How to promote your venue to wedding planners

Marketing Your Wedding Venue

Marketing Your Wedding Venue

Does the sound of repeat wedding business appeal to you and your wedding venue? Not usually associated with the wedding sector, repeat business for venues does exist by forming and nurturing relationships with  independent wedding planners. This feature outlines how to promote your venue to wedding planners and start building a long term relationship with them.  

One of the best ways to form fruitful, honest and well matched relationships is to take the time to meet in person in my view, hence familiarisation visits are very much an established norm for those proactively targeting wedding planners for their wedding venue. This post shares some no-nos and advice on best starting that planner/venue relationship. 

8-hour drive
In my days running my independent wedding planning business, I regularly received invites for canapés and drinks at a 2 hour evening event a 4-hour drive from my office.  As much as I’m partial to a canapé and a glass of champagne, I’m afraid that the 8 hour round trip (not mentioning the inability to indulge in more than 1 glass as I’d be driving) is quite simply unsuitable to my busy schedule.  I’m afraid not only did I decline such invitations, but such an invite goes against that venue (as I would mark said venue as rather scattergun in approach).  Unsure of their target market and therefore probably unlikely to be right for my discerning customers. I know I’m not the only one who thinks this, as I talk to my wedding planning colleagues all the time about these approaches.

Images of a traffic jam train and winding road | Kelly Chandler ConsultingLady sitting waiting for the tube | Kelly Chanlder Consulting

Fine tune
I urge you, as progressive venues, to really fine-tune who your target market is first and devise your events programme and invitations accordingly if you want to promote your venue to wedding planners .  If your strategy does involve targeting wedding planners and their clients (a good move particularly if you want to offer weekend weddings, blank canvas weddings or those with a luxury element), then you need to look closely at who they are, where they are based and give them a compelling reason to break from their busy diary and give you their time.

Images of champagne on a bar ladies talking | Kelly Chandler ConsultingLadies cocktail party | Kelly Chandler Consulting

The full experience
You need to host something that truly allows them to experience all that you have to offer so that they can sell it with confidence to their discerning clients/couples – this might well be fine to host lunch if your guest list is relatively local but if you’ve got a country setting and are wanting to tap into the London and/or destination market – generally an overnight stay, dinner and breakfast is about right – 18 hours or thereabouts is enough time for a wedding planner to confidently see what you have to offer and work out if it’s right for their clients by tasting your food, experiencing your service, building a relationship with your key team members – all these things really matter to the planner serving a luxury client.  If you want to promote your  venue to wedding planners, you could look at hosting a small group familiarisation event for a selection of wedding planners or invite them one by one with the chance of bringing a partner or colleague if you prefer this.

Time it well
Midweeks are great and usually preferred. I’d also suggest choosing your timings carefully – May to September can be tricky to get a healthy guest list on any day of the week as most planners are working flat out on event delivery from week to week over this time.

The right guest list
My final tip here is to choose your target list wisely – do look closely at the sort of weddings the planner regularly organises, as featured on their website and social media and look at what style they are passionate about and if that’s a good match for you.  Targeting the right planners who are likely to have the right couples for your venue is better than having volume of the wrong people headed your way (I’m always about quality over quantity in everything that I do).

It can be rather hard to tell who does what and it’s certainly time-consuming, particularly if this is a new sector of the industry you’re investing in and you have a million other tasks to attend to.

Bride and Kelly Chandler | Kelly Chandler Consulting

Our help
If you’d like to promote your venue to wedding planners and you’d like to have experienced advice and insight in getting to the absolutely perfect guest list for showcasing your venue to independent wedding planners, then this is something I do successfully for a very limited number of venue clients annually.  Do get in touch on kelly@kellychandlerconsulting.co.uk to discuss. 

Image credits:  Motorway Congestion – Auto Express // Train Journey – My News Desk // Long Road – Flickr/Alan Amati via If The Devil Had Menopause //  Wedding Planner Event – Kate Nielen // Wedding Planner Event Collage – Kate Nielen // Canapes – Sunninghill Weddings // Drinks and Canapes – Delicious Magazine // Champagne – Carriages Events // Women Waiting for Train – BT.com // Kelly with Bride – Pippa Mackenzie

Kelly Chandler Wedding Consulting helps property and land owners thrive by generating profit from hosting weddings. Kelly and team offer specialist private consulting and group training programmes.

Kelly is a well-respected go-to expert in the business of weddings with a unique grasp of both wedding customer expectations and a host venue's commercial needs.

Read More

If you enjoyed this post, we recommend the following as additional reading. 

Social Media for Wedding Venues: compelling content and mistakes to avoid

How to create social media content for your target audience

The wedding venue and professional blogger – a great match

As part of my wedding market training day I offer to wedding venues, we talk a lot about modern marketing methods that successful venues adopt, and naturally, working with professional blogs is a key part of that. My last training group were lucky to have a short presentation from Louise Beukes of well-known wedding blog,…

An image says a thousand words – Photographing Your Wedding Venue

Never has the power of the image been so great – we’re constantly surrounded by photos. Photos all around our social media feeds are bursting with image after image and millennial couples (those born from 1978 to 2000) want to actually see exactly what they are getting before booking, so it’s critical they see your…

Workbook cover image for site

free guide: 5 WAYS TO MORE WEDDING BOOKINGS FOR YOUR VENUE

Complete your name and email in the box on the right and I’ll send you my advice and strategies to securing more wedding business for your venue.  
 
We will use these details to send you information on programmes, courses, events, special offers and inspiration via our email newsletter. For more information please review the Privacy Policy
 

Enter your details below

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.