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

posted 9 years ago in Food
Post # 47
Member
712 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Because it’s kind of tacky and rude to ask people to bring food to your wedding.

Post # 48
Member
9990 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I don’t mind potlucks for informal occasions, but I don’t think a wedding is an informal occasion.  As the host of the event, you (or your parents, FILS, or whoever) are responsible for providing food and beverage (alcoholic or not) to satisfy your guests.  It’s impolite to put that burden in your guests. 

Post # 49
Member
6592 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

When invited to a party, I just want to show up and enjoy myself (maybe bring a bottle of something to share.)  If I have to bring food I spend days worrying about what to bring, how much to make, and whether anybody will like it.  I usually spend so much time worrying that I just end up getting a fruit or veggie tray from the local grocery store but I still feel bad about not making something myself.

If you cannot afford to provide a full meal then consider doing a champagne and cake or brunch reception which are usually more budget friendly options.  You can do a lot with breakfast casseroles (you can even order them pretty cheap from your local grocery store or Cracker Barrel or other breakfast restaurant.)

Post # 50
Member
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I have been to a potluck wedding and it kind of worked but not really. Everyone had enough to eat and the community was close (both in physical driving distance and ability to ask someone to cook for you) so there weren’t any hard feelings. However since people weren’t sure of how to handle cleaning up their own dishes, some people that needed to leave early started picking up and started off a chain reaction that had everyone thinking they should also pick up and leave. In the end almost all of the guests were gone a few hours before the wedding was supposed to end. The bride and groom, myself and my date, and one friend were there until early in the morning cleaning the venue for the next day (a mass of people had cleaned up the potluck table but the rest of the venue was still set up.

Post # 51
Member
2357 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I love potlucks and I think if it was a small, backyard family celebration, then it could be done in an awesome way.  But if people are coming from out of town, or if there are more than, say, 50 people?  I don’t think it would work.  

Post # 53
Hostess
840 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I enjoy potlucks on long weekend BBQ’s and Thanksgiving. I think you’re getting some push back because potlucks don’t usually go hand in hand with a wedding etiquette wise.

YOU are hosting your GUESTS. I find it rude and extremely tacky that you are expecting people to bring food to feed themselves.They are your guests… not your catering company.

What is driving you to do a potluck style?

If you are trying to keep costs down; then do a nice tea/cake/baked good reception after the ceremony.

 

 

Post # 54
Member
1301 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

It Would be one thing if this was the “norm” in your area, but it doesn’t sound like it is. How about you justngetnsome simple catering from Costaco or a grocery store? Sandwiches, potatoe salad,fruit, veggies, etc. Or just host a dessert reception. 

Post # 55
Member
4685 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - City, State

I enjoy going to weddings for obvious reasons (celebrating the couple of course!) but part of what makes it so easy to enjoy is that I get to focus on just that. celebrating. bringing a dish requires work and planning on my part and as a guest, I don’t think I should have to do that unless i offer or accept the job if asked to do one. Otherwise its kind of like forcing this on your guests. Most pot luck events are agreed upon by all of those attending. Like an office party for example. usually everyone agrees it should be potluck, therefore agreeing to contribute. A bbq… everyone usually agrees it will be potluck and it can be organized as such where certain people bring a certain part of the meal (dessert, main course etc). For a wedding, its not really in good taste and is rather presumptuous to assume your guests are ok with a potluck dinner. Its a potluck thats forced upon them which isn’t as fun as one where everyone attending is in agreement that this is the best route to go. Plus, idk how big your wedding is, bu assuming you have at least 25 people, each person bringing something is going to have to make enough for tha tamount of people which, depending on what they are going to make, can be rather pricey and not very easy to pull off. On top of that, how are your guests supposed to know how many are attending or how much to bring? Potlucks do require SOME organization and for a wedding I just don’t see how its going to work out easily.

 

 

Post # 56
Member
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I love potluck receptions and I’m considering having one too. Well, if you could call it that. We’re having a very intimate sort of elopement type of wedding (pretty much just my parents, his parents, my grandmother, and our two best friends). Then having a celebratory party to invite the rest of our close friends and family.

In my family, all our gatherings are potluck and there’s always a RIDICULOUS amount of food left over, so I wouldn’t worry about that. As for potluck receptions being tacky, I disagree. It’s all about your own preferences, and to me everyone bringing their own dish is a way of them showing their support by lessening your own burden of having to provide food for EVERYONE (if you’ve got enough money to cater, good on you, but I’ve got enough money that I need to spend on visa applications, paperwork, plane tickets, etc, so no thanks!)

Post # 57
Member
3078 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

because I’m cranky and don’t wanna make food for your wedding.  

Post # 58
Member
3949 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

because your asking me to do some work before I go to your party.  not some easy dish or show up with flowers and a bottle of wine and a gift.

Been to one of these weddings, and only enough food for half the people, cause no one wanted to cook, and all the food was cold.

Post # 59
Member
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@katedesaccord:  I don’t think potluck receptions are necessarily “tacky,” and I wouldn’t be irritated to be invited to one, but I just wanted to play a bit of devil’s advocate here.  (Heads up: When I use “you,” it is more the general “you,” not you specifically, katedesaccord.  So don’t think I’m attacking YOU personally.  Smile  I am just engaging in a little debate.)

I think family gatherings (like holiday celebrations) that are potluck style are totally different from a wedding potluck.  Holidays are not celebrating any one person in particular, it is the whole family getting together to spend time with one another.  Weddings, on the other hand, are celebrating two specific people, and the reception is technically the “thank you” to the guests for coming to support the couple during their wedding ceremony.  When you make them provide their own food, that’s not really a thank you at all.  Frankly, it’s not really your guests’ problem that you have other things you need to spend your money on.  I guess I don’t really understand that attitude.  “No thanks!” to feeding your guests?  If you can’t afford to feed your guests, that doesn’t mean the burden to provide food should get moved from you to them…  If the couple is choosing to have a wedding, they are responsible for taking care of their guests, even if that’s not a full meal but instead heavy appetizers, or cake and punch.

Post # 60
Member
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@Ms Bookworm:  That’s fair enough, I can appreciate your objective opinion. Like I said before, everyone’s different…and indeed, everyone’s family is different. I’m still not 100% that I’m going to have a potluck reception, but the other day when I was telling my grandma that I was planning on cooking all the dishes served myself, she said that I didn’t need to, we could have everyone bring something, and then reminded me that that’s what we usually did anyway (which is true, my parents’ wedding when they were married, my mom’s second wedding, and both my aunt’s and uncle’s wedding, and so on). Also, in my case, like I said…many of the people who are coming to the reception aren’t coming to the wedding.

I guess it comes down to the couple involved, their budget, their family, the size of the wedding, and a lot of things. Sure potlucks aren’t “traditional,” but that’s not a problem with everyone (in fact, some people prefer breaking out of tradition). In my opinion, the wedding and reception are celebrating two people (as was previously said), so the whole stressing out about providing food and drinks for a bajillion people takes away from that in my opinion (unless you can afford catering, like I said before).  And honestly, if anybody I invited to my reception opted not to come because potlucks are “tacky” and “rude” then they obviously don’t know me or my style at all and I would prefer not to have them there anyway.

 

(Just so everyone knows, this is just my opinion and what’s right for me…it’s not my intention to piss anyone off or offend anyone)

Post # 61
Member
1182 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I have no problem with potluck, if that’s what the bride and groom want. I love informal receptions too, and yours sounds lovely.  I wouldn’t think it at all weird, and I’m always happy to bring a dish somewhere because it means there’s always something I can eat. 🙂

That said, I think it takes some organization to do it well and make sure you don’t get half a dozen potato salads, for instance. Make sure guests bringing warm dishes have crock pots (and have them label their pots on the bottom so you can return them to the correct person after washing) and that there is a place to plug them in. Make sure there’s a fridge or coolers for any food that should stay cold until serving, either for flavor or health reasons. 

Since your ceremony and reception are at the same place, it’s not difficult to ask your guests to arrive a couple minutes early and take their food the reception area. It doesn’t need to sit out in cars or anything.

My main issue with eating potluck is being vegetarian, so I’d suggest you have your guests do some kind of label (maybe you could even have a template for them) with the name, information like sugar free, gluten free, vegan or vegetarian, and any common allergens like nuts, shellfish, etc. Otherwise you’re going to have guests playing the “can I eat it?” game where they ask a couple people if they know what’s in a dish, and then decide to skip it just to be safe.

 

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