March 9, 2021

Airbnb Wedding Venues: What You Need to Know About Vacation Rental Wedding Venues

Airbnb Wedding Venues have become more and more popular over the last few years. Because there is no official guidebook on these unique venues, I’ve written my own. Here’s what you need to know about vacation rental wedding venues.

Why Couples Should Consider Airbnb Wedding Venues

Vacation rental wedding properties provide a beautiful venue option that is unique, provides on-site lodging, flexibility for setup and convenience, and a one stop shop for the full weekend! It can save you money, but not always since every vendor will be a la carte.

Rose gardens at Downton Abbey house, Visiting Highclere Castle in England where Downton Abbey is filmed, Cavin Elizabeth Photography

Tips and Considerations

Try to see the venue in person. Pictures don’t always do it justice nor can they be fully honest. You don’t want it sight unseen. Ask for a live video tour if you aren’t able to tour the property in person.

You must ensure the owner not only allows weddings but is also aware you will be hosting a wedding and how many guests you’ll host. Do not hide it, trick them, or do anything to downplay your celebration. That is going to set yourself up to a lawsuit, additional fines, and a horrible situation where they can in their right, call in the police to shut down your wedding. Do not risk it.

VRBO & Airbnb Wedding Venues: What You Need to Know About Vacation Rental Wedding Venues
Are there enough portrait locations? Are there beautiful spots for photos? Multiple locations for variety? Or at least gorgeous locations within a quick drive that are nice for photos?

Determine who needs to stay on site. Just you two? The bridal party? The whole family? The entire wedding guest list? Are you flexible for the right venue? Or are you firm? If firm, then you need to search venues that will comfortably fit x amount of people. Don’t relegate people to sofa cushions. This isn’t a middle school sleepover.

Marchesa Couture Bridal Chloe cap sleeve ballgown. Long dramatic train with classic and traditional lace with illusion neckline. Film photography by Cavin Elizabeth Photography at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar.

Ensure there is nearby lodging for other guests. If not all can/will/or will want to stay onsite, ensure there is additional lodging within a reasonable driving distance that will be within guests’ budget.

Speaking of driving distance, will you be able to get vendors to your vacation rental wedding venue? Rentals, beauty, florals, etc. Thankfully, they will have extra time or an extra day for setup, but do note that there could be additional delivery fees due to distance, so if the property is remote you might not be saving that much due to delivery/labor costs.

Catering will need to know what kind of kitchen the property has. This determines whether they need to fully cook or simply prep and heat onsite.

Chic and elegant fine art low updo. Netta Benshabu Chai asymmetrical tulle and beaded sleeve with fitted floral beaded bodice and fit to flare skirt. Wedding at Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego on film by Cavin Elizabeth Photography.

I highly recommend a wedding planner. Don’t skimp on hiring help. From a month-of coordinator to a full service planner, they will be a huge help because literally everything will need to be planned and coordinated with an Airbnb wedding venue. The more guests and vendors, the more work it will take. A ten person wedding probably doesn’t need much, but a 50+ person will need so much planning and coordinating. Don’t try to have you or your family do it yourselves. Enjoy the day and let someone else do it for you!

Invest in general liability insurance for the wedding weekend in case of damages or accidents involving the property or your guests. Get coverage for alcohol-related accidents in the policy. You don’t want to be financially responsible for someone breaking their leg on the dance floor at your wedding. These things happen and people can turn ugly quickly. Make sure you are covered!

Treat the wedding venue with respect. This is someone’s home. Treat it with respect and if any guest causes damage, be prepared to make it right yourself or asking your guest to do so. Respect any noise ordinances such as time you must stop music. Understand that they might have neighbors that don’t want music in the late hours when it’s illegal. Be courteous.

Netta Benshabu Giuliana sweetheart neck fitted gown. Wedding at Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego by Cavin Elizabeth Photography.