ask family to do this, but not your guests. DH and I went to a wedding two years ago that had subs from Subway, and the immediate local family brought side dishes. We were out of town guests- no easy way we could have contributed since we fly half-way across the country. (Yes, I would have picked up a pie at the grocery store if I *had* to, but considering I would have no idea which stores are good, etc…)

What about just a cake and punch reception instead? Truthfully, I’d rather go to a low-key dessert-only reception then a potluck.

And- I’d just simply rather give a gift then bring food for the wedding.

Post # 30
Member
9168 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’d honestly rather be served no food than have a potluck. What time is your reception? Is a dessert only reception an option?

Post # 31
Member
3107 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I hate potlucks because I never know what to bring. If it was a potluck for a wedding, I’d be like “I have to bring a dish to feed 200 people???” (or however many guests you’re having. It’s so much easier for me to write a check.

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