How to: Plan an Airbnb wedding

Your guide to planning a wedding at a vacation rental.

Newlyweds on a balcony at a vacation rental in Alabama.
Father and law and a bride walking down stairs.

Love is in the air, and so is wedding season. Whether an intimate elopement or a big event with plenty of friends and family, vacation venues and rentals have opened new possibilities for dream weddings. Planning your big day at a vacation rental can often allow for a more unique, affordable, relaxed, and personalized experience over traditional wedding venues. You deserve the wedding day of your dreams, so where do you start?

There are a few things to know when renting an Airbnb for your ceremony or reception, so we’ve gathered up some tips to keep in mind when finding the perfect spot and getting the details prepared. After all, the only “hitch” in your plans should be to you and your sweetheart.

The wedding setting behind a lake at Bahama Bay Resort in Davenport, FL.

1. Deciding on a location

Featured Vacasa resort: Bahama Bay Resort

Do you have a destination wedding in mind or are you hoping to stay close to home? Choosing a location will have a big impact on what kind of vacation rentals and wedding venues you might find. Pick a location that speaks to you both, whether that’s an oceanfront paradise, the mountains, or the lakefront where you first met. Once you have a general idea of where you want your wedding location to be, you can start narrowing it down to resorts, lodges, and vacation rentals in the area.

large event rental with several buildings and an outdoor pool

2. How to find vacation rentals for weddings

Featured Vacasa rental: Stone’s Throw

Knowing how to rent a house for a wedding doesn't have to be hard. During your search for a wedding venue, you may have the option to filter your results by resorts and homes that allow weddings. Airbnb and other vacation rental companies may have web pages that feature homes and resorts known to host weddings. If not, reach out to the resort or vacation rental company for more information about their wedding policies. As a note, not all vacation rentals or resorts (even ones on the larger side), allow events, so refining your search to those that do is important.

Make sure the amount of space suits your group size. A vacation home may be the perfect fit for an intimate wedding or elopement, but if you’re planning to bring lots of family and friends from out of town, a resort could be more suitable for your big day.

Added fees might apply if you plan on bringing in tents and tables, and vacation homes have limitations to how many people can occupy the venue. Contact the venue with your plans beforehand to make sure you’re both on the same page. Other factors to keep in mind are if you plan to have both your ceremony and reception at the venue, as well as the size of your guest list. Many venues have different packages or separate charges depending on the length of your event, so come ready with a list of things to discuss when making your reservation.

Band playing in the back of 563 King Street wedding venue.

3. Cost comparing vacation rentals vs. traditional wedding venues

Featured Vacasa venue: 563 King Street

An Airbnb wedding holds plenty of appeal for the privacy and laid-back vibe, but another perk is the opportunity to save money. Vacation rentals and resorts, which can vary from vineyard properties, beachside resorts, or rustic mountain cabins, are also a sneaky way to pull off an “international-feeling” wedding venue without expensive airfare and limitations to your guests’ attendance.

Between saving on staff, equipment, room blocks, and renting bathroom facilities, it comes as no surprise that most vacation rentals cost less than traditional wedding venues. As an added bonus, it also minimizes the stress of figuring out where the newlyweds or guests will stay, offering a built-in vacation for the whole group, or the start of your honeymoon for just the two of you. Planning the ceremony and reception under one roof eliminates costs in travel between venues, as well as any confusing directions.

A small camper vacation rental in Willow City Texas.

4. Indoor vs outdoor, with the weather forecast in mind

Our next tip on how to have a wedding at an Airbnb concerns the weather. Sure, rain on your wedding day isn’t ideal, but you won’t notice a drop if your dance floor is set indoors. Though you won’t be able to get the most accurate weather forecast if your wedding is a few months out, be sure to check the annual weather averages in the area of your wedding location, and keep regional rain seasons in mind before you book.

Tropical climates like Florida, Hawaii, and Costa Rica have rain seasons that last from early summer to late fall. California experiences Santa Ana winds from September through May, and Pacific Northwest states, like Washington and Oregon, typically see the most rain from November through January. When renting a house for a wedding, have a Plan B in mind. For example, rent tents or coverings if you plan to use an outdoor space, and ask your venue if they have equipment available for use.

The exterior of Lion Square Lodge

5. Rules and policies

Featured Vacasa resort: Lion Square Lodge

While discussing noise ordinances doesn’t sound like fun, it’s much better than facing a penalty. Booking an Airbnb wedding venue comes with perks, but each has its house rules. In addition, most vacation rentals and resorts have policies in place regarding alcohol, the number of guests, parking, pets, photography, and noise levels past the designated “quiet hours.” Keep in mind that while it is your big day, the space is still someone’s vacation home, so it’s common courtesy to ask permission before moving furniture or making any adjustments.

Small weddings may not confront issues with big groups or parking, but figuring out the finer details beforehand will make your day-of unfold seamlessly. Resorts will want to assure the enjoyment of other guests outside your party, so come prepared to discuss places on the property or public spots you hope to use in your wedding photos. Again, the best rule of thumb to ensure a worry-free wedding day is to contact the venue regarding their preferences. Though most policies don’t prohibit music, drinks, and dancing, if you plan on hosting a raging party, a vacation rental isn’t the place.

The back wedding area of a vacation rental in Brookings, Oregon.

6. Catering/vendor options near the VR

Featured Vacasa rental: Brookings Oceanfront Estate

Before you lock in the Airbnb wedding of your dreams, discuss with your spouse-to-be what kind of catering, floral vendors, or bartending services you want to use. Depending on the wedding venue, the owners might have vendors and caterers they recommend—if you’re lucky, sometimes even with a discount. If you’re in the city or populated area, add a fun twist to catering by booking food trucks for your guests. If you’re planning a remote or destination wedding, contact local businesses regarding their rates, delivery costs to your wedding location, or if you’ll need to pick up your order in advance.

Plan an Airbnb wedding FAQ

The short answer is yes. However, not all vacation rentals and resorts, no matter the size, allow for events and weddings. To be sure you’re searching for event-friendly venues, add the “weddings” filter to refine your results.

Yes, we offer a variety of vacation rentals that allow guests to host a wedding, including the ones featured in this article and the properties we list on Airbnb. Using the advice above, filter your search by adding "wedding venue" to refine your offerings. You can also visit our wedding house rentals page to learn more as well.

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