September 30, 2020 / TIPS & TRICKS
How to Plan an AirBnB Wedding or Elopement in 2020
How to Plan an AirBnB Elopement
Over the past few years, couples have been embracing smaller and more intimate weddings and elopements, and I am here for that! These weddings are often held at AirBnB’s because people have vacation homes in some stunning areas of our state. Staying at these homes can be a really fantastic experience for you and your guests because it feels more personal and laid back.
If getting married in a stuffy ballroom is not your style and you prefer a mountain view, then I suggest that you check out the options to rent something that matches your vibe. And AirBnB doesn’t just rent homes; you can also rent campers, boats, and log cabins.
From a photographers point of view, the photos of the getting ready process are rad compared to a generic hotel room, and It really makes people feel more comfortable if they are in a more home-like setting. You can even add your touches like hiring a caterer or chef to come in and prepare snacks and meals, so you have your own private “room service.”
AirBnB WEDDING CHECKLIST AND PLANNING TIPS
SUITABLE FOR EVENTS
AirBnB doesn’t have a way to directly search for properties that are suitable for events, but I’ve got a workaround for you. Use VRBO, because they have “events allowed” filter. You can book through them, or search for the same property on AirBnB if you prefer using them. You do not want to assume that if you find a spot that works for your event that you can have a wedding there (no matter how small your guest list is) because that could be against the terms of your agreement.
The last thing you want on your wedding day is to find out an officiant, photographer, or another vendor is not allowed on the property and risking losing a hefty security deposit.
If you find a property that you think would work well for you and it’s not listed as event-friendly, message the owner. Sometimes they haven’t thought about making the space available for events, and if you explain to them what your plans are, they may agree to let you use the space for an intimate event. Be sure the permission is detailed in your contract!
This may seem backward, but I recommend choosing places for photos before you book an AirBnB, especially if you are not familiar with the area. Going up and down mountain roads may take longer than you plan if you’re just looking at a map and going by mileage. You don’t want to choose a place that is a long drive from where you are getting married because you don’t want to spend your time in Colorado in a car!
NEIGHBORHOOD, NOISE ORDINANCES, AND PARKING
Read the rules before you book! Some places can be really strict about noise and may have limited parking spaces for guests and vendors. It can be a huge downer finding out you’re not allowed to be outside after a certain hour when you planned on having a fun campfire with some adult beverages with your guests.
If parking is limited, ask the owner if there are options for parking nearby, or ask if you can hire a valet service for your guests.
RENT TABLEWARE AND FURNITURE
With some exceptions, most of the rentals you will find will have basics in terms of tableware and cookware. So if you want something that looks a bit more elegant, you can rent things to uplevel the look. That’s the great thing about a smaller wedding; you can spend the money to make the details pop because you don’t have a huge guest list!
Things like special chairs for the dinner table, tents, outdoor furniture, and heaters are just a few ideas. There are so many ways to personalize the day, so it makes it more fun for you and your guests (and looks great in your photos, too).
HIRE A FOOD TRUCK OR PRIVATE CHEF
I think this idea is one of my favorites because there’s nothing like having someone serve you fantastic food while laughing and talking with your friends without having to go to a restaurant. Hiring a private chef or caterer means you don’t have to worry about anything, and they do clean up too. I mean, who wants to do dishes on their wedding day? Make sure that whomever you hire brings their cookware, etc. because most vacation homes just have the basics.
A food truck can be fun for super casual weddings or late-night eats! Bring on the street tacos or pizza, and your guests will love you for it.
CONSIDER A WEDDING COORDINATOR
Planners can be lifesavers and timesavers when it comes to planning a stylish wedding. Not only can they help you find the right vendors for you they can help with everything from styling and decor to rentals and cleanup services. They are well worth the investment because you’ll gain back time that could be spent with friends and family.
You don’t need to go far to find the perfect planner! I have teamed up with my wife, Mimi and she is Vows and Peaks new Elopement and Intimate events coordinator! She is my “secret weapon” and other half who loves working closely with couples to create their perfect day! Whether you are looking for someone for just the day-of, or are wanting someone to plan and organize your whole elopement trip, she is your girl!
STAY WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
There’s lots of properties that can house 10-15 people here in Colorado, so if you want everyone close by, you can rent a Luxe BnB and invite people to stay. While it might cost a bit more, it’s a nice way to say thank you to your guests for traveling to your wedding, and it’s great to have everyone on site to enjoy each other.
After finding the perfect location, don’t arrive the same day as your wedding. It’s so much more relaxed if you can get in a few days early to decompress and get to know the property and decide where you want to have your events for your day.
It’s also a good time to look at the property thinking in terms of your photos. Remember that some of these homes are vacation homes for people, so they have may have themed artwork that doesn’t quite fit your vibe. If it’s allowable, you can remove the decor items that don’t mesh and store them away. Just be sure to return them before you leave (taking a photo of the exact location is helpful).
BEST AirBnB’s IN COLORADO
Every couple I have worked with who has rented an AirBnB has been glad they did. There’s just a more chill and relaxed feeling when you can have an entire property to share your day with friends and family.
We have so many fantastic areas here in Colorado, and so many epic properties to consider! If you’re considering several AirBnB’s and can’t decide, send me a message. I can give you the lowdown on the area, and it’s possible I’ve even photographed a wedding there.
Elopements and small weddings are definitely my jam, and I’d love to help you out and help you find the right location for your wedding. Check out my elopement guide, it’s chock full of information on the elopements here including the best days to get married, the cost, and some ideas like my popular backpacking weddings.
I might be biased, but I think you’re going to love your elopement here in Colorado!
LET’S SEND IT!
My name is Sean, and I can’t wait to help create your Colorado adventure elopement! I’m a Colorado-based free spirit who has dedicated my life to exploring this wild world and connecting to the people in it.
I know firsthand what an important and personal decision this is—my wife and I eloped to Northern Ireland. You’re trusting me to capture this amazing day, and I make it my responsibility to make sure you have an incredible experience from start to finish.
My passion has led me here, where I can follow my heart and share my love for the outdoors with others on their wedding day. It’s truly an awesome experience, and I’m stoked every time I get to document your day.
When I’m not photographing couples, I love to go exploring with my wife and our corgi. Our dream is to own an Airstream and take Vows and Peaks on the road!
Sound like the perfect match? Reach out so we can get started on your epic elopement!