Wedding festival food truck

Food trucks are huge these days all over the country. Everyone loves the unique and delicious food, the atmosphere, and the fun service you get from a food truck meal. It is no surprise that we are seeing food trucks at weddings become a trend and we don’t see that going away anytime soon.

Couples want an event that reflects them and who they are and incorporating a foods truck could be just the ticket!

We teamed up with Paula Cano, from A Family Affair, to make a list of things you have to consider if you are thinking about incorporating food trucks into your wedding.

Securing Your Food Trucks

Most food trucks do not operate like traditional caterers. Their business was built by setting up their truck at various locations in their town, word of mouth marketing, and building a following with their delicious food. Food trucks are a huge trend in cities all over the country but there aren’t as many that are geared towards private catering and weddings.

Paula Cano spent a lot of time writing and securing contracts for our largest food truck event, Brooke and Gordy’s wedding. Again, since a lot of these trucks are sole-owner and out on the streets every day, they don’t live and die by email and can be tough to reach by phone. In ours and Paula’s experience, many haven’t ever worked with contracts and their calendars are usually planned out weeks in advance, not months or even years like the wedding industry is used to.

For Brooke and Gordy’s wedding, Paula handled all of the contracts for all five trucks and it took her a long time to get those secured. No one wanted surprises on their wedding day.

Food truck wedding - festival atmosphere

Logistics at the Venue

You may be used to seeing food trucks set up at your favorite brewery or in your favorite area of town but you may not have realized that they are generally very large, especially when their doors are open and they are all set up. You need to make sure your venue can easily accommodate their size.

If you are setting the food trucks up in a parking lot, you could be taking premier parking away from guests.

You also want to make sure the trucks are near your reception area so that you aren’t asking your guests to walk long distances carrying their food back to their table.

Be sure to check with your venue if you are thinking of using food trucks for your food service. Some venues consider food trucks outside catering and don’t allow them.

Many cities and towns don’t allow food trucks on city streets. At Hardy Farm, we are lucky to have an on-site parking area where the trucks can set up but Greg meticulously was out measuring the area for Paula as we secured more trucks for Brooke and Gordy’s wedding to make sure they would all fit comfortably.

Consider the sound from food trucks. Most run off generators which can be very noisy. During your ceremony is when they will be working the hardest to get the food ready, you need to make sure their set up won’t take away from your ceremony.

El Corazon food truck wedding set up

Lines, lines, lines

Think about the lines for your guests. Are you using food trucks instead of a caterer for your whole dinner? How will you handle all of your guests at once going to the trucks to order? You need to make sure your venue has a place where people can order and a place where people can wait for their food.

Consider the weather and where you are making your guests stand to wait in line. Make sure no one is out in the heat or standing in the rain to get their food.

Paula suggested to Brooke and Gordy to provide compostable food trays to make it easier on the guests to carry their food back to their seats. She purchased them from the Webstaurant Store.Those helped a lot!

We’ve heard of a few weddings that hired food runners. Guests would order their food and food runners would wait for the order to be done and deliver to that guest’s table number. That is a great way to cut down on your guests having to wait and to avoid making them carry their food from the truck back to their table. No one wants a grandmother to spill Japanese street food all over her new dress!

Night food truck festival wedding

The Aesthetics

This is your special day and you want a day that symbolizes you and your unique relationship. Having food trucks as a part of your wedding is a great way to set the tone of the day. Food trucks are very casual.

Paula said Brooke and Gordy had a really good vision going into their wedding so she had a great direction to start with. Figuring out the flow of the day and how it was going to look was a bit of a puzzle.

Each food truck has its own aesthetic. Think about their unique styles and if you have multiple, how those styles will look when side by side.

If you are using food trucks as your primary food for the day, it can be considered a cool, modern take on a buffet line. Do you then want your guests to walk back to their tables and all eat there or do you want to set up an informal eating area near the trucks set up like a bar with high top tables so guests stand up and mingle while they eat?

We talked to Siobhan Bogle, from Maine Tinker Photography, who was the photographer at Brooke and Gordy’s large food truck wedding and she was so impressed with the logistics and aesthetics of the day. “The venue was so cool because you can move around a lot. There were all these different little movements throughout the night. There were just waves of food and so much coordination with the positioning of it all. The guests must have had so much fun. They were all super fun and sheik and dapper and just enjoyed the festival type atmosphere.”  

Paula also, very smartly, created a privacy wall to make sure that the food was separate from the restrooms. She was meticulous about making sure each area of the venue had a purpose and look to them.

Happy wedding couple at food truck wedding

Another detail to consider is what the food will be served on. Again, food trucks work independently. That means each truck has a different service style, type of plate, silverware, napkins, to-go boxes. If that look is not ok with you, you may want to talk to them and provide items for them to serve on.

There is a lot to consider for how the service will play out and look. An easier option may be to add food truck service to a rehearsal dinner, cocktail hour, or late night after-party.

Food Considerations

Think carefully about the food service, the food styles, and how all of your guests will receive their meal. We have heard unfortunate stories of guests not wanting to wait in lines, unhappy with the eccentric menu options, unhappy with portion sizes and then they feel they did not get enough food at a wedding to really enjoy themselves.

Another recent trend that could make sense is adding a grazing table so that guests can grab food whenever they would like. Even with five food trucks, for Brooke and Gordy’s wedding there was a grazing table with food provided by The Good Food Store so that guests could pick or make a plate at any time during the evening.

Grazing tables and oyster shucking in the garden

Make sure you plan with your food trucks beforehand so you know what they are serving. You should create a small specific menu to streamline the process and help with shorter lines.

Budget

Adding food trucks to your wedding is a great way to get a look and feel for your day but it is generally not a budget saver.

Many things that a traditional caterer include, would be extras for food truck service like a bar, linens, dishes, staff for food running or cleaning

For Brooke and Gordy’s wedding, they were lucky enough to get a bar truck as well that totally fit the aesthetic of the day.

Food truck bar at wedding

The Knot suggests one truck for every 75 guests but we would recommend even more than that or at least a grazing table or other food option so all of your guests aren’t trying to order at the same time.

Food trucks again are also used to being on the streets on busy weekends. The cost of your truck may not be the cost of the food and staff but also the cost to them of taking the truck off the street on a busy weekend. There could be some fluctuation on shoulder seasons.

At first, food trucks could seem to save you money but when you add other employees and services to make sure they flow is right and your guests are taken care of, it often costs more.

Waste!

One of the biggest details to think about if you are thinking about a food truck wedding is waste! Food trucks typically serve on disposable plates and use disposable utensils and napkins. Many have earth-friendly or compostable options. As we mentioned earlier, they also serve out of their truck. They do not come with people to bus tables, scrape plates, and make trash runs.

We were SO lucky to have Garbage to Garden on-site for our largest food truck wedding. They were amazing! They took care of the waste and the composting of food scraps and compostable trays, napkins, and utensils. When we talk to people about this wedding, they almost always bring up how amazing and helpful Garbage to Garden was. Garbage to Garden is a composting service that services households, events, and restaurants. They take all the food scraps, bring it back to their headquarters and make compost that other individuals and businesses can use.

Food truck weddings are a super fun trend! They are unique, cool, and fun. We hope this post also shed some light on all the other aspects you need to consider before you start booking your food trucks for your wedding!

Garbage to Garden composting at wedding

Happy planning!

Cozy couple at donut food truck Highroller Lobster company makes lobster rolls at wedding Donut truck at night Food truck serving food at wedding Donut food truck Mami food truck set up at wedding BPs shuck shack shucks oysters at food truck wedding

Photos from Brooke and Gordy’s Wedding:

Planning and Design: A Family Affair

Photography: Maine Tinker Photography

Photo Booth: The Maine Photo Camper

Rentals: Savvy Event Rental

Food Trucks: Mami, High Roller Lobster Co., El CorazonEighty 8 DonutBP’s Shuck Shack, and The Good Food Store 

Hair: Bridal By Lizzy

Makeup: Makeup By Dana Face

Beverage: Maine Mixologist

Music: Time Pilots

Lighting: Griffin &  Griffin Illuminated

Flowers: Moonset Farm

Waste: Garbage to Garden