Why Food Trucks for Weddings Are Changing the Game for Receptions
28 Sep 2021 •6 min read
Does the idea of a food truck wedding reception sound really appealing to you? How about for a casual, outdoor rehearsal dinner? Or for the very end of the night when all you can think about are some fries to soak up that champagne?
If you're thinking about booking a food truck for any part of your wedding weekend, you probably need some help figuring out how exactly you can make that happen. Well, Loverlies, you're in luck!
We talked to some food truck caterers who run some of New York’s hottest mobile eateries to get some tips for how to pull off the perfect wedding with food trucks involved. The great chefs behind Red Hook Lobster Pound, the Morris Truck, and Wafels and Dinges are giving us the scoop on a food truck wedding!
So if you are thinking about booking a food truck for your wedding, check out these tips to make sure that your wedding day is made even greater by the addition of a food truck.
Consider what you want out of the truck.
The best place to start deciding whether a food truck wedding is going to be the right option for you is by knowing what kind of catering you want.
"Food trucks are versatile and fun and can accommodate any event situation, from cocktail hour to the after party," says April Reed of Red Hook Lobster Pound.
“Just give us the time and place, and we'll be there,” says Ben Latham of the Morris Truck. “If you don't want to be stressed about food, go with a food truck! We'll take care of all the logistics."
Think about the size of your guest list.
If you have a large headcount, you need to know what it takes to feed that many people. "Generally, we only send one [truck]," says Erica Vichnes of Wafels and Dinges. "But if it's a party for over 600 guests, we usually need to send multiple [trucks]."
Like with any catering arrangement, it's important to have a rough idea of how many people you'll be inviting before you make any formal food truck reservations. "Our food truck serves tens of thousands of people at big festivals so we can easily serve any wedding of any size by ourselves," says Reed.
"But incorporating more than one truck at your wedding gives you and your guests more variety for food. The Red Hook Lobster Pound plays well with other food trucks. We find three trucks is a nice mix." After all, how many weddings have you been to where you get to pick your dinner right there and then?
Consider the season.
"If you're having an off-season wedding, a food truck can be a really affordable option," says Latham. "We sometimes can make deals during our slower months—taking on smaller parties with smaller budgets."
"There is some flexibility [with our menu] based on party size and season," says Vichnes. "We're always happy to add a topping or two based on what's in season, whether it's peaches, blueberries, or an additional ice cream flavor."
You’ll also want to think about where the truck will be located and, therefore, the guests will be too. Will a line be forming out in the hot sun with no shade? Is there a chance of rain? Make sure you keep all aspects of the season in mind before confirming your plan.
Think about the aesthetics.
Food trucks come in all different colors and styles, so as much as you are considering the options for the menu itself, also think about how you want it to look! Food trucks are a wedding photographer’s dream come true, so it might be important to consider the aesthetics of whatever truck you want to hire.
Ask how willing they are to work with you on the menu.
Do they offer a set list of options or will they customize the menu based on what you want? Most food trucks will be able to take allergies or food preferences into account, so when in doubt, bring it up.
"We're really excited to try new things," says Latham. “If you're having a barbecue-themed wedding, we can serve up barbecue-inspired grilled cheeses for your rehearsal dinner. We have a catalog of over 100 grilled cheese sandwich recipes, so if you have a request, just ask!"
Think through what else you need.
So you've decided on a food truck. Hooray! But now you have to think about whether it works with your venue. Food trucks don't usually need much in the way of space or fancy settings, but there are other little details to consider.
"Couples might not consider that they might need someone to bus tables," says Reed. "Generally, food truck staff stay on and serve from the truck." Also, if you would prefer to use non-disposable china and flatware, you might need to go through a separate rental company.
Plan for a bit of chaos.
The Morris Truck's Latham urges couples to keep in mind there may be a line, especially since food trucks only have one service window. "So even though we can get food out pretty quickly, there will be lines at some point,” he says. "We might be busy starting off, we might hit a bottleneck right before the end of the night. Things can be chaotic, but we'll still deliver."
As anyone who has been to buffet weddings can tell you, a line isn’t the worst thing in the world, but considering all of the logistics ahead of time is always a way to keep your guests happy.
Keep the party going.
Not sure you want to sacrifice the traditional reception dinner catering for some food trucks? There are plenty of other ways to get a wedding food truck into your day.
Think about offering a late-night option so that your guests can get some great snacks after a night of dancing and, let’s be honest, drinking. Nothing tastes better than some late-night fries and ice cream, which any food truck caterer worth their salt can provide.
Be sure to plan ahead.
If you're trying to book a popular truck, you probably want to give yourself some time. Food truck weddings are becoming immensely popular, so most of the really tasty trucks will book up early.
"If someone really wants to book the Red Hook Lobster Pound for their big day, I recommend calling me as soon as possible," says Reed. "I think it is most common for couples to book us three to twelve months in advance. We're also pretty popular in the summer months, so earlier is always better."
Weddings with food trucks are fun, affordable, and a great way to remember your big day!