Reader Question: Hello! I thought I might send over a question or two to get some advice from you and the rest of your readers. My fiance and I are having a potluck dinner after our wedding. The meat will be provided by us--beef from his uncle's small farm, and maybe venison (we're looking into the legality of that one, considering we don't want said uncle to get his hunting license revoked or jail time). The sides will be on our registry in categories like "veggie main dish," "pies," "rolls/cornbread," "fruit plate," etc. for people to register for as their gift to us. We're asking them to bring a card with their name, the name of the dish, and any common allergens or designations (peanuts, gluten-free, soy, , etc.), as well as a recipe card for us to include in a wedding cookbook. As for the organization of it all, we're asking his three incredibly capable sisters to handle it (the ones who were asking, "Why aren't we more involved in the wedding?? What can we do??"), and we're getting married at a summer camp, so the camp's kitchen staff will set up the food, replenish it, remove empty dishes, etc. So, my questions are these: What have we overlooked? What potential snags should we watch out for? How did it go for couples who have done this before? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks!
Yeeeesssss! A potluck wedding! Don't get me wrong; I appreciate all kinds of catering options (even this pig roast wedding sounded awesome to my vegetarian ears), but I have a special place in heart for potluck weddings (see my previous post: A Case for Potluck Weddings here).
First, I love potlucks. I love the variety of foods to choose from and the fact that people contribute a little piece of themselves to the gathering through their offering.
Second, I think wedding potlucks are the best potlucks ever. (I say that more from an inferential point of view, since I've never actually been to a potluck wedding.) I can only imagine how wonderful the food will be when it is cooked by your nearest and dearest in order to celebrate your commitment, community, and love. Wow!
Third, potlucks are a huge money-saver. Catering costs can be astronomical. I think potlucks are a magnificent way to seriously scale back a wedding budget AND provide guests with a delicious meal.
Fourth, potlucks--in my mind--are the quintessential expression of community. They are a metaphor for what it looks like when each person contributes their small part to the greater good. The outcome is better than the sum of its parts.
Fifth, a potluck wedding will be truly memorable. Like I've said, I've never been to a potluck wedding, and they aren't featured very much in the wedding blogosphere. I imagine your guests will truly enjoy the unique experience (and appreciate the opportunity to put their heart and intention into a present, instead of just their cash).
Okay, enough gushing. Can you tell I'm really excited for you and your partner?
It seems like you've got everything thoroughly planned! I love the idea of the info cards (and the wedding recipe cookbook--what an item to cherish forever!).
One thing that comes to mind is serving utensils. Whenever I host potlucks, there are always a handful of people who don't bring serving utensils, so just be sure to have some extras on hand.
Also, extension cords. People might show up with crockpots full of goodness and need a place to plug in.
My last thought is about sharing all the recipes with all your guests. Perhaps you could start a free blog (or use a wedding wedsite?) to scan in the recipes and upload them as photos. I've done this for several recipes, and I think it's pretty easy to read them if folks click on the photos.
Ooh! You could even use TasteBook to turn it into a bound cookbook that you give as gifts to people whom you really want to thank.
(Matt's sitting next to me and he recommended that you make a one-page menu to share with guests beforehand to highlight all the yumminess they will get to experience.)
Hmm, I think that's all we've got.
2000dollarwedding kindred spirits, please help us out! Anything else she should anticipate/consider/plan/do?