The power of the recommendation – are you working it?

Marketing Your Wedding Venue

Marketing Your Wedding Venue

Everywhere I go at the moment recommendations are the talk of the town!

On a weekend away with Mr C at a gorgeous “restaurant with rooms” the owner was telling us that Trip Advisor & Facebook recommendations are pivotal to his business and whether it sinks or swims. Every day my Facebook feed pops up with requests for recommendations from wedding colleagues for products & services and that’s not even factoring in the huge amount of face to face recommendation that goes on between friends over a glass of wine or at the school gate and more!

Screenshot of a trip advisor review | Kelly Chandler Consulting Screenshot of a Facebook review recommendation | Kelly Chandler Consulting

So as a successful wedding venue, are you making the most of your recommendations and testimonials from happy clients? You are such a pivotal part of a couple’s special day and are most likely the largest and most vital supplier that sets the tone, style, aesthetic and above all service levels of the day.  I’m sure you receive some wonderful thank-yous after the wedding day for the amazing work you do in creating priceless memories, but do you maximise those testimonials? Here are some ideas of how you could use them to the best effect to really help drive your business forward and make your next sell so much more compelling. Your recommendations can do the hard work for you:

Wedding client testimonial printed onto a photo postcard of bride and groom | Kelly Chandler Consulting

Sharing with the team – do you share this with your internal venue team who have worked with you to create this magic?  This is amazing for morale and team spirit. Email it around and make sure it goes to everyone who’s had a stake in that wedding day, no matter if their part to play was small.

Turn it into something pretty – an email itself is wonderful but make it a bit more long-lasting and attractive. Can you print it off, add a few design flourishes (there are lots of things, like Canva, to help you with that) and put your best testimonials on display in attractive photo frames or on a easel and board for display in your venue setting either for potential clients to see or back of house for staff to see if that’s not possible. There’s no harm in going super-creative either – what about printing all “thank-yous” and creating a visually stunning testimonial tree or similar – this has the double bonus of being social-media worthy – so you can get that photo out there to the world at large!

Wedding client testimonial on a designed postcard | Kelly Chandler Consulting

Wedding client testimonial printed onto a photo postcard | Kelly Chandler Consulting

Share with your extended supplier team – share any relevant client thank-yous with your supplier or partner team who have helped you dress your venue, entertain the guests and otherwise create the magic. In particular, if you encourage them to do so, they may well share on their own social media handles to share the love for your venue – that is very powerful!  Make it easy for them by posting it and tagging them on social media (then they just have to share)!  Get into the habit of really shouting out the contributions of your wedding professional partners – close working relationships with suppliers is key to the success of the modern wedding venue business.  

Ask for a bit more –most client’s thank-yous are great when handwritten and personal emails are lovely but really, we want them to spread far and wide. So, have you considered asking them to do a Facebook recommendation on your venue’s wedding page, can they do a review for you on Trip Advisor or can they put a review on your personal LinkedIn page? All of these are good for your venue and also good for you personally.

Three still shots of hand written thank you cards | Kelly Chandler Consulting

Ask for a really juicy testimonial – what I mean by this is that I’ve had some wonderful thank-yous over the years but some of them haven’t quite “nailed it” in terms of describing what I’ve done. That is often because most people find it difficult to write a testimonial with a blank page in front of them. So don’t be afraid to guide them a bit, particularly if you’ve worked with a client with a good story. Perhaps they came to you having been let down by another venue, perhaps they really struggled to find what they wanted elsewhere, perhaps you really worked with them to make some unusual element of their wedding possible? If that’s the case, ask them to word it or even word it yourself and ask them to OK it – not all clients love the written word, so be prepared to do the work yourself and you will reap the rewards.

I hope I’ve urged you to dig deep in your files and pull out those amazing testimonials. And if you’re feeling a bit low in energy as wedding season continues, then this could be just a quick boost to re-ignite you!

Do you find these blog posts useful in shaping your wedding venue’s offering? There is LOTS more content like this in my training events. Autumn dates are now booking so take a look here at all the training options from bite-sized evening over a glass of prosecco to one-day intensive.

Images:  Pendrell Hall // Polhawn Fort  //  La Banque De Fleuve  //  Broxmouth Park  //  My Perfect Wedding  //  Longlook Farm  // The Bespoke Wedding Company // Red Berry Digital 

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.

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