Essential food truck wedding tips for maximum traveling food fun

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Food truck wedding tips as seen on @offbeatbride #foodtrucks
Mac the Cheese Food Truck
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.

Food truck wedding tips as seen on @offbeatbride #foodtrucks
Kim & Doug's artsy food truck wedding | Photo by Pete Wagner

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.

Food truck wedding tips as seen on @offbeatbride #foodtrucks
Circus themed wedding | Photo by Sarah Babcock Studio

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 wedding tips as seen on @offbeatbride #foodtrucks
Mac the Cheese Food Truck

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.

Food truck wedding tips as seen on @offbeatbride #foodtrucks
LA food truck wedding | Photo by Chris Wojdak Photography

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.

Food truck wedding tips as seen on @offbeatbride #foodtrucks

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!

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Comments on Essential food truck wedding tips for maximum traveling food fun

  1. Thanks for this! We *just* decided to have a food truck cater our brunch wedding, and I’m clueless as to how you handle an event where the food comes from a truck, instead of waiters. (tells you what kind of weddings I’ve had experience with….the ‘out of our budget’ kind only)

    I’m curious what people’s tips are for keeping a mondo line from being an issue. I don’t want my guests to be frustrated, standing in line for an hour for food. :/

    • We did 3 food trucks, for variety (and we had a big wedding), and we limited each truck to essentially 3 choices so that things could be churned out quickly – i think those were the biggest factors to line reduction. But we also had a program that listed the types of food at each food truck, and a 3 pane window elsewhere that listed the menu items for all 3 trucks so that people didn’t have to be right in front of the truck to determine the menu.

  2. When I’ve been to stuff with foodtrucks they’ve generally been in addition to the main meal, rather than instead of, so there’s been less urgency to get the food. I think the best approach is to swap timings around a bit and do speeches etc first along side cocktails or canapes, then have the food trucks available at the same time as the dancing, so people can come and go to them as they please (and non-dancers have an excuse to just sit out and chow down). The only issues are being aware some guests may got up for seconds and thirds before others have had anything, and booze before food can go wrong for people who aren’t used to it.

  3. I’m having a food truck or two for sure, I don’t like the idea of any sort of formality and this feels so relaxed to me compared to a sit down meal.

    I got a initial quote last year from a couple of nice looking vans with decent food and the price was really reasonable when compared to a formal meal.

    My plan is to have the food trucks ‘open’ for four hours (again, this was not overly expensive and it was on the basis that people will eat as much as they please) so that people have plenty of time to eat as and when they please with no rushing required.

  4. I work for a food truck. Not all of us are super casual! We are already full for 2017 bookings and have set menu plans for events (granted events mean everything from party through to weddings). But I know it can be customised.

    Like everything else: speak to your vendors!

  5. I am hiring a food truck for a 50th birthday party. I estimate the bill to come to about $1000. What is appropriate for tipping the service?

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