When Nature Calls: Planning a Camping Wedding That’s a Wild Success

One of the biggest perks that comes with being part of our clients’ wedding festivities is seeing the creative ways couples bend the traditional wedding rules. Did you catch our recent top 10 list of unexpected wedding venues? We’re continuing this theme here with tips for planning a camping wedding.

Why have a traditional wedding ceremony and reception when you can turn your entire wedding weekend into an epic celebration? Many couples who love to throw a great party find that planning a camping wedding is a reasonably affordable option for their guests, while also being relatively easy on their own bank accounts.

But if you’re tempted to jump on this trend, be warned: you’ve got some serious planning to do to make it truly unforgettable. So, before you spear those marshmallows, let’s discuss how to pull off a fabulous camping wedding.

1. Choose a long holiday weekend.

Among the things that could spell disaster for your epic weekend-long party is planning a camping wedding for a weekend when most of your guests can’t make it. Naturally, choosing a long holiday weekend, along with giving your family and friends plenty of notice, increases the odds of most guests showing up. Get those save the date cards out early!

Scheduling your wedding for a long holiday weekend also provides an excellent opportunity for getting the gang together again for years to come. Talk about creating your own wedding tradition! Even if you don’t want to have your actual ceremony outside, you could reserve part of a campground for afterward to provide an area for socializing and camping after the wedding!

Do keep in mind, though, a weekend is a big commitment and you will probably also have some on your guest list who aren’t too keen on camping out. So, make accommodations for those who want to drive in just for the ceremony and afterparty, or find a hotel or other traditional lodging option nearby for those who’d like traditional accommodations.

2. Choose attire appropriate for the outdoors.

camping wedding dress, outdoor wedding shoes

Having an outdoor wedding doesn’t mean you have to choose a certain kind of “camping wedding dress”—pick whatever style you’ve always dreamed of! What’s more important is that you have shoes and accessories appropriate for spending an extended amount of time outdoors. Make sure you, your bridal party, and your guests are all dressed for the weather—whether that means having sweaters and blankets on hand for chilly temperatures or just opting for sneakers instead of fancy heels or sandals.

If it looks like it’ll be cold on the day of your ceremony and you can afford to do so, it’s wise to rent propane heaters and space them out so you and your guests stay cozy.

3. Make memories with food.

When planning a camping wedding, you have the opportunity to use food to make memories. In addition to whatever you’re planning for the day of the ceremony, you will potentially have another day or two of creative menu options. This doesn’t mean your guests will expect you to provide food for everyone for the entire weekend, but it’s a good reminder to make your intentions around meals known.

In general, it’s smart to keep camping wedding food casual and simple since you’ll likely be without all the bells and whistles that a catering kitchen might offer at a traditional venue. Plus, choosing simple items will keep your costs down and let you focus on other parts of the weekend.

One way to involve your guests in a special way is to ask them to contribute family recipes. You could do a dessert table, for example, with a collection of desserts that played an important role in each of your childhoods. Don’t forget the s’mores!

4. Don’t try to upstage nature.

how to have a campground wedding camping wedding decorations

One huge perk of having your wedding outdoors at a campground, state park, or even in a large backyard is that nature provides an epic backdrop that’s tough to beat. Go ahead and plan that sunset ceremony with mountains in the background overlooking a breathtaking valley, then dance the night away to the beat of crickets, surrounded by fireflies, under a canopy of stars.

Rather than carting in a ton of decorations, incorporate natural elements wherever you can. Some lanterns, twinkle lights, and simple rustic components to complement what is already there will go a long way. Remember: less is more.

Of course, there’s one area where upstaging nature is an absolute requirement and that’s when it comes to showering regularly. No matter how much your guests are into communing with nature, they’ll probably be happier to attend your camping wedding knowing they’ll be able to take a hot shower after they dance the night away under the stars. Blue Ribbon Restroom Trailers has you covered with our shower trailer rentals.

5. Get to know your camping wedding venue.

The idea of having your wedding outdoors might sound less stressful than booking a traditional venue, but there are many things to consider with an outdoor, off-the-grid location. Wondering how to have a campground wedding that you and your guests will love? Know your venue!

Just a few things to consider:

  • Is there power available at your ceremony and reception location, or will you need to bring in generators for lights and charging stations?
  • Are the restroom facilities sufficient for the number of guests you have? If not, you might consider renting a restroom trailer for a better experience.
  • Are your guests staying all weekend? If so, they’ll likely want to shower at some point. You can rent portable shower trailers for your wedding, too!
  • Is there a fire ban in place? Make sure you check on this before building a fire for s’mores!
  • What is the alcohol policy at your wedding location? Do you need to get a permit to provide alcohol to your guests?

6. Don’t forget about music.

camping wedding music

If you’re having a camping wedding, live music is a great choice. Your guests can dance the night away to bluegrass, folk, or whatever music you prefer. Remember to check on local sound ordinances and the noise policy at the campground or outdoor location you’re considering. And, again, make sure you know the electrical situation ahead of time so you have adequate power for microphones, amplifiers or speakers, and whatever instruments your band will be playing (or for your DJ’s equipment!).

7. Embrace the inevitable hiccups.

Finally, when you’re planning a camping wedding and on your wedding day, make sure you know how to roll with the punches. It helps to anticipate and accept that there are variables that will be out of your control. Trust that your epic wedding experience will not be ruined by the inevitable hiccup.

Yes, the weekend could be a total washout. It’s smart to rent a tent in advance just in case—it can also provide shade on a sunny afternoon! And yes, there could be a fire ban in the campground because of an unprecedented drought—so much for your s’more roasting dreams. Rather than setting your sights on perfection, focus on the love that surrounds you. If you are determined to make your wedding a smashing success despite any potential mishaps, it will be!

8. Savor the little moments.

how to have a campground wedding, camping wedding food, camping wedding dress

After you’ve planned your big event, don’t forget to savor the little moments. You want this event to be unforgettable for your guests, but you also want it to be memorable for you. If you steal quiet moments to be present, you’re more likely to remember the sights, sounds, smells, and little moments, like the first time you lock eyes with your husband- or wife-to-be during the ceremony. Otherwise, the day and weekend will get away from you.

Being out in nature definitely heightens the senses. So, take it all in and you’ll have vivid mental details for years to come. Priceless!

Here’s a fun suggestion: tie a string around your finger so that whenever you look down, you’re reminded to take a breath and be present in the moment.

Planning a Camping Wedding? Let Blue Ribbon Restrooms Help!

There’s just something about being in the great outdoors, enjoying a relaxed, family vibe, and extending the biggest day of your life to a long weekend that makes for an epic wedding experience. If you are up for the challenge, planning a camping wedding could be the perfect way to start your married lives together.

When nature calls, Blue Ribbon Restroom Trailers is ready. We are honored to help our clients pull off unforgettable outdoor weddings and events. Is nature calling you? Contact us today for a free quote on luxury restroom trailer or shower trailer rentals.

Looking for an Unexpected Event Venue in Washington DC? Check Out Our Top 10 Unique Wedding Venues!

Non-Traditional Wedding Venues in the DC Area

Anyone can get married in a typical hotel ballroom, but if you want to make your day unforgettable, choose a truly unique wedding venue. From the unexpected to the almost unbelievable, these settings set the pace for an amazing celebration. Bonus: you’ll save on decor because these unique wedding venues make their own statement!

We researched favorite unusual wedding venues in Northern Virginia and discovered some real gems. For those whose tastes tend toward the non-traditional, get ready for some inspiration. Read on for our top 10 unique wedding venues in the area.

#10. Hendry House

This is one of DC’s hidden gems of a venue. The sweet craftsman home is tucked away in Northern Arlington park and has beautiful grounds that can accommodate anywhere from an intimate reception for 40 in the house to 200 with a tent used under the lush tree canopy. In addition to beautiful trees, the 19-acre park has an open meadow, and a partially preserved 1863 Civil War fort. Imagine taking your wedding photos among such historic scenery!

Tip: If you are having a large wedding at a venue like this, inquire about restroom facilities. The venue organizers often have a sense of their accommodations and what will keep your guests happiest. And feel free to consult with our friendly staff at Blue Ribbon, too.

#9. The Mead Center for American Theater (Arena Stage)

If you and your love are into theatrics or you’re just looking for a venue where you can create a dramatic event, what could be better than staging your wedding in a theater? The Mead Center for American Theater offers several options for ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception spaces. For example, the striking, yet intimate, Kogod Cradle is ideal for saying “I do” with a view of the water and of the Molly Smith Study or Grand Lobby set a dramatic tone for this most important moment.

#8. The George Washington Masonic Memorial

This national memorial offers a diverse range of rental spaces. It sits majestically atop the hill in Alexandria, VA, but people tend not to realize what the building is for. Once you find out you can tour the upper observation deck and look out over the city, you’ll fall in love with this venue.

#7. The Charlie Palmer Steakhouse

That’s right, the venue is at the top of an office building. But, trust us, it is an ideal setting for a wedding. Consistently praised as one of the best wedding venues and private event space, private dining at Charlie Palmer Steak will make your wedding an affair to remember. With breathtaking views of the city skyline and the fabulous staff, this is a dream indoor or outdoor wedding location.

#6. The Carnegie Institution for Science

Sure, a science building doesn’t exactly scream elegant wedding reception, but we did promise unique wedding venues. You will be blown away by the options here. Boasting romantic architecture and endless charm, the Carnegie Institution for Science is the perfect setting for a classic DC wedding or celebration. The Institution prides itself on providing tailored customer service with convenient access to hotels, restaurants, and the Nation’s greatest landmarks.

#5. Glen Echo Park’s Bumper Car Pavilion

This venue started out as one of Glen Echo Park’s main attractions and it’s now one of their most popular rental venues. With its old amusement park charm, enough space for 200 guests, and a dance floor, it might be the perfect location for a fun wedding. It’s relatively affordable and can be transformed into an elegant, whimsical space easily. The building exteriors, streetcar, and carousel make this a great option. Imagine the photo ops!

#4. The Clarendon Ballroom

Anything but your traditional ballroom setting, the Clarendon in Arlington’s hippest neighborhood offers an incredible wedding experience. This 1930’s Art Deco style Ballroom provides a classic setting for elegant receptions. Combined with the Front Lounge and nightclub (with stunning, 80-inch mahogany bar), the entire floor becomes a dramatic backdrop for your free-flowing event. The chef is fantastic, the staff is professional and attentive, and the acoustics are incredible for entertainment.

#3. The Patapsco Female Institute and Historic Park

Talk about unusual venues—this site used to be a girls’ school, but it’s actually the ruins of it! Greek revival architecture makes this bold 19th-century venue truly remarkable. The walls are (mostly) still there, but the roof is gone. This completely open-air venue is surrounded by gorgeous trees, has a huge marble staircase, and offers plenty of creative ways to set up your party.

Tip: As with all unique wedding venues, when you tour a potential outdoor site make sure to ask about available restroom facilities. Of course, Blue Ribbon is always happy to provide luxury bathroom trailers to meet your guests’ comfort needs and your refined expectations.

#2. The Mansion on O Street

This is one of our top choices because of the quirky options available. With themed rooms and 70 secret doors, we were hard-pressed to find other unique wedding venues that could measure up to this location. To go with their awe-inspiring and intimate atmosphere, the Mansion on O Street offers world-class cuisine and incredible service that is bound to create lasting memories for you and your guests.

#1. Blind Whino SW Arts Club

Last, but definitely not least, this funky and quirky church-turned-art-gallery is definitely one of the most unique wedding venues in the area if not in the country. Additionally, profits from any private events held at the arts center go to support the local arts community. How cool is that? Here’s a photo gallery from one couple’s wedding at Blind Whino.

Non-Traditional Wedding Venue Honorable Mention

There’s one other unique wedding venue we don’t want to forget to mention: campgrounds. While campgrounds aren’t free wedding venues, they do tend to be extremely affordable. In fact, we’re seeing such a trend toward outdoor weddings that involve camping that we’ll feature tips for pulling this one off in our next blog article. So, stay tuned! Our shower trailers are ideal for these offbeat events too.

Additional Resources

Want more great ideas for non-traditional wedding venues in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia? Check out these articles!

Ditch the Chapel for One of These 17 Unexpected Washington-Area Wedding Venues

DC Wedding Planner | Favorite Non-Traditional DC Area Wedding Venues

Contact Us for Luxury Restroom & Shower Trailers

Whether you just got engaged or you’re finalizing your wedding plans for later in the year, Blue Ribbon Restrooms can help with one-of-a-kind, luxury bathroom facilities. A unique wedding deserves a top-notch restroom experience! We can make it happen.

Contact Blue Ribbon Restrooms for your custom quote today, or explore our restroom trailer options on our website.

May or June Wedding Trends You Can Actually Pull Off in 4-5 Months

If you are planning a May or June wedding, you are likely eyebrow-deep—though hopefully not literally—in cake tastings, arguments over the guest list, and auditioning hair and makeup artists. The last thing you want to think about is May or June wedding trends for 2018.

Let this blog post be your friendly reminder to take a deep breath and reconnect with what will absolutely make or break your special day. It’s time for your fiancé to let go of the idea of riding down the aisle on an elephant. Forget about DIY-ing that elaborate cake topper you saw on Pinterest. Now is the time to prioritize and consider where to put your energy.

Here’s a helpful wedding planning checklist. But please don’t use this list as an excuse to freak out! Even though we’re 4-5 months out from your big event, we promise, if you hurry, you can still rent our luxury bathroom trailers for your May or June outdoor wedding.

The point is take this wedding planning list and others like it with a grain of salt. Whether you’re way ahead of schedule or scrambling to get everything done (according to some arbitrary timeline created by a Martha Stewart wanna-be), the following list of May or June wedding trends is designed to help you zero-in on what’s most important.

May or June Wedding Trends You Can Actually Pull Off in 4-5 Months

When it comes to prioritizing for your big day, you’re likely going to have to let go of some May or June wedding trends. But 4 or 5 months is still plenty of time to pull off any of the trends below. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, focus on trends that you can easily make happen in the time you still have.

1. Style Trend: New Age Bohemian

If you’re still considering decor, keep it simple, yet chic. Good news: one of this season’s hottest trends is New Age Bohemian. It doesn’t get much simpler than this. In fact, experts say Bohemian is the new rustic. Calling all free spirits!

Why we love this trend: the whole concept is laid back and relaxed. The only way you could miss the mark here is if you tried to force together ultra-formal elements with the easy-going, natural feel you’re creating. And if you’ve already planned that rustic chic wedding, the good news is that a few tweaks can easily put you back on trend (if being trendy matters to you).

How to:

  • Use floral accessories: Have your hairstylist create a loose, romantic style with lots of flowy curls and add some delicate floral accents. A crown of lilies or bright daisies with ribbon creates a laid-back, flowerchild look.
  • Geometric decor: Geometric decor and terrarium centerpieces can be paired with rustic elements and bohemian-inspired colors to create a relaxed, Southern Californian vibe.
  • Simple place settings and mismatched glassware: Create an eclectic aesthetic on your tables with stone, wood, and earthy pieces. They will blend nicely with greenery and potted succulents. For glassware, mix and match goblets, frosted glass, and gold-rimmed flutes.

2. Add Copper Accents

Along with the laid back feel of May or June wedding trends, minimalist designs are making their mark. This less-is-more approach is guiding everything from floral arrangements, to invitations, to venue choices. The minimalist feel is all about wide open, industrial-inspired venues and accents. Rose gold is out! Copper is in!

Why we love this trend: copper and other industrial accents are super cheap! They can be added to boost the profile of any other decor you’ve already chosen. Plus, the infusion of metallic accents look amazing with the right lighting.

How to:

  • Lanterns and tea lights: Did we mention lighting? These metallic elements can be hung or set on pedestals to create a romantic ambiance in almost any outdoor space.
  • Cutlery, cups, and candelabras: Add pops of copper in unexpected places. When planning your decor, don’t forget about these small details. Your caterer may offer different options without an additional charge. So make sure to ask.

3. Creative Dessert Twists

Finally, on that list of what really matters, don’t forget food. Your guests will thank you! While wedding cakes still rule the wedding dessert space, we are seeing more brides and grooms opting for other desserts to complement the cake. And, hey, delicious, decadent, non-cake desserts, never go out of style!

How to:

  • Drip cakes: This is a bit of a holdover from 2017, but drip cakes are still very popular. They also fit in well with the Boho theme, since they give off that relaxed, whimsical vibe.
  • Doughnuts: Kids and kids at heart all love doughnuts and with artisanal doughnut shops popping up all over the DC Metro area, we’re sure to see this wedding trend continue.
  • Dessert Bars: You may want to go “beyond the cake” and have your favorite baker make several different dessert finger-foods. Offer something seasonal, create a signature dessert cocktail, or go for the crowd-pleasing chocolate fondue fountain.

At Blue Ribbon Restrooms, we often have the privilege of working with and supporting brides as they plan for their wedding day. We understand how important it is for everything to go just right. That’s why we pride ourselves on offering award-winning service and going above and beyond for our customers.

As you put the finishing touches on your spring wedding plans have you considered what message the restroom facilities at your venue are sending? If that thought isn’t a pleasant one, contact us today for your free quote. Breathe easy with Blue Ribbon Restrooms on your wedding team!

Need Help Planning Your Big Event in 2018? It’s Not Too Early to Start Planning.

Even though 2018 is still young, it’s not too early to start planning your big event. What big life events do you have happening this year? Have you considered taking the party outdoors? Spring, summer, and autumn offer great opportunities to take advantage of delightful weather, longer days, and relaxing in the great outdoors. And who doesn’t love to breathe in a little fresh air?

Given all these benefits, why not consider taking those big events beyond the standard four walls? With just a little effort, planning your big event outdoors can be a fun way to get everyone together. Whether you’re hosting a family reunion, a baby shower, an anniversary party, a retirement party, or a graduation party, we’ve got some great tips to help you pull off an amazing outdoor event.

Planning Your Big Event Outdoors

One of the most difficult choices in the whole process can be finding the right site. Here’s a useful list of outdoor event venues in DC and here are some questions to ask before you narrow down your list and visit a few to find one that feels right:

  • What is your agenda for the event? Knowing what the day-of plan for your event looks like ahead of time will help you choose a venue that sets the right tone. For example, if you’re hoping to do a surprise party, does the venue offer an easy way to conceal decor and guests from the guest of honor?
  • What is your budget? It’s helpful to have a realistic budget in mind before you start planning your big event and looking at potential venues. There are obviously many cost-efficient outdoor spaces that you could use including, public parks, pavilions, gazebos, patios, picnic areas, and rooftop terraces. Some venues can package support services together with your space reservation for one package rate. Explore your options here.
  • Are restrooms, parking, guest accommodations, and other amenities located within a reasonable distance? Perhaps the most important consideration when it comes to planning your big event outdoors or anywhere else is whether your guests are enjoying themselves. And comfortable guests are more likely to enjoy themselves. So make sure you have taken your guests’ needs into consideration. If restroom facilities are scarce, consider renting a luxury restroom trailer to make your guests feel like VIPs. Blue Ribbon Restrooms can help!
  • What can you expect from Mother Nature? Are you working with a pavilion, gazebo, or place where your guests can seek shelter if Mother Nature decides to rain on your parade…err event? If your site is open air, consider renting tents or reserving another backup space in case of bad weather.
  • What is your plan for food? If you’d like your guests to mingle freely, hors d’oeuvres and finger foods may be best. For a more formal vibe, you can have a sit-down, catered dinner under a covered or semi-covered area. Either way, consider whether you or your caterer will need electricity to pull off your incredible spread. Make sure your food choices match your chosen theme and atmosphere.

Case Study: Earth Day Themed Corporate Event

In the spring of 2017, a great corporate client of Blue Ribbon Restrooms hosted an Earth Day themed corporate event in its outdoor pavilion for about 450 guests. It was a chance to shake off the winter blues and enjoy a beautiful spring evening.

The tables were dressed in bright spring colors—pinks, blues, greens, and yellows. There were spring floral bouquets placed in the center of each table too.

They draped daisies from the ceiling of the pavilion and used some accent lighting to set the mood for a light and fun time. The buffets were dressed with sod with the chafing dishes placed on top and there were troughs full of ice and cold drinks. The whole event took on the look and feel of an outdoor picnic.

No party is complete without delicious beverages. The bar served fresh lemonade and mint juleps. The paths leading guests back to their cars at the end of the evening were lined with elegant candlelit luminaries. And of course, they called on us to deliver a Majestic Restroom trailer from our Top Line Series.

The event went off flawlessly thanks to the planning of some amazing employees, who really thought of every last detail. The guests had a magical time from the moment they arrived until the moment they left. A memorable night was had by all!

The Moral of the Story…

You can throw an amazing outdoor event too. One of the biggest benefits to hosting an outdoor event is the energy and freshness it adds to your event. Whatever the event, taking things outdoors is a great way to keep everyone socializing and talking long after the whole thing is over.

Our friendly staff at Blue Ribbon Restrooms loves to make our customers look good. When it’s time for planning your big event, we are here to take care of one big detail. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one fewer item on your to-do list in 2018? Contact us today for your custom quote.

Quick. Convenient. And Worry-Free. Restroom Trailers to the Rescue This Winter.

No one enjoys being forced by bad weather or other winter hazards to “live off the grid.” And for businesses, losing electricity, water, or sewer can be a real threat to productivity. It’s bad enough when this happens in the summer, but this time of year, winter hazards can quickly turn into full-blown winter emergencies.

winter hazards

Let’s talk about what businesses can do to prevent some of the most common workplace winter hazards and options for dealing with some worst case scenarios.

1. Building Awareness

One of the most important preventative measures businesses can take is to remind all workers to be aware of their surroundings. It’s always smart to do a routine winter assessment of your facilities and draw attention to areas that are susceptible to winter hazards. Look for any sign of leaks and flooding and report it right away.

Additionally, during cold winter months, employees should be extra careful about closing doors and windows. Beyond concerns about heating costs and staff comfort levels, one major concern with leaving doors and windows open is the possibility of pipes, such as those in the building sprinkler system, freezing and breaking. This is an extremely disruptive and costly event, even in the best of cases.

What to do if a flood occurs:

If a flood occurs, take immediate action. Having a plan in place and making sure that all employees know what to do in the event of a water emergency is key. At a minimum, your flood hazard plan should include the following steps:

  • Get all employees out of the immediate area, so they are not injured by electrical or other hazards.
  • Shut off the water. Make sure that key personnel have access to and can identify the main water shut-off valve(s) for the building before an emergency happens.
  • Mitigate the damage. Move damaged equipment and other objects to dry areas and do what you can to save any property. Before testing electrical equipment that has been exposed to water, consult with IT or facilities professionals. Keep in mind that just because a piece of equipment got wet doesn’t mean it won’t work again.

If there is a serious water loss event, such as a water main break, it’s possible that the building’s water source will need to be shut down for days or even weeks. For business owners, this sounds like a complete nightmare, but you have options besides sending everyone home. Blue Ribbon Restrooms has gotten clients out of this exact jam many times before by placing premium restroom trailers and shower trailers onsite. Your employees will be back to work in no time without sacrificing the comforts normally available to them.

2. Using Power Equipment like Snowblowers and Space Heaters

To protect workers from electric shock, make sure all power equipment, such as snow blowers and space heaters are properly grounded. When performing maintenance on this equipment, make sure it’s disconnected from power sources.

Snow blowers can cause lacerations or amputations if workers attempt to clear jams without first turning off and disconnecting from power. Never attempt to clear a jam by hand. First, turn off the machine and wait for all moving parts to stop. Then use a stick to clear away any wet snow and debris keeping hands and feet away. If you need to refuel a snow blower, make sure the machine is not running and the engine has cooled down completely.

Everyone knows how dangerous portable space heaters can be, if not used properly. Still, space heaters can do wonders for areas of buildings that are especially difficult to heat. If an area cannot be adequately heated using the building’s heating system and a space heater must be used, make sure to follow the safety tips below:

  • Only use heaters that are Underwriters Listed (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM) certified for their intended use.
  • Only use units with a thermostat so they automatically shut off when the room reaches the desired temperature.
  • Only use heaters with a tip over automatic shutdown feature.
  • Keep all heaters at least 3 feet away from combustible materials, e.g., curtains, file cabinets, desks, trash cans, paper boxes, etc.
  • Do not place heaters under desks or in other enclosed areas.
  • Never plug heaters into extension cords. Use wall outlets only.
  • Keep space heaters away from exits, walkways, aisles, and other high traffic areas.
  • Do not use space heaters in wet areas like kitchens and restrooms.

3. Slips, Trips, and Falls

Finally, during the winter months, slips, trips, and falls can occur both inside and outside of buildings. Taking the proper safety precautions can help everyone avoid injuries and illnesses associated with winter hazards.

Inside, wet or snowy conditions can create slick floors too. Slips and falls are a leading cause of workplace injuries, so it’s important to take precautions to keep everyone safe.

  • Place signs promptly.
  • Clean up any wet areas.
  • Encourage employees to wear proper footwear (rubber soles are best).
  • Keep floors as clean and dry as possible and pay attention as you walk.
  • Remove any obstructions (e.g., umbrellas, boots, bags, etc.) from the floor.

Obviously, there are some outside areas that will be unavoidably hazardous as the weather turns colder. Snow and ice will build on roads, sidewalks, and in parking lots. While you should certainly have staff shovel walkways and put down ice melt pellets in slick or hazardous areas, depending on the conditions, these areas will remain dangerous. “Black ice” can be especially dangerous because it is not easily visible.

So, it’s important to always remind both workers and visitors to use care when walking and driving anywhere on the property. Remind employees to leave earlier than usual whether heading from home to work, work to home, or between job sites to allow extra time to arrive safely at their destinations.

Make sure your whole team knows who to contact if they observe a trouble spot anywhere on the property. A little forethought and effort will make sure those winter hazards don’t wreak havoc in your office.

Do you have a special event coming up? Blue Ribbon Restrooms is ready to make your guests feel like VIPs. Our luxury restroom trailers are climate controlled and offer all the comfort of indoor facilities without the hassle. It’s quick, convenient, and worry-free. Call us today at 888-498-6982 to talk about your needs.

Make Your Office Holiday Party Unforgettable With These 5 Tips

Are you stuck in a rut when it comes to planning your office holiday party?  If you always choose the same restaurant, banquet hall, or ballroom at the same ritzy hotel downtown, it may be time for a change. Yes, it’s possible to ditch the stale sugar cookies and lame DJ without adding to your stress. Don’t worry, Blue Ribbon has you covered!

office holiday party

 

Here are our top 5 tips for helping you plan an unforgettable office holiday party without all the muss and fuss:

1. Choose a Unique Venue

There’s nothing like a change in scenery to bring a party to life. So forget about the usual choices, get creative, and think about non-traditional venues that will really WOW your guests. Museums, art galleries, and outdoor locations supply their own character, ambiance, and eliminate the need for a lot of expensive decor.

Outdoors? But “baby, it’s cold outside!” Maybe, but consider the possibilities. You could rent some outdoor heaters or choose a venue with fire pits and set up a s’more roast. With plenty of hot drinks and places for guests to warm their hands, everyone will have an unforgettable experience. And we’ll be happy to rent you enough premium restroom trailers, complete with heat and hot water, to accommodate your guests.

Of course, the best venues book up early, especially in Washington DC, so make sure to plan ahead. If you have your heart set on a particular venue and they’re booked through Christmas, fear not! You could do a post-holiday brunch the day after everyone gets back to the office. It will be easier to book a fabulous venue after the 25th and who doesn’t love omelettes and mimosas?

2. Choose an Unusual Theme

A theme can be fun if enough of your colleagues are into theme parties. Pulling off a truly unforgettable office holiday theme party requires buy in, so do what you can to increase buzz around the office. The best part of choosing a theme is that you can use it to inspire marketing ideas during the last month of 2017.

Hosting an ugly sweater party or elegant white Christmas party? Get a group photo and create a fun social media campaign. This has the double effect of creating great visuals for your clients to share with their network and giving your company a chance to show off your light-hearted side.

Another fun and festive holiday theme is doing a white elephant gift exchange. Invite everyone to bring a wrapped gift with a $25 minimum. Then sit back with your eggnog and watch everyone fight over the Awkward Family Photo 2018 Calendar. Hilarity will ensue, guaranteed.

3. Find an Event Coordinator

Okay, now for the really low stress advice. Many professional venues have event coordinators, so be sure to ask about this when booking your venue. If this is not an option, it could be well worth the investment to hire an actual event coordinator or to delegate this task to someone in the office.

Remember that this is your party too. You don’t want to be rushing around dealing with last-minute details the day of the party or triaging the usual challenges that arise like the employee who took the open bar concept a little too literally. Don’t add party coordinating to your plate. You want to reserve plenty of room for dessert.

4. Leave the Food to the Caterers

Your office holiday party should be about celebrating hard work, so make it all about your employees and colleagues. Potlucks can be fun, but they can also be stressful both for planners and guests. Rather than expecting Irma in accounting to bring her standard batch of peanut butter and chocolate fudge, think about how nice it would be to enjoy food no one felt obligated to prepare.

Get a catering company or local restaurant to handle the food and drink. Catering is easy and with a wide range of pricing available, catered food can fit within almost any office holiday party budget. Offer a lunch buffet from one of the “healthier” fast food chains, such as Panera, Founding Farmers DC, or the Protein Bar. Or if you want to do something more elegant for less money, order an assortment of fancy desserts or hors d’oeuvres with a limited number of cocktails.

5. Give Back

An office holiday party is the perfect opportunity to spread some cheer even as you celebrate with your colleagues. You could throw a toy drive for a local charity or set up a giving tree with gift tag wishlists for families in need. For a larger charitable giving campaign, ask for donations from local businesses and have a silent auction where all the funds are donated to a local charity. This is a great way to get the whole community involved too.

What are your office holiday party plans this year? We’d love to hear about all of your quirky ideas!

At Blue Ribbon Restrooms, we love the holidays and we love to make our clients holiday parties extra special. If you have a big event coming up, request your custom quote today. Let us show you how we can help you beat the stress this busy holiday season.

Awesome Do’s and Don’t’s to Make Your Outdoor Fall Wedding As Beautiful as the Season

Fall is a beautiful time to have an outdoor wedding in the DC area. The temperatures are in that sweet spot between the stifling heat of summer and the frosty cold of winter. The earthy fall colors provide the perfect backdrop for pictures too. So, if you’re considering an outdoor fall wedding, you have some great options.

Of course, as with any season, an outdoor fall wedding presents challenges that savvy brides and wedding planners should be ready to address. Whether you just got engaged and are planning to tie the knot in about a year or your big day is right around the corner, let’s discuss some of the “do’s and don’t’s” to make sure your guests fall in love with your outdoor fall wedding.

Do Take Advantage of Nature’s Backdrop

When planning a fall wedding, be sure to also plan to take plenty of outdoor shots. You and your guests will love them! The reds, golds, oranges, and browns create the most amazing natural background. One idea for a really fun shot is to have your guests toss handfuls of colorful leaves up into the air behind you and your groom. Here are some other great examples to give you some ideas.

Also, be sure to incorporate seasonal decor for a rustic, but chic look. Use gourds, pumpkins, apples, and big, bright sunflowers in centerpieces or to decorate the ceremony site. You could also take advantage of being outside by seating guests on hay bales (covered in blankets). And sprinkling colorful leaves down the aisle instead of rose petals. These ideas will not only drive home the fall theme, but add tons of color and texture for little or no extra cost!

Don’t Spare the Lighting

One challenge to keep in mind is that with the end of Daylight Savings Time, it will be getting darker sooner. If you are planning an afternoon wedding, it may well be getting dark before your guests are ready to head home. Make sure you are prepared to light their way. It is a good idea to walk the site with your wedding planner during key times to get a sense for what guests will experience.

In addition, if your venue has limited restroom facilities, it makes sense to provide luxury restroom trailers to accommodate your guests. Don’t forget to make sure the paths between these trailers and your reception site are well lit and suitable for walking, no matter the weather.

Do Stick to Fall Colors

With the spectacular color show going on outside, it makes sense to choose wedding colors that fit the fall theme. But keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be all about burgundy, maize, and orange. Complementary colors create stunning looks too. If you’re more of a neutral bride, choose blush, gold, or champagne. For the bolder bride, choose shades of cranberry, deep green, and dusty lavender. Add pops of color among the earth tones wherever you can.

Don’t Let Less Than Perfect Weather Ruin Your Day

When deciding on hair and makeup, remember that while autumn in DC is full of picture perfect days, rain and wind are also possible. For hair that will hold up the longest in inclement weather, choose an up-do or a braid. When it comes to makeup, it might be wise to choose something less dramatic, so that you or your makeup artist can easily touch up your face between photos if the weather is less than ideal.

Do Keep Your Guests Warm

If you expect your guests to party until the sun goes down, be prepared to keep them warm when they’re not out on the dance floor. Warm and seasonal cocktails are a great option (who doesn’t love a hot toddie, right?). And set up a fully stocked coffee or tea bar for guests to enjoy with their cake.

Additionally, you’ll want to provide warming areas where guests will be congregating and sitting. Our luxury restroom trailers offer climate control, so your guests will be nice and comfortable when they use the facilities. But you probably don’t want guests congregating in the restrooms.  Instead, you can rent portable gas patio heaters to set up under your tent or in the barn.

In a pinch, you could also offer guests inexpensive pashminas in your wedding colors or monographed blankets as a wedding favor. As long as you plan a fun event, a little chill in the air won’t bother most people. So don’t sweat the season!

There are lots of fun options to make your outdoor fall wedding a crimson, golden, orange, and toasty brown delight. But no matter what season you choose for your wedding day, let Blue Ribbon Restrooms make your guests feel like VIPs. Call us today to request your custom quote!

Love the Great Outdoors, But Hate Sleeping There? Try Glamping!

With all the excitement of the Great American Eclipse in the rearview mirror and the kids heading back to school, you might be wondering what your next adventure will be. She wants to go camping, but he can’t stand using those mildewed campground showers. Ever considered glamping?

luxury bathroom trailers

A mashup of “glamorous” and “camping,” glamping is perfect for those who love the great outdoors, but don’t want to sleep in a tent. It’s all about getting a good night’s rest in outdoor accommodations like yurts, bell tents, tipis, treehouses, and rustic chic cabins.

But glamping is more than just camping without a tent. You can forget about dingy motels and stale continental breakfast muffins. The glam is mandatory! This means something different everywhere, but think heated floors, furry rugs, wood-burning stoves, luxury bathroom trailers, and fancy spa products.

Sound like fun? Keep reading for tips on how to choose your own glamping adventure whether that means hitting the road or turning your own backyard into a glamping resort for your friends complete with luxury bathroom trailers, of course.

Take a Glamping Get-Away

If you’re ready to ditch those dusty sleeping bags and have a glorious time, checkout some of the most incredible glamping accommodations in the US:

1. Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Think luxury hunting lodge, without the camouflage. Tuck in at night with luxury linens over a comfy king size bed. The bathhouse has rain showers, heated floors, and offers organic spa products. Enjoy campfires, scotch tastings, local micro-brew happy hours, and guided tours with other resort visitors. There’s even a top chef to prepare gourmet meals.

2. Bali House and Bali Cottage in Kehena Beach, Hawaii.

This private beach paradise is nestled on the black sands of Kehena Beach on the Big Island. Your 1,000 square foot cottage with both indoor and outdoor living spaces comes with a fully equipped kitchen, luxury bathrooms, garden spas, and fine linens. The ocean cliff is 75 feet from your front door and you can go snorkeling, hiking, boating, and take a lava boat tour!

3. Sequoia High Sierra Camp in Giant Sequoia National Monument, California.

Imagine waking up to the breathtaking background of California’s Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, while enjoying deluxe furnishings, premium amenities, and friendly hospitality. This secluded mountain retreat has everything you need in a glamping experience. Explore stunning mountain peaks, cascading creeks, tranquil fields, and see more stars than you’ve ever seen at night. The “tents” are more like high-end, open air condos luxurious, spacious, and cozy.

There are so many more choices available both inside and outside the US for glamping accommodations. Take some time to do your research and plan for a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

What to Expect and What to Pack:

Once you’ve booked your glamping destination, all you have to do is figure out what to pack. As comfortable as glamping is, it can be easy to forget that it’s not a hotel stay. So, if you’re considering giving it a try, keep in mind that you may have to trek through the woods to get to your shared bathroom (though hopefully it will be at least as nice as our luxury restroom trailers and portable shower trailers).

Here’s more about what to expect:

  • Make sure you bring warm clothes because as comfortable as your accommodations will be, the great outdoors might still be chilly.
  • Many glamping sites allow campfires and will provide a supply of firewood, but you may need your own matches and you will definitely need your own fire-building skills. So it’s a good idea to read up on this.
  • You will probably have cooking facilities of some kind. So bring whatever you want for a delicious breakfast. You may also have a grill for cooking over an open flame.
  • Bring your rain boots and a flashlight.

Throw a Glamping Party at Home

If you’d rather stay home, why not invite some friends over and have your own glamping adventure right in your own backyard? It’s easy to throw a glamping dinner party that will keep your friends talking until next summer.

1. Set Up the Essentials

If you have the space, set up a big tent-, yurt-, or tipi- type structure. Add plenty of pillows, blankets, and comforters to make a comfy nest for sleeping. Have guests bring their own too to add to the fun. If you’re short on space, you can hang a canopy from the trees or attach it to the roof of the house.

Next set up the table for your elegant outdoor dinner party. Either set up out under the stars or let the sleeping structure do double-duty serving as an inviting outdoor dining room. Once dinner is over, you can take the table down and replace it with mountains of pillows.

If you really want to go all out and give your guests the real glamping experience, hire a chef to cater the party, and rent luxury bathroom trailers or—better yet, our 3-stall combination restroom and shower trailer. Not only will you save time cooking and cleaning up after your guests, but you will virtually guarantee that your glamping party will be the talk among your friends for months.

2. Create a Cozy Group Seating Area

Encourage the group to connect through conversation and other activities by creating a comfortable circle with sofas and chairs around a firepit. Of course, the seats don’t have to actually be on the ground. Hanging chairs are a great option in an outdoor space. They’re as comfortable as a hammock without taking up so much space.

3. Don’t Forget the Lighting

Finally, stringing plenty of lights overhead is an easy way to turn up the volume on the glam. If you don’t love the idea of an open flame around all of those pillows, you can get LED tea candles, and wrap LED string lights around some logs to make a “city-safe” fire pit. Don’t forget to light the path to your luxury bathroom trailers and the house. You don’t want guests tripping in the dark.

For more DIY glamping adventure ideas worthy of an HGTV reality show, check out this slideshow.

At Blue Ribbon Restrooms, while we may not be able to cater your outdoor glamping experience, we can lend our expertise to the mix with our luxury bathroom trailers and portable showers. We’re happy to help with outdoor weddings and events of all sizes too. Request your no-obligation quote today!

Quick Checklist for Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan for Your Business.

If a hurricane or tornado were to hit your company tonight at 9:43pm, would you be back in business tomorrow? Well, unless you have a smart disaster recovery plan, the answer is ‘no’—not tomorrow and possibly not ever.

disaster recovery plan

 No one enjoys thinking about and planning for worst case scenarios. But if and when disaster strikes your organization, there is no substitute for being well prepared. And with hurricane season in full force now, it’s a good reminder that most disasters come without a lot of warning.

The best time to put together a disaster recovery plan is obviously before anything happens. When heads are cool, we can all think, plan, and strategize to the best of our abilities. This article provides a general guide and useful resources for making sure your team is ready in the event of a natural or human-caused disaster.

Where do we start?

To get started with disaster recovery planning, first check to see whether your company has a plan in place, however incomplete. If you have an outdated plan to work with, start by making any necessary updates. In the future, make sure to update your disaster recovery plan once per year or whenever policy changes necessitate a change in the plan.

If you find yourself starting from scratch, consider that each type of disaster has unique consequences for the systems, people, and proce

sses that keep your business up and running. FEMA.gov is a good place to start with a list of emergency preparedness resources for different types of disasters.

Here’s a handy checklist for creating a more general disaster recovery plan for your business:

 

1. Put people first.

It is surprising how many online disaster recovery templates fail to mention the risk of actual injury and loss of human life during emergencies. But it is up to businesses to put a plan in place to protect their people in the event of an em

ergency.

Which personnel are essential to operations? Do you have a plan in place for allowing most employees to work remotely, while clean-up and reconstruction efforts are arranged? If there are injuries to employees, how will you make sure they receive urgent medical care?

Putting your people first means thinking beyond a mere first-aid kit.

2. Who is responsible for what during a disaster?

During a disaster, decisions will need to be made quickly. It’

s essential to establish a clear mission-critical, hierarchy spelling out exactly who will make decisions and when. This starts with a list of key stakeholders, executives, and managers along with a list of disaster-response actions each will take in order to recover and restore functions that were interrupted.

3. Consider the minimum infrastructure you need to operate.

Does a strong disaster recovery plan require you to pay rent on additional office space in a non-disclosed location in case of an emergency? Probably not. But it is important for you to consider your options ahead of an emergency.

Do you have technology in place to allow employees to seamlessly work from remote locations? What if the office is “inhabitable” and necessary for keeping some aspects of your business running, but there’s no running water? Maybe portable restroom trailers for employees and customers could solve your problem.

4. Have a plan for data recovery.

IT back ups should be a regular part of your business procedur

es and are an important part of any type of disaster recovery. In fact, your IT department should have its own, separate disaster recovery plan. Here’s a good document to pass on to your leaders in IT.

Your data may be your business’s most valuable asset. Make sure it’s protected. Consider how and where your data is being stored. Is it on-site? In the cloud? Is the data encrypted? What will it take to restore it? How vulnerable are you to being hacked or compromised during recovery?

5. Make communication as easy as possible.

Communication during disaster recovery is key. If your employees can’t communicate with one another, it will be very hard for them to fulfill their responsibilities. Consider with whom they will need to communicate. Who should employees contact to confirm the status of business and execute the plan?

6. Know what you will say to the public.

Next to having a plan for internal communications, it’s important to have a plan for communicating with external channels such as customers, vendors, investors, and the media. Come up with a list of core messages and talking points that can easily be modified to include relevant information about the specific emergency situation.

It’s a good idea to come up with a “crisis management media kit” with pre-written press releases ready to be tweaked and blasted out. No one will be in the right state of mind to come up with a press release during such a devastating time. Best to work from a script.

7. Model most likely disasters.

Consider the disasters that are most likely to affect your business and model as accurately as possible when conducting practice drills. If you don’t operate in a flood zone, you may not need to plan for a flood. So make sure to plan for scenarios that you and your staff are likely to encounter.

8. Keep a list of supply delivery vendors and restaurants at the recovery site.

This item may sound strange, but it can be very important. During an emergency you and employees may spend many hours at the recovery site and need certain supplies. You do not want to waste precious time and resources searching for these things after a disaster.

You may very well need staff to spend more than 24 hours at a time on site. If employees are sifting through rubble and working in areas t

hat are especially dusty, for instance, personal hygiene may become a priority. In this case, having portable shower trailers on hand can be a lifesaver. Make sure Blue Ribbon Restrooms is on your list of emergency vendors.

9. Test and retest your disaster recovery plan.

Disaster recovery planning is a work in progress. You will need to carefully update and reevaluate your plan to keep pace with important changes in your business. Make sure you test your entire plan at least once each year in order to keep s

taff familiar with the protocol. When testing your plan, don’t assume events will unfold exactly according to plan. Be sure to test different scenarios and unusual variables.

No one likes to consider worst case scenarios, unfortunately, that doesn’t prevent disasters from happening. Instead of burying their heads in the sand, smart businesses come up with a solid plan for meeting disaster head on.

Let Blue Ribbon Restrooms be your partner in disaster preparedness. Call us to find out how we can help you put your people first!

How to Host an Epic, Yet Effortless, Backyard Summer Party.

Can you think of a better way to beat the heat than by throwing an epic backyard summer party? Oh, wait, how about convincing your neighbor to throw an epic backyard summer party? Planning, prepping, and cleaning up after a party often makes playing host more effort than it’s worth. And often better parties mean more work. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

summer party

You don’t need to spend days scouring the web for vintage outdoor furniture, hours baking up the latest Pinterest creations, or the whole party following guests around with a mini-vacuum to host a fun party and stay sane. So, before you throw in the towel on throwing another party, consider some creative ways to make your next backyard bash both epic and effortless.

1. Find Fun Finger Foods

Finger foods are some of the best party foods. Not only do they cut down on the number of dishes you need to wash and disposable plates guests need to use, they are delicious and fun to eat.

  • Depending on how much you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, you can focus on picnic-inspired finger foods that don’t take much prep time such as chips and dip, an antipasto platter, or hummus and pita, or slightly more elaborate hot appetizers like mini-empanadas, shrimp and cocktail sauce, or BBQ sliders. Need more ideas? Check out this list of 26 Easy Outdoor Appetizers.
  • For dessert, s’mores are always a huge hit and since guests can make their own, you simply need to provide the chocolate, marshmallows, graham crackers, and fire source. Set everything out using a tiered cookie plate for a more beautiful presentation.

2. Choose a Signature Drink

Find an easy punch recipe or two that you love and can make ahead of time to throw into an insulated beverage cooler. At party time, simply add ice. Your guests won’t be able to stop talking about your signature drink. Make sure to have on hand other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages too for those who aren’t into punch.

Here are 2 foolproof tips for making easy, crowd-pleasing punch every time:

  • For (ahem) spiked punches, follow this simple ratio: 2:1:1:1. That’s 2 parts spirit, 1 part sweet, 1 part sour, and 1 part sparkling wine, water, or soda—which is the ratio you’ll find in these 7 simple punch recipes.
  • It’s always a good idea to offer non-alcoholic options too, especially when it’s hot outside. Just because you aren’t adding liquor doesn’t mean you’re stuck serving club soda and sparkling water though. Balance is the key to making more impressive non-alcoholic punches too. Consider balancing sweet, sour, and bitter ingredients. Take a look at these other tips for mixing up fun non-alcoholic drinks at home.

3. Make Clean-Up Easy

Clean-up has to be the biggest disadvantage to hosting a party. Of course, throwing a pool party in your backyard cuts down on the mess. But while it’s easy enough to enlist the help of guests to toss their Solo cups in the trash, who’s going to help you clean the carpets after the whole neighborhood tromps through in their chlorine-soaked clothes to use the bathroom?

Fortunately, Blue Ribbon Restrooms can help. No, we won’t come and clean your carpets, but we do rent high-end restroom trailers that won’t blow your entire summer party budget. Save your carpets and save on clean-up time by having us place one of our luxury restrooms for your party.

4. Send Bugs A-Packin’

Not even great food and high-end restroom trailers can save your summer party if your guests are constantly battling pests buzzing in their ears. Follow these tips to keep bugs at bay:

  • Get rid of standing water. Because mosquitoes breed in standing water, one of the best ways to avoid having these pests spoil your fun is to get rid of any sources of standing water. The week before your party, empty the kiddie pool, clean out the rain gutters, and empty any flower pots where rainwater may have collected.
  • Plug in fans. Mosquitoes are weak flyers, so even a fan set on low will help to keep them away from guests and food. This technique works best for a small area like a deck or patio where you can set up a few box fans to create a bug-free zone.
  • Offer bug wipes instead of spray. That smelly fog of bug spray will kill the mood faster than cousin Lou’s karaoke rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” So, instead of getting that spray with DEET that can damage clothing, look for anything with picaridin, a natural bug repellent. Stick the bug wipes in a basket by the door or in the luxury restroom trailers you smartly rented.

5. Don’t Stop the Music

No summer party could be truly epic without great music. But who wants to play DJ the whole time? A little planning will ensure that the music doesn’t stop and everyone keeps dancing.

  • First, don’t blast the speakers. The best set-up for a backyard party is 4 speakers spread out and set at a lower volume. Place speakers above ear level, so they aren’t blaring in everyone’s faces. Also, if you can aim them toward the side of the house, you can turn up the volume and distribute the sound more broadly.
  • As for your party playlist, you can’t go wrong with the classics: the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stones, and Michael Jackson are all solid choices. Anything that’s upbeat and memorable can be tossed into the mix. Create a playlist that’s about 5 hours long. Most parties don’t go longer than 5 hours and anyone who notices that the playlist has started over after 6 hours probably needs another drink.

It’s true. Throwing a summer party that will keep friends, families, and neighbors talking until the holidays takes some effort. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Let Blue Ribbon Restrooms help put hosting an outdoor party back on your list of fun things to do before the cool fall breeze rolls into town.