How to Plan the Perfect Airbnb Elopement or Wedding
If you’ve decided to ditch the traditional wedding and elope instead, you now have the freedom to get creative with where you host your wedding day! There are tons of options for places to elope, including hosting your wedding day at an Airbnb. Planning an Airbnb elopement can give you a fun, unique wedding venue and a one of a kind experience – and this guide has some tips for planning, along with some of my favourite Airbnbs for an intimate wedding!
Reasons to Plan an Airbnb Elopement
Before we get into the tips, let’s talk about some perks of planning an Airbnb elopement!
While national parks and other public lands are undeniably beautiful, they’re also undeniably popular. It can sometimes be difficult to get a spot to yourself in popular locations like Banff National Park, and if you want more privacy for your elopement ceremony and want to exchange vows without other people around (other than any guests you invite), an Airbnb elopement is a great option! You’ll have the place to yourself, and you’re guaranteed privacy.
An Airbnb is More Customizable
If you elope outdoors, there are often rules about what you can do, and you’re usually not able to put up decorations, play music, or bring in alcohol. This definitely makes sense for Leave No Trace purposes, and to avoid disturbing other visitors in the park, but if you want a little bit more creative control over your elopement day, an Airbnb wedding is a great way to do that!
Of course, you won’t be nailing things to walls or switching out furniture in an Airbnb rental, but you are usually able to make the place your own with florals, temporary decorations, and maybe setting up an arch or arbor outside – and there are fewer restrictions on what you can do.
Eloping in an Airbnb also means that you can hire outside vendors, you can bring your dog, you can have whatever food and alcohol you’d like, and you generally just have more freedom over your day! Don’t forget that Airbnbs will still have rules and regulations, so make sure that anything you’re doing is allowed or approved by the host – you don’t want to be hit with any surprise fees later. Later in this guide, I’ll give you some tips for finding an Airbnb that works for what you have planned!
You Have a Backup Plan
Another perk of an Airbnb elopement is that if the weather turns nasty, and you decide that a ceremony outside just isn’t going to work out, you have a built-in backup option. You can always head inside for the ceremony or for your reception afterwards, and because you aren’t in a time crunch (like you might be in a national park where your permit specifies a ceremony time) you also have the freedom to be flexible with your day and plan around the weather.
How to Find the Perfect Airbnb for Your Elopement
When you’re looking for the right place to host your wedding day, there are a few things to think about that can make a big difference! Here are some tips to help you find the right elopement Airbnb.
Make Sure Your Airbnb Has Good Lighting
This is super important, even if you just plan to get ready at the Airbnb before heading somewhere else. Good lighting is super important for photos, so when you’re planning to tie the knot, look through photos of all your potential Airbnbs to make sure there are rooms to get ready in that have big windows and natural lighting (not just for the photos, but also to make sure that your makeup looks good when the sun hits you)!
Most couples choose an Airbnb with a nice view outside, so that they can have their ceremony outdoors, but even if you do that, the inside space is important too – you’ll be spending some time in there to get ready, maybe for a celebratory dinner, and possibly in case of rain.
Make Sure Your Airbnb Will Allow an Elopement Ceremony
One thing you absolutely don’t want to do is just have your elopement ceremony without letting the host know what’s going on! Even if it’s a tiny ceremony, many hosts have rules about events (because it can be an insurance issue, they may not want to risk damage to their home, and other reasons), and you don’t want a surprise fine after your elopement. Airbnb does not have the option to filter for places where events and wedding ceremonies are allowed, but there are a few things you can do.
One tip is to use the website VRBO, which is similar to Airbnb but a little less popular. That website does have the option to filter places where events are allowed, which is really helpful, and can make your search easier! If you find a great place on VRBO, you can also go back to Airbnb and see if that place is listed there, because many hosts list their rentals in multiple locations – and VRBO tends to have higher fees.
If you find an Airbnb that you’re absolutely in love with but it doesn’t say anything about events, don’t panic! You have the option to message the host before making any bookings, and I really recommend doing this any time you’re planning an elopement in an Airbnb. Chat with the host, let them know your plans, and ask them if they’re okay with you hosting your ceremony in their rental. Be honest about things like number of guests, what you plan to do, and assure them that your event isn’t going to include any DJs playing loud music or rowdy partying into the night. Many hosts will okay a small elopement ceremony if you just let them know the plan, and they’ll appreciate you keeping them in the loop! After they give you the okay, you can make your booking and plan your elopement.
Filter Your Airbnb Search
When you’re looking for the right Airbnb for your elopement, make sure to use the filters they provide! You can filter for Airbnbs that allow dogs if you want to bring your pup, you can look up Airbnbs by number of people or bedrooms, you can look for things like hot tubs, pools, or whatever fun features you want for your elopement day, and this ensures that you can narrow your search and have an easier time finding the perfect Airbnb for you. You can also look for specific types of Airbnb’s such as cabins, tree houses, unique glamping accommodations, and more!
One thing that I always recommend searching for when you filter on Airbnb is the type of property. Some people rent out just one room in their house, some people have a rental that is private but still on their property, and other options offer a completely private house, cabin, or rental. For your elopement, you probably want the most private option, because it allows you to have the house and the yard to yourself. But, decide what you’re comfortable with and remember to put this in your search. When you look for properties, make sure to read the descriptions carefully, as there can be some important details in there such as proximity to other houses, parking information, and other things that may be important for you and your guests!
Look for Things to Do Nearby
Remember that while you can definitely have your ceremony and even an intimate reception at your Airbnb, another option is to rent the Airbnb to get ready in, and to come back to you after your elopement day adventure.
Whether you have the ceremony at your Airbnb, or choose another spot, I always recommend checking out what’s close by to your rental! You can find hikes to do during your stay, nice places to go take photos, and even just restaurants that you may want to try during your stay.
It can be helpful to think of a general location where you want to elope – for example, if you love Whistler and you want to be close by so that you can head out for photos or just do some hikes during your honeymoon, you can look for Airbnbs close to your favorite spots!
The Best Airbnbs for an Elopement in BC
To get you inspired, here are a few amazing Airbnbs for an elopement here in British Columbia – but remember, there are Airbnbs all over the world, and you can tie the knot just about anywhere!
- Wedge Mountain Cabin
- Wedge Mountain Retreat
- Waterfront Hideaway
- East Sooke Treehouse
- Swedish Fernridge Treehouse
- Retro A frame Cabin
- Tiny Home
Airbnb Elopement Packages
If you’ve decided that an Airbnb elopement is right for you, I’m ready to help you start planning! As an elopement photographer, my job goes beyond taking the photos – from the moment you book with me, I’m there to be your planning assistant, giving you recommendations for Airbnbs that work for you, finding nearby locations for photos or adventures, and helping you find the perfect vendors and everything you need for your Airbnb elopement!
Contact me if you’re ready for a unique wedding day experience!