Fewer Marriages But More Venues

Why It’s Hard To Book Receptionsmoney

Marriage rates are at an all-time low.  Wedding venues are at an all-time high.  Why are there more venues?

1. Private homes, barns, restaurants, zoos, and museums have opened their doors to weddings.  This is a new concept.

2.  This generation of wedding couples want to post and share a wedding locale that no one has seen before.  They no longer say,“ My cousin got married at the country club.  I want that, too.”

3. Venues are frustrated because couples see each venue as replaceable.  The infinite list of reception possibilities make it hard to gain loyalty.

4. Millennials are used to curated content, restaurant reviews, tv shows, podcasts, and even relationships.  Specialization creates a marketplace where nothing is mainstream.  Everything is custom built for its user.  The same goes for venues your venue has to feel like it was custom-built just for them.  This doesn’t make economic sense. You can’t just knock down your venue and rebuilt for every new customer.  “In our area, we’ve added several venues even with a 10% overall population drop.  In our area, a couple of hotels opened only to be replaced by new hotels months later.  About four barn venues opened that are very busy.  The zoo even opened more [special event] rooms.  The wedding industry was an easy entry post-recession.  The pie just keeps getting sliced into smaller pieces.”  Bob, Grand Lubel

5. Potential venue owners do fake math”.  Patrick Riedlinger, ” The potential venue owners notice that a wedding property in their area charges $6,000 for Friday and Saturday weddings and come up with about 106 Friday and Saturday nights. They multiply the 106 times the rental fee and come up with a possible income of $636,000 a year.  They forget to calculate in the cost of personnel, electricity, advertising, and maintenance.  They also forget how incredibly hard it is to run a successful venue.

As a venue owner, how do you stand out and increase revenue?

6.  Brides and grooms are tired of your overplayed open houses.  If the experience stands out so will your venue.  Learn more about themed open houses, fake weddings for real sales, and the venue walk through.  Attend this class called AFTER HOURS with Dona Liston at Lambermont Events on Monday, October 2nd at 2:00 pm.

7. If venue’s online images are on trend she will have an easier time envisioning herself getting married at your property.  Don’t miss the VENUE TREND REPORT with The Knot on Tuesday, October 3rd at 3:00 pm.

8. A venue is only as strong as its weakest salesperson.  The wedding couple wants you to reduce your venue’s price without eliminating anything from their price list. How do you make them feel like you have compromised without reducing your price?  This must see class is on Monday, October 2nd at 1:00 pm hosted by Hunter Lowder the CEO of Holman Ranch.

9. The most challenging task for wedding couples is to find a venue that matches their theme and personality.  How do you implement easy fixes to modernize your venue?  Revamp seating plans and freshen up the outdoor spaces all without losing money?  Come to Don McDougal’s class from Grand Tradition Estate And Gardens on Tuesday, October 3rd at 3:00 pm.

10. Grow your venue in challenging times with Bill Zaruka on Monday, October 2nd at 4:00 pm the class is INCOME PROPERTY. Under Bill’s leadership, Wedgewood has grown from a single-unit family business in 2003 to a 36-venue nationwide wedding powerhouse

Click here for the rest of the wedding venue track along with 100 other class choices. http://weddingmba.com/media/wysiwyg/Schedule-Download.pdf 


12 Responses

  1. Chris Erdos says:

    What trends for venue types have you noticed in your market?

  2. Before deciding to open a venue, I did so much market research and I searched for years to find a piece of property that could offer many options to our couples and avoid the “cookie cutter” wedding. I carefully thought out our pricing by putting pen to paper and calculating all of our costs. We are always updating and adding, stay in top of the latests trends, and maintaining a historic plantation. The past year alone I have seen several venues open with barely standing buildings they try to pass off as a barn, and it seems like they overnight decided, “hey, lets make our place a venue.” They put out a price that is half of ours and crank out one wedding after another, but you hear through the vendors how bad it really was and how unhappy the couples were. How do we make this generation of couples understand that you get what you pay for. There is a reason our prices are what they are, and these pop up venue’s are actually hurting the wedding venue industry. Everyone lately it seems has attented a wedding at one of these budget venues, then come to us with the nightmares and a bit of attitude because they are afraid it will happen to them. Then they want us to meet the price of the place they were just complaining about. Really?
    I’m not saying that we never have mishaps. They happen. But that is why we have a great team of preferred vendors, so when they do, we can deal with it in such a way, your guests will never know. You get what you pay for.
    It is a very frustrating situation.

    • Shannon says:

      Suzanne- I agree with what you are saying. I wonder how we can help the wedding couples understand why some venues charge more. I have a few classes on this and I know you are not alone. All our venue speakers deal with these same issues. I think sometimes we understand why our prices are more but brides and grooms need help. Thank you for your sooo true comment. Shannon

  3. In our market, we have a handful of conventional reception venues as well as some of the newer concept venue options mentioned above. As a coordinator and resource to my clients, if they haven’t picked their venue yet, I try to get them to talk about what type of a reception they are hoping to have, what components they in mind (cocktail hour, outdoor reception, etc.). Based upon their answers, we start exploring venue possibilities. I love a venue that is in effect, a blank slate so that through styling and adding the personalities of our clients, we can transform the space into a unique, one-of-a-kind experience.

  4. I agree with this 100%. There are so many venues popping up in the area that its insane. There are not enough brides to fill them. We’ve had so many people that own resorts and hotels and then decide to pass them off as wedding venues. They are so uninformed that they call us, “Wedding Coordinators” for help on what to do. I’ve had 3 new venues reach out to me in the last couple of months asking for advice on weddings.

  5. Shannon says:

    Oh wow! I believe it. I think people assume that Wedding Pros have an easy job. But we don’t.

  6. As a wedding decor supplier, I think venues could do more than offer their standard venue decor package. Couples get bored with seeing the same centrepieces, glasses, cutlery and so on. Why not hook up with a supplier who has cool stuff, and let the couples pick’n’mix to make their wedding truly unique. One other benefit: you don’t hold the stock therefore it’s easier on your venue balance sheet!

  7. Marilyn says:

    I have a venue with a blank slate. My backyard. I would like to perform weddings in my backyard the bride and groom can decorate utilizing their own ideas that fit their personalities. They have a small budget to work with but would like to have a beautiful wedding. They can use their wedding planners or family members. Please reply. Thanks.

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Marilyn, Your venue sounds lovely. I hope you attend the Wedding MBA this year I know you will get a lot of great info and meet some amazing venue owners. Shannon

  8. Stephanie says:

    We are a brand new event center that is lucky to be municipally owned. As such, We have been able to reflect our prices to show we are a municipality (offering county resident discounts, etc). However we have a classic reception hall look, and while down the road I think this will serve us well (classic representation), it can present challenges for today’s brides who want uniqueness Another problem we have found is that the brides want all inclusiveness. For instance, we offer linen rental, but do not stock our own linens privately (we are priced below market however). I have found that this turns some away as they don’t want to have to think about that factor (even though it is my job to do the thinking for them:) ). Another thing we have done to make things more attractive is the fact that we don’t require the use of our preferred caterers and other vendors etc. for their event, although we recommend they use them if they don’t have someone in mind already, that way we feel more in control if things go awry.
    We have only been open a few months and are starting to see steady traffic at our facility, however we are still wrestling with the “newness” factor and needing brides to take a chance on us. I am hoping that in the end, our customer service, reasonable pricing and classic look, will continue to grow our wedding business.

  9. Shannon says:

    Hi Stephanie, It sounds like your venue is off to a great start. It takes everything you’ve got emotionally and financially to get your business off the ground. I hope you attend the Wedding MBA this year and learn from other venue owner’s expensive mistakes that they would love to take back in a heartbeat. As for the classic venue there is a look for everyone. Not every bride will like your venue but that’s okay you only need to book a percentage of the weddings in your market. Hope to meet you this year in Vegas. Shannon


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