Mobile wedding businesses aim to add fun and variety to special day
By Alex J. Hayes | Photography Submitted
Every couple has a story: each person’s life before meeting, how they came together and fell in love, relationship highs and lows, and the path that led them to marriage.
Since no two stories are the same, a variety of local businesses have abandoned the term “standard package” and instead specialize in working with couples to make their wedding day as unique as their love story.
CJ’s Takeout and Late Nite Bites
When Tony Hill decided to quit his job at Hoffman Homes for Youth and open a food truck that catered to the late night college crowd, he felt very confident in his business plan.
Tony designed a menu for late night snacking that included deep-fried Oreos, deep-fried deviled eggs, burgers topped with mozzarella sticks and sausage fries. Homemade spicy mayo and mustard were created to accompany the dishes. All of the food is made from scratch.
Tony and his wife, Kate, worked hard to present a unique option to college students known for staying awake until the early morning hours. Gettysburg has few food options after 10 p.m., so competition was scarce.
No matter how much they prepared, the Hills never could have expected the coronavirus to rock Gettysburg and the world at the same time CJ’s heated up its deep fryer for the first time on Carlisle Street in March 2020.
“One week later, the kids went on spring break and never came back. Two weeks later, the world shut down,” says Kate.
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent closure of Gettysburg College for almost one year quickly shoved the Hills’ food truck dreams into a different direction—catering.
“If you’re looking for something other than a formal sit-down dinner, CJ’s is a great option for guests to grab a bite to eat at their leisure,” says Kate.
Couples who are planning their wedding festivities as a late night affair hire the Hills to provide snacks long after hours of dancing settles the main meal.
“We are flexible with menu choices, letting the bride and groom pick their food items, so there are many different options for a wedding menu,” explains Kate.
The Hills and their staff meticulously plan for each event by double checking their inventory, ensuring the truck and trailer fit into the allotted space and traveling with several power sources in case one fails.
The Hills work with couples to plan a menu that matches their tastes. They often partner with Ellen Wetzel Design to create handwritten menu signs that display the couple’s names for the food truck windows.
“Food truck weddings provide a fun and different experience from the average wedding,” says Kate. “Guests can mingle and eat at their convenience so they can have more time dancing on the dance floor!”
Much like the Hills, weddings were not in Tessa Walter’s business plan when she opened Gettysburg Picnics. The sleep-deprived new mother was rocking her 3-month-old son in the wee hours of the morning one day in December 2020 when she learned on TikTok that luxury picnics were growing in popularity on the West Coast.
The cold weather of December and the following months gave Tessa plenty of time to plan for her new venture. She envisioned Gettysburg Picnics to be more of a side gig when it launched in April 2021, estimating one event a month or so to break up the busyness of life with a newborn.
“Fast forward nearly two years later, and we have a team of 10 event assistants, a variety of services from day-of coordination to balloon garland installs, to luxury sleepovers, to candid content for our social media-savvy clients,” she says.
Entering the wedding world was a natural transition as Tessa’s business suddenly and unexpectedly grew.
Gettysburg Picnics tailors its packages to meet its clients needs, and offers almost anything one can think of related to a picnic wedding—including “After I Do” picnics:
a table for two set up far from wedding guests so the very new newlyweds can enjoy even 20 minutes together alone before entering the excitement of their reception.
“This gives the couple an opportunity to let everything sink in, take a breath, and actually eat the meal they’ve ordered for everyone else,” says Tessa.
Tessa says she has learned a lot since opening Gettysburg Picnics, including what questions to ask to ensure the event is a good fit for both parties and how to handle guests who take charge.
During one event, which was supposed to be a dry wedding, attendees sipping lavender lemonade vodka moved chairs into a wet yard.
“It was incredibly uncomfortable, such a planning nightmare,” she remembers. “All in all, the bride absolutely loved our design, and we did the job we came to do.”
Rustic Roamer Event Rentals
Fades Beards and Beauty’s owner Lindsey Forbes has heard brides’ gripes throughout her eight years of fixing hair and applying makeup on wedding days.
What tops the list? The desire to rent games instead of buying them for one-time use, better photo booth props and furniture for photo ops.
Lindsey took all of the knowledge she collected and opened Rustic Roamer Event Rentals earlier this year.
Rustic Roamer’s signature offering is a converted two-horse trailer that now serves as a photo booth. Lindsey and her team provide custom overlays, texts and colors so those in the photo can add their own style to the image. The booth instantly shares links with those in the picture.
“All digital means easy access to social media,” she explains.
For those wanting outside pictures taken, Rustic Roamer offers a full setup of vintage furniture and decor, making it a perfect opportunity for photographers to capture bridal portraits, family photos or friend groups.
“I love the wedding and hospitality industry,” says Lindsey. “I love meeting new people and bringing smiles to people’s faces and creating a day of fun on your special day.”
Rustic Roamers also has a wide variety of games to rent, including glow-in-the-dark corn hole, yard pong, and Kan-Jam.
CJ’s, Gettysburg Picnics and Rustic Roamer Event Rentals are only a sampling of the many unique wedding options available in the Adams County area. Many of those listed here partner with other vendors to ensure a couple’s special day is an unforgettable, memorable success.