A Complete Guide to Planning an Airbnb Wedding

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

By The Harpins

Have you considered ditching the traditional wedding venue and creating your own unique space through an Airbnb rental? Then this post is for YOU! This is your complete guide to planning an Airbnb wedding that exceeds your expectations.

A low-key, DIY intimate wedding outside the traditional venue helps you save money and increases your flexibility. The best part about an Airbnb wedding is that you can create almost anything you want!

That is if the Airbnb allows it. Over the past few years, the wedding industry has continued to change drastically. One of the largest changes involves staying away from the large, typically expensive, traditional venue setting.

Is it normal to have your wedding at an Airbnb?

Over the past few years many couples have steered away from large venue spaces and have instead planned small intimate celebrations.

We are HERE FOR IT. With so many options on Airbnb to find a spectacular setting to host your intimate wedding you really can’t go wrong. While it may not be the norm yet, it certainly is starting to trend.

Planning an Airbnb wedding in Tulum, Mexico.

What to Expect When Planning an Airbnb Wedding?

Many couples wonder if you can rent an Airbnb for a wedding. Of course! In fact, the use of a rental is a great alternative to a traditional wedding.

Although, there are several factors to consider before you rent the next Airbnb you find.

The Airbnb can be your ceremony location, homebase for a nearby elopement, or just a place to hang out the night after an epic adventure. There are so many reasons to add an Airbnb rental to your wedding day plan.

The following steps will point you in the right direction, as the entire process to planning an Airbnb wedding does not have to be hard. So, here are the answers you need before you book a dreamy rental for your big day!

Finding the Right Location When Planning an Airbnb Wedding

First up, location. You can find an Airbnb in almost any place for a wedding. However, some rentals do not allow it. So, always make sure to check before you book to avoid any problems.

If you have a specific Airbnb already in mind, then make sure to reach out as soon as possible. More time prior to your day, the less stress on your part!

From beautiful villas in the countryside, rustic mountain cabins, eclectic city centers or ocean front views the options are endless and can truly fit anyone’s aesthetic. An Airbnb can be the perfect option for both intimate weddings and elopements!

Whether you are renting a large space to host your most important family and friends, or finding that unique tiny home for just the two of you, the right rental can really make your wedding special.

When Should I Start to Look?

Popular Airbnbs are often rented out months to a year in advance, especially during busy seasons for the area. Reach out immediately after determining your location for the best chance of success.

Once you find your dream property, it will be hard to accept anything less. Be early, and you can lock down your perfect rental for your elopement day.

Otherwise, if you are starting your search late than make sure to keep an open mind. In fact, stay creative when looking! One person may see a space they don’t like, however, it could be they just can’t be creative enough to turn it into the space they want!

4 Questions to Ask Before Reserving a Rental

Mark these questions down! This go to list can help you narrow down your Airbnb search quickly. Run through these questions with the managers of the property, and you will have smooth sailing afterwards.

From intimate weddings to elopements, not all Airbnb rentals will be as welcoming to the idea of a ceremony at their facility.

The best part about having your elopement, or wedding, at an Airbnb is the options are limitless. You just need to make sure they are on board with all your ideas!

While you are searching for the right property, including the best location, décor, and amenities, here are the 4 questions you should keep in mind.

1. Does the Airbnb allow weddings?

Of course, before you book you need to make sure you can have the ceremony. Not all rentals will allow this. Additionally, you should get the host’s permission in writing stating you can have the event.

Otherwise, it is your word against theirs if something happens. The last way you want to spend the day before the event is having the host back out of letting you have your wedding. Make sure to have the host sign a contract stating they cannot cancel the wedding within a certain date of your event.

It may sound like overkill, but you will be happy with the peace of mind this contract gives you leading up to your big day.

Insider Tip: Always seek out professional legal advice when creating a contract.

2. How many guests can attend the event?

If you are planning to have guests, you need to confirm guests are allowed. Additionally, make sure to mark down the number as well.

If you are just eloping the two of you, or with just a few friends and family most rentals should be able to accommodate. However, this is a necessary question to confirm.  

If you are choosing to have guests at your intimate Airbnb wedding, you are going to want to make sure the rental has an open floor plan. A large space is necessary.

This allows for guests to even stay the weekend with you for a full celebration. Nothing quite says PARTY like spending the weekend with your favorite people to celebrate an epic love story.

In fact, you should add this section to your contract. Make sure to get in writing from the hosts the number of guests allowed to attend the event.

3. What is the parking situation?

Depending on location, parking can be a challenge. If you have guests, ask the property the maximum number of vehicles allowed on the property.

In fact, you can ask the host for suggestions to overflow parking in the area as well. Make sure to follow the rules of the host to avoid any damage to the property or angering the neighbors.

4. Are there any restrictions for the property?

Most rentals are within residential neighborhoods. In these locations, noise ordinances could impose a restriction to the time frame of your event.

Always keep in mind to respect the surrounding neighbors. Check with the host to determine how close the neighbors are to the rental. You may have to change the timeline of your event to follow the regulations.

Finding unique settings is the key to planning an Airbnb wedding to remember.

Where Do You Find These Epic and Unique Rentals?

Do you have any other options besides for Airbnb? Yes, of course! While Airbnb may be the most popular, you have several other places you can go to find the perfect rental.

There are many options when it comes to short term rentals including; Airbnb, Glamping, Vrbo, and Hipcamp.

Once you have narrowed down the location you want to elope at, whether it be near or far, you can your search. These sites will help you get started with finding the best property for you. Of course, if you stumble upon another site that has awesome rentals, make sure to leave a comment!

The best way to have success with your search is to know what you want. Easier said then done. However, having a few key qualities can help you narrow down your search rather quickly.

For example, if you want to have a dance floor then you are going to need a large outdoor space, like a patio, that can accommodate this requirement. All properties have different amenities, so plan and you will be able to find it!

Decor is part of planning an Airbnb wedding.

What Should You Look for in a Property?

Properties of the Rental

The size of the property is depending on how many will attend your event. If it will just be the two of you, then you have much more options.

However, if you want family and friends, you are going to need enough space!

Are you looking to have an indoor, or outdoor ceremony? Check out if the rental has a patio, or large open floor plan, to meet your specific needs.

Always think about weather. If you plan to have an outdoor ceremony, can you make adjustments if the weather does not work in your favor?

Décor/Set-up of Rental

If you want to cut back the stress of décor, then keep in mind Airbnbs that are already decorated nicely. You will have less work to hire out.

Pay attention to the overall aesthetic of the rental when clicking through the photos.

What facilities and amenities do you want?

Each rental can be quite different. So, doing some initial work on the front end can save you the time and struggle of trying to master your set-up.

Consider the following amenities for your rental search:

  • Is there sufficient dining space?
  • Does the rental come well-equipped with appliances and cookware?
  • Are there multiple bathrooms?
  • Will you be cooking at the house, or catering out?
  • Is there enough room for guests to hangout?
  • How large is the outdoor space? Can you bring in additional equipment, like a tent or area for a bartender?

The list goes on. So, to help, write down a list of your must-haves and like to haves to make it easier for determining if a property is the right fit for you.

Open spaces are great for creating a unique wedding location when planning an Airbnb wedding.

Tips for an Incredible Experience When Planning an Airbnb Wedding

Here are the following list of tips to create the ultimate Airbnb wedding!

Make Sure You Understand the Laws in the Area

Certain states or cities might have rules and regulations when it comes to Airbnb rentals such as noise volume, guest occupancy, parking limits, liquor on premises etc. So, it is best to understand the laws surrounding these rentals before you rent the space for your event. Since this is not an established wedding venue you might need special permission or permits to create have a wedding there.

Plan your Decor

The great part about choosing a smaller venue space, like an Airbnb, is you can save money on your venue. This will allow you to have additional money for rentals.

For example, you can rent that beautiful tent you always wanted with twinkly lights outside, a personal bar, a bonfire area, or even have a pizza truck come to cater your after party.

The possibilities are endless, and you now can have the room in your budget to completely customize your wedding!

Hire Out When Planning an Airbnb Wedding

Planning an Airbnb wedding is not always straightforward. You have a lot on your plate already. Thus, hiring out some help to deal with organizing your day, or worrying about cleanup can be extremely helpful.

Hiring out is the best way to reduce stress in your planning process.

For example, consider hiring a chef for the weekend, have the event catered, or hire a cleaning service for the morning after your event. Or just hire a wedding planner to take care of all the details of your Airbnb wedding.

Airbnb Can Feel Like Your Own Private Hotel

A private, and personal space, large enough for all your guests can add to the intimate feel. Consider having breakfast the morning after, or planning a local excursion for an added celebration to your wedding.

Everyone will remember your wedding day as a more memorable trip, rather than just another wedding. From a photographer’s perspective as well this creates a much more pleasing space to get ready in rather than the usual hotel room, and a true story to be told of the entire event.

Come Early and Stay Late

Don’t forget to also plan for your OWN time to enjoy the area and rental. Plan to arrive a day before everyone else and potentially stay a few days after (mini honeymoon?)

This allows you to also enjoy the destination that you have booked your dream wedding day at. Plan an adventure session the day before with your photographer/videographer team to capture more intimate moments, to tell your story and fill your days with more than just the wedding details.

Choosing an Airbnb as your venue really allows for you to enjoy a beautiful destination, while celebrating your wedding day.

Step by Step Guide for Planning an Airbnb Wedding

1. Determine a location.

2. Start the Airbnb search.

3. Reach out to hosts to narrow down your list.

4. Finalize and send your contracts.

5. Book your DREAM property!

6. Reach out to vendors.

7. Relax and enjoy your day!

Pros vs. Cons of Planning an Airbnb Wedding

It’s a little bit of work upfront: establishing contracts, checking for event restrictions, and choosing your wedding vendors a la carte. But having an Airbnb wedding is truly incredible!

Especially for intimate weddings, Airbnbs can be the perfect fit for you big day. The work upfront you do will help create a smooth-running day. If you take the time to follow the steps to creating your Airbnb elopement or wedding, then you will be left with an incredible event.

Choosing to elope in an Airbnb is a great alternative to having a traditional wedding. An Airbnb can be a completely unique setting to create a lovely vibe. However, there are limitations to be aware of before you choose an Airbnb for your wedding location.

The Pros

  • Cost is less than a traditional venue.
  • A unique setting. Customize the location to meet your needs. An Airbnb allows for you to have a larger variety with location and scenery.
  • More intimate.
  • All in one. An Airbnb is the perfect one stop shop. Have everything in one place from getting ready, to your ceremony, along with your sleeping accommodations.
  • Choose your own vendors.

There are several incredible reasons to choose an Airbnb for your wedding. However, here are the potential problems that can arise when choosing a rental for your ceremony location.

The Cons

  • More work to plan. It is up to you to figure out all the small details, unless you hire out a wedding planner.
  • Additional rentals. If you have guests coming you may need to rent additional items like tables, tents, tableware, or portable bathrooms.
  • Event restrictions. Typically, an Airbnb will have more restrictions with noise ordinances, guest lists, and problems with the type of ceremonies allowed.

These cons are issues to be aware of. However, if you plan an Airbnb the right way all of these should be taken care of prior to your booking. Thus, you will know how to coordinate your event with all these potential problems in mind.

Don’t let some minor problems stop you from having an Airbnb elopement, or wedding! Plan, accordingly, and none of these problems will impact your big day.

The Possibilities are Endless

Don’t regret your wedding day! Choose a unique, completely personalized approach to create your day. There is no better way to celebrate than spending quality time with your family and friends, or just an epic weekend between the two of you.

There are so many options and locations to choose from when renting a property. You really can’t go wrong if you follow all of the above steps while planning an Airbnb wedding.

However, always feel free to reach out to By The Harpins for help planning and capturing your wedding day! Elopements and intimate weddings have a much different feel than your traditional wedding. We might be biased but we truly believe it is the BEST way to go, so let us show you how EPIC it can be!

Planning an Airbnb Wedding: Choosing Your Elopement Team

We’re Brit and Dyl and together we are By The Harpins; an intimate wedding and elopement media team here to help you create the epic day of your dreams. We are free spirits who thrive on connecting with like minded souls filled with love and adventure.

We understand the importance of this day and value of telling your authentic love story from start to finish. The possibilities are endless.

We have a love for the outdoors, combined with a passion for photography and videography. Every time we capture another amazing wedding, our passion further grows.

When we aren’t capturing weddings we are out exploring the world, taking in every moment and showing our amazing son the beauty that surrounds us. Although, our dream is to one day renovate a camper van and take our business to the road! However, until then we love to travel to you near and far.

Sound like a perfect match? Reach out to start planning an Airbnb wedding with us TODAY!

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