The crazy season is over (for most anyway) and there is a small window of opportunity to regroup and restock before (dare I mention it?) the Christmas season is upon us…
I’m all about making every minute count, maximising opportunities and making the most of your hard work to help you SHINE for your future brides and grooms.
To this end, the one thing you absolutely need to do this autumn is: Get hold of and use photos of your hard work.
Here’s how to do it:
Ask Away- Contact your wedding clients and ask to see their wedding photos – most of them will be hugely flattered and keen to share them with you.
Most of the time an online gallery exists that they will already have shared with their guests so it’s easy for you to view. It might be an idea to offer a little incentive for couples to send in their photos – bottle of champagne for the first 3 back for example? You might need to reassure some that you’d be happy to exclude any that they would not be keen to use and in general it could be good to reassure them that the images you’d be keen on would be more venue shots and detail shots than close-ups and people shots.You might need to do this in waves of course as some of your end of summer weddings will be receiving their photos a bit later.
A Good Look – Spend some time looking at the images and consider which really showcase your venue and how you could use them. If’ you’ve had some stand-out ones, these might well sit nicely in your gallery (in which case you might need multiple images) and some might be worthy of a blog feature (particularly if there is a specific story to tell). Some might have some really unusual elements that would make great social media coverage on a certain point. In particular, look out for images that really showcase your venue spaces dressed from the ceremony set up, to the dinner tablescapes, the full room shots are always a winner especially if the lighting is just right. Keep an eye on the sort of weddings you’d like to host more of and try to show images that tap into that market – if you’re trying to attract a more luxury bride, use your very best images with larger florals, attention to stationery, styling & décor etc to help you attract the right clientele.
Source and Credit – Contact the relevant photographers for access to the relevant images you require. If the photographer is one from your recommended list, then they may well have sent you the images already but if not, then expect to discuss how the photographer would be credited. Friendliness is key! Every photographer has different expectations here, but generally, if a credit is given clearly & prominently and as a web link then most photographers will see the benefit of their work being shown on your gallery or on your social media (also with associated credits and tagging). Some may insist on using watermarks on their photos which is less desirable for the visual effect of your website in my view. If images are to be used more prominently on key website pages this might well be part of a separate discussion and fees might well be involved although again it depends on your relationship with the photographer, how much wedding work they do at your venue and how much you work to support their business.
Recycle – don’t limit yourself to using the images in just one place – if they are really great, then you might want to feature them on a gallery page, as well as on your social media. Collage boards containing 5 or 6 images of one wedding are always lovely, particularly for Facebook to show one particular wedding. When using on social media don’t forget to use this as a chance of a shout-out to your suppliers/wedding partners. So if the photos feature cakes, flowers, dress etc, make sure you mention this by using the suppliers’ social media handles. The photos will get a far bigger reach and you’ll be working on further solidifying your supplier relationships which is a win-win. Don’t be shy of accompanying these posts with any thank yous or testimonials you’ve received from the relevant couple to go alongside.
Thank you – Don’t forget to let your couple know where you’ve featured them, particularly if you have featured their wedding heavily.
And don’t forget to follow up any film highlights clips too featuring your venue – these are equally great for your social media in particular and film consumption is at an all-time high and brings your venue to life in such a powerful way.
If you’d like more advice on making the best of your wedding venue assets you might like my ‘Refine & Shine’ consulting service where I work with you on a one to one to improve your wedding offering leading to great sales results. You can read more here.
Image credits: Emma Wilson Videographer – Story Of Your Day // Nikon Camera – Sports Sayer // Stoke Park Room Set Up – Pippa Mackenzie // Hedsor House Exterior – Paul White Weddings // Photographer & Groom – Still And Motion Pictures // Hedsor House Room Detail – Paul White Weddings // Stoke Park Party – Pippa Mackenzie