How Modern Couples Research Wedding Venues

Proposal Season Wedding Venues

HOW MODERN COUPLES ARE RESEARCHING AND FINDING THEIR VENUES PLUS STRATEGIES FOR STANDING OUT IN A DIGITAL AGE. EXPLORE WEDPRO’S EXPERT ADVICE TO ENGAGE A GENERATION OF COUPLES WHO LIVE DIGITALLY. 

“Once upon a digital age” meets the search for the perfect wedding! Not too long ago couples would solely seek recommendations from friends and loved ones or leaf through glossy bridal magazines, now they’re swiping and scrolling through social media to pinpoint their dream locations, vendors and wedding venues. As digital platforms ascend and consumer habits shift, the methods by which couples do research and make decisions continually evolve. 

We’re taking a closer look at trends shaping the industry in 2024. How are modern couples finding their dream wedding venues, and how can wedding professionals differentiate themselves in this competitive market filled with noise? 

Digital platforms dominate venue selection

Harnessing Google Search 

According to our 2024 Wedding Industry Report, 73% of UK couples and 66% of Irish couples start their venue search on Google, highlighting the critical need for suppliers and venues to establish a strong online presence to attract modern couples. 

How can venues achieve this? It begins with optimising your website for search engines, ensuring it ranks high for relevant keywords. Engaging in content marketing through blogs, social media, and behind-the-scenes videos can also boost visibility. Additionally, maintaining an active presence on wedding directories like WeddingDates and review sites can further enhance your reach.

“The shift to digital has transformed how venues are discovered, evaluated, and chosen. It presents opportunities for wedding professionals to showcase their unique identity, share behind-the-scenes insights, and connect personally with their audience,” explains Mizan Potgieter, Marketing Specialist at WeddingDates

Finding Visual Inspiration on Social Media 

Social media is the next most popular option for venue research, with 66% of Irish couples and 59% of UK couples turning to platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. For venues, this underscores the importance of presenting an aspirational image on these platforms. 

“Couples are seeking a deeper connection; they’re eager to build relationships and are interested in knowing who will be planning their special day. Venues need to provide that personal touch and reveal the team that will bring their wedding vision to life,” says Mizan.

To capitalise on this trend, venues can showcase behind-the-scenes moments of their staff setting up for events on Instagram Stories, create Pinterest boards filled with previous weddings to spark inspiration, or produce short, engaging TikTok videos that highlight unique features of the venue, such as stunning garden views or elegant reception halls. These platforms not only serve as research tools but also as sources of visual inspiration, allowing venues to engage potential clients with visually compelling content that highlights their distinctive offerings and experiences.

How do engaged couples research wedding venues

Mastering Digital Marketing Strategies

Seeing how crucial digital platforms are for couples picking venues, the big question is: what’s next?  

SEO: The Key to Online Visibility

To capture the attention of couples searching online, you must prioritise search engine optimisation (SEO). By optimising your websites and content for relevant keywords, you can increase your chances of appearing at the top of search results, right where couples are looking.

It’s not enough to copy and paste the content on your website across to other platforms and listings, this can actually damage your ranking. You must provide unique content each time.

Expert Insight: It’s not just about keywords; it’s about creating content that answers the questions couples are asking.

Practical Example: Consider a venue that specialises in outdoor weddings. By creating content around topics like “Top Outdoor Wedding Themes 2024” or “How to Plan a Rainy Day Wedding” you can attract couples looking for specific outdoor wedding advice, increasing your chances of ranking higher on search engines.

Wedding Venue Social Media Content

Content Creation: Engaging the Modern Couple

Creating engaging content is essential for connecting with couples. Share real wedding stories, offer virtual tours, and provide valuable insights into the planning process. Keep your content authentic, relatable, and reflective of your wedding business and the venue’s style, vibe, brand and values.

“Sharing captivating content, from real wedding features to behind-the-scenes glimpses, helps to showcase the unique charm and offerings of your venue, resonating with couples seeking genuine experiences,” says Mizan.

Expert Insight: Content is the voice of your venue online. It needs to tell a story that couples want to be part of, one that goes beyond just selling a space. 

Practical Example: Share a blog or video series featuring couples who have already tied the knot there, detailing their journey from planning to the big day. This provides real-life testimonials and also gives a glimpse into the experience and shows people what to expect. Here are 10 ideas our team put together for content to post on social media. 

“Personally, when I’m searching for a vendor, shop, or someone to hire, I check Instagram first to see their online presence. If I can’t find them or their profile doesn’t resonate with me, they move to the bottom of my list. I understand that my background in marketing makes me more inclined this way, but this is how younger generations do their ‘research.’ They Google the business, check their website, read reviews, or look them up on TikTok. They watch their videos to see if it’s inspiring enough to take action.” says Mizan. 

Active Engagement and Building Relationships Online

Actively engage with your audience. Promptly respond to comments or DMs, participate in online forums, and showcase user-generated content effectively build rapport and trust with potential clients.

Expert Insight: Engagement is a two-way street. It’s about listening and responding, not just broadcasting messages. Polls, quizzes and inviting questions are a good way to do this.

Practical Example: You might host a monthly Q&A session on social media, inviting couples to ask their burning wedding planning questions or use the “questions sticker” on IG stories. This not only positions your venue and staff as a helpful resource but also fosters a sense of community and trust.

How do engaged couples find their wedding venues

The Role of Reviews and Personal Recommendations

While digital platforms play a crucial role in how modern couples research and discover wedding venues, it’s important not to overlook the enduring influence of reviews and personal recommendations. Despite the convenience of online searches and social media inspiration, heartfelt testimonials and trusted referrals continue to hold significant sway in the decision-making process. Building a reputation based on positive feedback and fostering genuine connections through word of mouth can complement your digital efforts, creating a well-rounded strategy to attract and delight couples planning their special day.

With 60% of couples reading reviews before making a decision, it’s clear that positive feedback can significantly impact a venue’s reputation. Encouraging satisfied clients to share their experiences can lead to increased trust and interest from prospective couples.

Take a look at this blog post on the power of word-of-mouth marketing in generating more wedding venue bookings. 

Aligning Your Wedding Business with Modern Expectations

The wedding industry and couples’ expectations are constantly evolving, and staying informed about the latest trends is essential for success. Venues should monitor emerging technologies, adapt their marketing strategies accordingly, and always look for innovative ways to engage with couples.

The 2024 Wedding Industry Report: Your Blueprint for Success

Our newly released 2024 Wedding Industry Report is an invaluable resource for wedding professionals seeking to align their businesses with current expectations. Download the report to gain insights into what today’s couples are seeking in a wedding venue and the pitfalls to avoid, ensuring your business thrives in these changing times.

By understanding where and how couples are searching for venues and proactively engaging with them across digital and offline channels, wedding professionals can elevate their offerings and stand out in a crowded marketplace. Remember, the goal is not just to be found by couples but to create an experience so enchanting that they can’t help but say “I do” to your venue.

Want to get your hands on the 2024 Wedding Industry report? Download your copy BELOW!

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Ireland Wedding Industry Report 2024 Banner

 

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