My partner and I are contemplating having food trucks cater our wedding, but I still want a designated dinner hour time where everyone is at the tables when they announce the wedding party entrance and our people of honor (and probably my dad because he's chatty and loves a crowd) can make their speeches. Has anyone done food truck catering and still been able to have that dinner hour experience? What are the logistics? Any tips or pointers?
Food trucks have so many perks: style for days, great food options, budget-friendly vendors, and ease of having everything in one place. But weather, long lines, and of course, the logistics of the schedule can make a food truck wedding challenging. But when tacos, burgers, ice cream, artisanal coffee, and gourmet street food are the prizes, it's well worth the challenge.
Let's talk about food truck wedding tips for securing the dinner hour time and some general tips for making it awesome.
General food truck wedding tips:
Ask for advice
Food truck vendors often cater large events and may be able to help herd or coordinate the evening with you. Ask them for any tips they may have for feeding a large group, specific to their experiences.
Inform your venue of your plan
Don't forget to let your venue know that you'll be having food truck catering. Ask about parking, electricity hook-ups, weather options, and about space to queue up.
Check into permits and insurance
Make sure the trucks you are using have liability insurance and all the necessary permits through the health department. This is especially true if the reception is taking place in a state where the food truck normally doesn't service. Check with your venue and the trucks to see the necessary documentation.
See if you'll need other rentals
Ask your food truck vendor if they provide servers/bartenders, ice, linens, glassware, flatware, and setup/breakdown/trash removal. All or some of these might be included, but you don't want to be caught unaware.
Ask about lighting
If your reception is at night, as your vendor if any lighting will be provided or if you'll need to secure that on your end.
Make sure there's enough food
This may seem obvious, but it might not be a given. Talk to your food truck vendor about how much food they recommend and consider having a back-up food option for later in the evening, if it's within budget.
Food truck tips for carving out the dinner hour:
Consider a reception program
If you have the budget (or are game to DIY), consider printing up a reception program for the tables. It could double up on your menu, if you're having one at the place settings. Alternately, a large sign or table tent in the centerpiece could work, too. Include the schedule for the entrance, the speeches, the food truck time, and a tip to head back to their tables with the food truck catering to make sure they don't miss anything at the reception.
You could even include a little overview of the food truck offerings to whet everyone's appetite.
Avoid seating near the food trucks
Make sure everyone knows (via the program or announcement) when the food trucks are open for the noms and that they can head back to their tables to eat. Some food trucks are great about setting up seating, so make sure to ask them to forgo that part in favor of just serving up the goodies. Some folks may linger, but we'll get to that part.
Designate someone to herd the cats
Ask a friend, wedding party member, or your coordinator (if you have one) to politely herd guests back into the dining area after they grab their food. If you don't want to have someone do this personally, a sign near the food trucks informing them that speeches will be happening could help.
Switch up the schedule
If all else fails, consider pairing the dinner time with some other part of the evening, like recreation or the photo booth. Food trucks can often get overloaded with lines and having a photo booth, games, guest book signing, or some other activity can alleviate some of the swarm. Then you can plan your speech time earlier to go along with cocktails or even dessert.
Are you considering a food truck for your own wedding catering? Share your local faves in the comments!