Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And what might make one couple watery eyed and besotted could indeed leave a different couple feeling…well…not very much at all.
But as the wedding industry landscape changes so too do the priorities of wedding planning couples, and whilst we cannot say in absolute terms what will make every bride or groom tick, we can’t ignore the trends we’ve identified whilst working with wedding venues throughout 2017.
Here are five key things that couples want from wedding venues today and key trends you should be aware of going into 2018…
1. Beautiful scenery
Unsurprisingly, couple’s look for impressive landscapes and beautiful backdrops when choosing a wedding venue. Couples want to achieve the wow factor and impress their guests, and they want beautiful scenery to form the background of their wedding photographs.
Now your wedding venue doesn’t have to be a manor house set in rolling countryside to reel in landscape-loving couples; success is dependent on how creative you are with the photography you use to advertise your wedding venue.
Include as much scenery in photographs as you can but if your venue is set in a city centre or has limited surrounding natural beauty make the most of nearby scenic opportunities. If your venue sits adjacent to a beautiful park include photos of a bride and groom there; if a village a few streets away makes for a great backdrop, grab your camera kit and take a few shots there.
It’s all about offering the best your local area has to offer and showing newly engaged couples what their wedding photos could look like should they choose your venue. You’re the expert of your local area so make your landscape work for you
2. Couples are willing to spend more for perfection
Couples are certainly still cost conscious but the majority are also more willing now than ever before to stretch their budget if you can offer them their perfect wedding venue.
And what makes your wedding venue perfect for each couple is heavily based on your ability to be flexible and offer each couple the opportunity to customise your venue to suit their big day.
You should focus on selling your space and ideas of how the couple in question could utilise different areas of your venue in different ways.
Empty rooms won’t get couples excited so if you can’t set up a demonstration of how their wedding could look be sure to talk through ideas and show photographs of rooms decorated for previous weddings.
Be sure to let couples know that they can decorate and transform your space to suit them – personalising lots of little elements to make their big day truly unique to them.
Tip: Be transparent with your pricing. Couples are willing to spend more if you’re open, honest and work with them to build a wedding package that fits. List your pricing parameters and share photographs and details of wedding open days at your venue on your Bridebook profile for free to attract more couples in 2018.
3. Photographs of real weddings at your venue
One of the most important marketing tools at your disposal are photographs of real couples and real weddings held at your venue.
Couples want to see examples of how weddings look and how certain spaces are used. This helps them to imagine their own wedding day at your venue which in turn, makes it much more likely that they’ll choose to book with your venue.
Getting hold of these kinds of photographs is largely dependent on you forging good relationships with local photographers. Strike up a deal in which you promise to include the photographer on your preferred supplier list in exchange for access to a handful of the photo’s they take for each wedding held at your venue. Or take your own photographs with a good quality camera and ask permission from the couple to use them after the wedding.
Tip: choose a photograph of your favourite real wedding to use as your Bridebook profile photo and show newly engaged couples what they could have if they chose to get married at your wedding venue.
4. The bar is a big deal
It’s no secret that us Brits know how to have a good time (ahem…drink). So it should come as no surprise to learn that bars are important business. Couples are more interested in having well stocked open bars at their wedding now more than ever before.
Ensure your wedding venue advertises a good bar space and include various examples and creative options on how to dress the bar and make it into a fantastic feature of the evening.
Couples are loving signature cocktails so include this as an option, and advertise a qualified mixologist as part of your bar package to wow couples and their guests. The bar is evening entertainment in itself.
5. Indoor / outdoor wedding options
Couples are loving the idea of outdoor weddings but unfortunately, the UK climate isn’t really best placed to reassure us that this is always possible!
Being able to offer both indoor and outdoor spaces to newly engaged couples is really important and could mean the difference between you securing a booking or not.
Work with whatever outdoor space you have to offer – whether a large lawn or a rooftop deck – and showcase photographs of the space being used for weddings on your website, on your Bridebook profile and on all marketing materials.
If you’ve not got any outdoor space to offer, try bringing a little of the outdoor indoors! Adorn your wedding reception rooms with bundles of floral arrangements and hanging plants to show how romantic flowers indoors can be as beautiful as anything anyone else has to offer outdoors.
Now you know what couples look for in wedding venues today, make sure you’re marketing your assets in the right way to attract more couples and secure more bookings in 2018.
Have you identified any other trends in couples searching for wedding venues this year? Share your feedback in the comment section below.