Ask Angela: What kind of porta potties will show up at my outdoor wedding?

Angela Phillips is a Senior Account Manager III at ZTERS Site Solutions. She helps customers with some of their most challenging site service issues, and she answers your questions here on our website.

Dear Angela, I’m planning an outdoor wedding, but I’m worried the portable toilets will end up being gross. I don’t want our guests having a negative bathroom experience. Should we go ahead and rent them, or is there another option?

Angela: First, congratulations on your wedding! And kudos on planning an outdoor event. A lot of people call us with questions and concerns about the quality of portable toilets at their events, so I hear this question a lot.

Most people don’t realize this, but the toilets used at events aren’t what you probably picture when you think about portable toilets on construction sites or work zones. You’re not going to get a dirty, worn out bathroom at your event.

There are two things to consider with event toilets. First, there’s a porta potty life cycle. And second, there are several different options to choose from.

Believe it or not, there’s a natural life cycle to portable toilet rentals. When they’re first constructed and brand new, those are considered event-grade toilets. Once they’ve been used for a while and they’re not as new, they move on to become construction site toilets. They’re still nice toilets! But they’re not as new as when they were first built.

The point is, there’s a gradation that happens where they move down the line until their useful life is over. So, you won’t need to worry about low-quality toilets being delivered to your wedding.

Next, you have several options for your toilet rental! There are event toilets that are just toilets and urinals. There are toilets with sinks instead of urinals. There are even flushable units that have a manual flushing system! They use gravity to make the portable toilet a lot more like a regular toilet. In other words, your guests won’t see down in the tank!

And since it’s your wedding, you may want to ask about an ADA or wheelchair-accessible unit. They’re a little larger and will better accommodate you in your dress and your bridal party if they’re wearing large or constrictive dresses. You’ll all have more room to move around.

One last thing I always like to mention—make sure you book your toilets up to three months in advance. Especially during the summer months, because there are so many festivals and outdoor events. You should book your toilets early, but even if you forget (and a lot of people do!), we can probably help you find last-minute toilets if you give us a couple days’ notice. You may have to pay a fee for ordering on short notice but give us a call and we’ll do our best to find what you need.

Most people don’t realize this, but October is actually the busiest month for portable toilets because there are so many haunted houses and pumpkin patches that run all month. If your wedding is in the summer or October—call and rent those toilets at least three months in advance!

I hope that helps put your mind at ease—you and your guests will be perfectly fine in your porta potty rentals. And if you need help figuring out how many to rent or what type is best for your guests, give us a call here at ZTERS and we can help you get what you need.

5 Portable Toilet Rental Myths Busted

Imagine you’ve been planning an outdoor wedding or a family reunion for months. You secured the space. You called the tent rental, the caterer, and the florist. If it’s a smaller affair, maybe you rounded up family members to divvy up the DIY responsibilities. But what about the bathroom facilities? A week before the event you discover there are no restrooms for miles, and you’re about to have grandma and about 18 nieces and nephews looking for a portable toilet. Before you have a panic attack about renting a portable toilet, here are some of the top porta potty myths and why they’re really not so bad.

Myth #1 Event porta potties are gross.

A lot of people think they’re going to arrive at the site and find a raggedy, old, beat-down toilet at their wedding or event. Actually, that isn’t how it works!

Portable toilets have a life cycle just like almost everything else. Brand new porta potties are first put into circulation as events toilets. So, the ones you’ll be receiving are relatively new and kept in like-new condition. Let’s be honest, no one wants a raggedy restroom at their wedding. Toilet vendors understand that.

Myth #2 There’s only one size of rental toilet—and it’s too small.

If you’ve ever been to a race or a public outdoor event where you’ve squeezed into a porta potty, you might think they’re way too small for a bride in a gown. Most people are going to be perfectly comfortable in a regular sized portable toilet, but that whole dress situation is a real problem.

However, there are larger porta potties specifically made to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They’re large enough for a wheelchair to enter and do a 360-degree turn. That’s plenty of space for a bride in even the largest gown. There are also bathroom trailers if the location has the space and water capabilities to support it.

Myth #3 I can just rent a portable toilet the week before the wedding!

Probably not, so don’t even try it! Do you know how many outdoor festivals, concerts, and races take place in spring and summer—the same months as most outdoor weddings and family reunions? That creates a huge demand for portable toilets. If you’re planning a spring or summer event, in particular, make sure you’ve called to book portable toilets at least three months in advance. If you know the area hosts a lot of festivals, call even further in advance.

You know the one month when porta potties are almost always sold out months in advance? October. Those haunted houses and pumpkin patches take up a lot of toilets! If you’re planning an October event, book months in advance. Better to call too early than to be left without a toilet.

Myth #4 I don’t need a porta potty at the park.

Are you sure about that? Sometimes people assume there will be public bathrooms at a public park, but don’t count on it. Double check and decide if you need to rent a couple to be on the safe side. One caveat about renting toilets on public land—make sure you contact the municipality that manages the park and find out what permits are needed. They’ll likely have specific instructions and procedures for you to follow.

Also make sure to ask if the toilets need liners or if there are any other special considerations. Sometimes you can rent portable toilets attached to trailers that can be easily towed into and out of the park. If you’re using a broker like ZTERS, we can help you decide which option is right for your location.

Myth #5 I can put a toilet anywhere!

Which brings us to—can you put a portable toilet anywhere? You can put them in more places than you might realize, but sometimes there are special circumstances. Some locations will require special liners. Beaches, for example, often require special handling. And yes, you will probably need to take your own toilets to a beach event! And some locations will be difficult or impossible to reach by truck.

If there’s a chance your location will be difficult to get to, or they may have special requirements, then definitely book in advance and consider working with a broker like ZTERS. We specialize in helping customers find the best solutions, and we’ve been working with people nationwide for more than a decade. We can help you find the right solutions for your wedding or event.