For the last few JCakes and I have been working on how to crack the catering issue. It's be said (and read) in every bit of wedding budget advice -be it blog, book, glossy or otherwise - that you can expect to spend anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of your estimated wedding budget on food, drink, service and rentals alone.
Fair enough, when you consider that is pretty much the bulk of big day spending. However, despite our efforts to cut back wherever we could and with an uncompromisable guest list at this point (fixed at 268 and more likely to rise than drop) the catering proposals we've found have been around the 9K mark. Kind of a lot when your entire budget is 15K and the figure suggested doesn't include the alcohol.
That said, we've been trying to wrap our brains around how to skirt the issue without going so DIY that we're overwhelmed come the day of the wedding.
If I lived in Portland, Oregon or somewhere in California I know exactly how I would solve this issue - Food Trucks!
Not so affectionately referred to as "roach coaches" by some party-poopers and ill-informed individuals, the food truck has come a long way from solely slingin' late-night pizza and ice cream trucks, (at least, in places where Daley isn't the mayor - oh snap, I said it!)
Tasty, kitschy and cheap, trucks boasting meals on the move have been popping up and creating a following for the last few years. Toting everything from truffle french fries to creative curry concotions, living in a food truck-friendly environment would definitely solve some troubles and add a more interesting take on "something new" for weddings.
MsAwesome.com had the right idea with the taco truck.
GreenWeddingShoes has a slew of food truck-friendly couples. But this one in particular struck a note with us.
If only Chicago and the rest of the Midwest could get on board!
I did a little digging, and managed to actually find a few food truck listings beyond the ones I usually see parked in Humboldt, among these finds - Three J's Catering and The Pasta Bowl. Having never tried either place, I decided to call to at least get a sense of what would be the deal. Never did reach anyone from Three J's to answer my questions, but the guy from Pasta Bowl was really helpful if you're considering this option and the food comes to being something insanely affordable like $9 person. (Please note: The pricing depends on whether or not you're having guests approach the cart for self-service or having Pasta Bowl set up a buffet. There is no option to have it fully catered, but you're crafty you could figure something out).
And, if you'd go for the food truck feel, but not necessarily the food, Honest Foods catering has a food truck and is happy to cook on-site, with a tailored customized menu.
If you're into the idea but would rather keep things traditional for the reception dinner, there are also a slew of food truck fans who are using truck as a quirky way to include the increasingly popular "late night eats." Basically, the truck is hired to provide greasy or sugary goodness as a surprise snack for guests later in the evening. Think ice cream, tacos, pizza and more.
So jealous of the West Coast right now.
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