Knitting It All Together – Completing the Whole Picture to Secure that Wedding Booking

15 January 2020

Consulting, Wedding venue marketing, Wedding Venue Sales, Wedding Venue Team

Consulting, Wedding venue marketing, Wedding Venue Sales, Wedding Venue Team

It’s a competitive wedding world out there, this I don’t need to remind you.  To really stand out you need to promise an experience, something exceptional. In short, great more than good, in order to secure that wedding booking.

You may have your venue’s wedding day offering clear but (and this is something I see a lot in my private consulting), do you have the WHOLE wedding schedule mapped out and prominent in your marketing?

Is it clear how your venue and location can shine? Not just in the few hours of ceremony, dining and partying. But in all the pre and post wedding days, not least in providing accommodation? 

According to Bridebook’s 2019  Wedding Market Report, 26% of couples state that their wedding lasts 2 days or more.  

In 48 hours, there are multiple meals, journeys and people logistics and certainly a whole lot of accommodation and overnight needs.

As a recently engaged couple, planning an event of this scale and working through the logistics and considerations (for sometimes over 100 people, often from all corners of the globe), can be quite the headache.

Couples need help and fast… and from you, their potential wedding venue. 

Bridal couple at Manor Hill House

Finding and booking the right host location and venue is understandably key to their decision and is when everything clicks into place for them and their wedding.

How easy are you making it for them to really get to grips with what your venue can offer smoothly and quickly during their research process? 

Here’s a quick checklist of 3 key areas that will help you secure that wedding booking: 

ACCOMMODATION 

If you have it, then spell it out loud and clear. 

Warmwell House Interior Bedroom

Make it easy to see how many rooms you have and how many guests you can accommodate and any of those special features like family rooms, accessible rooms etc.

Warmwell House and Manor Hill House Bathrooms

You may have temporary or pop up accommodation (glamping) or allow camping make this very clear and a prominent feature in your marketing. 

Perhaps you sell the accommodation as part of an exclusive-use offer that the clients hire overall. I’d strongly suggest explaining this to couples from very early in the sales process that it’s customary for wedding guests to pay for their overnight accommodation. Therefore a guideline of X £ can be reduced from the venue hire fee by charging out the bedrooms at X £ rate to certain wedding guests and not part of the core budget. 

Warmwell House Welcome Door Sign and Manor Hill House Bedroom

However, if you don’t have accommodation on site or don’t have that much of it, don’t ignore it.

Accommodation is one of the big wedding desirables. Make sure you really help couples piece together their plans even if it means looking outside of your offer. You need to do the work for them. 

To help secure that wedding booking you need to ideally give a shortlist of 3-5 local properties you work in partnership with.

Also, give them the website address and let them know how many rooms that property has (or gives groups coming from your venue).

Provide the distance and driving time from your venue, style of the hotel and a guide price or at least a pricing indicator (use of £ or ££ or £££ tends to work well).

It can also be really helpful to let people know the rough cost of a taxi from your venue to that hotel as it helps with making genuine price comparisons. 

WHAT’S THERE TO DO 

It’s sometimes easy to forget that a lot of couples are not familiar with the local area. Nor have taken responsibility for planning arrangements for such a large event or group of people before.

With this in mind, I’d strongly recommend really building up a picture for them of what your local area offers. What your team of supplementary events specialists can offer and particularly those that extend beyond the key wedding services themselves.

For example: 

What Local Attractions are there for guests for any pre or post wedding days?

It’s fine to refer to wider tourist information sites. But, can you pick out 4 or 5 really popular things to do that past wedding parties have enjoyed?

Woman on a leisurely walk pointing at Warmwell House

It might be strolls, hikes or treasure hunts in your grounds. Picturesque villages for antiques, tea and cakes or renowned ‘places of interest’. It could be sports – from golf to clay pigeon or quad biking. Not forgetting crafts, yoga, and of course the ever-popular pampering and spa.

Pedicure seats in a luxurious spa
Duck Herding!
This is me, Duck Herding!

Even better if some of these services are bespoke to your venue and can be brought in on-site.

Whether your wedding venue is offering an overnight element or not, most couples have at least a handful of guests travelling from afar.

Many more couples in 2020 than ever before are spending pre and post wedding day quality time with their wedding guests.

Your potential couples welcome your inspiration in helping them get closer to finding the right fit and right venue for their needs. 

EATING AND DRINKING 

Big on the list of knitting it together for them is pointing out their meal options that extend beyond your own main offering or wedding day.  Are there local pubs of note that do a fantastic pie and ale dinner for the pre-wedding night?

Is there a brunch café for that post-wedding day relaxed send off celebration? If it’s not something you can cater on site of course.

Breakfast Buffet image by Venetia Norrington

Is there a beautiful little café with the best pastries in the area?  Knowing where and what is in your immediate and wider vicinity can really build the excitement for YOUR location and venue and give you that edge over your competition.

Breakfast Mini 'Drink Me' Juice Bottles image by Venetia Norrington

I hope you’ve found these tips useful and they encourage you to review your website, brochure, blog and social media to see how YOUR venue is knitting together that big wedding picture for your couples and if and how you can improve it for 2020 to help secure those wedding bookings. 

Image credits:

Pixabay // Manor Hill House // @manorhillhouse // The Brand Studio // @venetianorrington // @deerparkcountryhouse //  Warmwell House // @warmwell.house // @imogenxiana