5 Steps to Hosting an Intimate Wedding at an Airbnb

I am just over the moon to share about Jeed and Denise’s wedding photos with you all today. Don’t worry, this post is really going to be about five steps to hosting an intimate wedding at an Airbnb, but I would never miss the opportunity to just gush over this couple. Seriously, they’re such a sweet couple and this was such a special day. One of the reasons I loved them a little extra was because they weren’t afraid to break a few rules. A couple after my own heart! This was actually their second wedding celebrating their love and we made sure that it was just as special and had everything their hearts desired.

Small weddings have my heart. So if that’s something that you’re planning, make sure to reach out about your photography. I would be happy to help you plan some of your wedding logistics and make sure that I hype you up on your day. I’m here to be your biggest cheerleader and best friend on your wedding day. Yes, you also leave with amazing photos as that is kind of my jam around here. I want to leave my couples better than how I found them – loving themselves a lot more. It’s your wedding day and you deserve to feel incredibly special the entire day. Contact me here to chat about availability and get started.

Airbnb wedding couple in stunning blue and gold wedding attire
Airbnb wedding couple in stunning blue and gold wedding attire

Step One: Choose your AirBNB location

There is more to planning an Airbnb or home wedding than just looking at the size of the property. You also want to consider if the location is going to be easy to get to for guests, what the parking is like, and if there’s any special zoning laws to abide by. If people are going to be drinking, make sure there are cabs available in the area and you aren’t choosing something too remote (or you at least have enough room for people to sleep over!). If you have specific ideas for what your wedding venue should have, make sure that the Airbnb has it, or at least makes it easy to add.

Backyard wedding ceremony setup in Arizona
Backyard wedding ceremony setup in Arizona
Backyard wedding ceremony setup in Arizona

Step 2: Respect the owners of the house and get permission beforehand.

Not only do you not want any reason to have stress on your wedding day, like having her wedding shutdown because you broke the rules, it’s also just an overall good karma kind of thing to do. Airbnb has grown a lot and now you might even find it in the house policies when you go to book. This is applicable, whether you’re planning a larger event or a micro wedding. Don’t assume that just because you only have 10 people, events are allowed. If it’s not in the policies, I recommend sending a message to the owner on Airbnb directly so that it can be documented that you asked beforehand.

Bonus Tip: Consider booking a pet friendly property. Is there anything cuter than the dog above who is clearly in his Sunday best wedding attire?!

Backyard wedding ceremony setup in Arizona
Backyard wedding ceremony setup in Arizona

Step 3: Book the house for at least two nights

This is one of the biggest advantages to having your micro wedding at an Airbnb. After all, you want to have a day to set up, a day for your wedding (where you can be completely present and not worry about any of the details) and then a day to clean up after. Have you ever cleaned up a wedding the night of? I can bet you have, so you know it’s as terrible as it sounds. Don’t get me wrong – there are sometimes we work with venues where we have to do it and make it work. But if you can avoid it by booking some extra time at your Airbnb, I strongly recommend it.

Airbnb wedding couple in stunning blue and gold wedding attire
Airbnb wedding couple in stunning blue and gold wedding attire

Step four: try to visit the Airbnb before the wedding

This is not only to plan logistically around the property but also because sometimes layouts and photos can look a little different in person. When you think about the decor, because you have that extra time, you can usually change things up quite a bit by bringing in your own decorations. Personally, I recommend you choose a property where you already love the look and feel, and you lean into making it more beautiful instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. When you do your tour – or maybe the owner is cool and just gives you the keys – consider things like where you want your ceremony arch to be, if there’s room to set up a bar (or if a bucket of beers would be more appropriate), all of the good things.

Also think about your guests! How many rooms are there? Are you going to be letting guests stay over? Maybe just your bridal party the night before the wedding? Seeing the property in person, are there tips you can give your guests about finding the location, parking, etc? Try to book your visit at the same time of day as your wedding so you can keep in mind where the sun will be when it comes time to set up the ceremony! 

COVID wedding signage with wristbands, masks, and hand sanitizer
COVID wedding signage with wristbands, masks, and hand sanitizer
Guest book alternative with jenga cubes

Step five: Hire Professionals

I am always going to recommend you hire professional vendors, but with a home wedding or Airbnb wedding, it’s even more important. I highly recommend a wedding planner or at the very least a day of coordinator to handle all the little details on the day. There are many moving parts, even with an intimate wedding.

More than just great work, professionals also bring their recommendations. When you hire professional wedding vendors, you can ask them for their opinions. You don’t know what you don’t know and you don’t need to be wedding planning alone. If you hire me as your photographer, I am going to be here to answer any questions. And I’m going to make sure you leave with the photos that you want. 

Baby at wedding in Airbnb
Bride takes a selfie with her wedding guests at Arizona Airbnb wedding
Wedding guest photos at Airbnb wedding

Having an Airbnb Wedding

There, you have it, five steps to hosting an intimate wedding at an Airbnb. If you have questions, SERIOUSLY don’t hesitate to reach out here. I’m not one for the high pressure sales life, but dates are booking up incredibly fast for 2021 and 2022. Y’all, I am so grateful for every single one of you. I love Airbnb weddings, but really any micro wedding or elopement has my heart. For more information about planning your intimate wedding in Arizona, make sure to check out my blog. And if you want to fly me somewhere outside of Sunset State, I’m your girl and if I have availability, my bags are already packed for the plane!

Beautiful sunset wedding ceremony in a Arizona airbnb backyard

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  1. […] First, you want to hire the vendors that are the most important to you first. It’s better to hire less vendors so you can hire the vendors that you really, really want. I see this a lot with videography. In my opinion, it’s better to have a photographer or videographer that you really love then the cheapest you can find of both options. In the same way, it’s often assumed that your venue and or caterer will take up a majority of your budget, but instead I would love to encourage you to consider spending more of your budget on what is most important to you. Even if that means having your wedding in a backyard (or a similar compromise on something that’s less important to you). By the way – I have some great tips on planning a wedding at home or in an Airbnb here. […]