I wanted to address something that me and another planner were discussing today, the idea of potluck weddings, don't get me wrong............I understand as many other planners do that some couples have limited budgets and may not be able to afford a caterer, but there are definitely other options. With all of the chain restaurants and mom and pop restaurants offering catering now why not use them instead. If your like me I cant eat everyone's food, especially if I don't know how it was prepared, the kitchen conditions if they had clean hands and a whole lot of other things I think about. Personally the only food I would eat if that was something to consider is my Moms, Aunts and a few of my cousins that I know are really good cooks. But, then again I wouldn't even though I love there cooking and the cook in a clean environment I would never put them in a position to cook all the food for my wedding. They should be able to enjoy this time with you.
Con #1: Complicated Logistics
As obvious as it is that a potluck wedding will save you money, it’s also very clear that it will increase the logistics of your planning. How do you make sure you have enough food to feed everyone, with enough variety (and no repeats) to make a well-rounded meal? And how to ensure the food gets delivered to the right place, at the right time, and is at the right temperature with the right equipment to be served at meal time?
Con #2: Might Offend Some
A potluck wedding is certainly not for every couple, nor for every couple’s circle of family and friends. For those with more traditional tastes, or those who can’t imagine asking their guests to do additional work than (potentially) buying a plane ticket, booking a room, preparing appropriate attire, sending a gift, and showing up on time, a potluck wedding is out of the question. Some might feel it’s tacky or cheap-looking to invite guests to an event as significant as a wedding, and then ask them to bring the food they’ll be eating. If you suspect (or have solid intel) that any guests you intend to invite might be off-put about being asked to bring food, we suggest you find an alternative way to meet your budgetary needs.
Perhaps this means having a much smaller affair than you originally intended—say max of 50 people. Or you could plan for an intimate wedding ceremony, followed by a more casual backyard gathering after the fact to celebrate your union—for which a potluck format would be more expected. Or consider eliminating the idea of a full meal and serve your wedding guests fun and unique post-ceremony refreshments: wine and cheese pairings, a low-key brunch spread, local pizzas and salad, or just desserts and bubbly.
Con #3 Safety and Sanitation
As I stated above you really don't know how clean a persons kitchen is nor, do you know if the food was prepared properly. If its hot and your ceremony was at one location and reception at another, do you know if someone left that food in the car that whole time. Are you willing to take that risk of your guest getting sick from food that was either prepared unproperly, or people going to the restroom and not washing their hands and preparing the food for your wedding, or the fact that the potato salad someone made was left in the car for hours in the hot sun. If someone has pets I've actually experienced this one dog or cat hair in the food. I'm not trying to scare you but this is real life situations that can happen and if any of your guest get sick form a potluck wedding you are liable. Salmonella and E Coli are real things and should be considered when deciding to have a potluck wedding.
Well I just wanted to put that out there if you decide you want to do a potluck wedding consider these 3 things. If you still decide on a potluck wedding make sure you know whos preparing the food, and are taking the proper safety and sanitation precautions to keep your friends and family safe from any illnesses. Everybody's food isn't good food!