How to Get Married at an Airbnb

A bride and groom standing on a grand staircase in a house.

Renting a private property for a wedding allows for endless possibilities of how to celebrate. With websites like Airbnb, Vrbo, or HomeAway, doing so today is easier than ever.

Of course, while there are many benefits to hosting a wedding at a rental property, there are also some limitations. But if you’re keen on having more freedom and perhaps saving some money, a private rental may be a good option to consider for your venue.

The Benefits of Getting Married on a Private Prop

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A table set for a wedding reception in the courtyard of a home.

Although this is not always the case, renting a house for an event is usually cheaper than opting for a commercial venue. You might also save money in other ways, such as by being able to choose your own, less-expensive vendors; some hotels and venues require you to stick to their caterers.

Choosing a private property also gives you more options in the type of setting you want. Thanks to sites like Airbnb, you can choose literally anything from a private beachside villa to a historic castle.

Depending on the place, you might also benefit from having your venue double as a hotel for your guests, which will also save you or your guests additional cash.

The Limitations of a Private Property Wedding

A backyard wedding reception decorated with lights.

For starters, not all rental properties allow for events, or they may be restrictive on the type of occasion. Hence, it is important to always check in with the owner before booking anything. Filtering the search function on such sites for properties that allow events is not always enough. Even if parties are OK with the host, there may be restrictions, such as no loud music after 11 PM.

You might also find that you’ll have to cut down your guest list. Unless you book a massive estate, you’ll likely be limited in how many people you can invite.

On a related note, since you’re likely to book a residential location, keep in mind there will be other issues. This includes limitations such as parking, the number of bathrooms, or perhaps a kitchen not big enough for catering set-up.

Tips for Organizing a Wedding on a Rental Property

Eager to start searching for your dream venue or perhaps you’ve already found one? Here is a short guide on what steps to take next.

Check with the Host

Even if the property posting says events are acceptable, notify the host about your plans. It’s important to let them know if you might move some furniture around, or if you plan to set up a tent outside, as they might not be OK with that. This also gives the host an opportunity to warn you about any rules and restrictions, such as a noise curfew.

If you live nearby, ask if you can visit the property beforehand. In the case of a wedding, most hosts will be more than happy to arrange something. If not, ask for more details on the venue provided that the listing doesn’t give all the info you need.

Ask for Advice

The home owners are often a great resource for local info, so don’t hesitate to ask for tips and advice in the process of planning your event. In the case of a destination wedding, they can recommend a local florist or the best bakery in town. Also ask about any issues you might encounter such as parking, or if getting there might be difficult without a car.

Book Beyond a Day

Don’t think you can get away with a one-night booking. It’s best to plan for a 2-3 night rental agreement: one day before to set up, one day for the event, and one day for returning things back to normal. Even if there is a cleaning fee, you should leave the place more-or-less as you found it, so you’ll likely need to do some tidying up the day after the party. Of course, you might also not have a choice, as certain premium properties often have a minimum night agreement.

Don’t Forget Insurance

Companies like Airbnb usually have good insurance policies for both their hosts and their guests. However, in the case of a wedding, it’s a good idea to buy additional liability insurance. Wedding insurance normally wouldn’t apply in this case; look for vacation-rental or property-focused policies.

In case something goes wrong and the insurance doesn’t cover it, it’s wise to keep a small amount of money set aside for unexpected expenses. Even if the owner doesn’t ask for a deposit, it’s a way to avoid surprises later.

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