In this 2016 photo by Lucky Malone Photography, kids queue for desserts from the Bumblebee truck at a wedding at Lyons Farmette & River Bend in Lyon, Colorado. The Bumblebee is a dessert truck owned and operated by Denver-based chef Lora, Little Guard. (Danielle DeFiore / Lucky Malone Photography via AP)
By CEDAR BURNETT, Associated Press
Bobby Hughes’ family was concerned about the food truck. They were used to having wedding dinners with towering cakes. But Hughes and his Colombian bride Angelica took a more laid-back approach when they asked the owners of a local food truck to prepare a South American-inspired menu for their Houston wedding.
“My relatives in Texas are people with meat and potatoes,” says Hughes. “So there was some concern about the food. I was asked if people should bring their own sandwiches.”
No sandwiches required. According to Hughes, his family and other guests were impressed with the custom menu that Consumed created – a self-billed mobile food dispensary. Usually the owners were upscale burgers and french fries suppliers and worked with the couple to offer Argentinean empanadas, goat cheese and pesto sliders, vegetarian tacos and arepa, a traditional Colombian flat corn bread with pulled chicken and jicama coleslaw.
Hughes’ brother-in-law Julian Alvarez had suggested using the food truck after learning that the couple’s wedding venue did not have a kitchen. Alvarez knew the owners of Consumed from their usual place outside the Down the Street Bar and offered to pay for the food as a wedding gift. The couple loved the idea and appreciated that they didn’t have to worry about seating arrangements.
Hughes recommends a food truck for anyone wanting something relaxed and different, but he says couples should meet their expectations.
“It’s a food truck,” he says. “You won’t be serving everyone at the same time, but in the meantime your guests can have a drink and talk. That really takes the advantage.”
In this undated photo by Ava Marie Photography, Jay and Erin Gaskill, Front of Line, and their wedding guests at their wedding in Sagamore Beach, Massachusetts (Katherine Harper / Ava Marie) order food from Boston-based food truck Mei Mei Photography via AP)
Mei Li, owner of a Boston truck named Mei Mei, agrees that trucks help create a casual, fun atmosphere.
“Guests enjoy walking around and ordering,” she says. “It’s a new experience for many people, and offers a level of excitement and options that a traditional caterer can’t.”
Mei Mei, which is run by three siblings and offers a Chinese-American menu from the region, was so successful that it now also has a seat and a lunch counter based on shipping containers.
After many weddings, Li suggests that couples consider the style of their wedding, the number of guests, and the restrictions of the venue when choosing a truck for their special day. Also, learn what a food truck can and can’t do.
“Food trucks typically don’t offer table linen, waiters, or post-dinner cleanups. You may need to negotiate this or use an outside provider to provide these services,” says Li.
Chat directly with the chefs to make sure the menu items make sense for the crowd.
“Nobody wants to wait long for a wedding,” says Li. “Be ready to be flexible and creative – the operator knows best what will work.”
Li recommends using a truck for either cocktail hour or main meal and limiting menu items to three or four options. Another option is for the chefs to serve appetizers straight from the truck and then bring family-style servings to each table or offer a buffet.
For those who prefer a traditional dinner and still want the fun of a truck, a dessert van is worth considering.
“Everything is already ready, so it’s like a dessert buffet that I keep topping up,” says Lora Kleinwachter, owner and chef of the Bumblebee truck in Denver.
In the March 2017 photo by Julie Doniero Photography, Bobby and Angelica Hughes celebrate their wedding in Houston with the local food truck Consumed. (Julie Doniero Photography via AP)
The Bumblebee, a curvy P-30 van from 1962 that is even cuter than its name, has been rescued and restored to its current, Instagram-worthy state. Since then he has been traveling to weddings and events.
“People love to take pictures with the bumblebee, and children freak out when they see them,” says Kleinwachter.
While her menu options include full-size cakes, she often suggests the most portable treats – like baked donut holes or chocolate mugs.
“People often dance and socialize for dessert,” she says. “Guests, especially the children, love anything that is easy to eat and carry around.”
While many savory food couples can save money compared to a sit-down dinner, dessert trucks can be a boon. Kleinwachter knows that with a minimum of $ 1,000 plus travel and hourly service fees, their truck can cost more than the average pie. Still, she says a lot of couples hire her because they want something special.
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