When you think of viral videos, three things come to mind: pets, kids, and weddings. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve seen those beautifully edited wedding videos, complete with drone footage of the sprawling estate, a voiceover of the best man’s hilarious speech, and various slow-motion shots of the bridal party laughing candidly. (Honestly, what could be so funny?) Even the toughest of YouTube watchers have shed a tear as they watched perfect strangers say “I do” on the internet. And perhaps it got your entrepreneurial spirit tingling. After all, the average couple will spend about $6,000 on their wedding venue. Some event spaces even boast $11,000 fees for extra amenities. If you have an eye for design and a heart for commercial real estate, opening a wedding venue in your area might be your next big idea.
Brides are looking for spaces that offer anything from a timeless classic to a unique and unexpected backdrop for their big day. Church weddings are becoming far less common, and even for traditional brides, their chapel often doesn’t offer an ample enough space to accommodate guests for a reception. The demand for wedding venues is growing rapidly.
But while the demand is brought on by the brides, your target customers may very well be your area vendors. After all, they will likely be the ones giving you your best publicity. Here’s how it works: you book your first wedding. The photos are fantastic. All the vendors from the pastry chef to the florist purchase the photos to use for their social media advertising. The brides see the photos on Pinterest and Facebook and ask the vendors about the event venue. The bottom line is this: if you impress the vendors by giving them an event space that is just as functional as it is beautiful, the brides will come.
What amenities should every wedding venue have?
Creating a stunning wedding venue may be the easy part. After all, there are plenty of customizations like facade options, large windows, custom entryways, and more that can turn a standard prefabricated metal building into a beautiful event space. Most brides would never know the difference – many modern churches, restaurants, and commercial spaces are built with steel and custom-designed to look no different than buildings made from organic building materials.
So, with beautiful design aside, it’s time to wow your vendors with functional amenities. The goal is to make your space so easy to work in that wedding vendors will recommend your venue to brides.
- The bridal suite. This may be a separate building altogether or a suite within the event venue. But most photographers will tell you; their number one concern has a bright and airy space with plenty of natural light. The “getting ready” photos are becoming more and more popular as keepsakes for the bridal party. Even if the event space itself sets the mood with candlelight, the bridal suite should have plenty of windows for stunning photos as they get ready throughout the day.
- Secure storage. For larger weddings, setup may begin up to 24 hours in advance. Vendors prefer a safe storage area not only for the night leading up to the event but for equipment security during the wedding. Photographers and videographers will likely store more substantial lighting, backup cameras, lenses, and more. It’ll also come in handy for coordinators, florists, and other vendors who need to store empty inventory boxes during the reception.
- Covered outdoor space. For example, rustic weddings in a modern farmhouse style barn are growing in popularity. Covered porches are easy customization to add to a prefabricated metal barn, and they offer photographers the opportunity to take beautiful photos outdoors even in less-than-ideal weather scenarios.
- Offloading areas. One of the most popular customizations for prefab metal buildings is overhead doors. With aesthetic solutions available, overhead doors make offloading larger items, like dining tables and pallets of chairs, much easier on vendors.
- A caterer’s kitchen. Full-service catering has come to be expected over buffet style at any modern wedding. And with that comes the demand for on-site kitchens to help the catering staff efficiently prepare and clear plates. It can be as simple as creating a small metal building with a matching facade to your current venue. Whether the kitchen is built separately or part of the venue building itself, most caterers agree that an industrial-sized sink and ice maker are among their most valued items.
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