Planning Tips for a Wedding Venue Business
Here at Denison Ridge another wedding season is over, and that means it’s time to reflect on what took place last season: the good, and not so good. How can we expect to improve if we have not learned or gained insight from the past? Les and I have kept a notebook from the beginning of our business. Sharing our wedding venue planning tips should get you started on your own information notebook.
It’s important to take steps that will ensure the continued success of our wedding venue. Poor habits in this area will only cause frustration and unnecessary tension between those involved with the business. I know I have said this before, but it’s extremely important that everyone knows the plan and how to execute it.
Expectations and assumptions will harm a relationship! With a little advanced planning, tension can be avoided. My husband Les wrote a post called A Venue Operation Can Only Have One Boss. Umm, this post is key to what I’m talking about.
What kinds of things will need to be addressed in the planning notebook? We have a five-year plan that is broken down by year; I’ve shared excerpts of it below. Your plan may be different, because your situation and priorities may be different. And, we are all unique in many ways. This, by the way, makes us awesome. 😊
Review the season
What went right \ wrong \ needs improvement?
- Book 15 weddings at $3,000.00 per wedding
- Provide discounts: military discount, wedding show discounts, friend discount
- Pay $10,000 towards principal house payment
- Continue linen service
- Always have $500.00 in the bank at end of season
- Develop Simply Wed (quick and easy) wedding plan (lower cost for smaller one day weddings – in and out in seven hours)
- Wedding Wire / blogging / Facebook / Instagram / Pinterest
- Consider other advertising opportunities
- Membership: evaluate pros and cons, including cost of membership; renew participation as decided
- Update business cards including possible theme change; reorder as needed
- Sign up for January Bridal Festival select and print pictures and posters for backdrop
- Website updates including possible theme update
- Renew software licenses, i.e. QuickBooks, Microsoft Office
- Develop or update logo as determined necessary
- Fine tune wedding contract
Consider lessons learned and apply to plans for the next year.
Property and Assets
- Purchases: Replacement tables & chairs as needed
- Replace linens as needed
- Replace equipment as needed: lawnmower, microwave, chest freezer, rope for swing
- Oil road, gravel driveway, bark for flowerbeds
- Building updates: lights, roll up doors, etc.
- Landscaping: lighting / plants / rock walls / staircase / pergola entrance / sidewalks / cement areas / filter for sprinkler system / move plants in front of sprinkler heads / parking lot signs
- Develop photo areas: make frame and hang doors / shade sale over pergola / doors as décor / repaint chalkboards / create new areas and acquire new decor
Wants: greenhouse / storage shed / groomsman cottage / a complete 2nd set of chairs / pergola for beverage area / 4-wheeler & trailer to move chairs
Brides Room: new paint / frame mirror / new rug / bigger waste basket
pay off mortgage / contribute to Roth IRA / continue investing
The lists above are things we have considered doing, while many have already been done. Plans will change as the years go by and they should. As a venue owner, I need to be progressive.
That will mean: trying new things, building new things, purchasing new things and experimenting with different décor possibilities. This might also mean letting go of ideas or projects that aren’t cost effective.
This is actually very fun and keeps things stimulating. We need to remain creative and excited about what we do. Hopefully you chose a venue business at least partly because you wanted to use your creative talents.
I’m grateful that the venue is on our property! I can walk out my door and into my yard any time I want and work on something. Also, I enjoy looking at all we have accomplished and getting to share everything with excited brides, grooms, parents and guests.
The biggest question to ask ourselves is: what went right \ wrong \ needs improvement? Always evaluate and look for opportunities to improve.
Everyone involved in the business will have different responsibilities and different perspectives on how things might be improved.
Use your planning time to simplify things at the venue and discuss new ideas. Get that planning notebook started and then create your own planning tips for wedding venue success.