Potluck reception

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Ranger84 Posts : 4 Registered: 1/30/10
Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 9:39 AM

I have a couple questions that are all related. I am putting a business card in the envleope that will have the directions, and dress code on it. We are doing a potluck reception where the groom and I are supplying the meat for grilling and drinks (no alcohol except a sparkling apple cider for toasts). The question is how do we tell people that they don't have to buy us gifts, and ask people to bring appitizers or side dishes instead and that if they want alcohol its BYOB. The reception will be laid back and more like a family renuion/cookout then an formal event. We will be getting married at 1130 with the reception right after so everyone will be eating lunch. Not sure on wording or all of this. Thanks

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 9:52 AM Go to message in response to: Ranger84

Dear Ranger,

One word: Rethink.

It's one thing to host a family cookout where everyone brings something. If that is what your family does, then those in your family are used to the arrangements and expect to bring something to various family events.

It's a totally different thing to expand that family cookout potluck to those outside your family who will be attending as wedding guests. I would find it very offensive to be asked to brown bag it to a wedding. If you are inviting so many people that you feel the need to print invitations and invitation inserts, then I'd like to bet you are going way, way beyond your original family circle.

There is no polite way to proactively direct gift giving. You don't tell people what to give you. You don't host a party and say Bring Your Own Food.

What I suggest is to invite only family members that are accustomed to family-only potluck parties and invite them the way you would usually invite them to a family-only potluck party. By phone.

Don't host a party you cannot afford to host. Don't invoice your guests for their share of the cost.

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AmyJustin2010 Posts : 201 Registered: 1/18/10
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 11:04 AM Go to message in response to: Ranger84

1. You shouldn't dictate to guests how they should dress. It comes off as offensive. Your guests are adults, they know by now how to dress for a wedding. Your non-adult guests will be dressed by mommy and daddy. The best way to hint that it's informal is to say something about the reception venue on the reception or reply card. I.e. "Please join us for a barbeque following the ceremony to celebrate." I promise you that nobody in their right mind would show up in a tux.

2. You never mention gifts on the invitation, even if you aren't wanting them. For two reasons. First being that it implies you were expecting them in the first place, which is against etiquette since weddings aren't gift mandated occasions. To say that you don't want gifts is rude to those guests who had a gift for you already. What happens if Aunt Sally had already picked out a vase that she thought was beautiful for your wedding present? She feels bad and now has a gift she has no use for.

As for the potluck, I urge you not to do it. As the hosts you should provide the food for your party. I know it's probably a matter of budget but you could do a picnic style reception fairly cheaply without having guests bring dishes. You could make appetizers and sides for 50 people for 200-300 dollars.


AmyJustin2010.Weebly.Com

 

Amy & Justin--Buffalo Sabres Fanatics :) 

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BirdLover Posts : 2,834 Registered: 3/30/06
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 12:24 PM Go to message in response to: AmyJustin2010

I agree with the above posters.

There is nothing wrong with "homemade" food at a wedding, but there IS something wrong with asking guests to provide it. It is basically asking each and every one of your guests to help host your wedding - which isn't right.

I am willing to bet if you post your wedding budget, and number of guests you plan to have, then some of the ladies on here will be able to help you with ideas of how to provide the food yourselves without breaking the bank.
Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker

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myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 1:23 PM Go to message in response to: Ranger84

Don't host a party you cannot afford to host. Don't invoice your guests for their share of the cost.

Wonderful, AOTB. Could not have said it better, and I would not have been as diplomatic as you were.
OP, I would not attend your wedding unless I was a close family member. Maybe in your neck of the backwoods, this is normal. Where I come from, it is tacky in the extreme.
myra at www.classysassyweddings.com

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 3:01 PM Go to message in response to: myra

Dear Myra,

" I would not have been as diplomatic as you were."

It was tough.

What I wanted to write was something like "Let's have a party! Too bad we can't afford it. I know! Let's tell our guests to fund our party instead of bringing the gifts they are obliged to bring."

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Ranger84 Posts : 4 Registered: 1/30/10
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 3:18 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Thank you all for your comments. I do not understand all the sarcasim and negativity. I have read that potlucks were how wedding were done traditionally and yes I live in the backwoods.

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 3:30 PM Go to message in response to: Ranger84

You asked for opinions. I would think it very odd to be invited to a wedding and asked to bring food. I would find it rude to be dictated to regarding a gift.

That said, I've been to weddings where the Mom's cooked and close family members did a pot luck. But not ALL of the guests were asked to bring food.

If it's common where you are from, then do whatever you would like. It just isn't done this way where I am from or currently at and I would find it odd.

 

 

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 4:01 PM Go to message in response to: Ranger84

Dear Ranger,

" I have read that potlucks were how wedding were done traditionally "

I'd like to know where you have read that. Certainly not in an reputable etiquette source.

Potlucks are no-host parties. We have potlucks at the church. No one person is the host; we get together and everyone contributes. Groups of friends can have round-robin potlucks. In January, A provides the house, B provides the main dish, C provides the salad, D provides the dessert. In February, B provides the house, C provides the main dish, D provides the salad, A provides the dessert.

A wedding and reception is entirely different. A wedding and reception is hosted by the couple themselves or by their immediate families. Sometimes, in the case of an orphan, a more distant relative or close friend will be the host. The host offers food and drink as hospitality. And, yes, the guests repay the hospitality by bringing gifts to the couple. The couple must not dictate to the guests what gifts to bring.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 4:04 PM Go to message in response to: Ranger84

Dear Ranger,

". I do not understand all the sarcasim and negativity."

We are only voicing what would go through our minds should we receive such an invitation.

I would say to my husband "Hooo hooo get a load of this. What nerve." then I would write a note politely declining the "great honor" of funding a party for someone else's event.

"I'm terribly sorry, but due to a prior engagement, we will not be able to attend your wedding. We wish you the best."

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Ranger84 Posts : 4 Registered: 1/30/10
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 7:43 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

This is one of the many sites regarding potluck receptions.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Low-Budget-Wedding-Reception&id=56710

One hundred years ago catering your own wedding with a potluck reception was the standard for most families.

The Potluck Reception

Don't be shy to pursue this potluck reception idea. It is truly
the traditional way to celebrate. And, it is truly the number
one low budget wedding option.

Today's weddings are so commercialized. You will learn that
caterers offer very limited menus to very limited budgets!
Guests will likely be very pleased and welcome the idea of a
potluck reception.

The potluck reception goes well with any wedding theme. If you
are shy about approaching this option you can simply call it an
"Old Time Traditional Wedding Celebration" The potluck dinner
will suit this theme quite naturally and no-one will even
question it!

You may even want to pick an "Old Time" theme for your
decorating and favors. This will further incorporate the idea
of an old time tradition theme. Perhaps a 50's theme or a 20's
theme. These are both popular old time themes.

Simply slip an added note with the invite, or on the invite, to
give guests this option. For example the note might read...

~Our reception will be an "Old Time Traditional Celebration"
with a potluck dinner. ____ Please check here if you would like
to bring a dish for the reception in place of a wedding gift.
Call with dish suggestions please.

Have them call to get or offer suggestions on a dish so you
have control over the menu. No one is obligated to
particitpate, but I'm sure you will be surprised at how many
guests will opt for this.

You and your guest will be equally surprised at the great
variety and quality of the dishes provided. Guests will want to
bring only their best recipes to a grand occasion such as a
wedding reception!

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Ranger84 Posts : 4 Registered: 1/30/10
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 7:46 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride


http://www.do-it-yourself-weddings.com/catering-your-own-wedding.html

Catering Your Own Wedding With a Potluck Reception

One hundred years ago catering your own wedding with a potluck reception was the standard for most families. If you want to be bare bones and have a shoestring budget then a potluck wedding might be perfect if you are into a casual vibe. Potluck weddings saw a brief popularity in the late ‘60s and now again are resurfacing as many women take an anti-materialism and pro "do it yourself" stance on weddings. Potluck wedding receptions are an easy answer to catering your own wedding and they are loads of fun!

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 8:07 PM Go to message in response to: Ranger84

Ah, it's on the web so it must be true.

Listen, you came on asking for opinions, you got opinions. You may get other opinions that are OK with it.

I'm not. My opinion - and you can throw up 1000 websites that say otherwise - it's still not OK for me.

That doesn't mean it's not OK for you - but I STILL would NOT put that on your invites. Again, just my humble opinion.

 

 

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 8:44 PM Go to message in response to: Ranger84

Dear Ranger,

One hundred years ago?

Not now.

What else are you going to do? Demand a dowry? Tell your father that you have to come into your marriage with a couple of cows?

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poohunne Posts : 17 Registered: 1/28/10
Re: Potluck reception
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 8:47 PM Go to message in response to: Ranger84

"One hundred years ago catering your own wedding with a potluck reception was the standard for most families."

The key words here are: One Hundred Years Ago.

If you were doing a traditional, turn of the century, married in your parlor wearing your Sunday best dress and having all the family in the backyard for a luncheon - then this would be your answer.

But it's not one hundred years ago, and social times have changed. You want a nice wedding, then GIVE a nice wedding. It doesn't have to break you. If family gatherings are the way you want to celebrate, by all means have it somewhere casual, but don't expect all your guests to pony-up for you. It's not done that way.

If your family is used to making food for a battalion, then consider this:
If you think Aunt Shotzy makes the best potato salad in the county, then write her a little note and say you would consider it a personal favor to you if she could provide 10 pounds of that wonderful potato salad for your reception. Write the note, don't call her. Hand delivery would be better than mailing, too! You could certainly ask other family members and friends to donate their cooking talents as well, provided you offer to pay for the ingredients or split the costs. If they say that they'll pay for it, then make sure you note that with your "gifts" and send a special thank you card for their efforts in making your special day come together.

I would do a little more research on current etiquette, and a lot less on "olden times" traditions.


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