The wedding and elopement industry has already seen changes during this extraordinary year. One of the most notable in my business has been the rise of Airbnb elopements. Couples seem to be choosing to get married at a vacation rental in the area with incredible views and a few bedrooms for their limited number of guests. During a pandemic like this, it definitely makes sense, and I hope it’s a trend that lasts beyond this crazy year! Here’s what I love and what you should know about Airbnb elopements if you’re considering one for your celebration.
The very first issue you’ll want to check on with your Airbnb host is whether they’re open to the idea of you having a small celebration at the home. I’ve found that many hosts are perfectly happy to hold your celebration at their rental, but it’s smart to disclose your intentions from the get-go. Airbnb allows you to message the host before actually booking, so you can verify if they will allow events or not. Be sure to include whatever details you know upfront – from how many people will be coming to what area of the property you’re hoping to utilize for the celebration. Within permission, you should also check out local noise ordinances. Some areas require quiet after 10pm, some are more lenient. It’s always a good idea to look into if you’re planning on having any music outdoors!
You will want to make sure the location of your Airbnb is ideal for your needs. Are you wanting to get ready at the house and go into the mountains for the ceremony? Be sure it’s not a long drive from one location to the other. Consider travel, too. Are your guests flying in to a nearby town? How long of a drive will it take them to get there? Double check online maps for drive times so there’s no surprises. Even if there’s just a nearby spot you want photos at, be sure to look up how long it will take to get there and back so that you book your photographer for enough time! Another consideration in location is the parking. Will there be enough parking for your guests? Is street parking allowed? Be sure to consider where vendors will be parking too!
Speaking of vendors, once you secure the Airbnb and have approval for hosting your event there, it’s time to hire your vendors. If you’re wanting a hair and makeup artist, see if there’s anyone local who is willing to travel to you. Many beauty vendors are mobile these days so you won’t have to leave to go to a salon! Consider whether you’ll need any rentals for the day. Are most of your events outdoors? Will you need a tent or heaters? What about tables and chairs? As a photographer, I highly recommend having a bouquet if that’s your kind of thing. It gives you something to hold on to and something fun for us to play with in your photos! Many couples also choose an element of celebration, whether that be popping some champagne or sharing a small cake. Consider if either of those are something you want for your big day! Lastly, depending on your location you may need to hire an officiant to oversee the ceremony. (Wondering if you need an officiant in Colorado? Click here for my advice!)
If you’re planning on feeding your guests, or even just sharing a meal the two of you, consider what you want to be dining on that evening. With Airbnb elopements, the most popular options for catering I’ve seen are food trucks and private chefs. Depending on your guest count and tastes, one will probably stand out more than the other! Do some research on both to compare your options. If you’re close enough, you may even be able to set up tastings to be extra sure about your decision. Another option, depending on your area’s pandemic regulations, is to go out to eat at a nearby restaurant. Consider how many guests you may have and whether that would even be allowed during this time. Outside of the bizarre pandemic, be sure to plan ahead and make a reservation!
Make it a Weekend – or a Week!
Couples I talk to about their Airbnb elopements say they are so glad they decided to make an extended stay out of their elopement. Book some extra days and explore the amazing area that surrounds your Airbnb! Here in Colorado there are probably dozens of trails nearby, and here on the western slope there might even be some wineries to tour. Check out a local brewery or festival (during normal times of course) and really get a feel for the local scene. It’s almost like a wedding and honeymoon in one!
Airbnb elopements can give your celebration a warm and cozy feel, while giving you and your guests one centralized place to stay. They are often staged beautifully and need minimal decorations for your day. Many Airbnbs are rentals because of the incredible things to do in the area, and the great views many of them offer. Take advantage of all these bonuses by planning your Airbnb elopement today!