23 Oct The Event Manager’s Guide to Running a Successful Wedding Venue
A person’s wedding day is supposed to be one of the greatest days of their life. When two people come together to properly start the rest of their lives together. Family and friends come from all over the globe to help celebrate. The booze flows freely and people dance the night away.
After the big day, the wedding feeling slowly vanishes from the happy couple as real-life continues. They occasionally get to reignite the wedding feeling as they try to find the right wedding anniversary gift every year and remember that happy time.
But the success, or failure of a wedding, isn’t just down to those attending. Primarily it is down to all the activity going on behind the scenes. Those running the wedding venue. Event planning and management is a tricky business. Especially if you are the owner of the venue.
Luckily I have spent a large portion of my life running a pretty successful event space. One that was primarily used for weddings. So if you are looking to open event space and need some tips on how to run it as a wedding venue, I am here to help.
This section is for anyone who has yet to actually secure the real-estate they will be using. This is perhaps the most important part of any successful event venue. Like anything in real-estate location is everything. No one wants to have their wedding next to an industrial estate or near a skip. Rather they want a lovely picturesque building with a lovely view. And if there is a garden, or a large field behind it even better.
Take your time to find the perfect building. In my experience people like locations that can hold the ceremony, dinner, and dancing all at once. Particularly if there is a garden where they can set up a gazebo. You also want to make sure there is space to install a bar. Without it, you will have to waste precious space setting up a makeshift bar, and it will be unruly and ugly.
When planning a wedding, people will settle on what decorations they want. That is out of your hands. But there is a lot you can do before they even see the property to entice them. You want to create a romantic atmosphere. This means playing to the strengths of your property.
If it a barn property for instance you will want to use soft lighting to highlight the rustic nature and make sure all the wooden fixtures are varnished and painted up. If you have a modern hall with a dining room, you will want to have a stylish carpet and color scheme that can be paired well with wedding decorations.
A wedding is a busy affair. They can sometimes feature up to 200+ guests. And that means you need a strong staff behind you. Chances are the wedding party will be hiring in catering. And often these catering companies come with their own wait staff who will be trained up in running the meals.
What falls to you is to coordinate with the wedding party on everything else. This includes when the food is served. You will need to have some staff that can handle the tech, to avoid any sudden technical issues that might occur. You also need a well-trained bar staff that can make a range of cocktails and various other drinks.
But the most important member of the staff will be the general manager. They will be in charge of coordinating everything. Making sure it all goes to schedule. Making sure the catering company is running as it should and is the point of call for the bride and groom.
To that end, you need to spare no expense to hire only the best team you can. Treat them right and look after them.
Worship the Client
The worst part of the customer service industry is, funnily enough, the customers. Everyone in this industry has hundreds of horror stories about customers from hell. But we all know the mantra that ‘The Customer is Always Right’
And when it comes to running a wedding venue this is particularly true. Especially when it comes to the bride and groom. But mainly the bride. Your only job, at the end of the day, is to make sure they are happy. No one else matters but them. If the bride tells you to not serve someone more drinks, you listen. If the bride wants a last-minute change to seating plans, you sort it.
You need to view the bride and groom as your king and queen. When their wedding day is over and they look back on their magical day, you want them to have only fond memories. Because if they do, they are more likely to recommend your venue to their friends.
As an events space, the greatest advertising you can get is through word of mouth. Personal experience is a better seller than any pictures or videos. So dote on the bride and groom. Make them feel special and you will be guaranteed more business in the future.
We hope this guide has been helpful. Taking the plunge into event management is scary. But it is a rewarding career path that can also be extremely profitable.