No matter what, a wedding venue can always try new things to boost profits and stand out amongst the competition. From visiting your website to booking your space, the way you interact with customers — both couples and planners alike — makes all the difference between the average wedding venue experience and a truly great one. Explore these 12 ideas to learn how to make your wedding venue stand out and maximize profits in exciting new ways.
How can I improve my wedding venue sales?
- Create a wedding venue social media strategy that is polished, consistent, and targeted towards a specific type of audience.
- Review your marketing analytics to find your best source of leads, then invest in developing it further.
- Get in front of more people by optimizing your website for SEO, guesting on wedding-related podcasts, and partnering with related companies such as florists to promote your venue.
- Make planning easier by adding 3D event diagramming, custom floor plans, and virtual tours to your services.
- Work with a PR agency or join Help a Reporter to get placements in high-value magazines, news outlets, and TV segments.
Explore 12 ways to make your wedding venue stand out:
In addition to the ideas listed above, make your venue website, reputation, and customer service stand out without changing anything about your space by following these 12 tips and tricks.
1. Get featured on Wedding Spot.
Wedding Spot is a unique search engine for wedding venues that allows visitors to find venues by location, style, keyword, and more. The biggest draw for couples to this website is Wedding Spot’s ability to create on-the-spot quotes so planners know what to expect before taking the next steps. Wedding Spot also gives users the option to click-through and get a custom quote directly from the wedding venue. Visitors can even skim options for catering, event staff, and BYOB spaces. Enter your wedding venue details into Wedding Spot’s vendor signup, or contact their sales team to get custom pricing for your listing.
"Wedding Spot sends us the most qualified, most motivated leads," said Julia Henning-Silva of Wedgewood Weddings. "The conversion rate of inquiry to appointment for Wedding Spot was 75% ... Wedding Spot destroyed the competition!"
2. Offer flexible reservations.
Given the effect of COVID-19 on wedding venues, it’s no surprise that flexibility has become a major factor in wedding planning for couples. It's more important now than ever for wedding venues to be recognized for their customer service, as that is something that will remain important in the public eye moving forward.
Offer your couples the opportunity to discuss options first. Scenarios that lead to upset couples and a reputation hit can be prevented with better communication. If you choose to include a flexible reservation policy, make it a selling point on your website like Auberger Resorts has. Create a pop-up on your website that quickly summarizes your policy and gives visitors a button they can click to learn more.
3. Introduce yourself.
Wedding venues can help book more clients by using the storytelling approach. A recent study has proven what behavioral scientists have known for decades: Humans connect through story. Why? We innately enjoy presentations of self in our everyday life. And when we see others doing the same, we love to compare and contrast our sense of self to theirs. When we find similarities, we form a strong emotional bond with that person, place, or thing.
For example, the Wedding Barns of Maine includes an entire page dedicated to “Your Hosts” on their website. The bios of the venue owners portray a relatable story filled with their struggles, triumphs, and values. It'd be hard not to connect with them simply from reading about their journey. Take advantage of the psychological phenomenon by making your wedding venue story all about the owners, a historical connection to the community, or a value system. Doing so will help website visitors connect on a significant level and ultimately book your venue over other, similar ones in the area.
4. Feature jaw-dropping photography.
Everyone wants to have their wedding at a beautiful venue, which is why photography is so important. Highlight the most attractive part of your wedding venue upfront and center on the homepage of your website.
When visitors land on the Weddings of Distinction New Jersey website, they see a stunning image of the Bonnet Island Estate, one of their premier wedding venues. In the image, you can see a sunset view behind their main dining hall as well as the waterfront dock and a newly-married couple sharing a magical moment.
To get breath-taking shots like that one, hire a professional photographer to take marking photos. Or, if you prefer to take the photos yourself, consider the key principles of any jaw-dropping photo:
- The rule of thirds: Use the right proportions to make the photo more interesting.
- Focus: For example, in the Bonnet Island Estate photo, there is a beam of light between the couple looking at each other, which clearly draws the eye to that spot and makes the viewer feel like they want to know what it would be like to be that couple.
- Lighting: If you do choose to go with models, make sure that you shoot in Burst Mode, which is available on most smartphones and nice cameras. And consider shooting on days with overcast or cloudy weather for the best possible lighting.
If you already have great pictures but want to add an extra multimedia experience, consider doing what Oheka has done and include drone footage at the top of your website. It's unexpected, beautiful, and gives the viewer a unique perspective on your wedding venue.
5. Advertise a variety of styles.
Some DIY wedding planners need help choosing venues because they can't quite picture what it would look like when they apply their own chosen style. Give them a hand by creating landing pages for two to three main styles that work well within the architecture and vibe of your wedding venue. Create a landing page for each that showcases past events with that theme as well as food, decor, and layouts.
Also, include variations of themes within each category for even more variety. For example, if your wedding venue is rustic, you may want to show off some of your modern farmhouse-style weddings, too.
When creating the landing pages, include keyword phrases that relate to your chosen styles to improve your SEO. After, help your website rank even farther up on Google's first page by adding educational blog posts about those wedding styles on your website and linking to each specific landing page.
And while you're at it, don't be afraid to create a few Pinterest boards dedicated to each style. Most American brides use them for theme inspiration anyway, so collecting the best of the best content for each of your chosen themes will help lead them to your wedding venue website faster.
6. Showcase every season.
If you want to book your wedding venue out all year long, you have to show couples what they're getting during every season. This means including FAQs about indoor and outdoor space options for heating and cooling. This also means taking photos and videos of your property during every type of weather the site experiences throughout the year.
Showing every season gives couples ideas for how to decorate, what themes to choose, and realistic expectations for their chosen dates. Include weather highs and lows, geographical concerns such as snow on winding roads, and value adds such as snow chains or tire coupons in the winter.
7. Include unique packages.
Who says wedding venues are just for weddings? One of the world’s most popular event centers, Rockefeller, offers unique packages for wedding-related events. In addition to bridal showers and bachelor dinners, why not offer couples the chance to book their elopement ceremony or engagement at your space, too? You can even offer discounts for couples who book multiple events such as their wedding ceremony, reception, and engagement at your venue. Offering packages like these also allow for additional sponsor or partnership opportunities with florists, caterers, and event designers.
8. User-test your website.
User-testing for websites is a common marketing practice used to help sort out issues concerning usability, clarity, and overall branding. You can hire a third-party firm or ask a few volunteers to test your wedding venue website and determine whether or not it stands out.
The key is to test for one thing at a time. Not sure what to test? Look for insights into where visitors are dropping off or what their behavior is after landing on your booking page. For example, ask participants of one user-testing session to find and book an available wedding date in June. Without providing additional context to the group, give them a link to your website and ask them to perform this task. Give them a rating sheet that captures feedback for key components such as design, ease-of-use, and persuasion on a scale from 1 to 10.
Also, make sure to leave a space for open-ended questions that you think are important based on what you've learned from your analytics. After, use what you learned to improve your website then compare and contrast your Google Analytics data from before implementing the new method to see if progress has been made.
9. Start an email newsletter.
Fifty-nine percent of marketers believe that email newsletters influence purchase decisions. For wedding venues, an email newsletter serves as a marketing tool and a new source of income. Not only do they give you a chance to consistently build relationships with your audience, they also offer additional money-making opportunities. For example, you can offer ads to local partners such as florists and event designers. You can even share insights through DIY wedding planning courses and ebooks to make additional passive income.
10. Film video testimonials.
Video testimonials require more effort, which is why most wedding venues don't include them on their websites. However, the return on investment can be significant. When potential clients watch real customers putting their faces and names on the testimonial, they know that it's real.
To do this, you can ask couples to film testimonials at home after the wedding is over. Or invite them to a professional video production day at your wedding venue and film them with a small crew so that each video has consistent lighting, sound, and design.
11. Teach DIY wedding planning.
Empower couples to see for themselves what your venue has to offer by teaching them how to plan their dream wedding. Show them how to create the perfect layout in your space using event diagramming tools, share day-of wedding tips, and let them know how they can personalize the decor you already provide.
Next, turn this advice into pins on Pinterest, a podcast, or free downloadable content. You may even want to create a certification course for beginner wedding planners that is specific to your venue type or location. Not only does this increase repeat visitors on your wedding venue site, it also builds trust with your brand. More people are apt to recommend your venue to others because they've already had a positive experience with it — even if they’ve never stepped through the doors.
12. Answer FAQs.
Don't leave anything up to the imagination. Be upfront about what questions you get asked and what your standard answers are. Even though your goal is to get as many people as you can to contact your sales team or venue manager, being transparent by giving as much information upfront as you can will help build trust with potential clients.
It's also a great reference point for people who have already booked with you and need quick answers. For example, you may want to include how many people the venue can hold. It seems like a simple question, but it may be one that's overlooked during the venue search process. Answering these ahead of time will make your website visitors more comfortable and increase the likelihood of booking later on.
Follow these steps to help make your wedding venue stand out!
Up next, learn how to create a wedding venue business plan to find even more ways to get couples to choose your venue over the competition.