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Weddings and Money

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Wedding receptions are fun, festive, and a great time of celebration after the wedding. A wedding reception can be a simple occasion by providing guests with finger foods, soft music, and a place to sit and visit. Other options include full-blown buffets, a dance floor, live band, and a great time for all. No matter how simplistic or fancy a wedding reception is, the two things always included are the cake and food.

Much of the decision regarding food will be related to budget. If you have money to splurge and set up a full buffet or hire a caterer, excellent. However, most people are tightening the purse strings by the time they get to the reception. After paying for the wedding clothes, flowers, photographer, and everything associated with the wedding to include the honeymoon, money for the reception is not as fluid.

While you could provide your guests with appetizers and something to drink, or just drinks and cake, this makes for a bland reception. You want your reception to be as spectacular as the actual wedding. You want to show your guests that they are important and their attendance is appreciated. The good news is that if you want a nice meal, you can have one without paying a fortune or hiring a professional. A great solution is to have a potluck dinner.

For example, if you attend a specific church regularly, you could tap into the various women's groups. These women devote their time to serving others and are excellent at organizing potlucks. In fact, many of them bring their prized family recipes! If this is your situation, start by getting in touch with the leaders of these women's groups to see how they can help. In most cases, they start the phone chain to get the potluck organized. In some cases, the church has a budget established specifically for this type of expense and will gladly purchase the required food and drink and organize it. If you do not attend church regularly, you can still request guests to bring a potluck dish. Some people say this is tacky but in fact, this is quite acceptable. Not only does it help with the reception but it also allows many of your guests to take part in your special day.

This is one responsibility that you need to give to someone else such as an aunt, cousin, or friend that has exceptional organizational skills, does not get frustrated easily, and can get people excited about participating. You need to have the foods divided into categories. The bride and groom should provide all the beverages such as tea, coffee, lemonade, Kool-Aid, wine, and beer as well as nuts, mints, and all tableware such as plates, cups, napkins, and eating utensils. Other small items that should be purchased include, sugar, salt, pepper, creamer, ketchup, mustard, and any other type of condiment needed.

The guests bringing food will have a choice of an appetizer, entrée, vegetable, salad, or bread. The individual organizing the potluck will have the responsibility of ensuring that the food being brought does not fall within one specific category. Other considerations would depend on where the reception will be held. For example, if the reception will be outdoors, ice coolers or some type of refrigeration will need to be rented whereas if at a church or community center, those items would already be there.

Finally, to complete the potluck reception, you will need chairs, tables, volunteers to help with the serving and clean up, flowers, and centerpieces. With good planning, you can have a fantastic and memorable wedding reception potluck that everyone will enjoy!

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