Should You Use a Portable Generator or a Standby Generator to Fuel an Outdoor Wedding?

There are two basic variations of generators, a portable generator and a standby generator. Using the wrong type of generator at your wedding can end in disastrous results. If you are planning an outdoor wedding or a tent wedding, you’ll need to use a standby generator, NOT a portable generator. A portable generator cannot provide enough power to fuel all the working parts that go into a wedding. 

Just think about all the electricity your wedding will require, such as lighting, music, food warmers, and so forth. We are more than happy to work with your DJ, wedding planner, caterer, lighting specialist, etc. to determine the exact amount of power you require. The goal is to have access to more than enough power to prevent any mishaps from happening.

Portable Vs. Standby Generators

What is a portable generator?

A portable generator, as its name suggests, is compact, portable and typically used as a backup power source for small scale operations or residential use. This type of gas-powered portable generator has power outlets located on the unit that plug into a subpanel or directly into your appliances, extension cords, electric-power tools, etc. Portable generators come in different power levels, determined by the number of watts it can produce. The more watts a generator outputs, the more outlets it can connect to and fuel at one time.

Portable generators are easy to move and are not permanent fixtures. They must be manually started and can only run outside in open air. Bringing a portable generator inside can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. You don’t want to mess around with carbon monoxide, which is colorless, odorless, toxic and can be deadly.

A standard portable generator includes the following parts:

-An internal combustion engine

-An alternator

-A starter

-A fuel tank


What is a standby generator?

A standby generator is larger than a portable generator. What it lacks in portability it makes up for with some serious power capabilities. Standby generators cost more money to buy and rent because of the additional power they provide. While a portable generator only lasts a few hours before it needs to be refueled, a standby generator can run for more than double that time before it needs to be refueled.

There are two different components to standby generators, the generator and the automatic transfer switch. These two components work together to provide an auto start feature that’ll turn your power back on in seconds in case of a power outage, this can help protect sensitive machinery and prevent data loss. Of course, during a wedding, this is more than likely your sole power source, in which case it is extremely reliable.

Tow-Behind Generators

Standby generators come in a variety of makes, models, and power capacities. Permanent standby generators are installed as backup in a power outage, while tow-behind generators are used to power weddings, construction sites, and other temporary events. To fuel your tent wedding, you’ll need a tow-behind, multi-circuit generator.

As we mentioned above, portable generators are easy to move, but standby generators can be massive enough to require a crane to transport. A tow behind generator eliminates that issue and makes it easy to move the generator as needed.

Since you are only going to need the generator for the extent of your wedding, you’ll want to go with a trailer-mounted tow-behind, as opposed to a skid mounted style, which offers semi-permanence.

The Ideal Generator for Outdoor Weddings: Tow-Behind, Multi-Circuit, Inverter Style Generator 

While a portable generator could fuel certain aspects of your wedding, say for instance the food warmers or coffee makers, it is not equipped to fuel the entire party from start to finish. A standby inverter style generator is important for the DJ and other elements that require too much power for a portable generator to fuel. 

The tow-behind feature makes it easy to move on site and transport off site when needed.

Multi-circuits allow you to attach a variety of power cords to fuel different components of your wedding, from lighting to DJ equipment.

This type of generator is more powerful and provides fuel for the extent of most weddings without needing to be refueled.

Contact us today to get a quote for renting a generator delivered to your South Florida wedding!