Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Church Creek, MD
Level 2
2,931 Views

I recently had an instant book reservation from a guest and in the note the person said that they were "excited about spending their honeymoon weekend at my cottage." I interpreted this to mean that they would have had their wedding ceremony already, somewhere else, and that they would arrive at my cottage already married, ready to enjoy a honeymoon weekend.

 

The guests arrive late at night, and manage to lock themselves out after entering and then going outside for a stroll. We met them and let them back in-- no mention of a ceremony planned at my property for the next day. 

 

The next day comes, and several additional vehicles arrive at my cottage (against my rules- max of two vehicles are allowed- clearly stated.) A few minutes go by, and I see them taking an antique chair out of my cottage, over to the waterfront, a woman in a white dress, and a ipad being set up on the chair. Within the next half hour, they have someone perform their ceremony and have it streamed on the ipad. I watched all of this from my house, which is adjacent to the cottage. There was a total of 5 people at the event.

 

I did not approach the couple or otherwise interfere while this was happening, as I felt that it was not the right thing to do- to interrupt. But my overall feeling about this is that I should have been asked if it would be okay to hold their wedding ceremony on my property. They did put the chair back inside, although we had to clean the feet as it was placed outside in grass and dirt. They have yet to send me a thank-you or otherwise acknowledge their stay. They left the next morning without so much as a courtesy thank-you or goodbye. They acted as though my property was theirs to use as if it was a public facility.

 

I haven't reviewed the guest yet, and plan to call them on their communication with me and their lack of following house rules. I also do not plan to host them again. While I in one way feel flattered that my property was chosen for their wedding, on the other hand, I believe I should have been asked first. I feel used!

 

Has anyone had a similar experience? How would you respond?

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25 Replies

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Lincoln, Canada
Level 10

@Cyndi66 Unless you want something from them, like extra payment for the additional guests, I wouldn't take it up with them.: no good will come of that, and you'll probably get a bad review out of it. However, I would mention it in the review. I would keep it fairly general. Perhaps say something like: "Guests misrepresented the reason for their stay and had additional unregistered guests on the property. I would not host them again." Low stars for communication and rules. 

 

I don't think it was okay for the guests to use your property that way without communicating their intentions to you. If a guest is using your property for anything outside of what you would generally use a hotel room for, I think they should be asking if it's okay. Booking the space should not entitle them to do anything they want with it. 

 

I had a group who said they were just staying with two people, but it ended up being the bride and her whole wedding entourage getting ready. They blocked the driveway, had a ton of people there (way more than max. occupancy) and generally made a nuisance of themselves. I also didn't take it up on the day, because I can't imagine doing that, but I did put it in the review. 

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Church Creek, MD
Level 2

@Alexandra316 Thanks very much for your time and thoughtful insight and for sharing your experience. This is very annoying behavior and I will call them out as you and the others here have suggested. Many thanks again.

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Cyndi66   Wow, what is it with all these Maryland newlyweds with no working concept of consent?  This thread was just from a couple days ago: https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Host-Circle/Wedding-quot-getting-ready-quot-guests/m-p/1342269

 

If they're this disrespectful of strangers' boundaries, I hate to think what they'll do to each other's. Get ready for a big wave of 2021 divorces!

 

Anyway, my review would focus on the details that would be relevant to future hosts - assuming that they're only going to have one wedding, so that particular thing won't happen again. "Al and Peggy were not fully upfront about the purpose of their visit and neglected to follow the House Rules. We wish them well but would decline to host them again."

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Andrew0  its definitely "wedding season" here in the great state of Maryland and many venues cancelled bookings during the state shut down for COVID. There has been a spate of people looking for spots to hold microweddings and if you have a cute space that is available you will definitely get some inquiries. 

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Church Creek, MD
Level 2

@Laura2592 Good to know, Laura. I will watch out for this in the future.

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Church Creek, MD
Level 2

@Andrew0 Thanks for your thoughtful response, Andrew. I appreciate your time and insight. Very helpful.

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Cyndi66 I think these people asked to book our cottage! Or at least a similar group. We got a request for a "small wedding" to be held not terribly long ago. I explained that we used to book private events but due to COVID we are no longer doing so, nor do we ever do so through Airbnb as it is not set up for pricing for all of the components we need to put in place to make it happen. Betcha they were just rolling through the state looking for somewhere to do their ceremony and no one wanted to let them so they started leaving that part out. 

 

Assuming no damage is done to your property I would leave the following review:

 

"Though we are always pleased to host honeymooning couples in our romantic cottage, this group did not disclose they were using our space for a wedding ceremony, which is strictly against our house rules. We erred on the side of not disturbing the proceedings out of courtesy, but would not host these individuals again and warn other hosts that they may not be 100% honest when booking their spaces with regard to intended use. We do not recommend this group but wish them well on their new life journey."

 

Low stars (below 3) in all categories and clicking "I would not host these individuals again" should keep you in the clear from having them book your place in the future, should they want to return for the anniversary party.

 

Also put a line in your house rules: "We do not host events of any kind in this space. We have a strict limit on how many guests can stay and do not allow anyone to visit the space who is not on the reservation. We are not an event venue and any guests who use the space for a purpose other than an overnight stay will be asked to leave immediately."

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Church Creek, MD
Level 2

@Laura2592 Thanks very much for your response and your thoughtful insight. I greatly appreciate it! I will use a combination of yours and @Andrew0  languages in my review. Many thanks again!

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Cyndi66  While it's a fair assumption that if someone states they are coming for a honeymoon weekend that that is simply what it is. But just because you use Instant Book doesn't mean you shouldn't communicate with guests when they book and try to get clear exactly what their intentions are.

 

Things can go south pretty quickly if either host or guests make assumptions instead of asking the pertinent questions.

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Chicago, IL
Level 9

@Cyndi66 i do agree this was very disingenuous of them. Having said that, they did not ruin anything, did not throw a party, those extra guests did not stay overnight. I am sure last minute wedding of 5 with an ipad recording was not their idea of getting married. Perhaps 10 other hosts already said no and they were desperate to just book something. I have encountered such horrible guests over the years, this is nothing compare to what truly bad guests are capable of. We all need to all relax a bit

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Alex893 as someone who had a very small reception after getting married at the courthouse, I think its not fair to assume that this person's wedding was somehow "less than." In many places in the world having a very intimate gathering of a family is the norm- not the blow outs that we often associate with weddings in the US. 

 

The OP did not interrupt the ceremony as she did "relax a bit." But come on. Her space is not appropriate for this event. The guest erred in using it without her consent. Just because you can do something in a space does not mean you should. The OP's guest could have gone to the justice of the peace, had their ceremony at a courthouse or town hall or found a park that could accommodate them very appropriately and at minimal cost. The guest is 100% wrong in this case. Perhaps if she could not find an Airbnb willing to accommodate her its because her request was not appropriate. She resorted to lying by omission and therefore should be reviewed in such a way that warns other hosts. 

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

@Laura2592  I got married in a court house and we have been happily together for 20 years. Yes, she should have disclosed it. These are wired times though. Nothing is normal. How did this negatively effect the host?

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Inna22  she can answer that but she mentioned that there were a lot of vehicles that she didn't have space for, some of her furnishings were taken outside and I am guessing that she had concerns about having unknown people on her property for insurance or health reasons.

 

As I say, we have done weddings at our cottage.  We do not do them through Airbnb as there is no way to charge for what we need to do for set up and clean up. Its more complicated than a few visitors showing up.  Many hosts here complain about their space being used for film shoots without their knowledge. I see this as the same thing. Images are being taken, more people and equipment showing up than the host was prepared for, more clean up. Whether or not there is damage, the point is that an Airbnb is not a film location or an event venue without express permission of the owner. Sorry I don't think this is cute and I would not be lenient with the guest. We get a lot of these types of requests. There are parks aplenty to have events in. 

Re: Guest behavior- held a wedding at my property without asking!

in
Penngrove, CA
Level 8

If you do not set up a limit on number of Additional visitors or number of guests then it’s not like 5 people are a party. Especially if they were respectful otherwise. I would leave them alone and use this for a learning lesson for yourself. I actually have in my agreement (which has to be signed) that during Covid times no additional visitors are allowed. For example, sometimes a couple will book the house and have another couple over for dinner. Wouldn’t have been much of an issue in the past but something I’m not comfortable with now. My daughter’s sister in law booked a home that accommodates  10 for her wedding. In the area where they live, no gatherings over 10 are allowed by the County due to Covid. I’m happy that hosts who have the room can help accommodate   a family who gather for such an occasion. As long as rules aren’t broken let’s help these guests. It means so much to them

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