You can get everything from cupcakes to lobster rolls from a food truck here in the Washington DC area and new trucks are coming onto the scene every week! Having a food truck or two at your wedding is also a really fun and delicious treat for you and your guests. Food trucks at weddings do everything from late night bites, to dessert, right down to serving your entire wedding meal. BUT, food trucks at weddings can go from fun to disaster quickly without proper planning! There are few things that are different from a typical wedding caterer or traditional food options and you need to know these things before booking any trucks. One of my favorite weddings from last year was an all-food-truck-catered wedding planned by DC area wedding planner Kelley Cannon. Kelley graciously agreed to provide us with a few tips and things that you need to know about having food trucks at your wedding. When planning the perfect wedding with food trucks, don’t forget the details! Take it away, Kelley…
If you want to create a lasting, memorable impression for your wedding guests, with thoughtful planning, food trucks can provide a unique experience that your friends and family will be talking about long after your thank you notes have gone out. Whether for a fun spin on a late-night bite or in place of a traditional catered meal, you may need to consider a few helpful tips for having food trucks at your wedding:
Variety & Portion Size
With so many amazing food truck options, consider choosing hiring two to four options (based on the amount of guests) which offer diverse selections. Since the trucks normally offer full-size portions, inquire about smaller portions so your guests have room to sample the different fare.
If the food trucks will be serving the whole meal, think about the style of service you want to have. Will the trucks be similar to stations that your guests can casually visit throughout the night or will there be wait staff to call guests table by table to the trucks, similar to a buffet? Try to reduce waiting time in line by thinking through these scenarios. Also, since guests will be walking between their seats and the trucks, consider providing them with a tray to carry their treats.
Dress it up
Packaging is everything! Talk to your trucks about how the food will be presented and work with them to incorporate your colors or names for a personalized touch. If you are planning to incorporate eco-friendly touches, this can be an area you talk with them about green packaging and reducing waste.
Food Permitting and Insurance
Your marriage license isn’t the only thing you need to have approval for on your wedding day. (See: How to get a marriage license in the DC area.) Make sure the trucks you are considering have liability insurance and all the necessary permits through the health department. If your wedding takes place outside of DC and the truck is only licensed in DC, it may be required for them to obtain a temporary food license through that particular city/county where your wedding is taking place. Check with your venue and the trucks to ensure they can provide you with the necessary documentation prior to booking.
Remember that when you hire food trucks, you’re essentially contracting for the food only. Don’t forget all of the items you will still need: servers and bartenders, beverages and ice, tables, chairs, linens, glassware, flatware, event set-up and breakdown and all those not-so-fun details like trash removal at the end of the night. Even though you may need little to no food from a caterer, a professional catering company can still help facilitate all of these additional staffing and rental needs. (See: Complete list of wedding caterers in the DC area.)
Since many receptions last well into the night, make sure the area that is designated for truck parking is well lit so guests can see what they are ordering, and can walk around safely after the sun goes down!
As with any wedding, an inclement weather back-up plan is very important, but even more so since most venues do not allow or have the capacity for indoor access for vehicles. Based on your venue’s location and layout, having a tent on reserve may be an appropriate back-up option.
Consider working with a planner
This type of meal service requires you doing more of the legwork so consider working with a planner to ensure you don’t overlook any of the important details. (See: Full list of wedding planners in the DC area.) At the very least, an experienced wedding day coordinator will make sure your plan is executed perfectly on the day so you can enjoy it and those tasty trucks!
There you have it! Now, I’m heading out to Farragut Square for lunch to check out the new food trucks! Thank you so much, Kelley for providing us with such great advice. If you are looking for a wedding planner to help you with a food truck wedding or any wedding type, really, be sure to check out Kelley Cannon Events.
If you want more on food trucks, check out our list of food trucks for weddings in DC. Also, this post about how to do a wedding for $15,000 has some great advice about food trucks. And, check out this cute wedding in DC with a food truck that we featured recently!