Change of use to a wedding venue

Business Diversification Into Weddings, Launching A New Wedding Venue

Business Diversification Into Weddings, Launching A New Wedding Venue

You’ve heard that hosting weddings is a lucrative business. Before you decide if your property should press ahead and apply for change of use to a wedding venue, there is much to consider

Here are 5 things to look at closely before you start a wedding venue business. 

Launching a wedding venue is a long term game 

Creating an attractive and successful wedding venue offering requires dedication, a keen eye for detail and an intricate understanding of your target customer’s needs; it can also require deep pockets especially if renovations are involved. As such it’s a long term game. With most wedding venue businesses not turning a profit for the first 3-4 years or more. 

If you’re looking for a quick and easy return on investment – a change of use to a wedding venue is not it.  

Wedding venue host properties need constant investment

The wedding market with an average client age of 32 is trend-led, style and experience savvy and fast moving. Businesses within it have to be nimble, listen to customer needs and move with wedding trends and expectations. As a result, you’ll need to make constant investment in updating, upgrading and improving the wedding venue package or offering. If you want to invest and go, this is also not for you. 

The hospitality sector is hard

Cutting to the chase, hosting weddings is hard graft (let’s not start on just how hard during Covid-times).  Delivering a unique and one of a kind wedding celebration for discerning couples, and hosting large numbers of guests for several hours at a time requires very well honed communication skills. Also, bags of energy, a “turn your hand to anything” approach, hard work and long hours.

Whilst you can build a team to deliver your venue’s vision or outsource to an independent operator, you will likely need and want to get stuck in yourself from the start.

If your venue is your private home, then think very carefully about the impact this will have. Whilst there are certainly growing markets for intimate and micro weddings, most weddings involve early mornings, late nights and an element of noise and partying.  Large, open spaces are perfect to host these sorts of ceremonies & celebrations and if you’re wondering if you should diversify your farming business to welcome weddings then here’s what you need to know. However, for a more low-level impact, other sorts of events may suit you more than going for a change of use to a wedding venue. 

High Customer Expectations

Consider that the budget for a wedding (average of around £25,000 for a UK based wedding) is probably the second largest spend a couple will make in their whole lives (next to a property purchase and probably the biggest spend on one day alone). This goes someway towards explaining just how important every step of the wedding planning journey is.

You need to have the infrastructure in place to surpass wedding customer expectation. 

Highly honed communication skills, natural people skills, an understanding of design and styling, digital marketing knowledge, emotional intelligence, patience and empathy are just some of the many skills that you need to succeed in the wedding sector. Whilst you can outsource and recruit events teams to support you in this area over time, it’s important to have an understanding and passion for people from the start. It is vital that you create and continue to lead the vision, ethos and strategy to grow with strength and longevity. 

Seek Support Early On

Yes, you might say, “You would say that Kelly, as a wedding venue consultant”. But seriously, the progress a business can make and mistakes it can avoid by calling in experts to help support the journey is second to none.  One of the biggest areas of challenge can be planning permission and premises licenses. Often access issues and particularly noise issues with objection from local neighbours are integral to whether, and how, you move forward at all. 

My team and I support potential wedding venue owners and custodians.

We provide in-detail understanding of your unique offering, wedding specific licenses and paperwork, targeting your ideal wedding client, profiling them, developing marketing and sales strategies to fast forward successes. We’re also supported by further consultants, covering areas of planning and licensing/ change of use to a wedding venue, legal,  HR and more.

If you’d like to know more about how Kelly Chandler Consulting can support you with straight-talking yet positive insight as a potential wedding venue owner then do take a look at our Private Consulting services.

You can also get in touch here to discuss how we can work together.

 Photo credits: 

Styling & Photography: The Brand Studio // @thebrandstudioco 

Wedding venue: Moxhull Hall // @moxhullhall 

Kelly is an events industry professional of 25 years having previously planned weddings (often 6-figure) for over 150 discerning global couples. 

A Wedding Venue Business Consultant to many of the UK’s finest Stately Homes, private houses and diversified farms, Kelly supports land and property owners to thrive by generating sustainable profit from hosting weddings.

A live-long learner and personal development devotee, she’s also a Master Coach & Success Coach to high-achievers.

Being endlessly curious about the power of the mind and neuroscience, she’s passionate about unlocking, unblocking and championing the potential of her fellow bold business-leader clients.

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