5 Tips for Starting the Perfect Wedding Venue

5 Tips for Starting the Perfect Wedding Venue


There are few things that people splurge more
on than their own wedding. American couples spend an average of $29,200
on their wedding, and more than 60% of their budget goes to…you guessed it…ceremony
and reception venues. Starting a wedding venue is a big financial
commitment, but it can also be a very fun and lucrative business idea that’s sheltered
from the up and down fluctuations of the economy. In this video, I’m going to cover five must-know
tips for starting a wedding venue. We’ll also cover a bonus tip at the end,
so make sure you keep watching. Tip number one: Know that location is everything. The number one factor in your wedding venue’s
success is location. For starters, you’ll need to think about whether
you want your venue to be in a bustling downtown area, or do you envision something more rural? Do you want to appeal to couples who live
locally or those who are traveling from out of town for destination weddings? Do you want to support ceremonies, receptions,
or both? How many guests will the venue support? If you’re acquiring a venue from an existing
owner, then the location is already decided for you, but if you’re starting from scratch,
you’ll probably need to do more work. That industrial looking warehouse or cute
cottage that’s for sale near you might make a great wedding venue. But, you need to have a good grasp on zoning
laws and local regulations to make sure that you can make it your own. Tip number two: Set yourself apart from competitors. There’s plenty of competition within the wedding
venue industry, so you really need to have that “wow” factor to make couples choose
your venue over an alternate option. The key is to research and learn your local
market really well. Find out what your competition is offering,
and then do something different. For example, if you find that most venues
in your hometown can only accommodate about 100 guests, consider investing money in a
larger venue. Or, if your venue comes with a lot of land
or a body of water, consider offering activities for wedding guests like hiking or boating. Keep in mind that young engaged couples do
80% of their wedding planning online, so your website really needs to pop. As soon as people land on your venue’s website,
they should see pictures of happy couples that have been married there. Along with their testimonials, you also should
make it easy for couples to contact you, get a sense of your venue’s cost, and schedule
a viewing of the venue online. Tip number three is to have a renovation and
financial plan ready to go. Once you acquire or build your wedding venue,
you’ll probably want to upgrade or renovate it, but you don’t necessarily need to make
every change right away. In fact, you and your contractor probably
want to focus just on the essentials before your grand opening. For example, you’ll want to make sure that
sufficient parking is available for guests, that kitchen equipment is in working order,
and that your outdoor spaces look good. You can always make other changes or additions
over time based on guest feedback. Next, you need to figure out how you plan
to cover the cost of intended repairs. If the repairs are very expensive, then you
might need to apply for a personal loan or business loan. You can also use your own savings to host
the first few weddings and then reinvest the income you get back into your business so
you can make improvements in stages. Tip number four: Establish a network of reliable
vendors. You can provide huge value for brides and
grooms by recommending a network of vendors for photography, decorations, DJs, and more. Especially when a couple is traveling from
out of the area, they’ll appreciate the local knowledge that your vendors might have. For instance, if you can work with a photographer
who has experience filming in and around your venue, that basically serves as free marketing
for your venue and boosts the attractiveness of your venue. Sometimes, vendors will even provide couples
a discount if they book with your venue, and that kind of cross promotion can really jumpstart
your business. Tip number five is to ask happy customers
to spread the word. Our last tip is to make sure that your happy
customers let engaged couples know just how much they loved getting married in your venue. Ask customers to leave reviews on Google and
Yelp. Many brides also narrow down venues on The
Knot and WeddingWire. Your venue should also have a strong social
presence, so that customers can tag you in their posts. On your website, a well-placed testimonial
and portfolio of weddings that your venue has hosted can make a big difference. To finish up, we have a bonus tip for wedding
venue entrepreneurs. When you first launch your wedding venue,
you might be tempted to get ramped up as fast as possible, but starting slow can actually
work in your favor. For instance, you might want to offer low
pricing to get your first few weddings booked. Then, as your customers leave positive reviews,
you’ll feel justified in raising the price. And those are our tips for starting a wedding
venue where engaged couples will love to say “I do.” For more tips on opening and running a small
business, head over to fundera.com/blog, and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more
videos. Thanks for watching, everyone.

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