Five Tips to Hosting a Potluck Wedding Reception

Weddings are extremely expensive, although not everything about your wedding needs to be expensive. You can cut some corners and still make it the type of celebration you want. One of the more expensive parts about your wedding is the food, a catered event can cost thousands of dollars (depending on how many people will be attending) Why not try something different, such as a potluck reception.

Is it tacky?

A pot luck reception is somewhat frowned on by many people, and its understandable somewhat. If you go to a wedding with over one hundred guests and they spent thousands on a dress, DJ and decorations, then yes a potluck would be very tacky. Now if it was a small thirty guest wedding with only family and a few friends that is more appropriate type of setting. Keep in mind that some might still be upset about having to bring their own dishes, make it clear it’s your day not theirs.

Bringing a gift also?

If you choose to have a potluck, do not except or ask your gusts to bring a gift also, that is very rude. Your guests might a appreciate the fact that they don’t have to go out and find something you and your new husband need in your home, especially if you two have been living together already. It is best to state on the invitations that instead of a gift bring a favorite dish they want to share. Or if you have a theme going, write in a certain food you want them to bring, and how many guests will be there, so they know how much to make/bring. Keeping in mind that the out-of-towners will either have to drive a long ways or stay in a hotel. Make sure their foods are something they can easily whip up, or pick up at the local store.

Which types of foods?

This all depends on if you want a theme or not. For my up-coming wedding its going to be very laid back, I will write in a type of dish they should bring and let them figure it out. Some good main foods for a potluck are, hot dogs, Brats, hamburgers and maybe some bbq chicken. For the side dishes, maybe salads (potato salad, pasta salads are great), baked beans, chips, veggie trays, fruit trays. Keep it simple and if you have to have warm side dishes borrow a few crock pots and plug them in along the house (or inside maybe)


If you have a wedding cake, then there is your dessert. Otherwise just tell a few guest that you need desserts and they can bring them instead of a side dish.


Having a potluck also cuts your entertainment costs, since you might have the reception outside you don’t need anything more than a CD player/MP3 player or nothing at all since you will all want to sit and chat.

As you can see having a potluck reception can cut wedding expenses in more than one way, it can really ease your stress and then you can focus on your special day instead of can you afford this or that. In the end all that really matters is when you and your husband say “I Do” and become husband and wife.


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