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It wasn’t good quality food, and I left hungry so I had to get something to eat when I left. They served cheese and turkey sandwiches on white bread, a veggie tray, cheese and crackers, some cocktail meatballs. Some other things i believe sitting in a bunch of random crockpots. Not appetizing. I I my ate things that’s came out of a store package. I personally wasn’t asked to bring anything and didn’t know it was going to be pot luck. If I was asked as a guest to bring something I’d be pretty upset as I’m going to YOUR event. The likelihood of me attending would go down as a result.
If I went to a potluck wedding, chances are high that I’m not going to eat anything. There’s no way to know if the food has been kept at the correct temperature or made in a hygienic kitchen (as opposed to Aunt Edith’s kitchen where her cats like to get up on the countertop and taste everything she makes). It’s a risk I’m not prepared to take, I don’t need food poisoning. If you go down this road, make sure your wedding insurance will cover medical bills if your guests get sick because of the food. This article sums it up, really: https://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/ohio-butulism-cases-rise-to-31-from-church-potluck/
I would have the same concerns as PP about food preparation safety standards of home cooks. If I were a guest at a wedding, as much as I might love you, I wouldn't want to be responsible for hauling along a crockpot or whatever, and trying to make sure my contribution stays hot or cold, or whatever it needs to be to stay safe. A home cook might use an ingredient that another guest is allergic to or foods can become cross-contaminated, which could potentially be very dangerous. Also, the food brought to a potluck can be incredibly random and there potentially might not be enough food. Especially if your guest list is small, I think it would be much better to purchase the food through a reputable caterer. That way THEY would carry the liability for ensuring food safety. You'll be able to work with them in advance so you can be confident the menu is one you and your guests will enjoy and that there will be enough food for everyone. There are some very economical options (e.g., many chain restaurants, like Olive Garden, various BBQ chains, etc.) that offer catering that might be in the $10-15 pp range. I can nearly guarantee your guests will be more comfortable eating food that they can feel confident about its safety -- and it will be MUCH less stress for you.
I have attended a couple as a guest and both were disasters. It's not the guests' responsibility to provide refreshments/dinner. That is the bride and groom's job. If they can only afford cake and coffee, that is all that is served..from the couple's pocket only. If you want a full dinner, call up a local restaurant as many regularly cater very inexpensively.
Not to mention..food safety in general, nowhere to cook/prepare food...and the ever important one: nearly all venues require a licensed caterer who follows food safety laws.
I most likely wouldn’t go. Making food for a potluck costs time and money. Attending weddings are expensive to begin with (attire, transportation, gift, sometimes a hotel accommodations) that adding on an order expense that’s expected for the host to cover is a bit off-putting. It’s one thing to put on a cake and punch reception during non-lunch/dinner hours. That allows your guests to grab food before or after your wedding, but actually expecting them to spend time/money for food to be served at your event is a different story.
I could see it happening if the guest count was extremely minimal. We attended a few rehearsal dinners that were potlucks and no one had a problem with it! Although I will say it's a different story when it's for the actual wedding reception. As a guest, if the main meal was catered (which is what it sounds like you were going to do) then I'd eat the main dish but be hesitant on the sides depending on what's available, and whether I knew who cooked it or not. Most of your guests will either not eat, or just eat before and snack on little things at the wedding. Personally, I wouldn't decline an invitation just because it was a potluck dinner, but I'm also from an area where potlucks are very common.
If you know your crowd and think they'll be okay with it, then you can risk it. But to play it safe, I would suggest not doing a potluck!
If your guests are coming from out of town, it would be a logistical issue as they may not be able to cook anything or lug something extra with them. Guests can’t cook in a hotel unless it’s a suite and then they would have to buy everything to cook with. If they’re staying with someone, they would need to use their kitchen which would be awkward for a visit. And I definitely wouldn’t want to travel a long way with food meant for a meal.