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Everything related to a wedding is so elegant, so refined, so proper that well, even the mention of a toilet sounds a bit uncouth. But having a celebration alfresco when there are no bathrooms nearby means you need rental options, and you need them pronto. Lucky for those planning their big day, we've done all the research for you with the help of wedding planner Lyndsey Hamilton, creative director of Lyndsey Hamilton Events.
Meet the Expert
Lyndsey Hamilton is the creative director at Lindsey Hamilton Events, where her clients include notable society families and business and finance leaders throughout the world.
From luxury porcelain thrones for elegant affairs to humble porta-johns for low-key, backyard parties, here's what you need to know about renting the right bathroom for your outdoor wedding celebration.
There are several things you need to keep in mind when choosing the right rental bathroom. First and foremost, you'll want to consider your venue or the space where you're having the wedding. If you're getting married in a public outdoor space, like a state park or forest, a rural vineyard, or a private estate, you'll want to first check any guidelines for the area that stipulate what kind of structures you can have on-site. Also, keep in mind that you don't want the loo in full view of guests or near where they are eating, so careful placement is a must, Hamilton says. If there aren't any areas to tuck them away completely, hide units behind a barn, outbuilding, or even nestled in a grove of trees. "Make sure the bathrooms aren't far from the tent and the path is covered in case it rains," she says. Couples should ensure that there is plenty of space around the actual restroom, especially if you have a large guest count—if people line up, you don't want anyone to have to crowd around the structure. Other things to plan for are where the water and power sources are located to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Regardless of whether you have your basic porta or a luxury loo, there are little things you can do to dress it up that will go a long way. Cover the front and sides of the trailer with tall trees or shrubs to camouflage the exterior, suggests Hamilton. Add details such as flowers, toiletry baskets, pretty soaps, and candles to the interiors, and consider hiring a restroom attendant who can assist guests to make things a bit more civilized, she says.
Cost and Options
In the realm of wedding-worthy restroom rentals, there are your individual porta-cabins that have flush units (non-flush options are a no-no for obvious reasons!) and sinks—these typically go for roughly $300 each. Then there's the restroom trailer, which we think of as the royal flush of the mobile rentable bathroom world. They are essentially regular bathrooms with running water, ample lighting, climate-controlled interiors, flushing toilets, and plenty of space, explains Hamilton. She shares that they typically range in size from 10 to 26 feet and cost anywhere from $2,500 to over $15,000, so make sure that if you're opting for a luxury option, you're calculating this into your budget during the early wedding planning stages. "Although restrooms are not an item people want to spend a lot on, they really do make a huge difference," she says.
How Many to Rent
The last thing you'd ever want is a long line for the restroom, or (gasp!) your male guests resorting to a nearby bush, so have enough bathrooms to cover your guests. "We generally do three to four stalls for women and three stalls for men for a 150-to-175-person wedding," says Hamilton. That works out to be roughly one bathroom per 25 guests. If you have a much smaller wedding, you can probably get away with only renting three or four stalls total, but make sure to consult with your planner and the coordinator at your wedding location before placing an order.