Airbnb Wedding Venues: A Savvy Choice for Affordable, Intimate Weddings
Looking for a unique and alternative wedding venue that's also affordable and simple? Read this post to learn the pros and cons of using an Airbnb wedding venue.
Choosing your wedding venue is one of the most important and exciting parts of planning your wedding. This space is where the most memorable parts of your day will occur. It’s where you will share your first dance, enjoy dinner with your friends and family, and spend a few delightful hours together with your closest loved ones celebrating you and your partner. From color palettes and flowers to textures and more, your venue is also the space that will allow your wedding’s style to come alive. Your wedding venue is important and special for so many reasons, and deciding where you will host your celebration will likely make your soiree feel even more real.
Deciding on a venue is wonderful. But, there are plenty of steps that happen in between. First, you will want to decide on your budget. Then you will want to narrow your search to a specific venue style and general area. As you consider your options, another thought might occur to you:
Can we get married at an Airbnb?
The short answer: Yes.
Of course, like every other decision you will make while planning your wedding, there are plenty of other facets to explore. So, below we’re sharing when an Airbnb might be a great fit (and when it might not be the best option), facts to keep in mind, and how to find the right Airbnb for your wedding day. Keep reading!
Is an Airbnb the right fit for my wedding?
Before we can share how to find an Airbnb, it’s important to note the types of weddings (and couples!) this style of celebration suits best. Below are five key areas to keep in mind.
Budget: Renting an Airbnb is a great way to extend your budget a little further. Most rentals will cost less than a traditional venue, but it’s important to keep in mind that the costs could escalate. That’s because you’re likely going to rent the home for an extended period of time (a long weekend) rather than a single day. The major bonus, though, is having a built-in vacation with your closest family and friends.
Guest Count: An Airbnb is not the place to welcome 50, 100, or 200 of your friends and family members for the same type of wedding you might host at a more traditional wedding venue. Hosting your celebration at an Airbnb, so keep in mind that you will essentially be planning a micro wedding. Airbnb wedding venues are great for couples who love the idea of a small wedding with just immediate family and maybe a few close friends.
Hands-On: Every Airbnb is owned by a host who is almost always ready to answer all of your questions while you’re staying at their property. However, many hosts are not onsite like a venue coordinator would be at a traditional wedding space. That means you will become the go-to person to answer easy questions, like directions and where to park, and harder questions, like how to turn on the outdoor lights and how to keep the bathroom in working order.
No Changes: At some wedding venues, you can make changes. You could opt to celebrate in a tent or in a space inside, hang string lights to add extra ambiance, hang a chandelier over the dance floor or weave greenery overhead. If you need to control the temperature, you can add fans or heat. You can even place a bar in the perfect spot for guests to enjoy a beautiful view. At an Airbnb, what you see is truly what you get – you can’t really make changes because you’re celebrating at someone’s home. It’s a completely understandable rule and definitely one to honor, but it’s also something to keep in mind when you’re on Pinterest or deciding on the season when you would like to celebrate.
Vibe: The overall feel of a wedding hosted at an Airbnb will be more relaxed. Your time will feel like your own with a wedding that just so happens to occur in the middle of it all. So, if your personality leans toward laid back and you’re comfortable acting as a pseudo house manager for the weekend, an Airbnb will feel ideal! But, if you want to fully feel like a guest, you may want to explore other wedding venues instead. (Or maybe hire a wedding planner to oversee all the logistics and details.)
An Airbnb sounds ideal! What else should we know?
Location: When couples research traditional venues, they do tend to keep the ease of traveling to the space in mind for their guests. That’s still important to note here! If you’re planning a destination wedding experience, keep the distance in mind for the guests you invite. You’ll also want to note how far it is from major cities. That will impact the ease of finding additional wedding professionals who can assist on your wedding day (more on that below).
☝🏼 Tip: Whether you've dreamed of getting married in Joshua Tree, California, New York City, or Tuscany, Italy, Airbnb is sure to have some unique options for you to consider hosting your big day.
The Home Itself: While a rental may have an ideal view, the home itself might not be quite what you have in mind (and, vice versa!). Remember that you’re renting an Airbnb for your wedding. The qualities that might be important for a vacation might not apply in the same ways here. For example, a nice view and a spacious backyard or deck might top your list of outdoor must-haves. On the other hand, a beautiful dining room or fireplace might feel most important inside in case of inclement weather.
☝🏼 Tip: Keep seasons and weather in mind! Do you love the indoor spaces as much as the outdoor spaces in case it’s too hot, too cold, or too rainy to enjoy a meal alfresco? This is the time to love a home in its entirety.
Additional Vendors: Choosing to celebrate your wedding day at an Airbnb takes care of the venue piece of your wedding, but you may still want to involve a few vendors. A florist can still provide arrangements for your bouquet, boutonniere, ceremony, and reception. You might want a chef or caterer to cook your wedding meal. You might not want to do your own hair and makeup. When you’re choosing your location, as we mentioned above, keep the distance from other professionals in mind. If you’re too remote, you may find pros aren’t as willing to travel to you.
☝🏼 Tip: Ask your Airbnb host if they have any recommendations for local vendors for the various services you need. Chances are they have some insight into the local area!
How do I find an Airbnb to rent for my wedding?
You know all of the pros and cons, and you’ve decided an Airbnb is a perfect fit for your wedding. We are so excited for you! Below, we’re detailing how to find an Airbnb for your wedding. It’s not quite the same as finding a rental for a trip. Keep reading to know which filters to apply to your search.
Step 1: Just like you would if you were looking to rent an Airbnb for a vacation, you will type in your location and the dates* you plan to visit at the top. Before you select additional filters, it might be helpful to do a traditional search just to view the types of rentals available in that area. If you don’t like what you see, you may want to widen your search to include other locations.
*Plan to stay for at least two, if not three, nights.
Step 2: You will want to keep your choice location set. Then you will want to increase your guest count to 16 people. That signals to Airbnb that you will need a larger space for your property. These are also the spaces that allow events to occur. A wedding in a small apartment is not quite going to work!
Step 3: As Airbnb notes, you will also want to add one more filter to your search. Under “House Rules” check off “suitable for events”. Not every Airbnb – even the ones that are large enough – allows guests to host events. You only want to consider the spaces that welcome weddings!
Step 4: Once you’ve narrowed down your options and have your eye on a particular property, contact the host. You already know they allow events, but it’s important to review your plans with them to ensure they’re open to hosting your specific gathering. You will also want to know a bit more about what’s available onsite.
Step 5: At this point, you will pay for your Airbnb!
View Real Airbnb Weddings:
See wedding photos from real weddings at Airbnb venues that have been featured here on The Budget Savvy Bride:
Explore wedding locations on Airbnb
Want a laid-back wedding day that isn't cookie-cutter? If that sounds perfect to you, consider a unique Airbnb rental for your wedding venue. Whether you're planning an adventure elopement or an intimate ceremony with close family, Airbnb is a savvy option.
Browse Airbnb listings to find the perfect wedding location for your small wedding!
Are you planning an intimate affair and are considering an Airbnb wedding? Join us in the community to discuss finding the best Airbnb wedding venue for your big day!
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Note: At time of publication, Airbnb has temporarily placed the ability to book spaces for events on hold due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Neither they nor we know when bookings will resume, but we hope they will soon! This article is meant to act as a helpful piece outside of a pandemic. We are not suggesting hosting a gathering that goes against state and local regulations. Please the health and safety of you and your guests in mind at all times.