According to The Knot’s 2019 Real Weddings Study, the average cost of a wedding in the USA is $33,900 — it’s no lie to say that marriage is a lucrative market. Weddings are the perfect opportunity to show a whole party of guests what your unique venue has to offer, as well as making big profits in the process. If you’re running a hotel but struggling to bring in wedding bookings, there’s a range of possible reasons why.
Keep reading to discover our top ten ways to redefine your offering and attract more weddings to your hotel.
1. Create regular wedding content for your venue website
When it comes to showing the world that you’re available for wedding hire, one of the best tools in your kit is content creation. Whether you’re writing blogs or sharing customer experiences, it’s important to keep your site regularly updated with hooks that will attract more weddings.
Here are a few content ideas you could try to get people interested:
- How-to blogs about wedding planning, table decor and everything in between
- A listicle on must-haves for a dream wedding, including links to your venue
- Personal memories or stories collected from your previous brides and grooms
Browsing turns into bookings - remember that!
2. Make sure your wedding venue website is SEO friendly
SEO, or search engine optimization, is key to ensuring the right traffic finds your website. There are many factors that impact how highly your website ranks when it comes to search results, so it’s important to try and hit all of the important markers in your content.
Whether your customers are looking for honeymoon getaways, a destination wedding, or just romantic travel spots, using the right keywords in your content is a must to drive more wedding bookings.
Here are some ways you can make your site as SEO friendly as possible:
- Research and utilize the keywords most associated with your target customer
- Update your content regularly to stay relevant to search engines
- Create a simple checklist to follow based on SEO requirements and stick to it
SEO is the best way to stay relevant and climb those search results. Use it wisely!
3. List your hotel as a venue on a specialized app for wedding bookings
The wedding market is saturated with options for couples planning their marriage, so much so that it can be hard for them to know where to look. Listing your hotel wedding venue on wedding planning sites like The Knot and WeddingWire are a must to boost your exposure. Apps like LOVU are also transforming the way people search for romantic getaways or wedding destinations, so don’t miss out on your chance to reach your target customer directly.
LOVU is the romance travel app making it easier for couples to book trips directly with hotels and travel advisors, specializing in honeymoons, weddings, babymoons and proposals. With LOVU, your hotel will be spotlighted for every potential customer to see, fully equipped with videos and photo galleries, exposed to a whole community of soon-to-be-weds.
If there’s one thing you can rely on to attract more weddings to your hotel, it’s LOVU.
4. Incorporate 360 video venue tours into your marketing strategy
We’ve all heard it before but it’s time for another reminder: virtual reality is the future. When it comes to attracting more wedding bookings to your hotel, giving your potential customers as much information really is essential.
360 video venue tours are a great way to do just that. As well as providing an immersive browsing experience, it’s the perfect way to reach a wider audience who might not live close enough to visit in person. If you want to expand your customer base and go national (or even international!) — this is the best way to do it.
- Adding music, effects and clever editing could enhance the way your venue looks
- Try getting film footage during a real life wedding to bring the experience to life
- Show customers every aspect, from the amenities to the spectacular views
5. Feature a real wedding gallery on your website
When it comes to modern day weddings, visuals are everything. You probably wouldn’t book your dream wedding at a venue without seeing it in action first, so why would you expect your customers to?
Great photography isn’t difficult to achieve, but it will have a huge impact on how many wedding bookings you make in a season.
Why not try out these handy tips for capturing what your customers want to see:
- Capture the venue in both the day and the night for varied ambience
- Show customers the locations available for Instagram-perfect photo opportunities
- Celebrate your married couples and share their wedding snaps on your site
- Optimize your images for use on the web and use SEO friendly captioning
6. Make it easy for potential customers to get in touch about wedding bookings
There’s nothing worse than finding a venue you’re ready to book and then realizing their contact information is nowhere to be found. Marketing your wedding venue is hard enough as it is, so don’t make it even more difficult for your customers to take you up on your services.
Use an RFP form to collect crucial information and allow prospective guests to find out everything they need to know, all in one place.
- RFP stands for ‘request for proposal’
- It’s the best way for customers to outline their wants and needs for their wedding
- Once you know what they’re expecting, you can offer a deal suited to them
It’s the ideal way for customers to get a wedding they’re completely happy with, and it means you know exactly what it is they’re dreaming of.
Big dreams = big paycheck for your venue!
7. Offer lucrative wedding packages and a range of pricing options
As we’ve mentioned, the wedding market is competitive. There are thousands of venues out there offering a whole host of beautiful options for soon-to-be-weds, so setting yourself apart on price can make all the difference.
Here’s our top tips for making sure you score mass wedding bookings while making a profit:
- Be transparent about pricing and the services that come with it
- Create a range of packages to suit a variety of different budgets
- Be realistic about pricing and make sure to charge for extravagant extras
- Weddings should be unique, so make sure to add options for personalization
8. Make your wedding venue inclusive for everyone
As the world becomes a more accepting and inclusive place, more and more people are embracing their true identity. As a result, there are now almost 1 million same-sex households in America, with the number only set to continue rising.
As a hotel wedding venue, you should look to make your services as accessible as possible for every type of couple. Rolling out the red carpet for inclusivity not only means more customers initially, but it also means you’re likely to get plenty more off the back of recommendations too.
Ways you can fly the flag for everyone:
- Use imagery that reflects a diverse range of couples on your website
- Use inclusive language — don’t overuse heteronormative ‘bride and groom’
- Make it clear on your site that you’re open to same-sex marriages at your venue
9. Utilize social media to promote your hotel as a wedding hotspot
Social media is a powerful tool when it comes to promoting your hotel and redefining your offering as wedding-specific. Whether you decide to use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or a combination of the three, it can be an amazing way to spread the word about your brand and stand out from the crowd.
Here are our top tips for showcasing your hotel as a wedding venue on the socials:
- Utilize Instagram to share high-quality photography and video
- Write engaging and informative captions that get people interested
- Facebook is a great platform to build a community of customers
- Everything you post should have a call to action linking back to your site
10. Post positive reviews and testimonials on your website
Reviews are everything when it comes to the success of a hotel, especially where weddings are concerned. Even one bad review could tarnish your entire reputation, so it’s important to spotlight the positive ones as much as possible.
Collect testimonials from previous customers and showcase them on your site in creative ways, accompanied by real photos from the day itself. This will create an authentic reviewing experience and make your potential customers believe in their opinion.
Don’t sleep on your best reviews. Spread them widely and let the world hear about how incredible your wedding services really are!
So, that’s our top ten tips for attracting more wedding bookings to your hotel.
Don’t forget, signing up for the LOVU app is a fail-safe way of driving the right people to your hotel. For more information on how to sign up, visit our site now.
About the Author Shri Lildharrie is the founder of LOVU Travel App and a SaaS business development and hospitality technology specialist. He is also a multi-media pro, and entrepreneur with over 20 years’ digital, travel, marketing, and wedding industry experience. He headed the travel vertical for the world’s leading online wedding resource, TheKnot.com, so knows just about everything there is to know about the business of weddings and romantic travel.