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Venue vs. Airbnb

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

When considering your reception space the options just keep evolving. When our parents were married they didn't have many options, they got married in a church and the reception was in the basement of said church. When our cousins were married they were married in a church and 2 hours later the reception was held in a hotel ballroom. Then over the last 2 decades receptions and wedding locations were combined providing convenience and ease on the couple, wedding party and guests and the options exploded from neighboring farms, national parks, backyards, gorgeous estates and museums to name a few. You build an entire day primarily at that location. Many venues are providing the suites for the couple to get completely ready for that big reveal moment. With a multitude of options and variety of spaces I.e. ceremony, cocktail spaces, reception/dining area, mingling and dance area and fire pits which are the norm in many of the most popular venues. A few years ago I noticed a trend that was progressing. My couples were asking me (some of my A personalities brides found them on their own) to find Short term rentals (most commonly known as Airbnb or Vrbo ) they wanted everything the venues had which they experienced when attending their friends and families weddings but they wanted everything I listed above yet they just wanted more… they wanted accommodations for their wedding party and they wanted to stay 2 -5 nights with fun filled merriment. The funny thing is many of my couples started this in 2018 and 2019 but due to the pandemic postponed and many did not celebrate until 2021 or 2022 therefore, during the 2020 year more couples jumped on that bandwagon. I was in utter disbelief we didn’t know when we would actually execute these wedding but you want me to plan for 5 full days? Ahhh okay!

The appeal was obvious. Get your closest friends together for the best 2-5 days of their lives.

The average wedding is between $30k-80k so why not spend that money over the course of several days?

What the pandemic taught us is you don’t need 300 of your parents friends and coworkers at your wedding. But you do want about 100-150 (maybe even whittle that down to 80) of them and if you can get 35-50 of them to spend the night and have fun celebrating with you … why not!

Most short term rentals of a large magnitude that can sleep 25+ have all the conveniences you need. Some are catching on and offering tables and chairs however, if you want to upscale a bit or they are not provided you can rent what you need and have it delivered. You can also decide on meals ahead of time and ask your friends to help and assign them a meal to prepare. You can have all your food and beverages delivered too. Super convenient!

If for some reason there is no delivery… ask your planner to help assist with this, she may have some ideas. Typically, if that is the case with no delivery out to a secluded location, I instructed my couples to rent a U-haul, yes rent a U-haul. They picked up rentals and preordered groceries before making the drive to the short term rental location.

Like every wedding there are a list of things you will need. It’s not too different from a traditional wedding location. You just need to remember to pack for the “Hotel experience” as well.

The good news is you get to choose your location. Many of your guests had to travel anyway so why not choose a different location from the wedding(s) you have attended recently. Or maybe there is a significant location that means something special to the two of you. Of course when gathering 35+ people you need to have an itinerary of what they can do and when. Always include some free time so they can rest, or handle private affairs. Also, is this gathering kid friendly? If so, then make sure there are some games, food and actually ideas for those with small ones! There are many fun things you can do… when creating an itinerary for each day try to consider weather and what will be needed for that specific activity. If you want to go white river rafting…. Make sure the guides provide life vests and helmets for all. Do they provide a lunch or snacks or do you need to pack one? Do they provide water or should you pack enough for everyone. Depending on location there are several go-to options. Things like BBQ, picnics, hiking, canoeing or skiing. Maybe a day of games or bar hopping in the local town. How about a Rehearsal Dinner photo shoot. Maybe museums, art galleries or farmers’ markets. Immerse yourself into the local scene. If this sounds like too much, ask that friend that you know is excellent at organizing your "girl's night out" to help come up with an itinerary, use Pinterest or ask your wedding planner, I am sure she can whip this up for you for a small fee. '

Another tip… most of my couples would assure me that their friends would help them/me - “don’t worry they will help” like all weddings you may have a handful that truly are willing. But I can tell you from experience … your friends are there to help you celebrate. Your friends even with the best intentions are not there to be your staff. And half way through the night after a couple drinks in, they may forget their duties! There are services that will help you set up, Clean up & Tear down. This is something you should add to your budget. It will make everything go so smoothly. And no pressure on your guests! No guilt!

Some of these properties are big. 4-20 acres and I have found that most couples want to use every inch of it. I mean, why not? One even had a walking cocktail hour which started directly behind the ceremony site through a trail in the woods, along the babbling river and we eventually made our way to the other side, all guests ended up at the reception area. It was interactive and very cleaver; there were things to do i.e. games, sign the guest book and different hors d’oeuvres and drinks at the different locations. See how creative you can get! This really was unique and a huge hit! Their guests loved it and because it was considered private and out in the boonies, the literally danced all night long!

Your destination wedding can be the most memorable wedding of the decade! Talked about for years to come.

Here’s my advice do some homework first. What sparks interest? Is there a significant location that means so much to the two of you? Or a bucket list location? Or are you in Chicago and grandma can’t fly? That doesn’t mean you are destitute for a boring typical wedding, find an amazing short term rental in her state. Next do yourself a favor call and hire a wedding planner. I would advice this no matter the type of wedding. But if you are planning an experience and not just a day you will want to enlist the help of a professional.

Happy planning and I hope to hear how it turns out! Use my free schedule to help get you started!

KaDeana Prévu Events and Consulting

Hi, I am KaDeana Roland. “I am Making memories one day at a time. I have been in the wedding industry since 1992 and started in hospitality, Concierge desk and ballroom events for a Seattle hotel. Working for a hotel with extremely high standards gave me a great foundation to learn and work from.

Knowing that I can provide those same expectations to my clients now brings me a joy in doing what I love. I make magic happen! My team is passionate. We love love! With experience and an eye for style and detail, you will soon be a guest at your own wedding. Allowing us to handle the details and you get to watch your dad bust out his moves on the dance floor!

With a wealth of knowledge I have many resources and relationships that I have established. But because of my experience, I am realistic about budgets and expectations. I am straight forward. My team is exactly the same way! If it can be done, we will do it! If not, you will clearly present you plan B.

Coming from Hospitality I believe in and deliver exceptional service and honestly, the reliable vendor list I recommend provide the same level of service. I have extensive travel arrangement and destination experience. So really, you hold the keys to the castle. Where do you want to get married? We

can make it happen. Fill out a contact form and let's get started!


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