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Your Outdoor Wedding Reception Survival Kit: Top 10 Often Overlooked Items

When it comes to planning your big day, it can seem like there are a million big things to remember, especially if you’re having an outdoor wedding reception. While it’s fairly easy to make a list of the big things—ordering enough food, finding the perfect flowers, making sure there’s enough seating, renting the tent, etc.—it’s also fairly easy to let some of the smaller items slip through the cracks.

outdoor weddingRemembering these small, but essential items can really make or break your special event. Along these lines, one creative and highly appreciated gift that bridesmaids often give to the bride-to-be on her wedding day is a wedding day survival kit. The kit includes things like her favorite lipstick, safety pins, tissues, and tweezers.

You can think of this blog post as your outdoor wedding reception survival kit. We’ve scoured the web for the best advice from brides who have been there and put together a checklist of 10 often overlooked to-do’s. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Outdoor Wedding Reception Survival Kit:

 

1. Designate a clean-up team.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your caterer, venue staff, or other vendors will pitch in and help clean up after the reception. You’ll need to specify that as a service you want ahead of time and make sure it’s in the contract.

You may need to hire a separate cleaning crew or designate members of your wedding party for the task. If your wedding party will be helping out, remind them to bring comfortable clothing, so that they aren’t doing dishes in their dresses and tuxes until 3am (been there!).

2. Make a list of take-away items.

Every bride and groom remember to make a list of things they need the wedding party to bring to the wedding site to be set up before the wedding. But very few think to make a list of things to bring back after it’s over.

This list of take-aways is important because at the end of the night, you will be too occupied with guests and each other to direct the tear-down of your reception. Anything you leave behind at the venue will likely be tossed in the dumpster. So if you want to save that photo backdrop DIY project, make sure it’s on the list.

3. Consider where the wait staff will change.

This is especially important if you are having your outdoor wedding at home. If you have a guestlist of 200 people, there could be 50 or more additional staff people working at your event. How will you make both the staff and guests comfortable? Consider renting coat racks so that staff has a place to hang up their personal items.

4. Plan for restrooms.

If there aren’t restrooms at your venue (and even if there are only a few nearby), consider renting portable luxury restrooms for your guests. A good rule of thumb is that you should have one bathroom or stall per 35 guests. Take a look at our restroom trailer options to choose the size that meets your needs.

Each luxury trailer includes flushable toilets, a hot water system, climate control, an oak vanity with marble or Corian sink, skylights, music, lighting, and an automatic fragrance dispenser. For an extra special touch, upgrade to the VIP package (or DIY) and add:

  • Lotion
  • Mouthwash
  • Safety pins
  • Fresh cut flowers
  • Feminine products
  • Individually wrapped mints
  • Topiaries for outside the door
  • Hand-rolled real towels in a basket

5. Don’t leave floral arrangements in the sun.

Live flowers won’t last more than an hour in direct sunlight. So wait as long as possible to put out flowers before guests arrive. Keep them out of the sun and in a cool place until you are ready for them.

6. Make sure the seating cards don’t fly away.

Whether you have your guests pick up their seating cards from a main table as they enter or you have put out individual cards at each place, remember to plan for the wind picking up. There are many creative and elegant ways to weigh down cards on tables—from beautiful polished stones to ribbon tied to a glass or twine around branches.

7. Offer guests cute flip-flops.

No matter how many times you remind your girlfriends to wear comfortable shoes to your outdoor wedding (and do make it clear to all guests in your invitations that the wedding will be outdoors), some of them will still insist on wearing heels. Cute stilettos and soft grass just don’t mix.

8. Put someone in charge of being a photo gatherer.

It’s so wonderful that everyone can take photos with their smartphones and share the best ones on your wedding website or social media. However, guests with the best of intentions might forget to do that last step. One way to make sure you get those photos is to designate a friend as the photo gatherer.

Station this person (and it’s best if he/she is NOT part of the wedding party) near the exit with a computer and a memory stick. Ask him to remind guests to upload their photos before leaving at the end of the night.

9. Remember to thank great vendors publicly.

Wedding vendors often go above and beyond for their brides because they want your day to be perfect. Why not thank them by posting a positive review on popular wedding websites? There is no better thank you gift you could give a wedding vendor.

10. Relax and enjoy your day!

Above all, remember that this day is all about celebrating your love for each other. If you focus on that and on being present throughout the event, you will take home fond memories of the day. So, eat, drink, dance, talk to your guests, and take some time out just to be yourself.
At Blue Ribbon Restrooms, we’re here to take care of the necessities. What better way to show your guests you are thinking about their comfort on your big day than by renting stylish and luxurious mobile restrooms? Contact us to request a quote today!

Enjoy the Glow and the Go: The Guide to Outdoor Wedding Lighting and First Place Restroom Trailers

Outdoor weddings are some of the most memorable events. Theroutdoor wedding lightinge’s just something special about a celebration of true love blending with a beautiful natural space. But of course, hosting an outdoor wedding also comes with a special set of challenges. One big challenge is outdoor wedding lighting.

Before you dance the night away with your guests, be sure to balance safety considerations with setting the right mood. Fortunately, there are many creative ways to make your outdoor wedding lighting picture perfect.

In fact, done right, lighting can be used to transform your space, to make your decor look even more amazing, and to create incredible photo ops (Did someone say sparklers?).

Choosing Your Illumination Expert

When it comes to outdoor wedding lighting, it’s important to consider budget, safety, venue restrictions, and style. Choosing the right experienced lighting professional who can advise you on all of these elements is money well spent.

Ask your contact at the venue for recommendations for lighting pros who have experience with the unique challenges of the space you have chosen. A true professional should be able to show you pictures and offer recommendations in line with your vision.

Visit the site after dark

Once you’ve chosen your professional, walk the site at the same time as your wedding will be happening. This will help you to get a feel for exactly how bright the afternoon sun will be and figure out what types of existing lighting, you have to work with.

Again, plan to visit your site before you get too deep into wedding details. You don’t want to plan your dream wedding and then find out many of the elements you envisioned won’t work in the space you chose. For instance, while you may love the idea of each of your guests holding a candle to illuminate your way down the aisle, your venue might have a strict no open flame policy.

As you walk the site with your outdoor wedding lighting pro, take note of the outdoor outlets available and consider how many extension cords might be required to meet your needs. Also, work with your contact at the venue to figure out whether you will need any permits and ask if they know where you will need to file the paperwork.

Consider Safety

Identify any problem areas and brainstorm about what you can do to make the area safer. Besides lighting the main areas where the ceremony, dancing, and dining will take place, don’t forget about lighting areas around the main celebration spaces.

Pay special attention to pathways where you expect a lot of foot traffic; for example, between the main reception tent and the stylish, luxury restroom trailer you rented to please dear, sweet Aunt Betty, who wouldn’t dream of stepping into a typical port-o-potty wearing her good shoes.

Wait. You didn’t think to rent a stylish restroom trailer complete with running water, temperature control, interior and exterior lighting, marble sinks, and a lighted mirror? It’s not too late! Contact us today to secure your Blue Ribbon Restroom for your outdoor wedding extravaganza.

Additionally, lighting can potentially use a lot of electricity. If you’re hosting a wedding at home, discuss the capacity of your home’s electrical system with your lighting professional. Remember that the band or DJ will need to plug into your home’s system too. You don’t want to risk blowing a fuse in the middle of the First Dance.

Because of the extra draw on the electricity, it may make sense to bring in a generator to take the pressure off of your home’s standard electrical system (Blue Ribbon also has Whisper Generators available). If you decide to use a generator, make sure to place it well away from guests, out of earshot.

Consider Mood

Once you have safety concerns under control, you can think about the fun stuff—using lighting to make your celebration uniquely yours.

How will lighting enhance your celebration?

The Classic Outdoor Wedding:

Classic weddings are all about the glam. Strategically placed chandeliers or wall sconces can add an elegant feel to any outdoor space. Pair these classic light fixtures with silver candelabras on the tables and pillar candles in hurricane vases to add a warm glow. Anything that reflects light will help to make the space feel bright and warm.

If you’re dancing under the stars, strings of twinkle lights make the moment magical. Spotlights on the happy couple dancing for the first time or illuminating an ice sculpture can add a dramatic flare too. Don’t forget fireworks and sparklers for that grand finale feeling.

The Romantic Outdoor Wedding:

If your style is more romantic than classic, set the mood with twinkle LED’s. You can never have too many of these tiny, sparkly lights winding around tree branches, tent poles, and barn ceilings. Hang strings vertically to create a romantic backdrop for pictures or create a canopy of lights overhead. The possibilities are endless.

Lanterns with candles hanging overhead or lighting pathways also set a nice romantic mood. Use colors, like gold and rose to flood the space with a romantic glow. At the end of the night, have guests release floating candles into a pool or release glowing lanterns into the sky while making a wish.

The Rustic Outdoor Wedding:

Even a rustic outdoor wedding can use a touch of elegance. Choose globe-style lights that are bigger than Christmas lights and offer a bit more light. Line ceremony aisles or stone walkways with luminaries, like bag luminaries, to make a simple statement.

Going for a more eclectic look? Use mason jars in different shapes and sizes hanging at different heights with glowing Edison bulbs. When it comes to that rustic feel, you are really free to mix and match outdoor wedding lighting. You can even use lighting to divide up a large space. Suspend a chandelier made out of a wagon wheel above the dance floor, or create an intimate space with lights at each table. Get creative! It’s your day!

Whatever mood you want to convey with your outdoor wedding lighting, don’t ruin the mood with subpar restroom facilities. At Blue Ribbon we specialize in giving your guests a first-rate experience through and through.

Top Ways to Recycle Wedding Items

   TOP WAYS TO RECYCLE WEDDING ITEMS

The question arises about what to do with all the items you have when your big day is over.  Much like our wedding clients, Blue Ribbon Restroom Trailers is very conscious of our environment and the value of recycling.  For those that dislike waste, there are many creative was you can recycle your wedding items. 

1)      RECYCLE WEDDING DRESS After the big day, you may find yourself placing your wedding dress in the closet never to be seen again. While saving it for your daughter to wear at her wedding day is the obvious option, there are many others.  Some of Blue Ribbon Restroom Trailer’s favorite ideas include:

  • donating it to charity
  • creating a pretty pillow
  • creating a new chic dress for a more casual event
  • christening gown
  • baby’s basinet.

wedding dress recycled to baby christening gown

                   recycle wedding dress                                  

2)       FLORAL One of the best ways to recycle the flowers from your event is to allow your guests to take arrangements home as a gesture of appreciation.

    

3)      FOOD Talk with your caterer or venue ahead of time and consider making arrangements to have any leftovers boxed up and given to a local food shelter. It is a great way to make sure there is no wasted food and at the same time help those in need.

We look forward to working with our Brides in 2017 and sharing the same passion for being environmentally friendly.   Recycling can be part of your everyday lives and even on your most special wedding day. It’s easy and takes only a tad of planning ahead with your planner and/or caterer. And what a difference you can make. If you have additional creative ways to recycle your wedding items please share them with us. Make sure to contact us for your wedding restroom trailer needs. Put your event in 1st place with Blue Ribbon Restroom Trailers!!!

http://blueribbonrestrooms.com/contact

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your Outdoor Summer Wedding

 

  1. mistakesNot providing enough shade for your guests. Whether using umbrellas or tents, providing enough reprieve from the sun can make the difference between guests enjoying themselves or leaving the wedding celebration early.

  2. Choosing the wrong fabrics for the wedding party attire can be a big mistake. Thick and heavy materials will guarantee sweaty faces for your wedding photos.

  3. In the hot summer months it’s best to forgo the portable toilet option and invest in renting a restroom trailer which is equipped with air conditioning and other amenities. The restroom trailer also provides for a cool place for the wedding party to prepare for or refresh after the ceremony.

  4. When sending out wedding invitations make sure to include a note reminding guests that the event will be held outdoors and that heels may not be the best choice if the ground will be soft.

  5. Not providing chair covers for outdoor seating makes for a very hot and uncomfortable sitting experience on sunny days.

  6. Not having a backup plan in case of inclement weather can leave the bride and groom standing at the alter by themselves. Always have a backup plan no matter what type of outdoor event you are planning, especially one as important as a wedding.

  7. Not providing sunscreen and bug spray for your guests can also lead to them leaving the celebration early. You can even order single use sunscreen bottles with a custom label to honor the occasion.

  8. Ordering the wrong kind of wedding cake. Make sure to let your cake provider know that your wedding is going to be outdoors so they can use the right frosting. Fondant is the best type of icing to use, as it won’t melt like other types of frosting.

  9. We all know that alcohol is usually a big part of any wedding. Not providing enough non-alcoholic hydration options can put a cramp in the party and the guest’s side. Providing watermelon, lemonade and plenty of water bottles placed in multiple areas will help keep everyone cool and hydrated.

  10. Planning an afternoon ceremony when the sun is high and strongest is not optimal. Instead push the ceremony time until after 4pm is recommended. This will not only help with the heat it will also make for much better lighting for your wedding photos.

Are Restroom & Shower Trailers Part of Your Emergency Management Plan?

emergency managementAn emergency management plan should be developed to mitigate the damage of potential events that compromise the functionality of society. Such a plan should include measures that provide for the safety of the public and first responders and when possible, property and facilities.

From Hurricanes to riots, and numerous natural and man-made disasters in between, Blue Ribbon Restrooms have witnessed first-hand the benefits of portable restroom trailers and shower trailers at disaster sites. Proper planning for emergency management and first responders will make a drastic difference in the effectiveness of any disaster relief situation. Whether you are with a government agency, relief organization or a private company, we are ready to help you include restroom trailers in your emergency plan. Restroom trailers and shower trailers are an important part of relief efforts, here are just a few of the benefits they provide:

• Deliver a sanitary solution when water and sewer infrastructures are unavailable.
• Contribute positively to the health and well-being of disaster victims and relief crews.
• Help to provide critical care under hazardous conditions.
• With an ADA restroom trailer you can accommodate individuals with disabilities and special needs so no one is excluded from basic care.
• Offer shower facilities for those in need.

A well prepared emergency management plan will give peace of mind to the first responders so they may focus at the task at hand when disaster strikes. For more information on developing an emergency management plan or updating your existing one visit www.ready.gov.

Posted in FYI

MPT’s LZ Maryland Vietnam Tribute Event

home_lzmaryland_logo

Blue Ribbon Restrooms is proud to be a part of such an important tribute to those that served in the Vietnam War.

Thousands of Vietnam veterans from across the mid-Atlantic region, together with family members and a grateful public, gather at the Maryland State Fairgrounds on Father’s Day weekend, June 18 -19, for Maryland Public Television’s LZ Maryland tribute event. Hours are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Gates open both days at 9:30 a.m.

“LZ” is for “landing zone,” a place of safety. It’s fitting that we salute Maryland’s Vietnam-era veterans here where their roots are planted. Those in conflict knew that an LZ was a safe, clear, and ready place for helicopters to land without harm. MPT will make LZ Maryland reflect the same safety.

This landing zone is secure from the hurt and pain of the past. We have created a safe landing and welcome you home. We thank you for serving your country. We gather here–with you and your family and friends–to celebrate your service, valor, and sacrifice.

Event highlights include:

  • Tribute Ceremony– A Saturday evening 6 p.m. ceremony honors Maryland’s Vietnam veterans and features the presentation of colors, the national anthem, remarks, music, heartfelt sentiments of appreciation, and more. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan provides the state’s salute at this ceremony. A Chinook helicopter flyover is planned during the ceremony.
  • The Honor Ride– Also Saturday, hundreds of members of veteran motorcycle organizations, associations, and clubs participate in a motorcycle Honor Ride, representing the 1,017 Marylanders who died in combat or are still missing. Veteran-participants gather at American Legion Post 22 in Towson and travel to LZ Maryland, entering in formation at approximately 2 p.m. Riders then perform a throttle salute for the fallen.
  • The Wall That Heals– LZ Maryland hosts the 250-foot, half-size replica of the Washington, DC, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, including a mobile Education Center featuring memorabilia left at the DC memorial. Its walls bear the names of the more than 58,000 men and women who perished in the war.
  • Chair Memorial – Rows of white empty chairs are placed at the fairgrounds track infield in silent tribute to the 1,017 Marylanders killed or missing in action. Signage bearing names of those represented accompanies the display.
  • Vietnam “Tour of Duty” Map– A 140-ft. map of Southeast Asia is an LZ Maryland focal point. The map is manufactured so that veterans, family members and friends walk on it, sign it, or make other notations. Veterans can sign the places where they served, or visitors might sign places where loved ones perished.
  • Entertainment – Performers on two stages keep visitors entertained throughout the weekend. The outdoor main stage offers performances by The Association, the Lovin’ Spoonful, The Motortown All-Stars, the U.S. Air Force Band’s “Singing Sergeants” and “Celtic Aire” ensembles, and Bob Hope USO-style Show. An indoor stage features regional and local bands performing hits from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. Performers are The Harbor City Music Company, The Memories, Brooklyn Jon and the Blues Shakers featuring Gene Vincent, Family Tradition Band, Six String Soldiers, and The Fabulous Hubcaps.
  • Aircraft and Motorpool Display – Visitors enjoy displays of Vietnam-era military vehicles including jeeps and tanks, along with helicopters including Hueys, a gunship, a medivac, observation helicopters, and more.
  • Veteran Services Village – Veteran services organizations discuss various topics and connect veterans to resources. Representatives from nonprofits assist veterans – one-on-one – with advice on PTSD, Agent Orange, traumatic brain injuries and other concerns. Companies and organizations that offer veterans assistance with job placement, financial services, legal aid, and housing assistance also are available.
  • Reunion Lounges – Large lounge areas provide sites where veterans and families may reunite, relax and relate. Reunion lounges are clearly marked by military branch.
  • R&R Family Zone – The R&R Family Zone is an indoor retreat with activities, shopping, dining and performances that can be enjoyed by the entire family. It includes kids craft stations, a motorpool and thank-you gallery.
  • Basic Training Course – Here individuals and family members compete or race against time in this boot camp-inspired obstacle course.
  • Writers Hooch – Attendees meet Vietnam veteran authors, participate in literary discussions, and peruse publications on the topic of the Vietnam era. Books from appearing authors are on sale.

Maryland Public Television is a commemorative partner in the 50th anniversary observance of the U.S. Department of Defense Vietnam War Commemoration. The Commemorative Partner Program is designed for federal, state and local communities, veteran’s organizations and other nongovernmental organizations to assist a grateful nation in thanking and honoring our Vietnam veterans and their families.

Glamour + Camping = Happy Glamping!

glamping

I recently heard the term “glamping” and my ears perked up wondering what in the world this new word meant. After getting a quick explanation that it’s basically glamourous camping, I was excited to dig deeper. So what did I find? Way more than I thought I would since I had never heard of this glamping thing before!

There is a wide range of ways to enjoy glamping from tipi’s, cabins, and tree houses to yurts, hi-end tents and even boat houses. It seems that glamping has become a term to describe enjoying the outdoors while camping without all the hard work of endless packing and broken tent poles. So why am I writing about glamping, you ask? Good question!

Recently the trend has caught on for large event gatherings and even weddings. We have seen an uptick for inquiries regarding bathroom and shower trailer rentals for our wedding clients that are planning to glamp with their wedding guests for their big day/weekend. For the non-traditional wedding couples, I think this is a wonderful idea. When you consider the amount of guests that would be able to forgo booking a hotel or other overnight accommodations to attend your wedding it makes sense to consider the glamping option for many couples. Plus, it would be something to be remembered for all involved and set your wedding celebration apart from all the rest.

If glamping is something you may be interested in for your next event gathering, consider renting a bathroom and shower trailer to provide the glam for even the most discerning or skeptical guests. Blue Ribbon Restroom Trailers would be an excellent choice for your glamping event. Our trailers are equipped with recessed ceiling speakers with music playing, automatic shut off faucets, skylight, interior and exterior lighting, air-conditioning or heating, and marble sinks with lighted mirrors. We can provide a whisper generator to quietly run your bathroom and shower trailer and even the water needed if there isn’t any available onsite.

We have recently added a “glamping board” to our Pinterest account to help you get ideas for your first glamping event. Don’t forget to ask about our combo bathroom and shower trailers to provide full scale accommodations for all your happy glampers!

Tents for Restroom Trailers

a restroom tent 2

You have undoubtedly spent a lot of time and effort planning your event and renting all the necessary equipment. For outdoor events, often times, you have rented a tent so your guests are comfortably out of the sun or the rain; but have you considered a tent to cover your bathroom trailer? There are two ways that we have seen tents set up for bathroom trailers. The first option is having the tent completely cover the trailer. This is nice because it offers more coverage. However, there are logistics that need to be considered. First, most restroom trailers venting systems are on the top of the trailers. In order for the tent to provide the proper space for the vent, you need at least a few feet of clearance from the height of the trailer. The other consideration is the timing and placement of the restroom trailer. In most cases, the trailer needs to be delivered and set up prior to the tent be erected.

If you are working with a tent rental company, it’s important to make them aware that you want the tent built around the trailer so they can plan accordingly with the restroom trailer company and your other vendors. Blue Ribbon Restrooms has worked closely with many tent rental companies that have the expertise to provide the service you would require. Over the years, we have had great success with and highly recommend Sugar Plum Tents and Select Event Group for all your tent rental needs in the DC Metro area.

Another option to provide shelter for those either waiting in line for the restroom or walking to the restroom trailer is having marquee type tents that are placed out from the doors. Marquee tents work well since they don’t cover the roof of the trailer, therefore, ventilation is not inhibited. Most importantly, discuss your tenting ideas with your bathroom trailer expert so they can provide you the guidance and expertise you deserve.

 

 

Portable toilets do more than you think…

water earthDid you know the portable restroom industry saves approximately 125 million gallons of fresh, drinkable water each day? That is over 45 billion gallons of fresh water each year. This is just the start of the positive impact portable restrooms have on our environment. You may not have the best image of portable restrooms when you recall the last time you were in a porta potty, however, leaders in the portable sanitation industry are working hard to raise awareness around the benefits they provide. Below are just some of the ways portable sanitation improves our lives.

  • Water conservation
  • Helps to stop the spread of disease
  • Increases construction worker productivity
  • Conserves fuel
  • Utilized in emergency management and disaster recovery
  • Protects natural resources from being contaminated

So, next time you find yourself using a porta-potty remember all the great things portable sanitation does for our environment and consider renting one for your next outdoor event or construction project. Together we can make a difference.

Posted in FYI

Country Wedding Inspiration

country inspiration

Blue Ribbon Restrooms has had a surge of country wedding clients in the past few years and it isn’t surprising given all the farms in the Mid Atlantic area. Finding inspiration for the country wedding isn’t difficult either! Here are a few pictures taken from Pinterest that we just adore. If you want more ideas click here to view our Country Wedding Pinterest board and get inspired! If the country theme isn’t your thing, we have plenty of other boards for you to find exactly what you are looking for. When you are planning your dream wedding day don’t forget to reserve your bathroom trailer in advance. Porta potties work well for outdoor events but nothing will impress your guests as much as a luxury bathroom trailer from Blue Ribbon Restrooms. I promise for your once in a lifetime event you won’t regret the extra expense.