Permissions & Red Tape
This is a big one. You must obtain permission from the property owner in order to host your wedding at the property. We highly advise against hosting your wedding at a property that you do not have permission for. This can create a lot of confusion and obstacles for you as you approach your wedding date. The venue owner needs to be aware of the extra guests on-site, they need to be aware of the noise-ordinance and ensure that they are not putting their rental at risk by breaking any laws. Some properties may have more experience than others with hosting weddings and they are always within their rights to refuse your offer.
It is also important that you feel as though the property owner is open to being a resource to you as your go through the wedding planning process and you, your planner and your vendors will inevitably have questions along the way.
Private property rentals often have less infrastructure for accommodating weddings which may require more work from you in the end. It is possible that things like furniture, electrical access, sound setup, etc will potentially not be in place or available to you the way they often would be with a traditional venue. You will have to coordinate with the property owner and ensure that you are renting out the rest of what you need.
Insurance, Contracts & Permits
While some private properties are more familiar with hosting events, many are not. This means that your rental will most likely rely on the contractual language set forth by whatever platform you’re choosing to book through (AirBnB, VRBO, Guesty, etc). This can leave you vulnerable as you have less legal protection. These private properties often retain the right to cancel as they see fit. If you do book a private property, consider asking if they would feel comfortable with a contract signed by both parties that their space will be available to you for a specific date or dates – this may require you to pay a little more upfront for your rental but it’s well worth it for the peace of mind!
Liability insurance is another big one to consider. Most wedding venues have liability insurance and some even require your vendors to have it as well. Without liability insurance you put yourself at risk if there are any incidents during the time that you are renting the property (injuries, theft, etc).
If this feels daunting to you – Consider speaking to someone who works in event insurance to see how best to navigate these situations!
Vendors (Can be a Pro or Con)
This point can fall under a pro or a con depending on what you’re looking for. Many venues have “preferred vendor lists” that you are required to book from. This can work two ways – it can either feel limiting and restrictive or it can help streamline your process and narrow your search for vendors greatly. Venues are also often able to provide a day-of-coordinator or point of contact and well as vital staff for catering, bartending, ushering, etc. If you are hosting a smaller event, these may be unnecessary to you but it is definitely something to consider if your guest list starts to grow beyond 30-40 guests.
Check out this article by Brides to see real-life examples of private rentals that can be used as wedding venues!