Hi UWL readers! I am here today with a super un-sexy wedding planning topic for your home weddings – bathrooms and generators! But these are very necessary things to consider early and often throughout your wedding planning! Please don’t miss my earlier, and mostly much more fun, posts about home wedding stationery, lighting for your home wedding, wedding tent floor plans, an intro to wedding tents and the basics of home wedding guest lists and budgets.
How to choose your wedding restroom trailer and generator
Bathroom rental companies will offer guidance on the size of trailer you will need based on your guest size. I recommend that you get the biggest trailer you can afford or fit on your property. I like to have at least 3 or 4 stalls for the ladies when the guest list is 200 or less. This will alleviate lines at the restrooms for your female guests. I don’t usually pay much attention to the number of urinals and stalls on the men’s side of the trailer, because these trailers can always accommodate more men at one time than ladies.
You will also need to consider if you are spreading your celebration far across your property; that might mean that you will need more than one trailer. Guests will need to access the restroom before, during and after your ceremony, cocktails and reception. You don’t want there to be a long trek to the trailer! And make sure to keep your older guests in mind. They can’t always walk a long way to reach the facilities.
Before you select your generator, you will need to first talk to all your vendors who will need power. Catering, entertainment, tenting, lighting, and restrooms are a few to consult. Once you figure out how many circuits you will need, also consider where these power sources will need to be placed. I’ve planned weddings where we needed multiple small generators because the property was large and our power needs were spread out over a lot of land. I’ve also planned weddings where a lot of power was needed in one central location, so we rented one large generator. You may be able to run a few items from the house, but be certain of the circuits available before relying too heavily on the home. In the event of a power outage, you will be happy if your generators can accommodate all of your power needs on your wedding day.
Installation of wedding restrooms and generators
Take a moment to consider the roads and driveway that your vendors will take to get to your home. Are there weight restricted bridges? Are there super skinny roads with tight corners? Will any low hanging branches scrape the delivery vehicles? Is there a place to turn around once they have arrived on property or will there be a lot of backwards travel? Would significant rain cause wash outs or other trouble for large vehicles trying to get to or from your property? If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, be sure to warn your vendors well in advance. You might even want to invite them to a tour of the site at least 60 days before the wedding.
The order of installations is very important. Likely you will want the generator to be brought in first, if it is going to be hidden behind the tent or house; the truck that is pulling it in will probably need to drive through the space where your tent will eventually go. And you need it there so that the next vendors can power on your rentals during set up. Next, you will probably want to bring in the bathroom trailer, especially if the truck driving it in wouldn’t be able to work around the wedding tent.
Once these two “back of house” items are in, typically tent set up can begin. This can and usually should be done days before the wedding. Let your caterer know if rentals such as tables, chairs, etc., can be delivered before your wedding day as well; this weekday delivery can often be a cost savings to you.
During your at-home wedding
You probably don’t need to hire a bathroom trailer attendant for your wedding day. However, you will need to assign someone to know how to turn it on and off. Turn on the trailer at the start of set up on the wedding day, as your vendor team may need to access it. You will then want it turned off at the end of the break down and load out. This will limit unnecessary burning of fuel in your generator.
Just as you need to know how to turn on and off your bathroom trailer, the same goes for your generator. Be sure to assign someone to that task as well. The generator will need to be turned on and off periodically during the weekday set-ups. It will then need to be turned on for good once vendors begin arriving on the wedding day.
One lesson I learned the very hard way is to remember make a plan to refill your generators. I recommend putting a line item in your wedding day timeline to do this six hours after you think they will be turned on. This is usually at the start of vendor set up on the wedding day. Make sure you have a full gas can (with the correct type of fuel!) on hand as well. Assign someone to handle this refueling task for you. Stage the gas can in a well ventilated area with a flashlight. It will likely be dark when it is time to refill.
After Your Wedding
Your pick-ups will need to be scheduled in the reverse order of delivery. If your generator was the first on site, it will likely be the last to be removed. Again, if you can schedule weekday pick-ups for these items, you might save a little money on these labor costs. If possible, you want someone to be on site to supervise these load outs. Sometimes there are items left behind or damage to the property that turns up later.