Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Potluck Wedding?

It certainly takes all types of weddings to make the world go round. The creativity and variety found in these celebrations, reflecting the personalities and interests of brides and grooms everywhere, are a large part of what so excites me about them.

Recently, I learned of a couple who held potluck-style nuptials in a friend’s backyard. Though the ceremony itself was on the formal side, complete with a traditional wedding gown and a large bridal party, a handful of relatives either contributed dishes to serve afterward or lent a hand by preheating and bringing with them trays of food supplied ahead of time by the couple.


Though this was certainly the couple’s choice to make, I must say I personally wouldn’t choose to have this type of wedding. At our reception, I felt it was our obligation to provide all guests with, at the very least, their meals and non-alcoholic drinks, including soda, water and tea. After all, many of them had traveled a long distance to be with us and had given us gifts, as well. Expecting them to work on the day of the wedding wasn’t part of the plan.

What do you think? Is a potluck wedding a fun way to get everyone involved, or should the couple supply food and drinks for their guests?

(Photo Credit: Alex Neumann Photography)

12 comments:

  1. I personally wouldn't do that, not my style. I would hate that I would have to work at someone else's wedding just to eat!

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  2. Totally not my style, but if the budget is tight and this is the only way you can have a reception, I say "go for it!" Then again, I love to cook and I love potlucks, so I can see why others who do not love these things may be put-off by this idea. I think the key would be to ask close friends and family members to pitch in, but not every single guest/acquaintance that is invited. Odds are, the family members and friends will be helping out anyway, so this is like a little extra favor the couple could ask of them.

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  3. I wouldn't do it, there are other ways to save money like having just a dessert reception or cutting back in another area. If I had to bring a dish to a wedding I wouldn't go. However I think it's considered more acceptable in other parts of the country and perhaps really small towns.

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  4. As a child I went to a potluck wedding (in a VFW hall) and I remember thinking that it was cheap. We were in Penn for two of my cousin's weddings and although they were both formal church weddings - the receptions were very different.

    To this day I think that was one of the worst weddings I've been to. Not that I had a problem with the potluck (the food was delic!) it was that I felt the wedding was trying to be something it wasn't.

    I think potluck weddings can be absolutely beautiful affairs but you need to tie it into the theme - don't expect people to dress in a floor length gown while carrying their baked mac'n'cheese.

    So go for it!

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  5. I am not a potluck wedding kind of gal. I would think if these people are bringing presents and are invited as guests, the food and drink should be provided. That said, I get the appeal - it's a major money saver!

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  6. I am not a potluck wedding kind of gal. I would think if these people are bringing presents and are invited as guests, the food and drink should be provided. That said, I get the appeal - it's a major money saver!

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  7. I echo Party Planner Gal - not me, if that's someone's wedding budget and style, why not?
    I also echo you - I had quite a few international guests and really wanted to treat them well and show them a good time.

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  9. No, I definitely don't think it's right to do that to your guests. My priority is making my guests' lives as easy as possible. Their only job should be getting to the ceremony on time and buying me a gift...haha!

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  10. As with just about everything else in the wedding related field/industry, I believe this is just unique to individual couples. What works for one couple may not work for another. While I fully agree with you 100%, I also know that sometimes when couples are on a tight budget, they have family members who *insist* that they let them prepare/bring the food for their wedding. Sometimes, it's even a cultural thing or whatever. So I guess in the end, I fall back on my mantra of 'to each his own.' :)

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  11. I do think each to their own but its not something I would choose to do.

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  12. I'm thinking about having a potluck wedding. I LOVE the idea of everybody coming together to help us celebrate the first step in our marriage. It's a wonderful way for our loved ones and friends to contribute. (If I'm going to somebody's wedding, I LOVE it when they ask me to help out. Maybe that's just me though.) I also would consider the food to be the gift. I'm a grown adult of 24 years, and I have all the things I need at the moment. Maybe when I have children, I'll be looking for more things, but at the moment, I would hate having so much extra stuff. Even more than that, I would hate the idea of somebody's gift getting pushed aside in the back of a closet. Also, I can't even think of what I would put on a gift registry. Dish soap? Toilet paper? I mean, I seriously have everything I need.

    Back to the potluck wedding though. Of course I wouldn't expect out-of-town guests to bring anything. (I think I'll mention it on the website that this is meant to be fun and community-oriented, not a burden, so if they can't or don't want to participate for whatever reason, it's perfectly acceptable and their presence is gift enough.) I also will be providing food and drinks (a couple different dishes, margaritas, beer, punch, coffee, water, and anything else that will be necessary that doesn't get offered up). I think this will go over well with my family and my future in-laws. They're great people who have already offered to contribute so much more than food. They might even be disappointed when all I ask is a dish from them. (I might also mention here that I'm a vegetarian. This is a nice way to satisfy my diet along with my meat-eating guests.)

    And to the person that said they wouldn't go to a wedding if they were asked to bring something, wow. Just wow. If I end up inviting somebody who feels that way, then I don't want them at my wedding in the first place. For me, weddings are all about community. I want a community of people to come together, witness the promises my fiance and I will be making to each other, have some fun at a reception, and support me in my marriage, as I'm sure I will support anybody on my guest list at some point of time or another.

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