1. Save money
2. make your own rules
3. pick your unique vendors
4. Design it how you want
+ popular wedding venues aren't the only option
Are you looking for a way to cut the costs for your wedding? Wedding venues can be amazing if you're looking for a full service, hands-off, and convenient party where everything is included in a flat price. Usually the price is pretty steep, so if you're okay with that - great! If not, and you're trying to figure out a way to have your dream day without paying so much for the 'space,' there are other options!
I've photographed a few weddings that were done on rental properties. They quickly became some of my favorite weddings I've ever been part of. Airbnb/VRBO sites can't advertise if they are available to host a wedding on the property, but if you send messages to the owners off the platform you'll likely be able to have your wedding in their unique spaces! It's a win/win for everybody! There are certainly benefits to doing a wedding this way, but there are some crucial things you should take into consideration before you get your heart set on going this route. While you can save a lot of money (& likely have a place to host people for the night) you'll have to put in a lot more front - end work to make it come together!
- you might have to search quite a while before you find a space that will accept a large party. Usually these spaces are in areas with a lot of land, and away from the hustle and bustle of everything.
- you'll have to provide your own rentals/vendors for everything, nothing 'extra' is included in the rental price
- you might have to provide an additional restroom depending on the size of your crowd
- your crowd may have to be smaller due to the size of the space
- you might have to get creative with the space and have all hands on deck to set up/tear down after the wedding is over
+ Decide how you want to use the space
If you get an Airbnb you get to make your own rules (within reason and following the property owner's direction of course) and design it how you wish. You can get creative with options on how to use the space to accommodate your guests in the way that you want to, not the way that you are told how.
I've had a couple rent a property in a hazelnut farm in Hubbard, OR and have both their wedding and reception dinner within the rows of the orchard. I had another couple rent a beautiful open space with a cabin on it in White Salmon, WA with views of Mt. Hood in the background. One other couple rented a space in Cornelius, OR that had a big pond with a gazebo over it. They had access to use the canoe and we got some of the sweetest photos post ceremony out on the water There are endless options, and if you're willing to get creative - I think these types of spaces can be utilized to make a wedding unique and perfect for each couple who is ok with putting a little more time and energy into the organization and preparation work. There are a lot of options out there, you'll just have to look more than a 'top 10 places to get married' search. You'll also save the big bucks - huge plus.
+ pick the vendors you want
You'll have endless customizable choices if you reserve a property that requires you to provide both your own rental supplies and vendors. Party rental companies can provide tables, chairs, and dinnerware for your event and will likely have extra add ons like tablecloths and chiffon if you're interested. The fun part is the food. You can have your wedding catered from a local restaurant, ask family friends to help cook/serve the food as a buffet style (lasagna, taco bar, burrito bowls are all good options to serve in bulk), or have a fun food truck at your venue (my personal favorite!) Nothing says you have to do the traditional chicken dinner that people likely won't remember. Why not bring in a wood fired pizza truck, or your favorite taco truck?! WAY more fun (& delicious) in my opinion. Also - if you decide cake isn't the option for you, you can do cupcakes, donuts, ice cream bar or anything your heart desires- so many options!
+ DIY crafts
Another thought - FLOWERS. They add up SO fast. If you're not looking to spend a bunch of money on flowers, you can DIY your own bouquet. Watch a couple YouTube videos and bulk order your flowers from Costco! You will save so much money but still be able to have fresh flowers, none of those fake silk ones! I did the Costco flowers for my own wedding and wouldn't change it for a thing. I also had all my bridesmaids make their own bouquet while I made mine, and it turned into a super fun pre-wedding activity! 10/10 recommend!
If you have decent handwriting (or have a friend who does) you can make your own wedding signs! If you have a cricut maker you can print out nametags and put vinyl on blank picture frames to look super professional! It depends on the extent you want to take it and how into DIY you are - but if you can find some cheap chalkboards, there's no reason you have to pay for the 'wedding specific' ones! Bonus - you can use them again for something else later, or give them to a friend who is getting married after you for a discounted rate!