Booking an AirBnB or rental property for your wedding can be an excellent way to save money on your wedding venue while also finding something that more specifically matches your wedding wants & needs. We’ve found that private property rentals are perfect for couples hosting a smaller event (50 guests or less) and who want a “weekend” experience with their guests.  There are certainly pros and cons to renting out a property for your wedding – so take some time to read our thoughts on this!

 

PROS

 

More Venue Options

By considering private property rentals for your wedding, you open the door to many more options. Websites like AirBnB and VRBO allow you to filter for the number of guests you’re expecting, the size of the property and the amenities you’re looking for. Private properties range immensely in size, location and style. These homes are often beautifully curated and allow you access to locations you may not otherwise have access to with a traditional venue. Special amenities like guest houses, pools, hot tubs, etc make for an even better weekend experience for your guests. There is a much larger selection of vacation homes & rental properties than there are wedding venues so if you’re feeling limited by your options – this may be the way to go.

Cost-Effective

Rental properties are often far more cost-effective than a traditional wedding venue. Some rentals are done on a weekly basis while others have a 2-3 day minimum (typically the larger vacation rentals set these kinds of minimums). Often times, you will end up paying the same for a week-long rental at a private property than you would for 6-8 hours of a venue rental. You may find that certain property owners will charge extra to host the wedding on a private property but these fees still remain much lower than traditional venue costs.

Longer Celebration

Private property rentals give you the option to host a longer event. We think this is one of the major perks to a rental vs. traditional value. If you have guests coming in from out of town – you can host a number of events at the same location and it’s all wrapped up in your weekly rental. This means you don’t have to book a venue, a getting ready space, rehearsal dinner space, and potentially a post-wedding breakfast space separately – it’s all built into one neat rental. This lends itself to a really immersive experience with your guests and also allows you to be on-site with your vendors for a lot longer (most times venues will only let you access the venue the day that you are getting married which means that set up times have to be FAST – this can create quite a strain on your florist, catering, planners, etc).

Built-In Accommodations

A major pro to renting out a property for your wedding weekend is that you will have built-in accommodation and sleeping arrangements for guests who want to stay the night and join you for other wedding celebrations (welcome drinks, rehearsal dinner, post-wedding brunch, etc). This also helps with overall safety – your guests can drink & celebrate without worrying about how they’ll be getting home! If you’re hosting a more outdoorsy event, some properties even lend themselves well to camping!

Destination Wedding 

If you’re planning an intimate destination wedding we highly recommend looking into private property rentals as a way to host your wedding as it is easily the most cost-effective way to do so! Homes listed on AirBnB & VRBO make destination weddings far more attainable. Your guests can arrive on-site and really lean into their new environment and discover the area. This will heighten the vacation feel of your wedding and make the whole event so much more relaxing. One of the biggest upsides of a private property rental is the complete privatization of your venue – something that is very difficult and/or expensive to achieve with a hotel/resort.

CONS

 

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.

Less Infrastructure

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!