How to start a successful wedding venue
Whether it’s a family country house estate or an idyllic refurbished barn surrounded by acres of countryside, you may already have the property in place and the spark of an idea, but how do you start a successful wedding venue?
Starting out with a new business is an exciting but also apprehensive time. You want to get it right from the get-go – but it can often prove a case of trial and error. As with any new business, setting up a profitable wedding venue requires the basics: researching the market, writing a business plan and making sure all the finances are in place. But what else? If you want to start a successful wedding venue, these are the less obvious things you need to consider and work to get in place.
A wow-them website
The first place a newly engaged couple will go to on their hunt for a wedding venue is online. It’s imperative you have the very best website you can afford, so make sure you work this into your finances and business plan. This is one area where it’s important to employ the skills of a professional – someone who can design a user-friendly, visually striking and up-to-date website that shows your venue off to its full potential.
Creating a stand-out website is a collaborative effort; as well as the web designer you’ll need the services of a pro copywriter who can help sell your venue with the right words, and make sure all the SEO boxes are ticked so your website ranks well and is seen by the right people. The Venue Experts have an experienced and super-talented team who can help you get it spot on. You’ll also need incredible visuals, so hiring a photographer to capture your venue perfectly is a must.
As well as an easy-to-navigate and inspiring website, a strong social media presence is a must. Instagram, Facebook and TikTok are the perfect places to spread the word about your venue, reach a wider audience and show the personality behind your venue. Social media is a great tool for boosting engagement, so schedule it into the day-to-day management of your venue; don’t leave it as an afterthought. It may feel like yet another thing to add to your to-do list but trust us when we say it’s an important one. At The Venue Experts we have social media pros who know everything there is to know about nailing your socials. Get in touch to see how we can help.
The dream team
You’re only as good as the people around you, so when recruiting your team you want the best. Take time to think about the style and vibe of your venue, and hire people who really understand this and are proud to be cheerleaders for the business.
Great links with local suppliers
If you want to start a successful wedding venue business, you need to make yourself visible in the wedding industry community. Reach out to local suppliers, like florists, bridal boutiques, make-up artists, wedding bands and photographers – invite them to look around the venue, think about a possible styled-shoot collaboration (great promotional tools for everyone involved) and, if they are a good fit for your venue, add them to the recommended suppliers list on your website.
Outsource your sales
Setting up a new wedding venue means juggling a lot of balls. A LOT! But one of the balls you definitely don’t want to drop is following-up on enquiries and actually getting those weddings booked in. The problem? If you want to do this effectively, it’s pretty much a full-time job and one that requires a specific set of skills. Enter, The Venue Experts. We have a crack-team who can handle all your wedding venue sales, from the initial enquiry through to organising show-rounds and getting confirmed bookings. Outsourcing your wedding venue sales frees up your time, and your team’s time, to focus on everything else needed to start a successful wedding venue.
Nail the show-round
Show-rounds are your opportunity to show off your venue and give couples the chance to imagine what their wedding day could be like with you. It’s often what seals the deal, or puts prospective customers off, and you only get one chance to make that first impression, so you want to do it right. There’s a real art to nailing the perfect show-round which, FYI, The Venue Experts know inside out. We offer show-round training to make sure your team can feel totally confident in delivering a wedding venue tour that wows. Give us a call if you’d like to hear more.
Really, this should go without saying, but to many wedding venues put too little effort or focus into outwardly promoting inclusivity. If you want to start a successful wedding venue, make it a wedding venue for all. It’s really quite simple – use inclusive language on your website (don’t just use the term bride and groom, instead talk about couples), make sure your website features images of same-sex couples and brides and grooms of different ethnicity. Share an inclusive range of images on your social media channels, use inclusive hashtags – this way you’re making potential customers feel welcome immediately.
Offer something different
The wedding venue market is packed with amazing venues of all shapes and sizes – but there’s always room for more. The most important thing when starting out is to identify what makes your venue special, then shout about it. Whether it’s a romantic woodland perfect for outdoor ceremonies, a cool party vibe (light-up dancefloor anyone?), stunning country manor interiors, amazing selection of on-site accommodation or 3-day wedding party packages; define what makes you stand out and the bookings will come flooding in.
How The Venue Experts can help
So, if you’re starting out – good luck! It’s the best industry in the world and we love hearing from new venues who are ready to add to the eclectic mix. The Venue Experts can help with everything from outsourced wedding venue sales and business deep-dives to marketing and websites. Get in touch to see how we can help you smash all of those first-year targets. We’d love to hear from you!