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 for this to nurture; this is not a quick fix strategy. In my view you can’t beat the opportunity to meet in person. Whether that’s via a private visit or via a familiarisation event which 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. 

No to the 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 with a large guest list 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 and not personal enough).  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 wedding planners all the time about these approaches.

Wedding planner on her way to a hosted FAM trip event

Fine tune your venue’s offering

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/multi-day 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.

Wedding planners being hosted by wedding venues
Mix and Mingle event by the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (www.ukawp.com) an excellent resource for finding vetted professional independent wedding planners
Images of champagne on a bar ladies talking | Kelly Chandler Consulting

The full experience so that they can position you to their wedding couples with confidence

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 a special 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.

Canapes and champagne at a wedding venue familiarisation trip

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.

Kelly Chandler Wedding Venue Consultant, former independent wedding planner

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: Long Road – Flickr/Alan Amati via If The Devil Had Menopause //  Wedding Planner Event Collage – event hosted by the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners  with photos by 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 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.

Read More

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

Creating that powerful first impression with paper goods

Vaishali Shah, founder of luxury stationery company Ananya Cards, creates and designs some of the most gorgeous stationery for wedding couples. In this blog, Vaishali will guide you through how you can create an amazing first impression with stationery designed to resonate with your couples and give that ‘WOW’ factor that takes venue appeal to another level.

Read More about Creating that powerful first impression with paper goods
mockuuups-floating-ipad-pro-mockup-left02

free guide:5 Wedding Venue Must-Haves

Complete your name and email in the box and I’ll send you my expert venue consultant's advice on what you need to create, build, renovate or update to fill your venue’s wedding diary.
 
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.