Pot-Luck Wedding, Highly Recommended

Since I’ve been hecka lazy about cooking for the last few days, I figured I should post about something. What with my husband participating in NaNoWriMo, and all sorts of bloggers posting away for NaBloPoMo, I’m starting to feel guilty. So here’s a topic I love to share, and hell, it’s even food-related!

Anyone who knows me has probably heard me talk about my wedding at some point or another. My husband and I were vehemently opposed to going back into the depths of credit card debt that we’d been working so hard to clamber our way out of, just to feed a bunch of our friends and family some fancy food that probably wouldn’t be nearly worth the price per head that it would cost us. We were lucky enough to have some very generous friends donate the use of their backyard for our wedding and reception, so it just seemed all-around appropriate to have a potluck wedding reception. I highly recommend this to everyone!

Here’s what the buffet table looked like:

The friends whose backyard we were using had the brilliant idea of hiring a couple of servers to collect people’s potluck contributions on their way in, and then the servers managed everything getting plated, heated, and rotated appropriately. So this is just one snapshot of the buffet table, as it evolved throughout the evening.

If you’re looking carefully, you may be wondering about the brown items in the middle of the table. Yes, that is Chocolate-Covered Bacon. With Sprinkles. You’d actually be surprised, this concoction had it’s admirers. And no, not just the family dog, they don’t even have a dog. This fabulous dish was courtesy of Jeremy’s friend Matthew, and it served it’s purpose as the fulfillment of a drunken dream of the best food in the world. (It actually was kinda good.)

In addition to the buffet, we were lucky enough to have a friend make our wedding cake:

And another friend did the flowers (including those on the cake):

Let me just say, I highly recommend doing your wedding this way. Even if you have to pay for a cake and a florist, the potluck adds such a community feel to the event. Everyone gets to show off their favorite dish, and share in good food with friends and family.

Pictures taken by George Paginini and Jayanti Anand.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Pot-Luck Wedding, Highly Recommended

  1. Ahh, memories :) Happy almost 6 months, wifey.

  2. Nice look! Go, Janna.

    Okay, how about this:

    Ghirardelli’s “Double Chocolate” chocolate powder (few tbsp)
    Half & half
    Steamin’ hot water
    One tea bag of Mint tea
    Decorate with fresh mint leaf (which I don’t have at work)

  3. jannamo

    That sounds like delicious minty hot chocolate! Great recipe, Gary.

  4. Pingback: Belated Thanksgiving Posts « Recipes and Ruminations

  5. Lauren

    I love this idea so much! How many people were at your wedding? It seems like this would be hard to do for a big crowd.

    • jannamo

      Hi Lauren,

      Sorry for replying 2 years late, but there you are. We had about 100 people at our wedding and the key was hiring a server to take people’s potluck item on their way so they never had to think about it. Then she kept the buffet table fresh and clean, putting new hot items out as needed, so it never felt like a pot luck.

      We had friends help with clean up, but we could have also just hired a second server to handle everything. We found a great person for $15/hr so it doesn’t have to break the bank.

      It worked out famously, and I recommend it to anyone who is considering an alternative type of wedding.

      • Sara

        Hi! We’re also doing a potluck in our friend’s backyard, with compostable stuff, etc. We are asking everyone to bring their favourite picnic-type dish (ie. no heating required as we’ll have about 150 people) PLUS bringing the recipe card so we can make a book for ourselves later as a nice keepsake. Their contribution will be their gift as we are kindly requesting no presents.

        We aren’t sending out paper invites, we’ve set up a website and we plan to send out a mass email with a little teaser line and include the link to our website where the “invite” wording will be on the homepage…

        This is where I’m struggling a bit! How to incorporate the potluck into the wording? What did you do? Could you post a sample of your wording to give us some ideas?

        Thanks and congrats on your day – sounds like it was amazing!

      • jannamo

        Oh, I love the recipe card idea, that will make a sweet keepsake, and you could make copies for your maid of honor and other special folks if you wanted.

        For the wording, we did a website to explain everything clearly, and I don’t remember what was on it, but likely it was something like this: To honor the spirit of sharing and community, the meal will be potluck style. In lieu of a gift, please bring your favorite dish to share for the potluck meal. If you are coming from out of town, your presence is all the gift we need, please don’t worry about a dish!

        We also opened a couple charity options for people who wanted to give to something, and a couple of relatives/close friends handed us cash for our honeymoon which was nice too.

        Good luck, would love to hear how it goes!

  6. Hilary

    I was at this wedding, and I can concur about its fabulousness. It was personal and intimate, and definitely fit the two of you! Thanks for the invite, and the excellent idea about how to get married and stay out of debt!! I hope you at least spent some money on the honeymoon, though!!!

  7. Sara

    That was great!!! Such a huge help and exactly what we wanted to say. I’ll share the link with our website when it’s up.
    Thanks again :)
    ps: i like the idea of making a few copies of the recipe book too!

  8. I think a pot luck wedding is a great idea!

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