Many brides see the idea of a potluck reception as breaking tradition, but in fact a potluck reception is a very old tradition that is starting to make a comeback! With caterers charging an arm and a leg, a potluck reception may be just the thing to make your budget work!
In my family, potlucks are the tradition. Very time someone in my mom’s family gets married, the aunts and uncles get together and provide the food. For our wedding we had mashed potatoes, meatballs, chicken, vegetable, salad, punch and cake. For 200, our cost was less then $500! The only thing we paid for was the chicken and cake! We have one uncle how ALWAYS makes the meatballs and an aunt who ALWAYS makes the potatoes. Another uncle always does the salad, and so on. This is not a full potluck, as my husband’s family and our friends did not participate, but it is the same idea.
A full potluck style meal would mean each guest brings something for the meal. This is easier to pull off if most of your friends and family live close by of course. There are a number of ways to organize a potluck style reception:
1. Have a co-ordinator from each side of the family. Then put one side in charge of meats and dessert, the other in charge of side dishes and drinks, etc.Â Each co-ordinator (chances are that would be mom, sister or an aunt) contacts the guests form their family side and arranges with them what each will bring.
2. Put a note in your invitation something like this: “We will be having a potluck reception, please contact us if you wish to contribute.” and let guests call you if they are willing to bring something.
3. Put a spot on the reply cards for them to fill out. Will you be bring anything for the potluck? If yes, what type of dish?
Make sure you keep a list of what is being provided so that if you are short anything, you can fill in the spaces. That way you don’t end up with 50 salads and no meat:) And don’t worry about hurt feelings. Make sure everyone know they do not HAVE to bring anything to attend. Most people love to contribute, and those who don’t will be happy as long as there is no pressure put on them.