COVID-19 has caused venues to close, cancel and reschedule multiple weddings and celebrations over the last 12 months, with mass repercussions for the entire wedding industry.
This summer is due to be one of the busiest for weddings, with 9 out of 10 couples having postponed their 2020 wedding to 2021, and venues need to be prepared and diligent to ensure their reopening goes as smoothly as possible.
Within this guide, we have shared key insights, our recommendations and resources to support wedding venues over the next few months.
What we know about 2021 weddings*:
- 93% of couples have postponed their wedding to a later date
- 73% will have the same budget to spend towards their big day
- 84% would like to have the same number of guests at their wedding as originally planned
- 73% of couples still wish to go on a honeymoon once travel restrictions are lifted.
- 2021 will see a surge of 650k weddings, bringing the total 2021 number of weddings to 2.77 million versus a normal year of about 2.12 million.
- 2021 average spending will be about £20k
- In 2020 nearly 60% of receptions were either fully or partially outside, compared to 43% in 2019 – this is set to continue
*Based on research The National Wedding Show in partnership with Confetti
Our recommendations for wedding venues
Existing client comms
- Transparency – Couples are already anxious about how their wedding plans will be affected this year so the importance of maintaining regular and transparent communication to update them is more apparent than ever.
- Flexibility – Ensure you’re as flexible as feasibly possible with postponements and cancellations. Your brand’s reputation is at risk and customers will remember those that went above and beyond during the pandemic to accommodate their needs.
- Education – Don’t assume that couples booked for weddings in the coming months are aware of all the changing regulations and help educate them as much as possible to gain their trust. Include all the regulations on your website and in your communication.
- Relationship-building – Let them know you’re still there, even if the venue is closed. Just a message to check in and say hello can go a long way. Include updates on what you have been doing at the venue and any developments or preparations for reopening
Prospective client comms
- Prioritise your website – While everybody’s flocking to the internet for information, ensure that your most recent opening timelines, cancellation policies and wedding packages are both up to date and easy to find. There is going to be more competition than ever online, so your website needs to work hard to be seen.
- Use your social channels to showcase your space – Couples are increasingly turning to social media for wedding inspiration. According to WeddingWire’s 2020 Wedding Report, 75% of couples use social media for ideas and trends during their planning process, so make sure your Instagram/Pinterest showcases your wedding offerings with the best imagery and where possible, share testimonials of clients’ positive experiences.
- Awareness – Do your research and be aware of the changing priorities of couples compared to last year and the years before so that your marketing strategy can reflect these shifts in your messaging.
- Choose the right channels – Compare venue directories and analyse the performance of your existing listings by tracking visits to the website or enquiries in the past 12 months. While budgets are tight, you want to be exhibiting online in the most lucrative places. Also, make sure the content on venue listings and directories is up to date with all your safety information and any updates on packages and offers.
Updated clarification from UK Weddings Taskforce
- Receptions in Step 2: a sit-down meal can take place outdoors providing the venue is a Covid-secure location that is permitted to open.
- Receptions from Step 3 will be permitted indoors in a Covid-secure location that is permitted to open (they cannot take place in private gardens).
- Guest numbers include children and babies.
- From Step 4 weddings: “should be restriction-free. This is dependent on the scientific advice and the results from the Government’s Events Research Programme”.
For more information, visit: https://ukweddings.org/updates
As specialists in hospitality marketing and PR, we develop and deliver integrated communication strategies to support travel, leisure, wedding and MICE businesses in reaching their business objectives.
To find out more about how we can support you in reviewing and developing engaging e-communications, social media and website content, as well as carefully crafting of stories to increase your brand awareness and drive revenue, please contact a member of our team.
Ahead of hospitality’s reopening, we are offering an all-encompassing marketing and PR audit service to support hotels and venues with consultancy that will provide brands clarity of their current positioning and enable them to drive revenue efficiently, and effectively once government-enforced COVID-19 restrictions are lowered. The marketing audit includes an in-depth review and recommendations on brand, audience, PR, competitor analysis, product, website, social media and e-communications. The offer will be available until 31 May 2021. Starting from £4,000. For more information, click here.