How to find the best getting ready Airbnb for an elopement

Finding the best AirBnb for an elopement starts here!

Find a great home base and getting ready spot for your elopement

Lots of couples are asking: should I get an Airbnb as part of an elopement? Short answer: Yes! You’ll need a place to stay and get ready for your elopement, right?  You’ll need a home base for your elopement and a starting place to relax and get ready for the day. This important aspect of an elopement may often be overlooked. Additionally, if you are planning to go out to hike or do any adventurous activities together, you’ll love having a cozy, private place to come back to after your amazing elopement day!

Why the Airbnb matters for your elopement photos

Before setting out on an epic hike or going to your ceremony spot, you’ll likely get ready at the place you’re staying. The better the light and the quality of the vacation rental you’re staying in, the better your photos from this portion of the day will be. Choosing a great Airbnb for an elopement is not only important to ensure that you have the space and comfort you need to relax and get ready for the day, additionally, it will make your photographer’s job easier (and your photos fabulous!) by ensuring there is enough light and space to get those great, candid shots you’ll love.

What to look for in an Airbnb for an elopement

The biggest things we are looking for in a vacation rental, VRBO or Airbnb for an elopement are light, space, and flexibility. As a professional elopement photographer and a lighting geek, these are the absolute most important things I look for when scouting locations for myself or for couples. Additionally, make sure you do these things below and look for these things as you’re searching for the perfect vacation rental, VRBO, or AirBnb for an elopement!

  • Read reviews

    Reviews can be SO helpful to understand how guests use the space, what amenities might be included, or how accurate the photos are. As an example, If you see a lot of positive reviews about how spacious a place is, you’ll know it may be perfect for your photographer to move around in and for you to spread out in.

  • Space for you

    Make sure there are at least two separate rooms to get ready in if you and your partner are doing a first look together. This will ensure you both have a private space to get ready in.

  • Ensure space for guests

    If your elopement includes guests that are lodging with you, make sure there are enough beds for each person. In AirBnb and VRBO, you can filter results by guest count or bedroom count. Make sure to scroll through the photos and keep count of how many beds/bedrooms the listing included.

  • Look for vacation rentals with white or light walls.

    This is the absolute best for indoor photos. White walls will bounce clean, white light onto your skin, which is exactly what photographers are looking for when it comes to indoor spaces. Wood walls or walls with odd colors will cast yellow, unflattering light onto the subject, which is harder to work with, and can cause discoloration in the camera of skin, white dresses, etc.

  • Look for Airbnbs or vacation rentals with a lot of natural light.

    Another thing your photographer LOVES and needs is natural light. Search for listings with lots of natural light, big windows, and windows in bedrooms. This will ensure that there is always a source of natural light to use in any room!

  • Unique features

    Another thing to consider are locations with a hot tub or giant bathtub for a romantic photo session before your big day begins. Bonus points if the bathroom has TONS of natural light! There are lots of amazing stays on VRBO, Airbnb, or vacation rental webites with unique features that can be incorporated into your day. Ever imagined getting ready in a treehouse together?

  • Travel considerations for your elopement

    Make sure your rental is within >1 hour of your elopement location. When creating a photo timeline, I always factor in travel time to a destination. For this reason, choosing locations that are within an hour of each other will ensure that travel time is easy and doable on your elopemeent day.

My favorite places to find vacation rentals for an elopement

Last few things to remember

Lastly, don’t forget to read the rules of your selected vacation rental. As an example, as of 2022, Airbnb no longer allows events to take place on their properties, even if the host is okay with it. This is why I always suggest using your Airbnb or VRBO for a getting-ready location as opposed to hosting your elopement there. However, there are ways to find vacation rentals or VRBO for elopements outside of the Airbnb app, as I demonstrate in this video. But trust me, you’ll have so much more fun out on a trail, or the beach, or a special spot in nature together.

Are you ready to search for your own Airbnb for your elopement? Get out there and get started! If you’re having trouble getting started, check out this list of unique vacation rentals for elopements, or this VRBO roundup for weddings.

As always, I’m an email away if you have other questions about how to find an Airbnb or VRBO for your elopement. If you’re ready to book your elopement photographer, click here to email me and get started!

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