I constantly hear couples in the beginning stages of wedding planning talk about the potential of looking into Airbnb wedding venues in Southern California. However, in early 2020, the homestay and vacation rental giant Airbnb announced a global ban on all parties at their properties. This was partly in response to the pandemic and the growing need for social distancing. As well as a way to support the neighborhoods and mitigate excessive noise and disturbances.
Recently, Airbnb decided to make this policy permanent. With their homes off the market and couples stressing out about shopping for private event venues, I wanted to share alternatives to Airbnb wedding venues in Southern California.
Firstly, let’s chat about the reasons many couples are drawn to an Airbnb wedding.
You and your partner may see your wedding day as a way to give back to your loved ones. Most easily done by hosting them as they visit your town or fly in for a destination wedding.
All-inclusive venues can be a big help for couples who are indecisive and want to be presented with fewer options. But for the couple that has a specific vendor as a top priority, having the flexibility to bring in outside vendors may be a bigger need.
The pandemic reminded us how precious love and our relationships are. And it gave us the gift of small, intentional gatherings! Couples who are looking to celebrate on a smaller scale may have a harder time finding an all-inclusive venue that caters to these smaller groups. (As a planner of exclusively small and intimate weddings I have found SEVERAL venues that do just this, let’s chat if you are looking for a venue still! ).
So many couples want to celebrate for more than just one day. Whether it’s part of their culture or a personal desire. Having your loved ones all in one space allows for personal connections to blossom. Both before and after the celebratory wedding day!
But let’s be real, it’s not just Airbnb that offers these types of experiences! Maybe the typical wedding venues in your area don’t offer exactly what you need or are not within your financial comfort zone. Or maybe you really want to celebrate with a destination wedding that is a vacation for you and your guests. Whatever your motivation to celebrate, you have many other options when it comes to celebrating your wedding!
A picturesque castle. A modern mansion. Take your pick! Private Estate weddings have gained in popularity over the years, especially in the wake of the pandemic. These locations often allow for you to bring in your own vendors of choice, offer the opportunity to stay on-site, and turn your wedding into a weekend of festivities.
Due to the upkeep of a private estate, these venues often come with a higher price tag. But if you are celebrating on the smaller side you may find it meets your needs and desire. Perfect for investing in a weekend of fun with family and friends.
When searching for this type of venue you can use phrases like “mansion wedding”, “estate wedding”, or “ranch wedding” to find an ideal setting.
Khyra Beaucrest Ranch – This venue in Cherry Valley provides jaw-dropped mountain views for your wedding gathering and accommodations on-site in both the mansion and the on-site cottages.
The Houdini Estate – Besides the main house that sleeps 8-12, this property features an expansive 5 acres along a hillside with a waterfall, romantic gazebos, terraced gardens, and the main lawn.
De La Vina Estate – A 10+ acre estate in Summerland for an outdoor celebration that can host up to 150 guests. Their sister property nearby provides accommodations for guests.
For small weddings, a Bed & Breakfast venue will provide you with a cozy setting. Not only can a bed and breakfast give you all the comforts of being at a big hotel, but there is also always more personality to be found in the space to customize for a wedding ceremony and reception. Plus, since most are relatively small, you will have the privacy of having the entire venue to yourself.
The Vine House – Nestled in the heart of Temecula, you can rent out this entire B&B (8 bedrooms) for a small wedding ceremony and dinner with your nearest and dearest.
The Lombardi House – A perfect escape in the middle of Los Angeles, this venue offers a main house for overnight stays, a beautiful lawn surrounded by trees, and a refurbished barn and stable that offers beautiful vaulted ceilings. The perfect mix of modern and rustic.
Simpson House Inn – If you prefer to escape to the Santa Ynez Valley, the Simpson House Inn offers accommodations and a beautifully landscaped garden for a private and intimate ceremony.
For outdoor and nature lovers, a clever alternative to Airbnb wedding venues in Southern California includes campgrounds or auto camps. These locations often provide different types of lodging, from airstream trailers to wood or canvas cabins. For group activities, you can plan a hike or campfire in the area, and can still have all your loved ones together for a wedding weekend.
AutoCamp Joshua Tree – With community firepits and lounge areas, you can relax in a modern airstream suite and gather your loved ones for a wedding celebration in the California desert.
Pine Rose Weddings and Cabins – For couples who want a rustic forest wedding, this venue offers you the serene backdrop of nature for both your accommodations and your wedding day.
El Capitan Canyon – Idyllic glamping in the beautiful Santa Barbara Mountains, this campsite offers both indoor and outdoor locations for your ceremony and reception.
Peerspace is a watered-down version of Airbnb that will provide you with spaces to rent hourly for an event. But it does not necessarily provide the option for overnight accommodations like an Airbnb wedding venue would. This usually means a 10+ hourly rental for a wedding day. At 10 hours you could be looking at a price tag similar to an all-inclusive venue. So you may need to search longer for the diamond in the rough.
VRBO has been most closely compared to the Airbnb website. It allows owners to list their homes and properties as stand-alone vacation rentals. Do note that many of these vacation homes have a required minimum night stay. While some are listed as 1-3 night stays, others have a 30-night minimum stay. While VRBO does allow events, not all property hosts allow them. So make sure you utilize the search function to focus on properties that allow larger gatherings and celebrations.
A couple can expect to be able to bring in their own vendors utilizing this type of wedding venue. But it’s always good to double-check with the host about any required vendors on-site. And don’t forget to consider logistics like lighting & power, transportation, luxury trailer restrooms, or catering.
While a large chain hotel might not offer the complete privacy of an entire venue, they do still tick quite a few of the boxes of an Airbnb wedding. This style of venue is a good consideration for any couple looking at a short timeframe for planning (as so many pieces of the puzzle are included with the venue). Or couples who want to avoid the feeling of being at home for their wedding. There are a ton of gorgeous hotels in and around Los Angeles that offer more than just a stuffy ballroom feel.
The Garland Hotel – Say “I do” in a luscious outdoor garden setting, and celebrate your reception either inside one of the ballrooms, or flip the outdoor garden for your dinner.
The LINE Hotel LA – This space provides the most amazing industrial DTLA vibes perfect for intimate or micro-weddings with several minimalist indoor/outdoor spaces to choose from.
The Figueroa – If you are looking for a chic and classy al fresco dining experience outdoors, look no further!
The Culver Hotel – This venue will give your guests the perfect blend of modern and vintage with its spectacular architecture and romantic Hollywood vibe. From a private dining room to a cozy speakeasy, you can celebrate lavishly without too much fuss.
As you can see, Airbnb properties are not the only style of venues that offer the chance for a customized wedding celebration that allows your loved ones to stay on property.
From small boutique hotels to auto camps and private estates, your wedding day can offer your guests a unique weekend getaway experience to remember for years. So if you are searching for an alternative to Airbnb wedding venues in Southern California, don’t forget you have tons of options to fulfill your wedding dream.
If you’ve been browsing wedding venues recently and finding yourself overwhelmed with options, or underwhelmed with potential, let an expert alleviate some of those feelings!
As a wedding planner for intimate and small weddings, I help my clients find vendors that fit their financial comfort zone, wedding vision, and event needs. This includes searching for a wedding venue. Oftentimes for small weddings, this proves to be a process filled with dedication, creative thinking, and logistical divination.
Introducing Kindred Weddings and Events a la carte venue search packages that suit every couple’s planning style and timeline needs! From 30-day venue search partnerships to 4-hour strategic sessions, we can assist you with our extensive list of venues in Southern California. If you’d like to hear more about the process that will lead you to find your dream wedding venue, without having to spend hours searching pouring over lists online, reach out via email to us at email@example.com
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Sarah is a Los Angeles wedding planner ready to
elevate all your relationships through small and intimate weddings.