November 2010 Weddings

Potluck Reception

So i've heard of people having potluck wedding receptions, seems like it's getting popular again with the way the economy is...so my question is...I can't afford to have the reception catered and I don't want to make all the food myself...what is a polite way to let people know that you want the reception to be potluck? Or is this just all together a bad and tacky idea?

Re: Potluck Reception

  • I think it depends on your guests and the size of the wedding. Would a lot of your guests be interested in a doing a potluck if it wasn't a wedding? Do a lot of your guests enjoy cooking? I wouldn't do a potluck reception for a wedding over like 35 people, and even that seems like a lot. If you have more people than that, you might end up with some guests not getting some of a certain dish (unless you're expecting your guests to bring huge quantities of whatever they make). As far as telling people, I would include your website information on your Save-the-Dates, if you're sending them. With your reception information, say something like "To add a personal touch to our wedding we'd appreciate it if each guest could make their favorite dish to bring to our potluck reception." Then, when you send out invitations, have a separate insert with the same information. I would have the guests write down what they plan on making and bringing when they return their RSVP card, so you have an idea of what's coming. You may find that everybody has decided to bring a dessert, or that people have decided not to bring something. So, you may still end up having to provide food. HTH. :D
  • Thanks a lot for the advice! I hadn't thought of some of the things you mentioned. We're having our wedding at our church and they usually have a lot of events where everyone cooks, so I don't think that aspect would be a problem. The only issue i'm running into is how many people we'll be inviting. Since we're having it at church, of course we have to invite all the church members, so we're running into a higher count of guests because of that. I'm just at a loss when it comes to feeding everyone, I mean I just honestly can't afford to do a catered reception. Hopefully i'll figure out something soon! Thanks for your help though, made me think about it some more! :)
  • One of my friends had a pot-luck reception and it was wonderful.  She had close to or just over 100 people and everyone was full.  The more dishes you have the smaller portion sizes everyone takes so they can try everything.Instead of asking everyone to bring a dish she asked her closest friends and immediate family members to bring a dish.  Her parents and the grooms parents then asked some of the other family members they thought would be willing to bring food.  By asking them personnally everyone felt that they were special and were more than willing to help out. On another note, I don't think you should feel obligated to invite the whole congregation just because you are having the wedding/reception at the church.  This is still your event and you still have a budget to stay within.  Invite only those that you want there and are close to, the others will understand.  At this time with the way the economy is not being invited means not having to find the money for a wedding gift.
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