10 Ways Wedding Venues Can Increase Their Bookings
Every wedding venue holds the possibility of unlocking an engaged couple’s dream. Each couple will have their heart set on a type of venue, whether it be in the UK or abroad, they know what they are looking for.
As of August 2023, there are 7,850 wedding venues in the UK alone. So, in a bustling and dense industry, how can wedding venues take a step forward and shine amongst the rest?
Newly engaged couples will spend hours scouring the internet for ideas on where to hold their nuptials: whether using a bridal comparison website like Bridebook or simply using a search engine like Google to find the perfect venue for their dream wedding.
With this in mind, how can your wedding venue utilise marketing to attract newly engaged couples?
Whether you’re a seasoned wedding venue owner or a newbie to the wedding industry, we will provide a list of ways to improve your wedding bookings!
1. Stunning Visuals
Photography is one of the most powerful tools a wedding venue owner can use. You want to capture the essence of what your venue stands for and any impressive features.
In a sector dominated by visual aesthetics, you need to stand out among the crowd. Prospective brides and grooms will more than likely make their judgement on the first few images they see of a wedding venue.
You should take time to research professional photographers to capture the beauty of your venue in the best possible light.
Highlight any unique and special parts of your wedding venue, which couples will find irresistible to learn more about. For example, an impressive, grand staircase that brides can envision themselves walking down, or a long driveway with pruned gardens.
Display images of the exterior of your wedding venue in different seasons. Whether covered in crisp, white snow or glistening in the warm summer sun, showcasing your venue can help couples know what to expect if they book a tour.
Make use of past wedding photos. Reach out to previous brides and grooms to ask if you can use their professional photos on your website and social media accounts. Having real-life images can help prospective couples imagine themselves in your venue.
For example, we can use Old Palace in Chester. From the incredible videography on the home page to the impeccable photography displayed on their weddings page; this is what attracts couples to book with a wedding venue.
However, we noticed that Poulton Hall could see an increase in wedding tours and bookings if they updated their photos on their website to showcase what a stunning venue it is. Below, you can see their current website layout and images (October 2023).
We found lots of user-generated images on the platform Instagram, which could easily be integrated with Poulton Hall’s website to showcase its astounding features.
2. Responsive Website
It’s the 21st century, and technology reigns supreme. Your wedding venue needs a well-designed website to showcase its potential.
We live in a world where mobile traffic is increasing. Brides and grooms are utilising mobile devices to search for wedding suppliers on the go and submit enquiries with prospective venues.
A responsive website will ensure content adapts to the user’s screen size, displaying all valuable information and CTA buttons.
Normally, your website is the first point of contact a couple will experience with your venue, so you want it to provide a positive experience.
Again, we can use Poulton Hall as an example. There is no change in the website layout when switching from desktop to mobile view. See below for a comparison of these two screen sizes.
When viewing the website on mobile, the right side of the text cuts off whilst the navigation bar is too small to see. Often, websites turn their navigation bars into ‘hamburger’ bars, where it is hidden out of sight, making the most of the valuable mobile screen space.
An excellent example of a wedding venue website responsive design is Soughton Hall. They have effortlessly optimised their website for mobile users. Below, you can see the design of their mobile view.
In the top-right corner, you can see the ‘hamburger’ menu icon. The images have been resized for mobile, and the text is big enough to be able to read, which is especially important as ‘Find Out More’ is a call to action.
3. Positive Reviews
Emotions run deep and expectations soar high in the wedding industry, which is why you must build credibility with brides and grooms-to-be.
In a world where word of mouth and reputation are important, online and offline reviews are what counts.
Real reviews from past newlyweds are unbiased and can be more persuasive to browsing couples than marketing materials ever can be. For example, if the content on your website describes your venue as ‘picturesque’ and ‘impressive’, but online reviews describe it as ‘underwhelming’ and ‘run-down’, something is amiss!
Reviews also play a significant part in your website’s online visibility. Search engines, like Google, take into account positive reviews making it more likely for your website to appear higher in organic rankings.
On the flip side, you can utilise any negative feedback to make adjustments to your venue or wedding process.
Always remember, you shouldn’t just read online reviews about your venue. You should actively reply and engage with them. Thank couples for their kind words about their wedding day, suggest any steps you will take to resolve any negative reviews and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.
To gain positive reviews, try emailing newlyweds who have gotten married at your venue to ask for a review (whilst they are still in the marriage bubble!). You can even offer incentives like a discount on an anniversary stay to those couples who do leave a review! If you’re thinking of emailing newlyweds, make it as easy as possible for them. Provide them with a link to leave a review directly, instead of instructions on how to do it. Remember, their review might be enough for couples to book with you, generating your income!
For example, Old Palace in Chester has only been open since 2020 as an exclusive wedding venue but has managed to amass 117 4.5 stars and over reviews on Google. This is very impressive! This type of online review could sway a couple to book with Old Palace rather than another venue in the area.
4. Social Media Presence
Engaging in all social media platforms is no longer just an option for wedding venues; it’s a necessity.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook provide wedding day inspiration for couples.
Create your social media posts through repurposing content. For example, you could take a piece of content from your website and create it into an infographic, or turn your videography into a YouTube video to reach a different audience.
By utilising the tip from above, you can showcase your positive reviews on social media, just like Nunsmere Hall does regularly on their Facebook page.
Couples regularly turn to social media for wedding inspiration and to stay updated on the latest wedding go-to trends. By posting about your hacks, tips or even screenshots of positive reviews, you can become a source of information for brides and grooms-to-be.
The more content you post on social media, the more streams of audiences you create and the possibilities for couples to find your venue.
Social media messaging, like Facebook Messenger, offers direct contact between yourself and the prospective couple. Take the time to read through any comments on social media posts or answer any questions sent directly to you. Try to cultivate relationships with your followers online.
Try and maintain a consistent posting schedule. If you haven’t posted for months, users may think you have either closed or are taking a break from trading. Couples like to know what’s going on at your venue.
5. SEO for Wedding Venues
When couples begin their search for a wedding venue, it more than likely starts by typing into Google ‘wedding venues near me’. The result will populate a list of venues within a certain radius to them, along with photos and addresses. These venues are optimised for local SEO.
Local SEO is a strategy that allows a business to be more visible in local search results on Google.
For example, if we type into Google ‘wedding venues near Hooton’, this is the result:
Above, you can see the list of venues within a stone-throwing distance from Hooton, along with a map.
Local SEO makes it more accessible to couples looking to find a wedding venue near them.
To adopt a local SEO strategy, you will need access to your Google Business Profile. This profile allows you to enter your address, opening times, and services and, most importantly, gain any reviews left by couples.
To start with your Google My Business profile, you should:
- Complete all of the fields in the ‘information’ section
- Add at least 15-20 images of your wedding venue
You can even ask other suppliers you have worked with previously to leave you a positive review to build credibility!
You should also research the types of keywords you should target on your website. These keywords will determine the most likely phrases you will rank for in organic search results. For example, if you are a country manor based in Cheshire, like Merrydale Manor, you would target the following keywords:
- Luxury wedding venues Cheshire
- Best wedding venues Cheshire
- Wedding venues in Cheshire
- Manor wedding Venues Cheshire
- Exclusive wedding venues in Cheshire
Based on the above, you would create content based on these keywords and strategically place them in your copy. Which is exactly what Merrydale Manor has done:
Above, you can see that Merrydale Manor has placed the keyword ‘luxury Cheshire wedding venue’ in a prominent place on their homepage.
When ranking in search engine results pages, you want to think about your metadata for your landing pages. This is a short description of the page the user will land on if they click on your listing. It should display any unique selling points, and special offers and contain clickbait to entice the user to explore further into your website.
They have tried to utilise the keyword ‘wedding venue near Chester’ but have forgotten to add the name of their venue to the information. If we were to rewrite this metadata to encourage clickbait and stay within Google’s strict metadata guidelines, it would read something like this:
There is a stark difference between the two. The bottom utilises the wedding venue’s features and awards, drawing the user in. Whereas, the top offers no valuable information to make the user click on this business in search engine results.
The user experience of a website also falls under the category of SEO. If couples have a negative experience with your website, they will feel inclined to leave and not place an enquiry or book a tour.
An issue we found, at the time of writing, with the Leverhulme Hotel & Spa website is its very slow page speed. They failed the core vitals assessment and were unable to score on Page Speed Insights, which flags a vital error on their website. This may bring other user experience issues on their website.
6. Email Marketing
This type of marketing not only focuses on sending the occasional newsletter but also encompasses email as a tool to nurture relationships with potential couples and suppliers.
Email marketing allows you to utilise your already existing email database to send reminders, newsletters, invites and more to prospective couples looking for a wedding venue.
Take this email as an example. I received this email from Thornton Hotel & Spa when I was in the wedding planning process looking for a venue.
I signed up for their newsletter whilst on the hunt for my perfect wedding venue, and Thornton Hall utilised my email to notify me of their upcoming wedding open evening. Even if some recipients have already chosen their wedding venue, they can still attend and engage with the attending suppliers.
In this email marketing campaign, they utilised phrases which would capture the recipients’ attention, like ‘free entry!’.
Wedding venues can also utilise email marketing to showcase their current wedding promotions. For example, if they have a selected number of dates available for the rest of the year, venues often sell these at a discounted rate to fill the gaps. For example, Broadoaks Country House sent me this email showcasing an active wedding offer.
When wedding venues showcase their wedding promotional offers, it encourages engaged couples to feel a sense of urgency to book a tour or even book their wedding venue. However, regarding the above email, it would be beneficial for Broadoaks Country House to include high-quality photography in their email campaigns to remind the recipients what their wedding venue looks like.
If you’re a wedding venue owner considering adopting an email marketing strategy, it’s important to adhere to email marketing regulations and best practices. You need explicit permission from the recipients to send them marketing emails, as well as provide an easy way for them to unsubscribe.
7. Local Advertising
You must capture engaged couples in your local area. You should note that over 80% of couples marry in, or close to, their hometown. So, targeting couples in the same area as your wedding venue is important.
Couples often prioritise convenience when searching for a wedding venue. For example, locations which are a short drive away so they are accessible to friends and family. You should emphasise the geographical location of your wedding venue as this can be a unique selling point.
Above, you can see how they have laid this out, depicting locations users will recognise to gauge the location of the venue. It is a good way of describing your location to prospective couples.
In a competitive market, wedding venues should stand out from nearby competitors by utilising local advertising strategies.
In addition to the above, you should try to establish partnerships with local suppliers in your area. For example, work with venue dressers, florists, entertainment companies and any other additional service that couples may desire, but at a discounted price.
One wedding venue that could improve on its local advertising strategy is Crabwall Manor Hotel and Spa. This wedding venue is impressive, with its landscaped gardens and castle-like building. However, they fail to make use of their convenient location for prospective couples.
Crabwall Manor is close to the M56, allowing for an easy journey for the majority of couples. In addition to this, it is near major shopping parks like Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet and attractions like Chester Zoo.
We would suggest that Crabwall Manor take advantage of their ideal location!
8. Content Marketing
As a wedding venue owner, you will have valuable insight into what couples are looking for or helpful advice you can offer to prospective couples.
Content marketing is a strategic approach to creating and distributing valuable content to attract and engage your target audience.
A good way of producing content is in the form of blog posts. To do this, you will need to have a blog page on your website.
Sandhole Oak Barn has a good content posting schedule. Their blog page offers valuable insight into the wedding planning process and even features guides about their venue, which is useful for couples in the research stage.
Their blog ‘10 Reasons to Have a Winter Wedding‘ is an example of content which would rank well in organic search, enabling you to be discovered by a wider online audience. However, we recommend implementing header titles into the post, helping search engines to read your content better!
An example of a blog which could benefit from content marketing is West Tower. At the moment, they post on average every three months. You should be posting once a week! They do have some forms of blog posts which are insightful but are mainly case studies of previous weddings. A few examples of blog titles which would engage your target audience are:
- 10 Reasons to Book a Wedding Venue in Ormskirk
- When is the Best Month to Book a Wedding?
- 10 Exciting Wedding Centre Piece Ideas to Wow Your Guests
If you are looking for more ideas for content, we have more advice to offer!
We also noticed that Leasowe Castle doesn’t appear to have a dedicated blog page to post content and wedding insights! They could be missing out on valuable custom and footfall into their venue.
Content marketing is a great way to showcase real weddings that have recently taken place at your wedding venue. Display how your venue can be transformed in different styles, themes and colour palettes.
By utilising content marketing techniques, wedding venues can increase their bookings by connecting with couples who otherwise wouldn’t have discovered their venue. By consistently sharing valuable content, you can inspire, engage and guide couples towards choosing your venue over the competition.
9. Virtual Tours
Offering the ability for users to view your wedding venue online is an effective way to showcase your offerings.
Virtual tours provide a highly immersive and interactive experience that allows potential clients to explore your wedding venue from the comfort of their own homes.
Offering a virtual tour breaks down the geographical barriers between your venue and clients. Couples can feel as though they are walking through your venue, taking in every detail and capturing their attention. They can gain a real sense of the space, layout and ambience.
For couples in the early stages of planning, visiting numerous venues can take a lot of time out of their busy schedules. Virtual tours allow them to narrow their choices quickly and efficiently, making your venue more appealing for consideration.
Some types of virtual tours allow for interactive elements, like clickable hotspots displaying important information about the venue. You can customise these features to explain information about catering options, and in-depth detail about unique features or preferred suppliers.
Virtual tours are available round the clock, allowing couples to explore at a time that suits them.
A wedding venue that could benefit from implementing a virtual tour feature is Inglewood Manor. This impressive wedding venue spans numerous rooms and has historical features for couples to take note of. If they adopted a virtual tour strategy, they could see an increase in couples who book their wedding with them.
10. Answer FAQs
Newly engaged couples will be newbies into the wedding world, with numerous questions going through their heads about what to ask each supplier.
Wedding venues can help couples along in this process by featuring a dedicated FAQ section at the bottom of landing pages.
We haven’t found any wedding venue websites currently adopting this strategy to gain more bookings. But, Delamere Manor would benefit from doing so.
On their dedicated Weddings page, it would be really useful to users if they answered the most asked questions to streamline the booking process. If users can find out everything they need to know about a wedding venue instead of contacting them, they will be more inclined to book a meeting in person!
We would recommend placing the FAQs here, along with the FAQ schema:
For example, some FAQs that every wedding venue should have as standard are:
- How much do you charge per head for a wedding breakfast?
- Is there a price difference in each season?
- Where are you located?
- Do you work with other wedding suppliers in the area?
Make your wedding venue stand out among the crowd by adopting this wide range of marketing strategies. It is essential to leverage every tool at your disposal.
At Fly High Media, we are ready to work with wedding venues looking to increase bookings, revenue and online visibility. We are a trusted Google Partner with vast knowledge of SEO, PPC, content creation and social media management.
Soar above the competition by contacting us today!
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