How to plan for the cutest food truck wedding reception
Food truck weddings are no longer just a trend and are now a serious and often used option for budget conscious brides or anyone with a hipster flare to them.
On your most important day, you want to get the details right so we’ve put together this fantastic resource for you to reference when you’re planning your food truck wedding.
The most important thing to know right off the bat is you need to plan ahead.
You’re good at that, right? We thought so, that’s why you’re here.
Even more important is having the confidence to negotiate with the food truck owner and you’ll get that confidence once you know exactly how a food truck wedding should be organized.
1. Do the Math
A well run and experienced food truck can handle about 75-100 guests during an event and since the average American wedding has around 178 guests, you might want to think about hiring two food trucks. So what will one or two food trucks cost you?
Well, that depends on a lot of things. The more popular the truck you try to hire, the more expensive it’s going to be. Don’t be offended, though.
It’s not because they’re being elitist or difficult, it just means that their schedule is a little tighter because of their popularity. Keep in mind, if you try to hire the truck too far out then you risk them bailing on your special day for an unannounced festival that pops up.
Keep in mind, if you try to hire the food truck too far out then you risk them bailing on your special day for an unannounced festival that pops up (where they will make a lot more money). But if you run it too close, then you might be stuck with that everyday silver taco truck from the down the street. No bueno!
Here comes the Math
We recommend trying to schedule around two months ahead of the wedding to be safe.
The average American wedding is running about $66 dollars per guest for reception catering so if you’re running the average number of guests, then you’re looking at around $8,844 in spend.
You should be able to negotiate $20 a guest for the night which would put you at $5,360 for two trucks…saving you around $3,500 bucks!
My friend Amanda over at This Fit Blonde recently got married and she was quoted around $2,200 for one truck for all of her guests. So it just depends on your negotiating skills.
2. Consider the Cuisine
A very important subject indeed. Do you have any vegetarian or vegan guests attending your wedding (probably)?
Do you have anyone with food allergies? Are you considering boring burgers or a Japanese-Thai Fusion food truck (we made this one up)?
It’s your family and friends so most likely you know a lot about them, but what about the “plus ones.” Everyone has that one cousin or friend who is a serial dater and you can never predict who (or what) they might bring. So be sure to ask with your RSVP for any known food allergies or other no go’s.
Once you have accounted for the most stringent of guests then you can decide on what’s going to please the crowd the most. Or you can just pick something you like and damn the rest of the free-loading guests. (Just kidding).
Some important things to consider while thinking about the cuisine is also flow of your wedding.
Will it creep into the late hours of the night? Then be sure you have some greasy items on the menu to sober your guests up. Are you putting on a Billy idol “white wedding”?
Then probably smart to avoid any BBQ dishes or anything that will stain and ruin your guest’s clothes. Who cares about their cleaning bills, think about your reception photos!
3. Hire more Help
So, unfortunately, your fabulous food truck won’t come with any hot wait staff to impress your guests so you’re going to have to prepare a little.
See, food trucks are a trendy way to impress your guests and they are more economical, but the last thing you want is a bunch of ravenous guests waiting in an hour long line for their food when they should be admiring you in your cute dress.
Wait staff can be really helpful to keep your guests distracted and can be done economically.
The more accommodating you want to be will determine how many additional wait staff you’ll need to hire.
Not doing a plated dinner will save you big time. You still might think about hiring waitresses and waiter staff (about 1-5) to roam the party offering pre-made drinks (champagne or wine) or cleaning up after the guests when they are finished with their meal from the food truck.
The point is to distract your guests or break up the line at your food truck. Another hip idea is to have someone running a step and repeat or a photo booth near the truck for a cool distraction and lasting memories.
Ambiance, is obviously the “bow on the package”. It’s what helps set the mood.
Check out the ambiance of this wedding to imagine what’s possible.
You’re already pretty hip for having a food truck at your wedding, but what else can you do to complete the look? Here are some killer ideas we’ve seen out there:
Pitch a white tent over the food truck (ventilate it properly) to create a cozier and intimate feeling.
Hang lights on the inside and have tall cocktail tables about so guests can circle around them to keep the conversation going
Position the bar next to the food truck to help break up the food line and keep everyone drinking and having a good time
Post a handwritten menu on a chalkboard outside the truck near the line so guests know what to expect when they get up to the service window.
Paper food truck centerpieces add a quirky theme continuation
Changing the name of the dishes to represent close family or friends. ex: “Best Friend Burger”
These are just a few ideas to get the wheels turning for you, but essentially there are countless ways to add some panache to your food truck wedding, but the best place to start is to mirror the theme of your truck.
If you’ve ordered up an Asian-Fusion food truck for your special day then go ahead and add some Asian elements to tie in with it. Maybe it’s an Italian food truck so how about an Italian singer in the background. We’re confident you’ll figure it out.
5. When & How to Capture the Moment
The final piece of the puzzle is the lasting moments that you and your guests will remember.
And we’re not talking about your drunk Uncle being cut off from the open bar either!
We’re talking about the photographs.
Your newly hired food truck should have a fresh wash for the occasion (don’t forget to demand it) but it’s not going to have “blinged” out wheels or be purring like a kitten, so keep that in mind.
You most likely will want several photographs of the truck with your guests around it eating and having a good time but you don’t want every photo to have the food truck in it.
So be mindful of where you position it.
We recommend not making it the focal point of the reception layout but rather off to the side. But not too far off to the side where your guests have to hike 500 feet just to grab a drink and a stuffed meatball.
Close enough for quick access to food, but far enough away where the truck won’t interfere with the band, DJ or dance floor.
We hoped we helped remind you of some of the most crucial things to remember when hiring your food truck for your wedding reception.
When you’re ready to book your food truck then we recommend downloading our Food Truck Wedding Planner Guide. Want to hear a first-hand account of a couple as they planned for their food truck wedding reception then go here.