9 Ways to Market Your Wedding Venue

By Caroline Cox | 5 min read

For many people, a wedding is the biggest party they’ll throw in their entire lives. There’s no detail too small when it comes to planning these soirees — from napkin colors to sparkler length.

So, it’s no surprise that weddings are some of the most profitable events a venue can host. Because of this, many venues have a whole separate strategy for how they market their wedding venue compared to other events.

One of those venues is El Chorro. Nestled near Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Arizona, they’ve created special social media accounts and website pages to highlight their wedding offerings. We talked to Lindsey Rendon, their senior sales manager, to learn more about the marketing strategies that have led El Chorro’s wedding business to thrive.

1. Optimize your Instagram page

Instagram is #1 for the El Chorro team. “We put a lot of focus on Instagram and social outlets,” Lindsey says. “People are so social driven — how they’re shopping, through photos and tags. We put a lot of attention into Instagram photos, Stories, and wedding features so people can visualize their own wedding here.”

Clearly, it’s working. Not only does El Chorro’s separate wedding Instagram page have more than 10,000 followers, but they now host approximately 80 weddings a year.

They’ve found so much success with Instagram that they don’t even buy ads. “Instagram is our most effective marketing tool, and it’s purely by us being consistent,” explains Lindsey. “Being thoughtful about what and how we post has been our biggest source of getting [couples to book with us]. So many people come to do a tour already knowing what it looks like and what we do.”

2. Leverage national publications

As far as publications go, Lindsey says her team goes for placement in national brands over local ones. “Our target is on a national level,” she says. “Arizona is destination-driven, so we want to have our reach further than just local.”

There are a few ways to be featured in national publications. You can purchase ads, of course. But most industry publications (both print and online) also do wedding features of past nuptials. Work with your couples and their photographers to see if they’re game to have their wedding photos submitted to these magazines. It’s win-win: you get the exposure, and the couple gets to see their big day in print!

3. Partner with local vendors

Wedding industry pros know how crucial it is to form good relationships with local vendors. This gives you a whole extra set of advocates. These businesses can also recommend your venue to planners and engaged couples, and vice versa.

While it’s good to be connected to all types of vendors, it’s especially wise to target those that couples look to at the beginning of the planning process. Think: jewelry stores, restaurants that host engagement parties, and even bridal shops. You can create specific marketing materials to be featured at these places (like business cards or postcards with a special offer). The result: you’re top of mind when the venue-shopping process begins.

Lindsey adds that, to keep these vendor relationships strong, don’t forget to credit them when you post past weddings. “Tagging is really huge,” she says.

“When posting another photographer’s work that also features a vendor, those businesses want to be recognized. It goes a long way — they’ll probably repost and tag it as well.”

This, in turn, provides your venue with even more exposure.

4. Showcase past weddings

Great photos of your space are one thing. Great photos with cake, happy newlyweds, twinkly lights and smiling guests are another. One of the most effective ways to attract people to your venue is to show off the stunning weddings you’ve hosted in the past.

Particularly for newer venues, being proactive about getting photo galleries can help you build a solid portfolio.

“For anyone newly starting out, you definitely have to reach out to photographers, because not all of them are great about sharing photos,” explains Lindsey. These photos can be showcased on your website, social media pages, and other promotional materials (with the photographer and couples’ consent, of course).

5. Don’t forget the industry go-tos

Publications are a quality resource when it comes to marketing your wedding venue. But the go-to sites like The Knot, Wedding Spot, and WeddingWire are not to be overlooked. These online sites get tons of traffic from brides-to-be, and it’s a chance to get more exposure for your space.

There are plenty of benefits to joining an online marketplace. Not only does it help more qualified leads find you, but it can also enhance your company’s credibility and boost your online presence overall.

9 Ways to Market Your Wedding Venue

The Gather Booking Network connects our clients to some of the top online marketplaces for events — learn more about what that means for your business, and check out our latest partners.

6. Pin, pin, then pin some more

Wedding industry pros both new and seasoned know the impact of Pinterest. It’s one of the biggest online platforms for event planning.

Sprout Social reports that a whopping 40 million people a year use Pinterest to plan for their wedding. That means it’s a great place for your venue to be present. But with millions of pins relating to every topic under the sun, how do you make your brand stand out?

This may come as a surprise (wink-wink), but images are key here. They’re the biggest factor that’ll determine whether someone clicks, likes, or shares your hyperlinked photo, otherwise known as your “pin.” Once you’ve amassed a roster of stunning photos, include a caption and a link back to your website before publishing them. It’s also a good idea to follow other industry Pinterest accounts and show their pages some love — they’ll probably do the same for you.

If you want to get even more tech-savvy, you can add Pinterest’s own share button to the photos on your site. This makes it easier than ever for your team and visitors to your site to share your images on the platform.

7. Hit up tradeshows

No matter where you are, there’s probably at least one bridal expo or tradeshow happening in or near your city each year. To boost your business, make it a point to participate! You can opt to buy a spot as a vendor, or simply attend for networking purposes.

Tradeshows are a great way to check out what others in your area are offering, and it’s the perfect time to strike up a conversation with a vendor you don’t know. These meet-and-greets can blossom into valuable connections, both for your business and as a potential industry resource.

If you’ve got the marketing under control and are looking to grow, request a demo to see how we can help.

8. Consider adding a blog to your site

We know, we know — the wedding business is so chaotic, who has the time to blog?! But even if you or a team member can invest just a bit of time every few weeks into publishing posts on your website, it can do wonders for your traffic.

You don’t have to be a wordsmith or publish thousands of words. For more wedding blogs, it’s all about the ceremony photos and, of course, a little background on the couple’s love story. Pair these details with your vendors’ names and any fun asides you want to include, and boom, you’ve got a post!

The Knot agrees, reporting that, by featuring wedding photos on a blog, you can also show other couples the time and care you put into every wedding, pre and post event.

9. Don’t be afraid to try something new

Trying new things is one of Lindsey’s biggest philosophies when it comes to marketing your wedding venue.

“We were one of the first Arizona venues to personalize our account,” she says. “We also do corporate events and have a restaurant, but we created a separate account for our wedding clients because we knew there was a market.”

“Everyone is looking at what’s online, so the more that you put out there and the more you stand out, the more chances you have to reach potential clients.”

Caroline Cox
Content Marketing Manager

Caroline Cox is Gather's Content Marketing Manager. She spends her time crafting blogs, thought leadership pieces, case studies, social media content and more, helping empower restaurants and other event venues to streamline their planning process and grow their events programs with success.

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