As a Seattle / Tacoma wedding photographer team we began seeing the wedding food truck trending in 2011 and it is growing in 2012 – and we are loving this! For quite some time many local jurisdictions made it hard for the food truck operator. In many places these types of mobile food mobiles were prohibited – or just allowed to sell hot dogs and light vending items.
Times are a changin’ and many cities are seeing these mobile restaurants as an asset and an economic development tool. The stigma of the “roachcoach” is long gone. Now food truck offerings range from comfort to cuisine items. And let us not forget the spectacular desserts and ice cream options. Lunch workers can stalk food or dessert trucks via Twitter and food truck vendors offer specials and updates to loyal followers.
Customers clamor for the latest food truck creations that they have heard about from friends, colleagues and their social media network. Food trucks deliver delish food and a fun experience – they are serving up a food mob. Finding your favorite food truck is exciting – and a challenge to be sure to time your arrival so you actually get to buy your nosh. Hanging out with people that appreciate good grub and enjoy the thrill of the chase is also part of the charm.
So, with the “food”tainment value it makes perfect sense and adds that homegrown element to weddings. Seeing a food or dessert truck roll up to a wedding is truly spectacular. Last summer we were photographing a wedding on a private Camano Island beach. When we saw the shiny silver Skillet airstream trailer pull up we squealed with glee! Skillet can provide street food style (right out of the truck) or family style catering at weddings and events. A combination of both services is a good option for larger weddings. We were treated to the fanciest gourmet burger ever and we can’t forget the seafood taco sliders. We were delighted to see their pink lemonade garnished with jalapenos – yes. And it was quite delish and refreshing.
Some couples are also going the way of the dessert truck. You can still have your cake and eat it too. Most cupcakeries / bakeries have a variety of other treats on the menu and can provide the traditional cake top for brides and grooms (as photographers we love the cake cutting shots). Having your cupcake truck roll into the wedding creates a great buzz. People can mingle and self serve. It is a surprise treat that reminds many of their days chasing crazed ice cream truck drivers around the cul-de-sac!
The Piccadilly Bakery is the first Kitsap County mobile bakery / cupcakery truck. Calling it a truck is somewhat of a disservice for it is more like an art truck. The owner is from the UK and her desserts show inspiration from across the pond as well as traditional US fare. Her cooked frosting is, in one word, divine. She has just the personality to delight wedding guests – and just wait until you hear that fab accent.
We are awaiting the day that Seattle based Bluebird Microcreamery shows up at a wedding we are shooting. This isn’t just because they make Elysian Stout ice cream (they are neighbors with the very talented Elysian Brewing Company). Their product is fabulous and it is served up from a retro ice cream truck – a perfect back drop for wedding candids.
Things to Keep In Mind When Hiring a Food Truck
If you are considering food trucks for your wedding you are after something different and perhaps a bit whimsical. Keep this in mind when reviewing menus. Food trucks aren’t a good match if you want traditional wedding fare. If you want something different food truck fare by no means sacrifice taste – just the pomp and circumstance.
Most vendors are very savvy about permits and requirements needed to operate in a certain location (jurisdiction, private venue) but be sure to coordinate with your venue and the catering / food truck vendor to see if street permits (if parking on a public street) are in place. Some private locations might also require permits depending on the jurisdiction. Do you homework to avoid any red tape issues on the big day.
Work with your caterers to devise a menu that offers some variety but keep it simple. If you are planning a wedding of 100 + you might want to consider an additional food truck or one with catering options to avoid long lines.
Consider a dessert buffet in combination with the dessert truck. It makes sense for larger weddings; the table is ready to receive extra cupcakes and treats when it is time for the truck to leave. Or, have a food cart greet guests as they exit. They can easily be given treat favors – not only is this a green wedding practice, but who doesn’t like to leave with an additional treat?
Food trucks are like water coolers. They provide a unique activity that gets guests mingling.