There’s a new wedding trend, and it has nothing to do with fashion, decor, or even the ceremony.
It has everything to do with using airbnb to find a wedding venue for cheap.
For couples with a tight budget, the outlook seems grim: the price tag of the average American wedding was nearly $34,000 in 2017.
One of the biggest budget busters? Catering, sure. But also– the VENUE.
Because the venue is one of the earliest decisions couples have to make, it’s easy to get carried away and spend more than you can end up affording. This is why many modern couples are beginning to get creative and search Airbnb for a wedding venue that’s far cheaper (and unique!).
While Airbnb can be a great resource to find an affordable and awesome wedding venue, it doesn’t come without risks. Here’s our guide to finding a wedding venue on Airbnb, booking one confidently, and some potential alternatives.
Avoid any liabilities:
One of the great things about using Airbnb to find a wedding venue is also one of the riskiest: with an open search forum, and virtually endless postings, there’s no doubt you’ll have plenty of people you THINK you can rent from.
That said, it’s absolutely crucial that whoever you’re renting from is aware of, and has agreed to hosting a wedding. You’ll need to review fully the company’s terms of service, which include a full disclosure to the renter of how long, for what purpose, and for how many, you are renting. And it’s crucial everyone is privy to this agreement–one great way is to share information to your bridal party and guests using Guestboard’s secure forums.
If you’re having trouble finding a suitable venue:
Since Airbnb is used for many purposes and wasn’t created specifically to find a wedding venue, you’ll have to get creative. Searching “Wedding” using the Airbnb search bar will not return anything useful.
Instead, use some advanced Google searching by googling “site:airbnb.com wedding [city name]”. This will return all listings within Airbnb in which someone (most likely a review) has mentioned a wedding. From here you can get a sense of which properties are generally OK with hosting a wedding– or at least, have in the past. You may need to try a few different versions such as “site:airbnb.com wedding venue [city name]” or “site:airbnb.com married [city name]”.
Note: Searching Google with the query above revealed this amazing Colorado Springs farm venue for just ~$600/night. What a steal! It looks like they often host weddings and the owners are very communicative.
Airbnb also offers something called Wish Lists that users can create to keep track of places they find.
Unfortunately, you can’t easily search these wish lists, but using some more Google-Fu, you can see if someone in the past has created a “Wedding Venue” wishlist for your area, (like this one for the Napa region). By Googling “site:airbnb.com wishlists wedding venue [city/state]” you can stumble into some other folks’ wish lists like these – score!
When you do find a venue and the host accepts your proposal, consider offsetting your venue cost even more by having your bridal party pitch in some cash to stay there some or all of the nights! This way, their accommodations are covered, they don’t need group transportation to the venue site to get ready, AND you save even more money. Win, win, win.
If you’re splitting the cost:
Anyone who is kind enough to chip in needs to be in the know–keep everything organized with a centralized messaging thread and review Airbnb’s group payment terms of service, which in short, requires the organizer typically to send invitations for co-payers.
If everyone you approach seems hesitant about hosting:
Let’s face it: hosting a wedding comes with its risks, and even with a contract, some may be worried about renting out. Generally, you’ll be more likely to find an accommodating host if your guest count is <100 people. Having event insurance and a well known professional wedding planner will also help assure the owner that their property will be treated with respect.
Airbnb Alternatives for Weddings
While these are all great things to keep in mind, do know that renting an airbnb is not the only way to score a cheap wedding venue. In fact, if you have a larger guest count, or simply don’t feel comfortable using Airbnb, there are lots of great alternatives:
• Renting from a family friend
• Having a church ceremony and reception
• Booking at a National or Public Park (keep in mind additional costs, like tents, and a rain site)
• Using apps, like Peerspace, where you can search for all kindsa of discount wedding venues.
In all steps of your wedding planning, create dedicated message channels for bridesmaids, grooms, and everyone in your party. Who knows: they might just be able to help find the perfect venue.