Ask DIY: Hiring A Food Truck To Cater My Wedding

Ask DIY Bride is a regular column where you, our dear readers, may ask our community for their help or opinions on wedding or craft-related issues that are important to you.

Jemma from Austin wants to know:

We’re thinking about hiring our favorite food truck to cater our wedding. What do we need to know before we approach them?

DIY Bride Answers:

Hi, Jemma. Food trucks can be a fun and yummy way to feed your wedding guests especially since you’re in a food truck Mecca like Austin that has dozens of unique options to choose among. While food trucks are indeed awesome, they’re not the right fit for everyone. Here’s what you need to know about hiring a food truck for your wedding:

Venue Considerations

1. Does your venue allow outside food or non-approved caterers? Some venues, like hotels or resorts, require you to use their on-site catering while others allow you to only select from a small list of approved caterers.

2. If your venue does allow you to bring your own caterer, they still may not allow food trucks due to local laws, permit requirements, liability/insurance issues or any number of reasons. Ask your venue manager before you hire a food truck and, most importantly, get it in writing along with any rules and regulations regarding food trucks they may have.

3. Is there enough parking for the food truck(s)? Is the parking on the street, in a driveway, or in a parking lot? The parking location (and availability) can affect whether or not the truck can legally or logistically serve you. A truck may be able to legally operate in a private parking lot at your venue but may not be able to operate on a public street right outside the venue because of local zoning laws, for example.


Food Truck Considerations

1. Is the food truck licensed to operate at your location? The majority of food trucks need have licenses or permits for each city/county they service. Within their service areas, many jurisdictions have restrictions on where food trucks can park and sell their food. Most cities often have no-vending zones near places like restaurants and cafes, schools, and fire hydrant locations. Your food truck vendor will know all about permits and requirements, of course.

2. Is the full menu available for special events? You may love your truck’s Asian chicken & waffles with Sriracha syrup but that may be off limits for a large event because they couldn’t serve it fast enough in a reception’s time frame. Will the truck provide main dish and sides? Or just the main dish? What about drinks?

3. Are the food prices the same for a catered event as they are on the truck’s menu board? Some trucks may charge a different rate to help cover their special event operating costs like extra prep time, more staff, special permits, clean-up, etc. Are there any other fees you need to be aware of?

4. How long will guests have to wait for their food? Ideally, you want everyone to be able to get their food within 30 – 45 minutes of the dinner’s start. Can the food truck deliver all of the meals in that time frame? How?  (Extra food trucks? Buffet-style layout? Limited meal selections? The Dark Arts?)

5. Will the food truck provide napkins, forks, cups of your choice? (If you want compostable bamboo forks, for example, that may cost you extra or you may have to provide them to the truck if it’s not something they do on the reg.)

6. Who’s responsible for providing and maintaining trash cans, cleaning up tables, and removal of food waste? The truck, the venue, or you?


Guest Considerations

1. The biggest challenge with food truck catering is getting your guests fed in a timely manner. If you’re doing an order-at-the-window queue, here are some numbers to consider: if you have 100 guests and it takes 3 minutes to complete each order and the food truck takes 2 orders at a time, the last guest will get her food 3 hours after the first guest. Not cool! For a large gathering, a single food truck may not be efficient enough to feed your nearest and dearest.

2. Some food trucks like to issue meal tickets for large events so that each guest will get 1 meal/entree/item per ticket. Do you want your guests to be able to go back for seconds if they want more food? Work with your truck’s manager to determine how much food to prepare ahead of time to avoid disappointed guests and food shortages.

3. While you may totally dig your fave truck’s foie gras poutine with duck fat fries, it may not be the most enticing meal for the majority of your guests. Can your food truck offer meal options that fit your foodie fantasy while still appealing to the masses?  Can you hire more than 1 food truck to give your guests more options?

4. Instead of hiring a food truck for the main course, how about bringing in cool trucks to do only appetizers, drinks, or desserts? Or how about late-night, after-party snacks?

5. Virtually no food truck companies are prepared to deal with seating for your guests. Where will your guests sit? Are tables, chairs, cups, etc. part of your venue rental or will you need to organize that on your own?

Natalia and David’s Fall Engagement Session

It’s in the air in New York. That crisp air at night and in the morning. The chill that makes you need to layer up so that when the warm mid-day sun starts scorching you have a whole new outfit. The need to go apple picking and run through leaf piles while being playful with your sweetheart on these last days of outdoor friendly weather. Okay, maybe that’s just me, but if it sounds like fun and you have no nearby leaf piles and crisp air, then have a peek at the love session Victoria Greener Photography sent over. After seeing Natalia and David’s sweet smiles and fall fun, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.



A big thanks to Victoria Greener Photography for sharing this e-sesh inspiration with us. Congratulations Natalia + David!


Vendor Information:

Date: November 4. 2012

Location: Idaho, United States

Photographer: Victoria Greener Photography

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Ana + Brandon’s Rustic Budget Friendly Wedding

You know what I love more than a super sweet couple’s amazing DIY wedding photos?  When I find out that the gorgeousness oozing off the page was created by craft crazy bride with a tight budget in mind.  Ana + Ben are certainly adorable enough to love by themselves.  And the details and moments captured by Katelyn Owens Photography are superb too.  And it goes without saying our obsession over some good DIY decor.  But when Ana shared that all of this amazing crafting was created for under $10k.  Well, let’s just say time to start pinning my dears, time to start pinning.


I am so in love with this little outdoor chapel at Stone Oak Ranch!  With a short and sweet ceremony the party moved into the barn where BBQ was cooked and served by close friend on mismatched china to tables with handmade wildflower centerpieces.  A photo timeline bunting of the happy couple served as wall decor, and the pies and cake were also made by friends and fam.  But Ana here was no joke, she was just having too much fun to stop at a few recycled apple sauce jar lanterns.

From the bride:

We had a very small budget to work with (under 10,000) but with a LOT of help from family and friends and some creativity, we were able to have our dream wedding at an affordable price. With an “I can make that!” attitude I worked late into the night making save the dates, invitations, flower girl baskets, a ring-bearer pillow and the list goes on and on. Everyone thought i was crazy, but it was too much fun too quit.

All of Ana’s crafting insanity and beautiful vision of a rustic chic event was brilliantly captured by Katelyn Owens Photography.  And while we are super excited about this, she also managed to capture the real details that make every wedding unique- the special love between the bride and groom.

All of Ana’s late night crafting really did pay off with this country beauty.  Thanks Katelyn Owens Photography for sharing this with us. Congratulations Ana + Brandon!

Vendor Information:

Date: March 30, 2013

Location: Murchison, TX

Photographer: Katelyn Owens Photography

Event Venue:  Stone Oak Ranch

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Leslie + Ashley’s Intimate Sunset Wedding

Sometimes, love finds you at an unexpected moment.  For Leslie and Ashley, even though he was Leslie’s first kiss, the love bug only bit after a long time friendship led them back to one another.  This I do; take two was the perfect combination of full circle love,the joining of two beautiful families, and of course some killer DIY.  Mark Dickinson Photography was there to snap up the super sweet day and all of the lovely details.

The beautiful mason jars lining the aisle, a stunning sunset, all highlighting Leslie’s birdcage veil are simply divine!  For those of you looking for some silk floral inspiration, be sure to study these amazing bouquets created by Leslie’s MIL and decorated with some of her own jewelry.  Did you check out those ridiculous vintage rings?  Daytona Estate Jewelry created them from antique diamonds and vintage platinum bands.  Most of all Mark Dickinson Photography captured how two families became one, from their very special children, to Ashley’s officiant father, and even his grandmother who was in hospital care via FaceTime.  The entire gallery by Mark Dickinson is simply swoon worthy!

Thanks Mark Dickinson Photography for sharing this sunset spectacular!  Congratulations Leslie, Ashley, and your beautiful family!

Vendor Information:

Date:  February 9, 2013

Location: Port Orange, FL

Photography:  Mark Dickinson Photography

Event Venue:  Tavern & Chapel in the Garden

Caterer:  Aunt Catfish on the River

Dress Designer:  White by Vera Wang

Shoes:  TOMS

Jewelry:  Daytona Estate Jewelry

Jewelry:  JC Penney

Floral Designer:  Michael’s Arts & Crafts

Hair Stylist:  Alluring Hair Designs


Christi + Blaine’s Vintage Backyard Wedding

Happy Monday lovely crafties!   We apologize for a few unexpected site issue over the last few days.  And we since we that will have left you dream in pretty details we have a couple of weddings heading your way this week that will make up for it all.  Do you ever dream in vintage details?  I do.  Regularly.  So when you see Christi and Blaine’s vintage perfection, you will seriously be thinking it’s a dream come true.  With all kinds of bride & groom crafted treasures like pennant banners and linens from vintage sheets and table number stands from vintage forks and the dreamy pics from Katie Lewis Photography, you won’t want to wake up from this fantastic backyard fantasy!  That’s right!  Put another heart (or five) next to my love for backyard for beauties!

From the bride:

I tend to stray from traditional styles and to be honest, I really like to be in control! DIYing it allowed me to put our personal style into things and make it our own; while maintaining a comfortable atmosphere for our vintage backyard wedding.

Well if this is what “control” looks like, call my next post Fifty Shades of Vintage Weddings! Christy is a serious no holds barred, DIY Bride!  I’d pretty much give anything for the hankie invites she hand selected and sent to match their guest’s personalities (favorite color, etc.), and those frame stands that Blaine created out of out of vintage forks are divine!  From the pinwheels to the pie stands created from vintage tea cups and plates, I am totally hooked.  The only pain involved in this party had to be waiting to tear open a bag of chocolate buttons!  Everything about this party is pure pleasure!

A big thanks to Katie Lewis Photography who captured and shared this fanciful fete!  Thanks to Christi and Blaine for creating these little splendors, and most of all…Congratulations!


Date: July 21, 2012

Location: North Dakota, United States

Photographer: Katie Lewis Photography

Dress Store:  The Bridal Shop

Dress Store:  Alan Evans Bridal

Tuxedo and Mens Attire:  Halberstadt’s Men’s Wear

Bakery:  Quality Bakery

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Stephanie + Donovan’s Handcrafted Backyard Wedding

Sometime I wonder if we shouldn’t host a DIY Bride awards show? I mean some of these wedding are like movies. And this one? Well, I am totally crazy over! I mean, like a get the girls together, have some snacks, wine and tissues to celebrate friendship, love and cray cray beautiful pics tonights kind of crazy. Between the touching tale of Stephanie and Donovan’s love story, the fact that Stephanie’s dear friend not only hosted the event but courageously created every last bit of DIY fabulousness that you see and the simply stunning photography of Teresa K Photography, this wedding gets a two thumbs up!




From the photographer:

It had been years since he said goodbye to her, but she never left his mind or his heart. And so as it goes, when God’s time was right and the winds had changed, his true love did return. Life had changed them, but not their hearts. All of the trials they had endured only made them more prepared for each other. And so, in the beautiful backyard of Stephanie’s childhood friend, amongst the oak trees and hills of the Sierra Foothills, witnessed by friends and family they had shared for years, they sealed their bond as man and wife. The day couldn’t have been more perfect.

Swoon much? I guess it just goes to prove the old adage “if you love something, let it go..” It could also prove that if your something new climbs up your dress on your wedding day, you get to keep him too!

Now Stephanie’s childhood buddy certainly deserves a nod for best supporting role here. From the invites to the wooden ceremony arch, the signage to centerpieces, every last detail has you glued to the screen wanting and watching for more! Down to the twinnkiling lights in the perfect night sky, this wedding is pure romance and a perfect blend of woodsy elegance with rustic simplicity.

Bravo! Bravo! Encore! Encore! Is all that I can say. I’d like to thank Stephanie, Donovan, and their creative team who put together such a gorgeous script to work off of. A big thanks to Teresa K Photogrpahy for sharing this lovely day with us! And as the end your speech music cue comes up I can’t forget to say congratulations Stephanie and Donovan!


Vendor Information:

Date: October 20, 2012

Location: Private Residence, California, United States

Photographer: Teresa K Photography

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Alyssa + Darin’s Vancouver Island Wedding Weekend

If you’ve never been to Canada, you may be planning a vacation to the west coast after seeing this amazingly beautiful scenery.  The perfect photos from Janelle Photography combined with this brilliant backdrop and made better by a stunning bride and groom will having you Googling a vacation or destination wedding in this lovely locale for sure!  Taking place on Vancouver Island, Alyssa and Darin’s friends and fam enjoyed a lakeside ceremony, stellar scenery, and darling little details and finished off the evening staying at The Old House Village Hotel and Spa.

Now I don’t know about you, but I want to send a big thank you shout out to the first couple to take a photo under a willow tree and be inspired its romance.  Alyssa took it on step further and handcrafted that willow branch arch herself.  Beautiful beaches and willows aren’t the only standout of Alyssa and Darin’s wedding though.  Everything about this wedding is full of romantic outdoor goodness. Shutter escort card displays and handmade blackberry jam with simple stationery accent the gorgeous grounds and create a a fabulously homey and chic wedding.  Punching up the pretty factor, are the perfect dahlia and spider mum arrangements that Alyssa and fam arranged themselves.  Even the dazzling dahlia cake was also handmade by a friend!

This is so the kind of wedding that has me planning a vacation or vow renewal because it’s so pretty.  I can’t thank Janelle Photography enough for sharing this stunning scenery and super DIY.  Congratulations Alyssa and Darin!

Date: September 22, 2012

Location: Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada

Photography: Janelle Photography

Event Venue: Courtenay Fish and Game Club

Accommodations: Old House Village Hotel and Spa

Felice and Ben’s Athletic and Peaceful Engagement

If love is a marathon and not a sprint, what happens when you fall in love at a race?  If we take a lap from Felice and means you get engaged and celebrate a wedding at the finish line!  Stephanie Court Photography has captured an awesome engagement session with these two runners that perfectly fits their personalities being equal parts active and athletic as it is relaxed and peaceful.



From the photographer:

These two lovebirds have the kind of relationship movies are made of. They feed off each other in a way that’s so rare and so beautiful to witness. Felice’s high energy brings out Ben’s playful spirit – running in the surf, climbing old trees, and hiking up sea cliffs – while Ben’s peaceful, loving nature calms and anchors her.

I love the story of how these two met.  As avid runners, the pair met at the starting line and kept pace with each other throughout the race.  They kept each other company until Felice’s competitive spirit kicked into high gear, and she took off to capitalize on an opportunity.  She made sure to wait for Ben at the finish line.  In the end, the move not only placed her higher in the race, but won the trophy of Ben’s heart.  Sweet move Felice!  Thanks Stephanie Court Photography for keeping up with these two and capturing such beautiful images.  Congratulations Felice and Ben!

Date: October 20, 2012

Location: Pacifica, CA

Photographer: Stephanie Court Photography

Event Venue: Moss Beach

Olivia + Brennan’s Vintage Backyard Wedding

Happy Friday the 13th crafties!  It’s your lucky day!   We have a second super sweet wedding to wipe away any bad mojo that might be in the air. After you meet these super cute lovebirds who are described by their buds as old souls, you’ll see why as much as I love a beautiful brick raw space, a glamorous ballroom, and a toes in the sand location for a wedding, I have to admit there’s no place like home.  Surrounded by loved ones, fantastic scenery, and memories old and relatively new (like the fact that Brennan proposed here) and feeling like the luckiest people on the planet for the whole day (even when your just a gust-virtual or otherwise) …Well, no superstition can take that away.  Let’s not forget that we are all super lucky that Lifelime Photography was there to capture this backyard beauty full of sweet, young, and vintage charm.

You know your at home when your not afraid to blend you cute side and your quirky side.  And you know have a good wedding on your hands when everyone kicks their shoes off.  Olivia and Brennan added the perfect amounts of  both to a sweet lovebird theme that they hand curated with a love of all things vintage.  I mean talk about sweet!  How about those old-time lolipops adorned with paper flowers for an awesome place setting and favor!  (Heart,heart, smiley face!)

So we hope we’ve sparked a little lucky weekend inspiration for you on this Friday the 13th!  We are feeling double lucky that Olivia, Brennan, and Becky at Limelife Photography have shared this pretty pastel wedding today.  Congratulations Olivia and Brennan!


Vendor Information:

Date: July 21, 2012

Location: California, United States

Photographer: Limelife Photography

Caterer:  Above All Catering

Floral Designer:  Lavenders Flowers

Invitation Designer:  Wedding Paper Divas

Cake Designer:  Patty’s Cakes

DJ:  Extreme DJ Service

Bridesmaid Dresses:  Alfred Angelo

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Laura + Doug’s Rustic Lakeside Wedding

At the center of every wedding is an amazing couple who is blissfully in love!  Laura + Doug are literally smack dab, dead center in today’s beautiful lakeside wedding snapped up by Johnny Vy Photography, and I am blissfully in love with this wedding! In every sense of the word, they were surrounded by the people and things that they love and cherish the most.  Proving that a personalizing your wedding doesn’t necessarily require a lot of resources, just the always-around-you-forever-meaningful people and things that make you happy.

From the photographer:

In a world of commercialized weddings, Laura and Doug were a throwback to the old school way of doing things, and that’s what I love most about them.  This wedding was full of personal touches, starting with location. Doug had grown up around the lake, and it was great to hear all the stories that were told by his father and groomsmen. It really made me realize how closely knit this entire group was, and it really showed. All the little details were not overlooked, and these two really took D.I.Y a step beyond the norm.

Johnny wasn’t exaggerating either.  All of the centerpiece bottles were from Doug’s collection that he’s had since he was child.  Laura and Doug personally grew the flowers that they used.  And those cutie-pie pencils, well good thing Johnny Vy also carries a pocket knife along with his camera, since a couple of the guestbook pencils needed some sharpening throughout the day.  Talk about going beyond the DIY call of duty.  I’m kind of obsessing over the chicken wire seating chart with soda pop table names.  I don’t know about you, but I think may have to make one of those just to hang pictures in my home now.     See!  Inspiration for your wedding and yo home, how cool!

Well, it’s for certain that Laura and Doug and the center of each other’s world, and Johnny Vy Photography did an amazing job of capturing that and every little detail central to this fantastic gallery.  Thank you for sharing this wedding that’s sure to stay at the center of our hearts for a while, and congratulations Laura and Doug!



Vendor Information:

Date: November 10, 2012

Location: Agoura, CA

Photographer:  Jonny Vy Photography

Reception Venue:  Malibou Lake Mountain Club

Caterer:  Monrose catering
Hair Stylist:  Emily Dawn Artistry
Submitted via Two Bright Lights
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