With a new era of wedding celebrations fast emerging, destination weddings are certainly proving popular amongst many UK couples. And, it’s really no wonder when there’s such a diverse collection of venues and modern spaces available abroad to say ‘I do’.

That being said, when it comes to your destination venue, are your wedding offerings appealing to UK couples and how do you respond to their wedding enquiries to ensure you receive the best conversion to event bookings?

Convert your UK Wedding Enquiries to Bookings

We’ve recently discussed how you can make your destination wedding venue stand out from the crowd and appeal to UK couples post pandemic- which you can read in full here. But, in this follow up series to the blog, we explain how to successfully respond to UK couples when they reach out to your venue, allowing you to increase the amount of wedding celebrations you host into the future.

Key facts to remember

Let’s look at this from the perspective of a UK couple at the beginning of their wedding journey, booking an event in a completely different country can be somewhat daunting. Some couples may have some sort of geographical idea in terms of their wedding whereas others may just have event ideas, like being beachfront or within an exclusive villa.

The starting point of wedding planning is to find a venue, location or dream retreat to exchange vows, meaning you are most likely going to be a couples first point of call.

Whether as a venue you have onsite planners, a dedicated wedding sales team or simply offer your space as a dry hire option, there’s 3 main things UK couples need from you; excitement, expertise and trust.

Alongside our top tips for responding to couples, we discuss how to portray excitement, expertise and trust via email, whether enquiries are generated through the Wedinspire platform or your own channels of marketing;

Respond in a timely manner

We live in a fast-paced world of digital technology, with the ability to find answers in the click of a few buttons, so when it comes to responding to couples needing and wanting information about your wedding offerings, timing is very important.

An impressive email response to a wedding enquiry within minutes is unrealistic and not expected however leaving couples waiting up to a week is just not good enough.

If it’s taking your team too long to respond to enquiries, you will be losing out on bookings. Dedicating sufficient time and attention to answering wedding queries has to be a priority.

Venues featured in the Wedinspire portfolio are requested to respond to their wedding enquiries ideally in 24 hours and certainly within 3 days, the faster the response rate the more inevitable the lead will become a booking.

Ditch the Templates

Saving snippets of vital information couples need to know about your venue is excellent but try to refrain from sending generic email templates to all and every enquiry you receive. It’s pretty transparent for couples to see and certainly does not represent excitement, expertise or trust.

Read the enquiry properly & respond with answers

Make sure you read a couples enquiry thoroughly and answer their questions directly and concisely. Think about what it is they actually want to know and address their specific needs.

If a couple get in touch, stating their preferred wedding date, make sure you address this by explaining your availability. Elaborate and say you have flexibility that month or that you also have a Saturday free several weeks later, the more information you can give specific to their needs, the better.

Similarly, instead of just attaching your venues brochure with pricing, state in your email a personalised quote to their requirements. Building this initial rapport will build trust with the individual and let them know you are dedicating time to their wedding needs.

Show enthusiasm, excitement and personality

If you are lucky enough to be receiving high amounts of enquiries per day, excellent but don’t forget every bride or groom want to be made to feel special, unique and as if they are the only couple getting married at your venue.

Showing enthusiasm is usually expressed a lot easier via phone chats but the email you send can be portrayed as boring, bland and generic or uplifting and exciting. Think about what you would like to receive in your mailbox if you had recently become engaged, planning the best day of your life.

One of the easiest ways to build a rapport and show personality via email is to introduce yourself, so you’re not just a name of the email signature, explain what your role at the venue is and how you can personally help with their wedding dreams.

Don’t dismiss even the silliest of questions

Whilst many initial venue enquiries entail availability and pricing questions, every now and again you may receive a question which you believe is just plain silly but remember this could be a vital request, don’t dismiss any enquiry as a ‘waste of time’ until you engage and understand fully.

Don’t overload with email attachments

Coming back to the tip of keeping your email response clear and concise, don’t attach multiple files and expect couples to sift through to find information that may be relevant to them. Firstly, no one wants to download 50mb from an email on their phone when out, so these could just be dismissed and not opened, and secondly it can be too confusing, making couples look into other wedding venue options.

You want to have a single wedding brochure that is concise, photos and key information, what is included, and costs involved, from accommodation to food and drinks packages per person. Ensure it is easy to understand, and send it as a compact PDF file or have a link to where they can download it.

What now?

When you reply what do you want the couple to do? As a couple looking to get married abroad it is unlikely they will want to arrange to come and view next week, however you could arrange a phonecall or FaceTime chat to discuss their requirement further and do a virtual show round. This call to action gives the couple a reason to reply to the email and takes things to the next stage of the booking process.

Having a link to an appointment scheduler such as calendly where they can select a time and date that suits them is a great way to prevent the need for back and forth emails making it quick and easy for coupes to arrange a chat.

You want to keep the couple engaged and excited, discussing their requirements and how you can create their dream day is crucial and an area where you can show trust and excitement.

What if couples don’t respond to my email?

If as a venue, you don’t get an immediate response don’t be disheartened, destination wedding planning involves a lot of logistics and organising, the couple could be understanding travel costs, flight times, family commitments and a whole host of other topics prior to getting back to you.

When wedding planning email will not only be sent to venues, but offer suppliers, dress shops, wedding photographers, so inboxes can quickly become full, so it is important you follow up to ensure your email is noticed.

Give it a week and follow up. Chase again, don’t be shy. If you have a contact phone number you could try calling to establish a more personal yet professional response.

Evaluate and test

By dedicating more time and attention to your enquiry responses you can certainly increase your chance of making more wedding bookings.

Action steps:

  • Respond ideally in 24 hours
  • Answer specific questions asked directly
  • Introduce yourself to build a rapport
  • Don’t add multiple email attachments
  • Add a call to action

Whether, you as a venue owner are responsible for the email or you have a team dealing with wedding enquiries, try switching up your style and experiment to include more personality and create a connection with UK couples.

To discuss how to connect with more UK couples and to receive a personal review of your venue’s email enquiry response – get in touch with the Wedinspire team.