Street food vans are rolling into wedding parties across the country, serving up cones of fish and chips after marriage services and swirling out ice creams as the happy couple work through the roll of wedding photographs. They even delight wedding guests late in the evening with plates of neeps and tatties, piles of cheesy fries or very-welcome burgers to soak up the bubbles.
Street food versus stuffy weddings
I remember the first wedding I went to that served up local butcher sausages, locally grown potato mash and a jug of gravy for the table. It was in the 90s, and it was utterly radical. It created a sense of authenticity, of family, of local. It was a delightful antithesis to the swish stilton-laden, Champagne-popping extravaganza of another wedding I went to that year. And it really stood out.
It’s that feeling of simple and real that wedding celebrations of the 2020s look for. Couples are increasingly stepping away from formal traditions. Grooms have best women, brides make speeches (imagine!), groomsmen step out in trainers and the food is something you actually want to eat. Goodbye, tarragon chicken and overcooked salmon.
Street food helps break down that stuffiness and makes a wedding feel more personal – and gives them a hearty topping of quirky.
Street food meets wedding theme
How street-food stalls look is limited only by the imagination of incredibly imaginative vendors. They rock up in vintage ice-cream vans, converted horseboxes, done-up rikshaws, near-antique European grocer vans, retro caravans and Army trucks festooned in bunting. Hunt out street vendors that have a theme – maybe a decade you love, or something rural, urban, twee, avant-garde, maybe decorated in flowers, in chalet wood, painted all colours under the sun. Some vendors even dress the part, too, adding real character to a wedding reception.
How to beat wedding catering chaos
In a world of vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, plantarians, lactose free, gluten free and allergies galore, catering for a wedding can be a nightmare. Street food vans solve that – and they’re great ice breakers to boot.
Have a couple of vans serving food at a wedding and you immediately gather like-minded people together. Wedding guests be chatting about the menu of their street-food van of choice, working out toppings for their ice cream/ waffles /hotdogs /30-second pizza and oohing and ahhing over the dress, vows and ringbearers in no time.
Many vendors are used to serving large, hungry crowds during the work-day lunch hour or at huge music festivals, so serving a couple of hundred people at a wedding could even be a treat. Weddings give them a chance to turn on the theatre and become part of the day, working their way into the wedding’s theme with Instagram-ready wagons.