By Mike Lerchenfeldt / Photography by Fairytale Productions

When Laura Mlynarek met Jared Carle she didn’t realize their travels and time getting to know one another would lead them to an automotive landmark to celebrate their nuptials.

The University of Michigan grads started their story together in 2018. Their passion for travel, puzzles, board games and reading, along with both being Michigan grads, gave them much in common and soon they added food trucks to their list. Their love of food trucks was something they wanted to share with family and friends at their wedding.

Jared added they both wanted their Australian shepherd sidekicks – Minerva and Remus – to attend. After the ceremony at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in St. Clair Shores, the dogs accompanied the bride and groom for the receiving line and pictures. Guests could even use cardboard cutout images of each dog’s face in the photobooth.

“We live in Sterling Heights near Dodge Park and love going to the farmers market on Thursdays for the food trucks,” said Laura. “This encouraged us to find a wedding venue that permitted the use of food trucks in April rather than the traditional catering vendor. We did not want the standard, boring wedding buffet at our reception.”

The Packard Proving Grounds historic site has a large, outdoor open space that accommodated Laura and Jared’s wishes of having their own mini food truck rally at their wedding reception.

The Packard Proving Grounds’ reception area is an old garage with cement flooring and open doors, making it a welcoming space for dogs and people alike. Each table in the reception area was marked with an image of one of the couple’s travel destinations. A large travel poster showed location names like Napa Valley, San Francisco, and Disney World – all the places the couple traveled before tying the knot. Instead of a table number wedding guest received a destination bookmark.

When it came to dinner, the couple ended up selecting three food trucks: Hibachi Meat 313, Saucy Joe’s, and Stix & Stones. Each guest received a salad from Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, along with an extensive dinner menu showcasing the food truck fare.

From Saucy Joe’s, guests could choose a pasta type, then select between three to four different sauces, and opt for meatball or garlic bread. Hibachi Meat 313 provided guests with steak, chicken, shrimp, or veggie options to go with their fried rice, and Stix & Stones was offering a build your own wood-fired pizza using their brick oven.

Jared said that the tables of guests were gradually dismissed to go to any of the three food trucks that they desired and order whatever they wanted from the menu placed on their table, which provided three to five dish options per vendor. Guests could even return to the food trucks to taste some of the other options that they originally did not choose.

“It was common to see guests swapping multiple dishes to try with their dates,” said Laura. “We wanted it to be fun and unique, creating interactions between guests. There were no tickets or limits for the food trucks.”

“At the beginning of our reception, each guest received a laminated bookmark cover to store their photobooth pictures, along with an information card tucked in it about where they were going to sit and the schedule of events for the evening,” said Laura. “Our guests appreciated knowing what time dinner started, when the first dance was going to be, and when the late-night food truck – Wing Snob – was going to arrive.”

Local Vendors:

Dress: Amour Bridal, St. Clair Shores
Venue: Packard Proving Grounds, Shelby Township
Caterer: Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, Shelby Township
Bar Service: Miss Mixology, Shelby Township
Photographer: Fairytale Productions

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