The Ins and Outs of Wedding Bathroom Rentals
Bathroom rentals for weddings: They're not as exciting as photo booth, dinnerware or tent rentals, but if your wedding venue is outside or somewhere that doesn't have enough bathrooms on-site, you're going to need to rent portable restrooms for your guests. It might be unglamorous, but it's a necessary part of planning a wedding for many couples.
Your guests probably won't remember if you sprung for deluxe bathroom trailers, but they may remember if the toilet didn't have running water. "Even if you're having a rustic-themed wedding, you don't want the guests' experience to feel rustic," says Jesse Reing, owner of Events by Jesse.
Keep reading for everything you need to know, from what you should rent to what you need to keep the rentals smelling nice.
How Many Porta Potties Do You Need for a Wedding?
Yaz Quiles, founder and CEO of POP! By Yaz, says it's good to plan for one bathroom stall for every 25 guests. "Couples should also consider who their guests are," she says. "Kids, and especially infants, will have different needs than adults. Also, take into consideration elder and handicapped guests [who might need] an ADA-compliant restroom."
If you're planning a small wedding where you may not have more than 25 guests, it's still wise to bring in two portable restroom rentals just to be safe.
Quiles says you should also think about the size of the water tank you rent. In addition to your guests, don't forget to take into consideration your staff and vendors, and how long they'll be on-site from load-in to load-out.
How Much Should Bathroom Rentals Cost?
Paying for bathroom rentals might not be at the top of your list when you think about how to allocate your wedding budget, but c'est la vie. Portable restroom trailers are the reality for many weddings, and they don't always come cheap.
Keep in mind that pricing will vary across regions, so reach out to the rental companies in your area for a free quote.
The Basic Route
The most basic porta potty will likely run you about $150. But a no-flush mobile restroom may not be the best choice for your big day, particularly if guests plan on using the facilities in their wedding day best.
You can go for a slightly upgraded version of a portable bathroom rental with a flushing toilet and a sink for a few hundred dollars more. These can include a sink station or sinks within the portable units themselves.
The Luxury Route
Wedding restroom rentals are big business, and high-end versions can run upwards of $10,000. If you want a luxury portable restroom trailer with all the bells and whistles, including a restroom attendant, be prepared to include this as a significant line item in your wedding budget.
Simpler versions of restroom trailers may only cost a few thousand dollars, but may not include climate control, music or vanity space. The decision comes down to your porta potty priorities.
Is the Upgraded Porta Potty Option Worth It?
While guests likely won't gush about their restroom experience in the days and weeks following your wedding, they won't forget if their dress got caught in a non-flushing porta potty.
Pennsylvania-based wedding planner Thomas Beaman says he advises his clients to splurge on higher-end wedding bathroom rentals. "I highly recommend spending a little more money on a portable bathroom that includes a flushing toilet, a sink that automatically shuts off after you are done washing your hands, and a vanity with lighting," he says.
If you're hosting an outdoor wedding in the heat of summer or the dead of winter, you may want to spring for air-conditioning or heat in your restroom trailer rentals, too.
"Another thing to consider is renting a unit that comes with handbag hangers installed inside," Beaman says. "Nobody wants to put their belongings on the floor of a porta potty. Plus, they can also be used for men's suit jackets."
It may seem obvious, but don't forget to include towels and a waste basket in the restroom as well.
Should I Include Any Other Amenities?
Wedding guests can experience everything from spilled drinks to hair that needs fixing, Quiles says. Avoid your guests taking a trip to the store or dancing with a huge stain on their outfit by creating an amenities basket filled with all of the essentials, she says.
She recommends clients include mouthwash with cups, floss, lotion, tissues, spray deodorant, stain remover, safety pins, bobby pins, hair ties, hair spray, feminine hygiene products and pain relievers.
Beamon agrees, and says he recommends his clients set up a decorated table with small bottles of water, hand sanitizer, tissues, hand lotion and mints.
Keep the Three S's in Mind
Wedding planner Michael Radolinski of Michael Henry Events Creative says his advice is to keep the three S's in mind: sight, sound and scent.
"For sight, we prefer to hide portable restrooms out of direct view by placing them behind understated yet thematically appropriate screening," he says, adding that this can be a hedge wall, rustic door or nautical slat. He also recommends adding signage directing guests where to go.
For scent, he recommends incorporating fragrant dried florals, a refreshing infuser or a custom fragrance. "Keep it light, and make sure it does the trick without being overpowering," he says.
"For sound, we make sure the facilities are far enough away from the festivities so as not to interfere while still being readily accessible to guests," he says.