Having a wedding venue is a big business opportunity but it takes a lot of work to make it successful. Couples getting married may have very high expectations for their wedding day and venues will have to deliver on those expectations.
Here are our tips on how to successfully start a wedding venue business.
Ask the hard questions and do your research
It is important to make sure that you ask yourself the hard questions. Remember that owning a wedding venue would mean that you may have to work after hours and on weekends. You will also be working closely with engaged couples and their families. You need to evaluate if these are aspects that you are comfortable with. Be honest with yourself about your finances. Can you afford to upgrade your property to be able to function as a wedding venue?
Research the market to see what is out there. Is there a demand for wedding venues in your area? Do some research on competitors in the area to see what they have to offer. What can your venue offer that is unique and which offers guests something different to the competition?
Once you have thought about your business it is time to plan. Set up a business plan for your venue. Remember to be specific about what your venue has and still needs. Does your venue offer accommodation? What changes need to be made to the property? Will you have an onsite chapel? Will you need to build a bathroom? Update the parking? We know these are not the most exciting parts of hosting events but there are very important aspects that engaged couples may not even know they need for their wedding.
Make sure you also start to complete the legal aspects of having a wedding venue business. To operate any venue for weddings and events successfully you will need to obtain the correct licenses. Make sure to also hire the correct staff for your business. Think about who you will need to host an event and fill those positions correctly.
Once sorted all the legal aspects and have an airtight business, it’s time to start building up your portfolio of wedding vendors. Realistically you will not be able to handle all aspects of an event and therefore is it important to create a strong network of professionals in the wedding industry. Perhaps you can partner with an events planner who can help with the creative aspects of your events. Think about the various aspects of a wedding. Can your wedding provide catering, or should you partner with caters in the area? Recommending and working with established vendors also boosts your venue’s reputation in the wedding industry. You can also approach vendors about offering package deals for weddings.
Branding and Marketing
Start organising and planning. What will your venue be called? Do you need a logo? Think about hiring a professional photographer to come to take some pictures of your venue. Most people will research possible venues online so a professional website with excellent images is needed. Focus on creating an attractive, easy-to-navigate user experience that reflects the positive experience your venue offers. Fill your website with specific information and think about writing blogs with content that can help newly engaged couples plan their dream wedding.
Be active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to develop your brand. Many young couples will be researching wedding venues on social media so make sure that you provide visually appealing and specific content. As you partner with known wedding industry vendors, make sure to promote these partnerships on your website and social media platforms. Ask them to do the same to boost your credibility.
Start booking weddings!
Once you have all the above aspects in place you can start booking weddings at your venue. Organise your venue’s calendar and at the beginning be sure to space out events correctly. You can also offer discounts to the first few couples who book weddings with you. Encourage them to tag your business in any of their photographs or posts after the event to boost your social proof. The wedding industry relies heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations, and a happy couple is your best marketing asset.
Remember that, even though you are a new business, you only have one shot every time to host a successful wedding. Good luck with starting your wedding venue business.