Expert Advice on Choosing Your Perfect Toilets For Your Marquee Wedding
Who said a Wedding Planners job was all glamorous, talking all things flowers and what colour linens to choose? Well, as an experienced wedding planner specialising in marquee weddings I wanted to share my knowledge and thoughts on all things toilets…
When planning a marquee wedding, it is vital you speak with an expert and somebody that has experience with working and using different style toilets for outdoor events.
A Guide to Portable Toilets For Your Wedding
Over the years I have worked and planned in excess of 60 events with a large percentage of these being marquee weddings and parties. If I am honest, I think many under-estimate the planning and logistics that go in to planning a marquee wedding.
It is key that if you are investing in working with a wedding planner that you find one that has experience with working with marquee weddings. My experience of portable toilets is great and boy do I have some stories to tell! So, I will try and explain a little more background about toilets for marquee weddings and what you need to know. See, our job isn’t all about flowers and all things pretty…toilets are just as important! If not, one of the main three elements of any marquee wedding.
How Do They Work?
Portable toilets are made up of four different components; the toilet seat, the holding tank, the flushing mechanism and the pressure system. They work in a very similar way to the toilets we have in our home however they have a holding tank for all the waste i.e. it doesn’t go in to a sewer.
Within the holding tank, a chemical is included to help break down waste, kill germs, destroy smells and reduce toilet paper. During the flushing process, water is either derived from an integrated water tank or the toilet chemicals from the holding tank which is why you see the blue water.
How Many Toilets Will We Need For Our Marquee Wedding?
This is one of the most common questions I get asked when planning a marquee wedding and I have some rule of thumb guidelines for you….
For larger events such as Weddings, Parties, Charity Balls, Corporate events etc where food and alcohol are being served, I recommend:
1 x toilet per 50 guests as a minimum
For other events that are running for less than 6 hours and ones where no food or alcohol is being served, I recommend:
1 x toilet per 85 guests.
For events lasting over 6 hours and where no food or alcohol is being served, I recommend:
1 x toilet per 100 guests.
My Recommendations For Toilets For Marquee Weddings
You may have come across the abrieviation of a 3+1 or 2+1 but what does it mean? Basically, it means that there will be 3 toilet cubicles for women and 1 for men (plus the urinals).
For events under 150, I would use a 2+1 and for events over this number then a 3+1. If budget and space allows then I genuinely opt for 3+1 at a marquee wedding as there is nothing worse than guests having to queue for a long time!
Remember that alcohol and food both have a significant impact on how many toilets are required. As a general rule of thumb, add-on between 15 – 25% more toilets according to how thirsty you expect your guests to be. For example, if you’re hosting a marquee wedding in the middle of Summer, guests are likely to consume higher quantities of alcohol.
Consider Your Site and Location
Another thing to consider when choosing the right number of toilets is the space of your site and the location. You want to ensure that there is a toilet placed within walking distance of where the main marquee is. Also make sure that the toilets can be delivered as they come on a tow and that vehicle will need to drive the trailer to the point it is being situated.
As part of my job throughout the day, I will be checking the toilets and clearing rubbish and ensuring there is sufficient toilet rolls (another item I have in my emergency box!). If you are not having a wedding planner, make sure you have someone who will keep an eye out as there is nothing worse than running out of toilet roll or seeing an overflowing bin….yuk!
So Which Toilets So I Choose For My Marquee?
There are so many options to choose from these days and most units are a royal green in colour or white. So, whether you want them to blend in to the greenery in your garden or perhaps if they are placed near your marquee then white could be a better colour option? I am seeing other designs coming on to the marquee with many of these units having wraps and can look like wooden huts with different style of finishes.
My favourite have to be the newer design shepherd hut toilets. Although careful consideration needs to be addressed with regard to whether you have access to water as these are run on mains water meaning no blue chemical water! They are more pleasing to the eye and these two companies I work with have some great added little extras like using cotton hand towels rather than paper towels and some pretty finishing touches.
How Is The Waste Disposed Of?
Luxury toilet units are all self-contained. This means that all waste is contained within secure bins built into the design. They are large enough to comfortably hold the waste produced during a single day event. I often run two day marquee wedding events where perhaps you are having a post wedding BBQ or perhaps a pool party and need a refresh of the toilets. The toilet company will come back to empty/replace the waste tank and give them a good clean to ensure they are fresh for your next day.
How are portable toilets powered?
They can be powered by a mains supply or by the generator. With all the power supplies, this needs to be carefully considered as whilst the toilets do not draw much power, you need to ensure that the power source is not stretched as this would be a disaster for any event. Working with a wedding planner will ensure all these elements are covered for.
Considering All Your Guests For a Marquee Wedding
Are they accessible?
Please ensure that all your guests have been considered especially those who are not mobile or perhaps a wheelchair user. You can hire disabled toilets and ones with ramps. If you are having a marquee wedding at home, do you have a downstairs toilets that may be accessible for those that may struggle with access to a portable unit?
Safety Considerations For Toilets At A Marquee Wedding
Where can a portable toilet be placed?
Portable toilets give you a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to designing the layout of your wedding. However, for the safety of your guests, there are a number of considerations you should take into account.
- Ground surface – Portable toilets need to be placed on flat, firm ground to ensure they can be used appropriately. So a sloping driveway or half way up a higher gradient in the garden juts isn’t going to work!
- Accessibility – Guests should be able to access the toilets easily from your marquee location. These considerations need to take into account your disabled and less-able guests as well as mentioned above.
- Delivery Route – We will need a clear and unobstructed route to deliver the toilet to its location. Remember too that, when they collect the toilet at the end of the event, it will be heavier.,
- During the planning process, it is worth considering where guests may commonly find themselves needing the toilet. Consider placing portable loos as close as possible to your marquee. The exit door or access near a cloakroom is also a popular location, allowing guests to make themselves comfortable for the journey home.
Another factor to take into consideration is where your food or bar is being served as there is nothing more off-putting having a toilet right next to the cheese table for example!
Can portable toilets be placed inside?
For the most seamless and uninterrupted set-up, many portable toilets can be integrated with your marquee design. This is particularly vital for Winter events. Allowing guests to stay hidden from the elements at all times. Many of my couples have them located very close to the entrance of have a tunnel or covering by the toilets. Therefore in the event of bad weather you don’t have to make a mad dash for the toilets in your smart attire!
Need Some Help Finding The Right Toilets For Your Marquee Wedding?
I hope this helps give you the basics and considerations you need to think of when having your toilets for your marquee wedding.
All I ask is no matter how many toilets you may have in your property if you’re having a marquee wedding at home, please do not even consider using these for all your guests! Do you really want large numbers of guests coming through the house? Plus your toilets will not withstand the constant use of guests. I have heard this too many times…
This is just one small part of the planning stages when planning a marquee wedding and the logistics can seem some-what overwhelming. If you’d like to chat further about your marquee wedding then please do get in touch.