It’s no secret that 2020 had a major impact on the wedding industry — especially wedding venues. But when things got tough, wedding venues got creative and we’re sharing some of those creative ideas today! Take a look at 5 ways wedding venues are wooing couples these days.
7 WAYS WEDDING VENUES ARE ATTRACTING COUPLES
Coming out of a year full of hard questions and pivoting strategies, wedding venues are putting their best foot forward — and couples are getting the benefit. We’re seeing lots of venues that have reworked their layouts, bridal suites, and general offerings.
Here are some just of the ways more and more venues are attracting wedding couples to book with them.
1. Being Tech-Friendly
In 2020, venues took a big leap forward in their digital footprint to still connect with couples trying to plan a wedding during the pandemic. Couples overwhelmingly responded to venues with quality virtual tours — that were also social-friendly with easy-to-digest content like this social-focused tour from The Barn at Willowynn by Brandlink Media.
While virtual tours aren’t new, this fresh approach is a relatively new one and the statistics back up the success rates!
- Customers age 18-34 are 130% more likely to book a place if there is a virtual tour.
- 50% of adult users on the internet rely on virtual tours in their research and decision-making process.
- Customers spend 5-10 times more on a website that offers virtual tours. (Source: Digital In the Round)
In addition to virtual tours, more wedding venues are offering live stream options for the ceremony.
2. Flexible Spaces and Dates
When the first wave of the pandemic hit and weddings were being cancelled or rescheduled, wedding venues stepped up with some creative solutions to help couples be able to get married even in the face of number restrictions. Venues that previously catered to large groups found ways to create an intimate space on their grounds to accommodate elopements, mini-monies, micro weddings and more.
Venues also opened up their calendar to allow for more midweek and morning openings. This is one trend that has stuck around — and we foresee more of this in the future!
3. Styled Shoots (For Inspo + Exposure)
Yes, styled shoots have been around before, but wedding venues took this to a new level of collaboration during COVID. With their spaces going unused and other wedding vendors dealing with an open calendar, we saw a significant uptick in collaborative styled shoots filling the Instagram feed.
This is a great way to showcase how couples can use the actual space — and collaborating with other vendors gives venues an added boost of exposure.
4. Onsite Lodging
A good number of wedding venues took 2020 as an opportunity to upgrade their facility and for many this meant expanding into onsite lodging. Vacation rentals skyrocketed last year as families couldn’t travel traditionally or stay at hotels for a while. For some couples planning a wedding, onsite lodging became a real priority.
Venues like Aspen Ranch took things to the next level with their accommodations for up to 38 guests. Below, is a quick tour of some of their newly-completed onsite lodging —
Bonus: Sweet Suites
It’s no longer just about a space to get ready. Venues are taking things to the next level of luxury — and convenience with their bridal and groom suites.
One example of this is D’Vine Grace Vineyard’s completely remodeled bridal suite complete with a bridal platform with surrounding mirrors.
5. Rental Decor
Chairs, tables, and decor — oh my! With all the micro weddings and mini-monies, wedding venues that had all-inclusive features like chairs and tables won out.
Couples and wedding planners alike look for the convenience and quality of these included pieces — and it plays into the final decision of which wedding venue to book.
6. Getaway Cars
As we’ve covered, couples have enough stress. Wedding venues who reduce that stress win big and one area we see growing is the expansion of a getaway fleet. Some venues offer the fleet themselves and others have a dedicated partnership.
Aspen Ranch made sure their couples will getaway in style — that means in a Rolls Royce Ghost or one of its other luxury or sport vehicles.
7. Showcasing Their Uniqueness
For some wedding venues, this means highlighting the history of their space. For other venues, this means sharing the mission behind their business — and who benefits when couples book them.
For example, when couples book Aspen Ranch, they help bring awareness to animal rescue.
Or, couples who book a state or national park — or museum, etc., help fund their work.
LESSONS WEDDING PROS CAN LEARN FROM WEDDING VENUES
- Review how user-friendly your services and information are and shore up any weak areas. Consider investing in quality virtual tours, virtual meetings, and other digital resources if there is a limitation on meeting in person again. Plus, couples have become used to that way of life, so it’s a good practice in general.
- See if any old practices and processes hold you back from attracting customers in this new wedding planning climate. Are there any areas you can review to open up opportunities for my clients within your current structure? Like wedding venues began opening up their space and their calendar, there may be new things you can try too.
- Make life more convenient for couples. There are so many vendors to book and services to consider. Wedding venues now offer chairs, tables, and even decor as part of the standard booking fee. See if there is any way to enhance your offer with a little shift or an opportunity for an upsell.
- You don’t have to discount to be attractive to couples. Throw out the old ideas that you have to discount services to attract clients. Consider how you can add services or amenities to make their experience better or their planning easier. The answer could be more products even if that means higher pricing. Couples find value in convenience.
Check out more trending topics in the Wedding Industry here.
Written by Corrie McGee
Photo Courtesy of Aspen Ranch