Where to start with wedding venue pricing?
It’s difficult to know where to pitch yourself with wedding venue pricing. Too high and customers will think that you are out of their league. Too low and customers will think you’re cheap for a reason.
Many wedding venues I have worked with are adverse to “a package”. The mere phrase sends shivers down their spine. In fact, in my ongoing market research, I have enquired with twenty local Lancashire wedding venues in the past week, and of the ones that replied (more of that another time), half of them told me that “we’re not normal”, “we create to match your bespoke requirements”, “we don’t offer ‘typical’ wedding packages” and “we are personal with a flexible approach” – you get the picture. In saying that they are individual they are actually the norm; what a paradox!
Think of your wedding venue clients
First thing is, couples are usually approaching this wedding planning business for the first and only time when they enquire with a wedding venue. If every single wedding venue offers a different way of doing things, it gets confusing. The venues that have had the most success that I have worked with offer one price. One total. Add-ons and extras as needed, but one total, that can burn itself into a client’s brain and not be dependent on what meat they choose for their main course or whether they want Pimms or prosecco to welcome their guests.
Yes, there is a case for “death by package”. Be clever about how you work and sell the offering. But don’t dismiss the power of having a really clear wedding venue pricing structure. When the bride and groom decide that the most important thing that they have on the day is the 20 extra friends that they have accumulated during their engagement, it really is as simple as 20 multiplied by the price per person. Rather than 20 multiplied by a starter, main course, dessert, chair, welcome drink, toast drink, half bottle of wine – you catch my drift.
How to avoid the common traps
There are, however, ways of being personal without being confusing. Have a price per person but with a really extensive package with lots of choices. You are not only offering couples options, you are widening your profit margins at the same time. The adage of having to please everyone always rings true and with the majority of your clients, they will go with the lowest common denominator for every choice. Catch my drift?
Two out of three couples that we surveyed placed value for money as a higher importance than the final invoice total. This means that they were willing to pay more for a service that they got more from. These are the clients that you want to consistently attract and wow. These are the clients that will be open to the higher base price that you want to be charging.
Finally, by really digging deep into your wedding venue pricing, you are able to see where all of your costs are lying and what each wedding costs you. Share this information with your staff to empower them and it will get you far. With them knowing the bottom line, they will work harder to boost it up for the praise that you will be giving them!
Not sure where to start? Get in touch with Zoë for a strategy session. Get clear on your pricing for 2019 and start the proposal season as you mean to go on!