Wording an invitation to potluck reception

My finance and i are planning a potluck reception. Both of us really like the traditional custom of this, as our families long ago used to have family and friends augment the wedding feast with dishes of their own. But i don’t know how to word it without it sounding..a bit…cheesy. Do you have any suggestions. I would like to get the point across that we would consider this a gift and would not expect them to also include another gift from a registry, do you have any ideas how to handle that as well. I’ve read only a couple of postings on potluck receptions, and understand that this doesn’t seem to be a popular trend here, but i have to say the two potluck wedding receptions that i attended were the most fun i’ve had at a wedding. The bride was very relaxed, there was more time to visit with everyone, and it was fun seeing what everyone brought. So, knowing your desire to ban potluck receptions as an idea, may i just ask you to take pity on me and help with wording suggestions. Thank you so much!

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Mztupelo,

I’m sorry; there is no polite way to ask guests to bring the party. It isn’t a proper tradition or a trend. If you have been to some, then it is most likely a local tradition born from church events. Or, often it is a localized trend begun from one person in a ‘group’ doing something that everyone in the group accepts as proper and others continuing it without actually finding out how others outside the group view it.

But, it isn’t something any person involved with etiquette and what is considered polite and appropriate behavior can advise upon, except to suggest hosting the event you can afford to host. Please remember, as a person inviting guests, you are a host. And, a good host provides the entire party for all of her guests.

I am not responsible for trying to ban potluck receptions. I am definitely not on a potluck vendetta. They certainly have their place. But, potluck receptions are not considered proper, except if this was just a very small family wedding. So, if you wish to host something that isn’t proper, you would be on your own as far as wording for invitations.

I do appreciate your focus on time spent with your guests and not gifts though. This is very special.

Best wishes,