Whether you are already running a wedding venue or are setting one up, you have probably heard the term “styled wedding shoot”, you may have already been a part of one or been approached to host one at your venue. If you haven’t heard about this kind of photo shoot yet, then this article venue-friends is for you…
What Wedding Venue Owners Need to Know About Styled Shoots.
A styled shoot is most often a photoshoot of a mock wedding or elopement. The images and videos used from a styled wedding shoot are invaluable to a wedding venue’s ability to market to couples and stand out from the competition.
Though every venue is unique and has its own style and approach that draws clients in, it’s nearly impossible to grab the attention of the general public without great photography in today’s photo-crazed and Instagram savvy culture. Whether you’ve considered producing a photo shoot so you can update your website or social media, or use the photos for printed paper materials, if this idea has been in the back of your mind, it’s time to move it to the forefront.
Paris and Provence based content and marketing studio, French Soul specialises in working with wedding venues in creating high quality magazine worthy wedding shoots and we asked our team member and luxury wedding specialist Coco Kliks, why she believes wedding venues NEED a styled wedding shoot.
Coco Kliks ~ “One of things I do as a luxury wedding specialist is help brides and planners find the venue of their dreams. My clients are international, coming from the US, UK, Asia and beyond and they have a totally different vision and expectations of a wedding than the local market. Destination weddings bring higher budgets and with that, they expect a higher level experience and that all starts with the first look.
I want to talk about something very much on my mind; a message I want to share with wedding venues in Europe. Certainly we are all feeling the effects of the Coronavirus and it’s not clear what lasting impact it will have. Wouldn’t it be good to be on top of your game when brides start booking weddings again? There are steps you can take to insure your venue and marketing strategy is ready to capture your share of the 16 billion US$ international wedding market.
Recent data from Trip savvy stats shows that ¼ of American weddings are abroad and on average they spend upwards of 28,000US$ on a destination wedding for less than 50 guests. My experience with American brides is that they spend on average 65,000US$ on a 50 guest wedding in France. According to Moneycorp, statistics from the Government Office for National Statistics point to a trend towards destination weddings and 200,000 Brits got married abroad last year, spending upwards of 31,500£ for the big day.
With most of my clients being American or British planning destination weddings in France or Italy, the pool of venues with presentation worthy of attracting these couples is very small. These couples and wedding planners have discerning tastes, a certain charm in mind and are ready to spend money on what they want. Being an American expat living in Europe, I understand the dream they seek. I have the same, romanticized perspective on the allure of Provence, the magic of Tuscany and the elegant mystic of Paris. European bridal couples tend not to have the same fantasy, priorities nor budget.
When I am doing a venue search for a bridal couple, I show them venues that I think they will book. Couples book venues which have the look they want, the right amenities and that fit their budget. They book based on pictures and presentation. They don’t book venues because I explain that ~ “it’s much nicer than what you see on the website ~ these pictures are not professional ~ you really have to see how the place looks in summer ~ there is a beautiful shaded terrace”. There are so many beautiful venues deserving of more business. But I cannot share them to my clients because the website does not show the property well. I could almost cry.
The venues that clients book consistently have well designed, user friendly websites with professional styled images showing event spaces, bedrooms, amenities, and ambiance. These are the websites I show my clients. These clients want to see what a high-end event looks like at the venue, they want to see photos from the same high quality of photographer who they would hire for their wedding. They want to be seduced by the romance of the place. They don’t book weddings with venues whose website show no thought or care, after all, if the venue treats its own website with no thought or care, will they be the same to their clients? So I ask you, does your website reflect the true beauty of your property?
My clients are comparing your venue to the website of your well known competitors and they are not thinking, “Wow, this place could be really great if they had a good photographer”. They are moving on to another website that shows them what they want to see. If you want a piece of this lucrative market, you need a website and social media presence that presents your venue and its features to their best advantage. With the right visuals, content and presentation you can attract this upscale client and raise your prices accordingly. The investment you make in a polished presentation can be easily recouped in one or two bookings.
I hear you saying ~ “Okay, great! Now what? “
French Soul understands the mindset of this discerning clientele and can deliver the branding service you need to reach this market. I know because I am one of experts that provides customized services to highlight the unique character and benefits of your venue. I’ve seen first hand how a media makeover has resulted in immediate bookings for weddings, events and group holidays.
“How does it work?“
The team and I at French Soul are passionate about the French Wedding industry. We want to support the venues most at risk in these uncertain times. For a limited time, we are offering a free venue report to venues looking to improve their marketing visuals. This invaluable report assesses your venue’s online presentation, identifies weak areas and provides solutions.
Once you have read and studied this report we will also offer a free 1-2-1 consultation and custom quote based on your needs.
If you decide to invest into a media makeover we will move into a planning and design phase with you. Depending on your personalized service agreement, an experienced team of creatives will plan and execute photoshoots, edit and select images, create relevant digital media brochures or entirely re-do your website.
Our photoshoot production includes fine art level wedding design, top designer dresses, professional models, and high quality wedding specialized photographer and videographer. It’s a one-stop shop for raising your business above your competitors. Your new alluring images can be used on your website, social media outlets and online venue directories. They can be submitted to respected wedding blogs for free publication and French Soul can advise and enable that process. They will also be shared by the creative team members who are all established vendors in the luxury wedding industry with powerful social media networks which also enable you to access a network of new high level wedding industry connections for your shiny new business model.
So there, I’ve said it. And if you have stuck around, tasted the bitter pill of honesty I have shared with you and understood how vital it is for your venue to have a styled shoot, high quality visuals and presentation then you are already on the road to incredible marketing for your venue.
Having a great, user friendly website with seductive imagery and relevant information can transform your venue rental business. Agents like me will be excited to share your website because they know their client will understand and relate to the quality. Brides doing their own search will immediately see the beauty and amenities you offer and book directly. Investing in your online presence is the best idea you’ll have this year and will benefit your business growth for many years to come”
Click here to benefit from our free venue report.