I am looking for ideas for our wedding reception in June. It will be indoors. This is our second marriage and we want to keep things simple and inexpensive. Would it be tacky to tell guests to bring finger foods to the reception? My aunt is making the cake and we are serving pink lemonade punch.
I thought I would maybe get some mini quiches and such from Sam's. The wedding is at 11am and then the reception will follow at another church about 30 mins away. Any advice you could send would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Melissa from Charlotte, NC
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By Tammy 03/11/2009
Yes, asking guests to bring a dish would be very tacky.
Maybe you could just ask very close family members to help you with this, or serve finger foods & cake & punch. That's what I did for my second wedding. No one seemed to mind one bit that there wasn't any big meal waiting for them.
By marisa 03/09/2009
When my husband and I got married we went to the court house and took only our kids with us.We were married before and didn't need all of the gifts and such so we had a reception at a friends pool and all the guests brought a covered dish instead of gifts. My parents made a ham and turkey plus we had cheese and meat platters with veggie and fruit too.We had so many side dishes it was nuts!It was great and the guests loved it. It was also cheaper on the guests than buying a gift that we didn't need anyway. We paid for the drinks and paper products,the cake and decorations. Everything else was brought by friends and family. We all had a good time.Nobody had to "dress" either because it was a pool party. Good luck to you.
By Noella 03/08/2009
I went to a wedding this past summer where the bride asked everyone to bring a dish. I thought it was very "tacky." I was recently married (2004) and we couldn't afford to feed everyone a dinner so I decided to just have the cake and punch. Try to have the reception after the "lunch" hour or after the "dinner" hour so people aren't all that hungry.
What I did do for the bride was to take my dish that I brought in a nice crystal bowl and I told her that was my wedding gift for her.
But my first thought when I received the invitation was "How tacky!" Just have cake and punch and no one will even miss the dinner. The second best thing to do would be as a previous poster mentioned - only have close family and only very close friends help with the food.
By Carol Rodriguez 03/08/2009
I think it is okay to ask close family and close friends to bring something. They would probably feel flattered that you think that much of their cooking! I like the previous idea of having the recipes written down for you to keep and share.
Try going about this another way. Send an email to your closes friends and family asking their advice on what to put on the menu inexpensively. If your family is like mine they will jump at the chance to "provide" something they think is their best dish. (my fiance's cousin took cake decorating classes and begged to do the cupcakes for our reception)
By Andrea 03/07/2009
I think if you were really set on having guest bring food, then the best way to do this would be to ask them that in lieu of a gift, please bring your favorite dish - maybe something from their family recipe collection - something special, and have them bring the recipe for it, too, on a card for you (send the card with the invite to help them out).
This way, you're getting what you want, but your guests are giving a piece of themselves to you and your spouse. You compile all the recipes together and you have your own personal cookbook. If you wanted to be really awesome, you could print out all the recipes (nothing fancy, just a Kinko's job) for everyone who attended and send the booklet with them as a momento and a thank you.
By Heather Krucker 03/07/2009
Based on the time of your reception, it's lunch time. If you want to have a reception afterward...you need to provide the food. I liked the idea of spaghetti w/salad and bread. If you need financial help, then only ask a few of your close friends to help out.
By Kim Churchman 03/07/2009
Just do cake only! Champagne, a wedge of cake, those are celebration foods, and make the ceremony short enough so it fits between mealtimes. Put this information into your invitations. Then the families go out to dinner and Mom and Dad buy.
By Debbie Dzurilla 03/07/2009
Hum, I think you could do things whatever way you wish but since you are asking for advice. I think you might ask for help from close friends and relatives but I wouldn't ask every single guest. Maybe it just depends on who you are inviting and how many. You could just keep it very simple and not provide a full meal but either do some appetizers and dessert or just leave it with dessert and coffee. It also depends on what time of the day it is as to whether guests will need to be served a bit more than dessert. Good luck!
Just went to a wedding last week - only flowers were what the bride & 3 bridesmaids carried. Nothing for the groom, parents, grandparents, etc. No flowers in front of the church or on the reception tables. They cut that out & put the $ towards a trip to Hawaii. They will remember that trip far more than who had a flower for a couple of hours. But you asked about guests bringing their own food ? That would be out of the question. People have posted many good ideas here to save on food costs.
By Doris 03/07/2009
You know, a meal is probably cheaper than finger foods, in the long run. How many people do you have coming? Roast a turkey or two or three a day ahead, or order them roasted from the market. If you can afford it, have it sliced for you. Mashed potatoes and a couple of vegetables, maybe a salad, although that wouldn't be necessary, bread and butter, and you're set. You can get premade gravy, but test them first, so it's a good one. Serve it family style, or else buffet, and your guests will love you for giving them a full meal. You could also do something like lasagna or spaghetti. What you offer to eat at the reception will be considered in the manner that you treat it, yourself. Make sure that you have good bread, and people won't care WHAT you serve. LOL, for years, everyone will say, "Can we get some bread like Melissa had at her wedding? That was so good!" Do what you can and it will be appreciated by anyone who matters.
By Anonymous 03/07/2009
Melissa, with my second marriage we had zero for money so what we did is request our guests to be practical and help with a donation in lieu of gifts for the celebration. We purchased an inexpensive white mailbox for the wedding cards, placed our names with lettering on the outside and placed it on the greeting table decorated with a few flowers and candles with the quest book.
We served coffee, punch, an assortment of cheese, meats and crackers and of course wedding cake which my cousin made for us as a gift (she's a professional baker so it was three tier and beautiful). The donations were just enough to cover the expenses of the reception and clubhouse rental and everyone told us they loved the idea because they didn't have the pressure of shopping (often outrageous cost for gifts out of guilt) and wrapping and that the reception felt more intimate ;-)
No matter what, anyone who knows and truly cares for and loves you will not be judgmental so just do what's in your heart :-) After all, it's 'your' wedding day :-)
By Linda Jackson03/07/2009
I would not ask guests to bring the food. I catered my three dd's weddings myself at a very thrifty price. Cooked turkey breast, cheese, bread, relishes etc. You might ask a good friend to provide some food as their gift to you. Or a potluck sounds good.
By Kim 03/07/2009
I am sorry I have to be honest because you asked. I think it is extremely tacky to ask guests to bring their own food because basically that's what you would be doing. Might as well say please come to my wedding and bring your own food and drink! I say have family make finger foods there are a lot of ways to cut corners stores such as aldis and places like save a lot, etc. You can do all kinds of things they have crackers and cheeses all kinds they have hams that are wonderful just add a can of ginger ale to the ham and maybe a little honey and brown sugar it is like honey baked ham! we did this for last Easter and everyone thought it was a honey baked ham!
There are simple desserts you can make and make them fancy by putting in shiny mini cupcake foils such as brownies and cookies and put on a nice 3 tired dish or a platter there is simple punches and you can do this all really inexpensive i know because i have thrown many baby and wedding showers!!
By melissa 03/07/2009
Thanks to everyone who offered some ideas! Yes it will be small and we are asking that no one bring gifts. We just want their "presence" LOL
By Cheryl 03/07/2009
Tell them the reception is a pot luck. Give assigned foods by alphabet letter. Like last names A-D could be desserts, etc. Good luck.
It wouldnt be tacky but if you have a small guest list everyone dosent need to bring something or else it will just be to much food. Get a tray of meats and cheeses from walmart or where ever and a bag of rolls so everyone can make their own sandwich. You need to bring mayo and what not of course. Then as about 4 or 5 people to bring dish. Things like fruit and veggie trays or jello salads or even just plain lettuce salad always go good at that sort of thing as do cocktail meatballs and what not. Good luck and congrats.
By Joan 03/06/2009
I guess it would depend on who you know. I wouldn't do it. You could just serve cake, icecream, punch, and coffee, like people used to do.
By Julie 03/06/2009
I don't think I would ask all guest to contribute, but I think you could ask maybe 3-4 of your really close friends to bring inexpensive items if your guest number is small like 25 or less guest. Then maybe you could get each guest that did bring things a thank you gift later.
By Judi 03/06/2009
I agree with theseamstress. I wouldn't ask ALL guests to bring food. A couple of close friends could do that for you instead of a wedding gift. Your guests/friends are going to know you're keeping it low key and won't expect a big spread. The purpose of a reception is to celebrate the marriage, not to get a lavish dinner.
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