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

posted 9 years ago in Food
Post # 62
Member
1017 posts
Bumble bee

Exactly for the reasons your family pointed out.  Especially this: –How we will keep the food warm if people bring it before the ceremony and it just sits there for an hour or more before we eat it? 

Imagine all your guests getting sick in the middle of your reception.  

Post # 63
Member
504 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2020 - establishment theatre

my first wedding was selfcatered/ potluck…my then SO and I got all the sandwich fixings and stuff and my mom and aunts made all the sides….i look back now with regret. The food was good but i feel bad making my mom and aunts cook the night before, having to set it all up the day of, and coordinate drop off times, and how to keep hot food hot, and cold food cold….go with a caterer in the end you will feel better about it.

Post # 64
Member
3358 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Asking people to contribute food to a party is only ok if the person hosting the party is not the guest of honor.  If  you’re throwing a superbowl, halloween, 4th of july party or even thanksgiving, by all means ask people to contribute some food.

But if you’re inviting people to celebrate YOU, like for your birthday, housewarming, and most of all wedding, where there is an expectation that they bring you gifts, then you can never ever ever ask them to them also bring food.

Post # 65
Member
196 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@cirk:  I totally agree with this. If I were far away I just wouldn’t go to a potluck. If it was just a really small wedding in a town where all the guests lived, I’d go. I’d probably still be a little miffed, though, tbh.

Post # 66
Member
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@Meowkers: Asking people to contribute food to a party is only ok if the person hosting the party is not the guest of honor.  If  you’re throwing a superbowl, halloween, 4th of july party or even thanksgiving, by all means ask people to contribute some food. But if you’re inviting people to celebrate YOU, like for your birthday, housewarming, and most of all wedding, where there is an expectation that they bring you gifts, then you can never ever ever ask them to them also bring food.

Yes, that’s exactly what I was trying to say!

Post # 67
Member
1044 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I agree with most of the previous posters — but wanted to point one thing out. One of the first things you said was you want the reception to be “casual and fun.” When people have all of the concerns they have (already stated to you, and via the previous posters) there isn’t a whole lot left about the situation that is “casual and fun!” Also, (and this is just me) I view receptions as a way to thank important people in your life for their support and for celebrating your marriage, and that being the case, you need to think about what is “fun” for them as WELL as you. With my circle, they would NOT find a pot luck of that scale or for that occassion fun at all, but every circle is different.

I think there are compromises others mentioend to achieve the same feel yet remove all the concern. I once attended a friend’s wedding that had a massive amount of local BBQ takeout delivered (hot) and people served themselves beer out of kegs, threw away their own (paper) dishes and silverware, etc. Also enlisted a just few guests who DO both want and have the experience/capablity serving large scale food in charge of various things is a good idea.

My personal answer to why I don’t like potlucks is because I don’t like delegating responsibility to guests for an event celebrating ME, don’t want guests having anything to worry about anything besides having fun and celebrating, feel queasy at the thought of eating food prepared by (non-pro) strangers, am really obsesed with presentation (everything matching, being neat and tidy, free of saran wrap and foil and other crap associated with bringing your own dish somewhere), and just generally feel a pot luck isn’t classy/upscale enough for the way i envision a wedding being.

Post # 68
Member
4090 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I don’t know if this was mentioned…

But it’s not mandatory for a guest to bring a wedding gift. 

So by this logic you are telling them they really need to bring a gift (of food) – or else your party will be a flub (lack of food!). 

It’s also poor etiquette to mention anything about gifts – as in “no gifts” or even your registry on any wedding invitation – it assumes you think you’re getting a gift in the first place. 

Right there you’ve broken another etiquette rule if you ask peple to bring food and not a gift beacuse somehow you have to explain your plan upfront.

The goal of a reception after a wedding is the thank the guests for coming by recieving them in some way – cake and punch, full on dinner, whatever you can afford.

So I hope that explains the eiquette part of this – not that it’s yucky to eat other peoples food or simply tacky.   I know it helps me when I understand WHY behind it all.

Post # 70
Member
1946 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Your reception is a thank you to your guests for attending.  Just host what you can afford – simple.  If that’s punch and cake then so be it!  People may say to your face that it’s OK, but behind the scenes they’ll be grumbling.

Post # 71
Member
1946 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@katedesaccord:  So wait – you aren’t even inviting people to witness your marriage, just asking them to bring their own food to a party celebrating it?  There’s no way you can’t see how awful that is.  

Your excuse about needing to spend your money on other things is ridiculous.  If you can’t afford to host then DON’T HOST.  Elope.  Or take the few people witnessing your vows out for dinner – that would be perfect.

Post # 72
Member
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@crescentloon23:  I think a potluck is fine if (as people have said) you think through all the logistics and make sure you have enough main dishes/side dishes/drinks, etc. I think it would be cool for a family to come together around the planning, especially for a more casual wedding, but then again I’m pretty anti-tradition when it comes to these things so…take it for what it’s worth. 🙂

Post # 73
Member
2567 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I hate seeing food go into a crock pot cold, and watch the cook crank it up to high, slam the lid on, and walk away. Sure 5 hours later it’s hot. But that’s the least sanitary way to heat up food, and the main reason I just have chips at potlucks.

Post # 74
Member
1222 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

One of my friends had a potluck reception.  It turned out well – but I felt like it was a little bit of a hassle… I hate to even say that because I love my friend and I would do anything for her.  It was just hard to get the food ready, keep it warm, drop it off at the reception, and then go to the wedding (which was at a different location), then go to the reception and make sure that it was still warm, etc. 

Like I said, it turned out great – but everyone was talking about it behind my friend’s back afterward… they just “couldnt believe” that they had to bring something else to the wedding…  Also – to put it into perspective… this wasnt a small, intimate wedding.  There were 130 + people to feed…

Post # 75
Member
8066 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I don’t think it’s tacky if all of the guests genuinely want to do that.  But it doesn’t sound like that is the case here. 

I agree it seems kind of rude to require your guests to bring food…otherwise they don’t eat.  You’re asking them to come celebrate you but making them bring their own food?  If everyone you are inviting genuinely seems open to the idea than I don’t think it would be a problem.  And I would cap the guest list at 30…MAX.

Post # 76
Member
8246 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

@Edelweiss:  “You don’t ask guests to bring something or pick up the tab for any part of YOUR party.”

This.  100%.  These people are your guests, not your caterer.

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