Are you capitalising on Ireland Inc.? What can you do to attract Weddings from Overseas?
Ireland is not only a destination for Irish couples returning home from abroad to get married but it also becoming a very desirable choice for International couples. While many celebs have very publicly held their nuptials here, there is a quieter group booking weddings in Ireland that are not shouting about it in the same way. With marriage equality now in Ireland, we are likely to see a trend in same sex marriages coming here to marry and use of venues that are licensed for civil ceremonies. Are you getting your share?
Top 4 ways of getting international weddings or couples returning from abroad:
- Professional Video
It’s super important to have a really good video of your property and what it has to offer. Almost 80% of consumer internet traffic is now video with 55% of consumers watching video daily on their devices. It’s also highly shareable and reusable so is a really good investment in your business. It’s not good enough to just have static pictures of your venue, it needs to be more professional and interactive including interviews and done footage and shows prospective clients that you are on top of you game. If you have budget to put behind promoting your video on social media them all the better. You can target audiences and reach out to them, so if for example you know there are a lot of couples coming from certain areas in North America to get married in Ireland, you can target them with google or Facebook Ads.
- Show Extreme Flexibility
Be available when your prospective client need to talk! They may be in a different time zone and so flexibility is required when setting up a Skype or Video call to talk through the details. Offering flexibility in terms of your wedding offering is also key to this group. If they are going to travel across the world to your venue, they need to know that you are going to go that extra mile to do what they want and accommodate their requirements. Or if the client has family in Ireland, invite them to the property for a show around and roll out the red carpet. If they are impressed they will quickly convey that to the bride to be!
- Civil Ceremonies a must
If you don’t already offer civil ceremony packages, then it is something you might want to look into. Not only for international couples but also for Irish Couples as the marriage landscape has changed a lot over the past few years with marriage equality and second time rounders! In the UK just 31% of weddings are held in a Church according to our recent Big Wedding Survey of over 1,200 Couples. While the figure is over 50% here, this is highly likely to move in the direction of the UK over the coming years as couples opt for blessings or civil ceremonies over the traditional Church Wedding.
- Offer a Full Package
It’s hard to organise a wedding from abroad, so if you can offer them their entire wedding package in one spot then that’s a massive plus for you. Unless these couples have a Wedding Planner organising the whole show for them, there is a great opportunity for Venues to pull an entire package together. Tap in to your network of preferred suppliers that you deal with such as videographers and photographers. Bring them on board and offer their services. Make it as seamless and hassle free as possible for the couple to organise and for their guests in travelling to your venue. Be a step ahead of them all the time, pick them up from the airport, arrange all the accommodation, help them with identifying local attractions to visit while in town. They will pay a premium for all of this if it’s pulled together and packaged properly and professionally for them. And if they are coming from abroad to get married, they are likely to have more to spend!
The key message here is that the landscape is changing and venues need to adapt with this be that offering civil ceremonies, packages for international couples or show greater flexibility in dealing with couples outside the normal 9-5!
Until next time!
Ciara Crossan is Founder and CEO of WeddingDates – Celebrating 10 Years in Business