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How to Plan an Intimate and Cozy Airbnb Elopement

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washington-elopement-photographer-couple-embrace-in-front-of-fire

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Thinking an Airbnb elopement might be right for you? You opted to elope because you wanted an experience that felt intimate, cozy, connected, and like YOU. You opted to elope because you agree that your elopement day should be as epic of an adventure as your life together is. Eloping is about crafting your wedding experience your way. And no venue option brings together cozy + adventure + flexibility quite like an AirBnB (or VBRO/property rentals).

 

If you’re anything like me, half the fun of a good adventure is finding home wherever you go – whether it be a castle in the Scottish Highlands, a villa on the Amalfi Coast, or a big log cabin or charming tree house in the Pacific Northwest. Whenever my hubby and I travel, our cozy Airbnb home away from home is the base operation of all our exciting adventures! We’ll start our day sipping coffee on the deck before embarking on the days adventure. Perhaps a mid-day break will find us napping in the hammock, or all cozied up with a book in a little nook. We might end our day stargazing from the hot tub, or drinking beer around the fire.

 

Whether you are opting for a ‘Just Us’ elopement experience or looking to incorporate some of your very nearest and dearest, an Airbnb elopement or property rental can be an amazing way to create your day (or several days!) your way.

 

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Some of the reasons you might choose an Airbnb elopement

How do you plan to utilize your Airbnb for your elopement?

Your answer to this question will influence the kind of property you will seek out and the types of questions you will need to ask the host.

In general, if you are planning to bring together friends and family for your Airbnb elopement, and host a ceremony and/or small reception, you will have more logistics to consider and more difficulty getting approval. But there are options out there!

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Logistics to consider + Questions for the Host

1. Get Permission

Airbnb and VBRO are awesome because you are working with real people and their homes. I love staying in Airbnbs because they feel like a home away from home. It’s because they are. They are literally people’s homes and you can feel the love and care that a homeowner has put into their property. If you are approved to have an Airbnb elopement, it’s so important you respect the rules of the home, property and local community.

Send a message to the Airbnb host and ask permission. Be honest about your intentions, while keeping in mind the hosts point of view. The host is likely wary of the words wedding or party because they conjure up stereotypical visions of a DJ dance party or late night rager. So rather than say you want to host a wedding reception, explain that you are eloping in a very small ceremony nearby and just wish to invite a handful of friends and family back for dinner (of course staying honest to your intentions).

2. Parking

Depending on the number of people invited, be sure to scope out the parking situation and how many cars are permitted on the property.

3. Indoor and Outdoor Space

If people will be gathering, consider both the indoor and outdoor space. Look for locations that have large comfortable decks, or a flat grassy area. And in case of bad weather, can guests comfortably gather indoors?

4. Bathrooms Available

If people will be gathering, ensure that there are ample/working bathrooms to accommodate. A group of 15 plus a single bathroom on septic with old piping could equal a recipe for disaster.

5. Location (proximity to activities, airport, or other accommodations)

You may have found your dream, bucket-list listing, but before you book, make sure you consider the ease and accessibility of location. Are you within an hour of your planned activities and the ceremony location? Are there other possible/available accommodations nearby for friends and family? Located nearby an airport if you or other are flying in? Can vendors reach the location?

6. Vendors

What will be needed to bring your dream elopement to life? A private chef? A food truck? Décor installation or table set-up? What will those vendors need access to – a kitchen, electrical, parking area, etc. You will need to ensure the host is onboard and the property can accommodate the additional needs.

7. Aesthetic/Decor

Consider the aesthetic of the rental. Does it fit the vibe you are looking for? One great thing about a home rental is that they are often beautifully designed and have a feel that is true to the location. Use the existing aesthetic and work from there. A simple tablescape and some florals might be all you need to bring your vision to life. Whatever you do, respect the home. Use coasters, cover tables, do not hang items or make any permanent changes (no matter how small). Return everything to its original place.

8. Photography Ready/Permitted

Are lovely there views on the property or nearby? Does the home let in ample window light? Does the host allow photography and if so, are there additional fees? All questions you’ll want to consider.

Planning a 'Just Us' Airbnb Elopement Experience

Then the opportunities are endless! You can pretty much go anywhere you want to go and choose the bucket list Airbnb of your dreams. And I mean that! Wanna stay in a castlea hobbit hole, an arctic igloo under the stars, a treehouse, a cabin in the woods, a seaside cottage? You get the idea, truly endless.

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Best Washington/PNW listings by location

I’ve put together a handy resource with some of the best options that Airbnb has to offer throughout Washington (and beyond).. There’s something for everyone here – whether you’re dreaming of a treehouse for two deep in the woods for a very personal Airbnb elopement, or a luxurious castle whose halls and sweeping grounds can host a few handfuls of your nearest and dearest, or a lodge that could host a micro-wedding of 30. 

BE SURE TO CONTACT THE AIRBNB HOST AND VERIFY ALL RULES TO MAKE SURE A PROPERTY IS A GOOD FIT FOR YOUR ELOPEMENT BEFORE BOOKING.

San Juan Islands

Gnome House

Orca’s Island, WA

Sleeps 8 – Storybook chalet on 140 acres

VIEW LISTING HERE

Cabin on Hunter Bay

Lopez Island, WA

Sleeps 8 – Cliffside with deck over the Bay

VIEW LISTING HERE

The Cascades

Airbnb Leavensworth elopements

Na-Mu Lodge

Leavensworth, WA

Sleeps 20 – Can accommodate gatherings up to 30 Guests

VIEW LISTING HERE

 

Hansel Creek Treehouse

Leavensworth, WA

Great for a “Just Us’ Experience

VIEW LISTING HERE

Moose River House – Riverfront Mansion

Leavensworth, WA

Sleeps 16

VIEW LISTING HERE

Wild Lily Compound

Index, WA

Sleeps 16 – Hot Tub – Fire Pit – Riverfront

VIEW LISTING HERE

Tye Haus A-Frame

Skyhomish, WA

Sleeps 4 – Classic A-Frame in the Woods + Hot Tub

VIEW LISTING HERE

Mt. Rainier National Park

Cozy River Cabin at Mt. Rainier

Packwood, WA

Sleeps 6 – Classic A-Frame in the Woods + Riverfront

VIEW LISTING HERE

Riverfront Cabin Near Rainier

Ashford, WA

Sleeps 6 – Beautiful grounds + deck over a creek 

VIEW LISTING HERE

A-Frame Cabin at Packwood

Packwood, WA

Sleeps 7 – Hot Tub + Fire Pit + Large Deck

VIEW LISTING HERE

Olympic National Park

Elwha River House near Olympic National Park

Port Angeles, WA

Sleeps 7 – Huge Riverfront Property 

VIEW LISTING HERE

Thompson Point Retreat

Port Angeles, WA

Sleeps 10 – Lakefront + Large Deck + Dock on Lake Cresent

VIEW LISTING HERE

Bluff Haven

Port Angeles, WA

Sleeps 10 – Beachfront + Fire Pit + Stunning Outdoor Space

VIEW LISTING HERE

Moclips Beach House

Moclips, WA

Sleeps 6 – Beachfront

VIEW LISTING HERE

Olympic Oceanfront Cabin

Forks, WA

Sleeps 6 – A-Frame + Beachfront + in the Forest

VIEW LISTING HERE

I wrote a comprehensive guide to eloping in the the Olympic National Park. Everything you need to know – the best locations, when to elope, accommodations, vendors, venues, permits, all of your questions answered! Check it out HERE

Columbia River Gorge

Underground Hygge Earth House

Orondo, WA

Sleeps 2 – Perfect for a ‘Just Us’ Elopement Experience

VIEW LISTING HERE

Skamania Getaway at Beacon Rock

Skamania, WA

Sleeps 4 – Stunning property that can accommodate ceremony + small reception

VIEW LISTING HERE

The Griffin House on the Columbia River Gorge

Hood River, OR

Sleeps 8 – Sweeping Gorge views + Romantic Aesthetic + Weddings and Elopements allowed for added fee

VIEW LISTING HERE

Off the Grid and 40′ Up (Tree House/Lookout)

Tiller, OR

Sleeps 4 – Epic Views + Hot Hub + Unique Experience

VIEW LISTING HERE

Some other worth a look!

Shipwreck House

Tiller, OR

Sleeps 12 – Coastal Brush + Near Beach + Hot Tub

VIEW LISTING HERE

Luxurious Arlington Castle

Arlington, WA

Sleeps 16 – Ornate Castle + Sweeping Grounds + Stone Patio

VIEW LISTING HERE

Emerald Forest Treehouse

Redmond, WA

Sleeps 4 – 100″ Projector + Hot Tub + Onsite Zipline

VIEW LISTING HERE

Treehouse Point

Fall City, WA

Fairytale Grounds and a treehouse retreat that can lodge up to 20

VIEW LISTING HERE

Hopefully you found this article helpful and you are ready to dig in and start planning your own Airbnb elopement experience!

Looking for some more guidance to plan your dream elopement experience.

I also wrote a Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide to Eloping in Washington! Check it out HERE

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Book Your Photographer

Hey there, I'm Jess

I’m your Wedding and Elopement photographer, but i’m also your dream enabler, permission grantor, and co-conspirator. I’m here for you, holding your hand, and helping you to craft an outside the box wedding experience that is unique, intentional and true to you and your life adventure together.

Washington & Oregon Weddings & Elopements

Packages starting at $2,800 – Contact for full pricing and all locations. All packages include:

  • Local to Seattle? Let’s grab a beer! Otherwise we begin with a get to know you questionnaire and phone/video chat. My connection to you is what allows me to weave together and tell your unique story.
  • 40+ page Exclusive Planning Guide 
  • Unlimited calls and planning guidance
  • Custom location recommendations (for elopements)
  • Timeline planning
  • Fully-edited high-resolution images delivered in a beautifully curated gallery
  • Creative editing that brings your story to life
  • My travel is included – I fly free

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Jess Albonico

Jess Albonico

Seattle + PNW Wedding Photographer, helping couples ditch the rulebook and have a wedding day as epic and unique as there life adventure together.

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