Airbnb has revolutionized the travel industry. Instead of booking a room in a hotel, travelers can now sleep in real houses for a nightly fee. Take a look at the company's website and you'll find everything from mansion-sized houses with beautiful yards to quaint villas will breathtaking views, many of which seem like they'd make homey and affordable wedding venues. But it's important to remember that these rentals are not typical ceremony and reception spaces, and therefore come with certain limitations that you wouldn't otherwise experience at a traditional venue. If you're thinking about planning an Airbnb wedding, consider the following pros and cons before you book.
Pro: You can find your dream venue.
You'll find every type of property available for rent on Airbnb—everything from quaint cottages and stately castles to modern mansions and beachside bungalows are listed on the rental platform. Given the wide range of available options, there's bound to be a property that checks all of your must-have boxes available.
Con: Your favorite Airbnb might not allow events.
You may have found a rental property that's exactly what you're looking for, but that doesn't mean the owners allow events to be held on-site. In fact, many Airbnb listings include some form of the phrase "no parties or events." If you break these house rules, the hosts can work with Airbnb to remove you from the grounds, which is certainly not what you want to happen on your wedding day. To ensure your rental property does allow events, especially weddings, make sure to confirm this with your hosts—in writing!—and discuss details, restrictions, and insurance policies.
Pro: It will likely cost less to rent than a traditional venue.
Depending on location and time of year, renting a sizable property on Airbnb could cost several hundred dollars per night. In comparison, renting out a traditional reception venue can set you back thousands of dollars. Just remember that some of this savings will have to be put back into your wedding—unlike wedding venues, Airbnb properties will not have necessities like tables, chairs, dinnerware, flatware, linens, and servers, so some of these leftover funds will be devoted to rentals and staffing. Even so, you'll likely end up spending a bit less overall.
Con: You'll have to figure out the logistics on your own.
At the end of the day, an Airbnb is simply a house, and you may run into logistical issues when trying to host a wedding at one of these properties. Before booking, make sure there's sufficient parking on the premises, enough space for the ceremony, no restrictive noise ordinances, and restrooms for everyone. If organizing all of these details on your own seems overwhelming, you'll want to enlist the help of a wedding planner. Unlike a traditional venue, there won't be an on-site coordinator or point-person you can work with.
Pro: Your guests might be able to stay at the premises.
One of the best parts about renting an Airbnb is that you typically get access to the entire home. If it has several bedrooms, then you have a hassle-free place for family and friends to stay. Whether you're having a destination wedding or tying the knot close to home, you'll be able to maximize the time spent with loved ones when everyone is staying in one place. Plus, your wedding will feel homey and relaxed. Unlike an elaborate ballroom or a grand event space, a wedding held in a home makes for an inherently personal, intimate, and private celebration.
Con: There are liability issues to consider.
You'll need to talk to the owner about insurance and liability issues before finalizing any plans. Some property owners will ask that you take out an insurance policy for your wedding, and certain vendors may not even agree to working on-site if you don't have one. In addition to insurance, you may also asked to sign a liability waiver, which would put the responsibility for any accidents or property damage on you rather than owner. What's more, the owner may need to cancel your reservation at the last minute. While Airbnb would help to refund your booking, this would be a huge issue for the rest of your wedding plans.