Wedding Etiquette Forum

Potluck parties

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Re: Potluck parties

  • I don't like potlucks because everyone ends up bringing different versions of something I don't like like cream cheese based dips or everyone brings jarred salsa or napkins and you end up with no real food. I guess that might be better than the alternative though, because with a potluck I know that at least I will like whatever I brought. 

    The more I think about it maybe I am just anti-social and should stay at home. 
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  • amys325amys325 member
    500 Comments 5 Love Its
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_potluck-parties?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:d209385d-441f-4769-9b16-677d46466316Post:9c720a52-3027-49a3-92a6-1785c55b8d7e">Re: Potluck parties</a>:
    [QUOTE]Shan - ours are always BYOB too and it's never been a problem. We're talking friendly get togethers though, not necessarily a party with a purpose.
    Posted by rachers1017[/QUOTE]

    We sort of BYOB.  We normally say we'll have some Miller Light and some other assorted beverages, but if you want anything specific, feel free to bring it.

    It never fails that we have so much beer leftover because people come so heavy handed.  I think half of our liquor cabinet is from bottles of booze leftover from parties (this is not a bad thing).

    I love having parties and honestly don't even mind supplying everything.  But what we learned with our group of friend's is that people bring stuff even when you specifically ask them not to and we'd always end up with too much stuff.  So we just changed it to potlucks and it always works out.
  • I'll echo the PP's that said potlucks are totally cool for informal things like football parties, summer cookouts, etc. and not cool for more formal/specific/celebrate one person events like weddings, showers, graduation parties, etc. which should be hosted.

    Our group of friends informally arrange get together's regularly and everyone chips in with part of the meal ("I'll grab the hamburgers." "Okay cool, I'll get the beer" and "I'll make my salsa.") and it works out.  If someone brings something, it's always for everyone to share - no one would ever bring beer or meat for only him/herself to drink/eat.

    I think the most formal party we've hosted was superbowl this year. We simply invited everyone over and, being the good friends that they are, they all brought something for everyone with them. We've never had to arrange, coordinate or advise anyone of that.... it is always just assumed.

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_potluck-parties?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d209385d-441f-4769-9b16-677d46466316Post:dac6d6f0-b7f7-4e16-917f-80c3398461e8">Re: Potluck parties</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't like potlucks because everyone ends up bringing different versions of something I don't like like cream cheese based dips or everyone brings jarred salsa or napkins and you end up with no real food. I guess that might be better than the alternative though, because with a potluck I know that at least I will like whatever I brought.  The more I think about it maybe I am just anti-social and should stay at home. 
    Posted by RupertPenny[/QUOTE]

    A friend of mine has started doing theme potlucks. Italian, or Mexican, so you avoid people showing up with a bag of chips. At work we have sign up sheets so you can see what other people bring, and sometimes friends will send out a google doc if you want to sign up with your dish.  We also have a couple people in our group who are REALLY good cooks, so it works out. :-)
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited May 2012
    My parents are the ultimate hosts, so rarely did we have potluck.  Unless it was specifically the neighborhood picnic or a large family gathering.  For family gatherings we would all just split up the food with the family who is using their house provided the meat.  My one aunt's contribution was paper products.  Seriously, every family get together she would bring a ton of paper plates, cups, etc.. (we never used her house as a location either). I have to say she set your house up for a years with products and that is saying a lot considering there is like 60 of us at family parties.


    Now, my parents would host a BYOA (bring your own appetizer) party every xmas.   They provided the bar (which was always top shelf of anything and everything you could imagine).  The neighbors would bring their favorite app.  Its was the highlight of the year with people calling MONTHS in advance for babysitters for their kids.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_potluck-parties?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d209385d-441f-4769-9b16-677d46466316Post:dac6d6f0-b7f7-4e16-917f-80c3398461e8">Re: Potluck parties</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't like potlucks because <strong>everyone ends up bringing different versions of something I don't like like cream cheese based dips or everyone brings jarred salsa or napkins and you end up with no real food.</strong> I guess that might be better than the alternative though, because with a potluck I know that at least I will like whatever I brought.  The more I think about it maybe I am just anti-social and should stay at home. 
    Posted by RupertPenny[/QUOTE]

    I've never really run into that.  If it's a potluck, usually the hosts sort of direct/coordinate what dishes get brought.   At this point in our family though, it's usually not necessary because everyone has their 'standard' dishes.  Not necessarily always the exact same dish, but I know that one of my uncles will always bring a dessert and an appetizer, my mom will always bring a substantial side dish, etc.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_potluck-parties?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:d209385d-441f-4769-9b16-677d46466316Post:dac6d6f0-b7f7-4e16-917f-80c3398461e8">Re: Potluck parties</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't like potlucks because everyone ends up bringing different versions of something I don't like like cream cheese based dips or everyone brings jarred salsa or napkins and you <strong>end up with no real food</strong>. I guess that might be better than the alternative though, because with a potluck I know that at least I will like whatever I brought.  The more I think about it maybe I am just anti-social and should stay at home. 
    Posted by RupertPenny[/QUOTE]

    Usually if I have the party, I make stuff that I know I can eat. If I go to a party, I will usually bring a side to share with everyone, but something I know I like, and probably some chicken breasts or hot dogs if I suspect there might be only burgers there. But I always bring enough to share, I don't hoard my hot dogs like smeagol or anything.
  • edited May 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_potluck-parties?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d209385d-441f-4769-9b16-677d46466316Post:1963b16f-9158-4e10-b401-69e397b559f5">Re: Potluck parties</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Potluck parties : A friend of mine has started doing theme potlucks. Italian, or Mexican, so you avoid people showing up with a bag of chips. At work we have sign up sheets so you can see what other people bring, and sometimes friends will send out a google doc if you want to sign up with your dish.  We also have a couple people in our group who are REALLY good cooks, so it works out. :-)
    Posted by msmerymac[/QUOTE]

    <div>At work we do the sign up sheet thing and still end up with 5 jars of Pace and 4 packages of grocery store cookies. This might have something to do with the fact that the majority of my coworkers are 24 year old boys. I take it too personally because I make really good home made salsa but someone always signs up for salsa before me and brings in crap. I get irrationally angry about it. </div>
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  • I host a potluck Thanksgiving dinner every year for my friends.  I provide the turkey and they provide the rest.  We call it "Practice Thanksgiving" and everyone loves it!  There are usually about 20-30 people, and we've started to each have our signature dishes.

    Now hosting a potluck in honor of someone, that just sounds weird.  I had a party for my 30th, but provided most of the food and drinks.  Of course people brought stuff (especially drinks) as they tend to do, but I didn't ASK for it.

  • Pot luck is bringing a side dish.  Not your own meat!  Get-to-gethers in my family consist of the host providing the meat dish, drinks, and other items.   Other family members bring a side or dessert to really add to it and make it a feast.

    My uncle hosted a barbeque once, it was BYOB as in bring your own BEEF.  We still talk about it 15 YEARS later!
  • Clearly my expectations are too high and/or I have shitty friends. 
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  • Rupert, maybe it's an age thing, like you said.  Or are your friends all men?  Not to stereotype ALL men, but I know that my husband used to always show up at potlucks or tailgates with a bag of chips.

  • Anna you should make your salsa anyway. People will like it, remember it, and request it. Then hopefully they will stop bringing jars of crap salsa.

    I get requests from people for certain things when we do potlucks. At work, they usually they want my cheesecake or buffalo chicken dip. My homemade jalapeno poppers went over really good last weekend at our Derby party so I suspect that might end up in the rotation too.
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  • No, Matts, usually my friends that throw parties don't do potluck though. It's BYOB but they will provide all the food. Most of my potluck experiences have been through work, school, etc. So I guess I don't have shitty friends, I have shitty colleagues. 


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  • Anna I think there's always that one person in a group who thinks that "potluck" means "bring paper cups and call it a day".  I know a couple of those people. 
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited May 2012
    Our friends rarely let us bring any food.   Nope, instead the boys all take DH to the grocery store, let him pick any anything he wants, they pay.  Then they go back to a house and DH and his newly christened sous chefs cook the meal.   

    Now, if you want anything other than meat, they suggest you bring something.  DH and the boys are all about meat and a lot of it.  The last party had pig 3 ways, chicken 2 ways and various other sausages.  If they wives/GF/etc didn't bring the sides there would not be any.   

    It's rare the boys ask us for any input in the menu planning.  It's not a bad deal actually.  However, they are good about making sure a known picky eater is taken care of.  If you are a vegetarian that means they picked up a veggie burger for you.


    ETA - clarity






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Would you consider others bringing booze as a potluck? I'm almost always the host for small gatherings, simply because I'm one of the only people in my group of friends with my own apartment. Everyone else I know has roommates, so they prefer not to host. I usually make dinner, and friends bring wine since I've cooked. Other than that, potlucks for truly casual events don't bother me. I think a pp made a good distinction between a casual BBQ and a graduation party or other more organized event.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_potluck-parties?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d209385d-441f-4769-9b16-677d46466316Post:28b98095-6a21-4900-94a6-19bbeb2d72f4">Re: Potluck parties</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>Anna you should make your salsa anyway.</strong> People will like it, remember it, and request it. Then hopefully they will stop bringing jars of crap salsa. I get requests from people for certain things when we do potlucks. At work, they usually they want my cheesecake or buffalo chicken dip. My homemade jalapeno poppers went over really good last weekend at our Derby party so I suspect that might end up in the rotation too.
    Posted by Callmefia[/QUOTE]

    <div>But someone else signed up first! There are rules! </div>
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  • Yeah, it's your colleagues.  I always like when my friends bring their own booze.  Not only for the cost savings, but also because I have NO idea about beer.  A lot of my friends up here like good beer and all different kinds.  I leave it up to them to bring it.  I'll grab a 6 pack of Sam or Corona.

  • I'd say that booze is a safe bet wherever you're going.

    Except maybe a baby shower.  My sister's friend brought the mom-to-be a bottle of wine at her baby shower "for after the baby comes", and all the old ladies there were horrified.
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  • in our circle, our parties are almost always potlucks. i like them.

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  • I love potluck. Especially at work. At work there is a sign up sheet so you put down what you're bringing - that way you don't get a table full of bean dip. 

    TBH I would side eye a BYOM BBQ. In my experience, unless it's a work party the host provides the main dish while everyone else provides sides/a dessert. And we don't generally tell people what to bring - we just kind of say "Hey, potluck BBQ - want to bring something?". Also, we only do this with close friends. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_potluck-parties?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:d209385d-441f-4769-9b16-677d46466316Post:c3522469-13fe-42d1-954a-fe6ac38b4777">Re: Potluck parties</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'd say that booze is a safe bet wherever you're going. Except maybe a baby shower.  My sister's friend brought the mom-to-be a bottle of wine at her baby shower "for after the baby comes", and all the old ladies there were horrified.
    Posted by baystateapple[/QUOTE]

    I can almost guarantee that there will be booze at the baby shower this weekend.  It's the one redeeming quality about parties in H's family's neck of the woods.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_potluck-parties?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d209385d-441f-4769-9b16-677d46466316Post:c3522469-13fe-42d1-954a-fe6ac38b4777">Re: Potluck parties</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'd say that booze is a safe bet wherever you're going. Except maybe a baby shower.  My sister's friend brought the mom-to-be a bottle of wine at her baby shower "for after the baby comes", and all the old ladies there were horrified.
    Posted by baystateapple[/QUOTE]

    <div><img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-embarassed.gif" border="0" alt="Embarassed" title="Embarassed" />  Baby showers in my crowd have open bars.</div><div>
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    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_potluck-parties?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d209385d-441f-4769-9b16-677d46466316Post:55ebd88c-085c-470a-8516-35012df70df7">Re: Potluck parties</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Potluck parties : I wouldn't be able to eat any of these.  I just feel like there's very rarely "real" food at a potluck.  It's always sides and shiit, and then I'm still hungry.
    Posted by EaglesBride2012[/QUOTE]

    <div>Then you would like our potlucks. We make enough food for an army and always have tons of leftovers. So even if it is just sides, you won't leave hungry. But like I said, the host always provides a main dish - so you will get at least a few things that aren't just sides.</div>
  • amys325amys325 member
    500 Comments 5 Love Its
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_potluck-parties?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:d209385d-441f-4769-9b16-677d46466316Post:55ebd88c-085c-470a-8516-35012df70df7">Re: Potluck parties</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Potluck parties : I wouldn't be able to eat any of these.  I just feel like there's very rarely "real" food at a potluck.  It's always sides and shiit, and then I'm still hungry.
    Posted by EaglesBride2012[/QUOTE]

    We tend to have a pretty good variety of side dishes at all parties.  We have friends with gluten allergies, vegans, vegetarians, lactose intolerance, shellfish allergies, nut allergies, etc.  So normally we get dishes that work for everyone.  And when we host, we try to have a variety of things that work for each allergy/diet.

    Plus our friends really like good food and love to cook.  So it's not your typical store bought food. 
  • I guess it depends on your freinds/area- most of the party's I attend in my area it's expected of you to bring something- either your own beer, or meat to grill,or  a side or dessert to share.... I don't think it' weird at all. In fact, I would prefer to bring my own meat to grill as I'm kinda picky about my meat and how it's cooked. Not to mention for a party over 10ppl steaks could easily break the bank, at least in my area! Just went to a BYOM going-away party for a friend last weekend- it was great, we played kickball, layed out by the river... 
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_potluck-parties?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d209385d-441f-4769-9b16-677d46466316Post:55ebd88c-085c-470a-8516-35012df70df7">Re: Potluck parties</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Potluck parties : I wouldn't be able to eat any of these.  I just feel like there's very rarely "real" food at a potluck.  It's always sides and shiit, and then I'm still hungry.
    Posted by EaglesBride2012[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>Thank you Eagles. I am glad I am not the only potluck hatter. </div><div>
    </div><div>Is it too much to ask that not every dish involve cream cheese?

    </div>
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  • meg65meg65 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_potluck-parties?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:d209385d-441f-4769-9b16-677d46466316Post:d62fdb9d-da9e-4481-974b-d115063b14d5">Re: Potluck parties</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Potluck parties : This is the weirdest thing I have ever read.
    Posted by ahhhitsshannyn[/QUOTE]

    <div>That seems unlikely, especially on this board. </div><div>
    </div><div>I have no idea where people are coming from. The guy who wants to have this party at our house lives 45 minutes away. People he is inviting could easily live an hour away. It will be over 100 degrees this weekend. FI is really weird about food safety. He gets many eye-rolls from me, but I don't know how other people feel.</div><div>
    </div><div>I do think it's a little different from bringing it home from the store, which is two minutes from my house. </div><div>
    </div><div>I obviously didn't consider people going to a store near our house to get their meat. I've never been to a BYOM event, which is why I asked. Hopefully our guests are smarter than me!</div>
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  • Come to a potluck at my house, Anna and Eags.  The only time I used cream cheese last weekend was for the key lime desserts.  The empanadas and brie bites were cream cheeseless and delicious.
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