Marketing Strategies for Wedding Venues: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Host a Photo Shoot this Summer…

10 July 2020

Consulting, Wedding venue marketing, Wedding Venue Sales

Consulting, Wedding venue marketing, Wedding Venue Sales

AND still be focused on growing your wedding enquiries. You might be thinking that I’ve lost the plot. Aren’t I all about marketing strategies for wedding venues, helping those venues to be seen by more ideal wedding couples, attract more enquires to ultimately convert more wedding sales and bookings? Er yes, nothing at all has changed…

But, that doesn’t mean that you have to say “yes” to every marketing strategy and opportunity out there. Now more than ever you savvy wedding venue custodians and marketing managers need to look very closely at where your investment is going.

Not least because there is a lot of noise out there and you need to filter through it. But, you also need to be clear on the marketing strategies for your wedding venue right now.

This is why I’m sharing with you 5 reasons why hosting a photo shoot for your venue’s wedding marketing may not be right for you this summer. It’s tempting I know – with doors closed, no/low numbers of events and many gardens and outdoor spaces in glorious bloom, it seems that it should be a YES all round but is it?

Use this checklist to sanity-check your decision before going ahead.

Woman sitting at a table smiling with lap top
Analyse where your wedding venue marketing investment is going

IT DOESN’T FIT WITH YOUR WEDDING STRATEGY 

This is no different with any photo shoot. You should always look at what the strategy is. Why you’re doing it and what you hope to get out of it. It should be more than “pretty images”.

You need to know what you would do with any resulting images. Perhaps a specific part of your wedding venue’s website, gallery section, blog content, social media imagery or a pro blog submission? Also, what you’d expect those images to focus on.

Does this particular shoot allow you to create specific images that you have been keen to capture of your venue but are missing? Maybe a gorgeous intimate ceremony for example or a certain design that is bang-on for your ideal wedding client profile? Then this may be a yes, but aligning with any shoot right now, even if it’s planned and styled by others, that doesn’t fit with the overall marketing strategies for your wedding venue, is not a smart move. 

YOU DON’T HAVE A SAY IN THE VISUAL OUTCOME 

It can be tempting for venues to say ‘yes’ to collaborative photo shoot opportunities from wedding professionals designing a styled shoot.

They CAN work beautifully, but be very clear as to what you expect in exchange for being the venue host. If you won’t have a say in resulting shot specifics then it may not be entirely worth your while. Good full conversations about what you would want in return are key. It could be images of a full room set up or a couple in a certain doorway? Perhaps images of your new hair and make-up studio in use? Be clear and realistic that if it’s a collaborative shoot that’s done on a marketing-basis you won’t have 100% control. However, if control is what you’re after – that moves to more of a paid-for shoot commissioned by yourself. Remember to stay true to the Marketing strategies for your wedding venue.

Styled wedding venue photo shoot of a bride, the alter and wedding breakfast
You need a strategy to capitalise on the images from your styled photo shoot

NOT A GOOD BRAND FIT 

Many of us can be people pleasers and feel rather icky if we say no or decline a perceived opportunity. Yet, as curators of your venue’s brand and direction you sometimes have to make those tough decisions and say no.

If you aren’t responding well to the shoot concept, visuals, Pinterest board or brief and don’t think it is a match for your ideal clients, then it’s OK to say, no and this is positively required. 

This should NOT, however, be confused with the need to look outside the “same old” and extend your appeal to a more diverse client.

I am 100% committed to doing what I can to encourage a more inclusive and diverse wedding industry and this starts with us doing the work and peeling back who we are making assumptions about, who our customers are and how we can proactively represent and attract others.

Whether that’s looking at gender equality, disability, colour and race for example. This may well be the time for your wedding venue to proactively design a shoot that is more diverse. However, this needs to be done with intention, with consistency and absolutely not as mere tokenism.

Woman holding a leather folder looking at the camera Kelly Chandler
Work out what the marketing strategy is for your wedding venue going forward

YOU’RE PRIORITISING OTHER THINGS IN THE COVID-19 WORLD 

You can’t do it all. Many wedding venue teams across the UK have a lot on their plates. Especially right now.

You’re focusing on finding ways to get your doors open safely, minimise risk, reassure clients, manage the workflow for reduced teams, continue to deliver a great customer experience for wedding couples in the planning, look after your heritage buildings and grounds… to name but a few responsibilities. 

Hosting an additional photo shoot with the associated risks and resource involved just may not be the biggest priority right now. And that’s fine, you will know if that’s the case and it’s fine to say NO. The time will be right again soon.  Marketing strategies for wedding venues will be different for each and every venue and that’s fine; what’s right for one will not be right for another.

Close up of womans hands with purple nails writing on an A4 piece of paper
Wedding venue strategies

YOU HAVEN’T GOT TIME TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE MARKETING INVESTMENT

A photo shoot is really just the beginning. It’s what you do with the resulting images that counts. If you haven’t worked out the strategy or got the time right now to really capitalise on the resulting images (and new business relationships), then it might be time to say no. 

Photo shoot images do generally date fairly quickly in the trend-led wedding world. So, you don’t want to be sitting on them too long before a fully-focused effort is made to use them on your marketing platforms.

If that doesn’t work for you over the next few weeks, then it may be best to pause any collaborative shoot until the time is more optimal for you. This isn’t an excuse for not taking action (and I’m all about pushing out of one’s comfort zone, doing the work and taking action).

But there is such a thing as “absolutely not the right time”. 

Close up of a womans hands resting on a closed mac laptop
Make the most of your marketing investment

If you’d like to know more on photo shoots as an ambitious wedding venue, then this blog post “Photo Shoots – How They Work” will help you, CLICK HERE.

And for advice, discussion and up to the minute support, do check out our free Facebook group, Wedding Spaces Going Places. You can sign up here: https://www.kellychandlerconsulting.co.uk/join-wedding-spaces-going-places/

Images by: The Brand Studio

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