Or the New England clam dip, or those fantastic butter cookies? Your aunt Carole, or cousin Fred! And since they’re the best of the best, why not include them in your wedding reception. Wedding celebrations are all about the blending of families and friends, and what better way than to share your family’s heirloom recipes. In addition to providing a taste of home, these goodies can create a wonderful conversation starter for your guests. And with more and more couples  adding DIY elements to their celebration, this becomes a perfect way to trim the budget a little bit and let those talented cooks bask in the glow of compliments.

What you can do, as the recipient of their gifts, is make their contribution as easy as possible.  If your cake will be homemade, ask your venue if there is a place to deliver and store it earlier in the day, so that your favorite niece isn’t trying to drive to the wedding with the cake on the seat next to her. (Smart cars and fondant do NOT mix….)    Try to encourage contributions that can be made in bulk rather than individual pieces; this is a little more forgiving when it comes to figuring out quantities.  If you’re going to have a printed program or menu, credit should be given where credit is due (I once even wrote a New Jersey wedding ceremony [like you didn’t know THAT was coming….] that included a reference to a special kind of spiced pecans that would grace the cocktail hour, thanks to a dear friend of the groom’s.)

Now, if your grandma’s favorite recipe is curried smelts, candied Brussels sprouts or Jello Mold and Ball Bearing Surprise, we might want to investigate another way to honor her…..