Wow, I didn't really realize how many of you actually do the whole potluck wedding thing. I knew it was a "thing" but I just didn't think so many people have actually considered them.
After I made a number of posts on the potluck I was contacted by several different people with more information. So I thought it would only be fair for the rest of you to try and lay it out. Please be aware I still hold to the past criticism that I have of them in a wedding setting. Or in a setting were you cannot besure your food will be safe to eat for everybody. There are a lot of food allergies out there and people know how to cook for their family, when they try and transfer that onto others the results may not turn out as expected.
My first thought is how are you going to go about the "potluck" aspect of the day?
A wedding is very different than a potluck, and you are comparing cattering to a mix mash of different food options. Balance is everything.
Most people spend months working on all the different aspects of their wedding. They pain over the details. And this isn't any different for the people that plan a potluck. But isn't the potluck a bit of a copout? Shannon gives us some ideas for the right wedding look but could you imagine serving Mac & Cheese, Sloppy Joe, and Messy Lasanga to your guests? Let alone eating them in your wedding dress.
So can it work? Maybe. I can't tell you, only you know how it will be seen by your guests. And please keep your guest list small!
- How casual attire and atmosphere is your wedding?
- How far do people have to travel?
- Is there a place where people could finish preparing their dish there? Like adding the finishing touches that can't do ahead of time.
- Are people already having to pay for hotels?
If I'm going to be getting ready and all dressed up for a wedding there's no way I'd want to be thinking about preparing a dish.
Especially if I were wrangling our kids.
- How will I keep the food hot?
- How will I keep the food cold?
- Is it going to spill?
- How far do I have to drive with this pot in my trunk?
- Will others be bringing the same thing?
If it's a super low key backyard thing I'd imagine it being a lot like thanksgiving, possibly stressful but doable.
Just like any other family get together.
But there is a difference about coming together in thanks and placing the cost of dinner on your guests, it's about placing the planning and the stress of dinner.
If you really have to have a pot luck I think that perfect wedding with all of the guest dressed to kill. Well, I know this might sound finnicky, but I would suggest lowering the dress code.
Even "casual" cocktail is still cocktail attire, which connotes a different type of event. What you're describing sounds me akin to a typical holiday family gathering, which sounds to me more like dressy casual at most.
It seems like a small detail, but considering this is to be a potluck wedding, whether or not they will be viewed as tacky or a nuisance will in large part be driven by what types of expectations you and your guests have for the event.
For better or worse, dress code tends to set the tone for that.
Did everything work out? Then I think the biggest issue here will be clean up.
Who is doing the dishes?
Will the guests want their dishware back at the end of the night? Will the night end with everyone cleaning?
And please remember the point of a wedding reception is for the couple to host their guests as a "thank you" for attending their wedding ceremony.
If your guests are providing their own meal, then you're not hosting them.
If all of this can be over looked you need to answer one more very important part of food preporation: How do you plan on keeping hot food hot, and cold food cold?