Intimate – The New Wedding Trend Creates Revenue Opportunities
COVID-19 shut down corporations, government agencies, entire seasons of sports, classrooms, restaurants, movie and TV productions, live entertainment, food suppliers, local businesses, churches and synagogues, and even travel. The list goes on and on, but what COVID-19 absolutely could not and cannot stop, even with all of its powerful devastation, is love.
Love has a way of coming to life unexpectedly, even during the harshest seasons of life. Hearts will always find a way to connect. Love will bloom wherever it is planted.
I often wonder which will be greater when we look back years down the road from now: the number of breakups during COVID, or the number of couples that found each other. That is yet to be seen, but one thing is certain. Couples are still saying those short, sweet, life-changing words: “I Do!”
Wedding planning sure has drastically changed in light of our new world-wide normal. Gone are the days, at least for a time to come, maybe even years, in which large scale weddings are considered appropriate or 100% safe for attendees. Let's face it, large gatherings are still risky, and we haven't experienced a second wave of COVID - yet.
Large weddings end up testing everyone's nerves, wallets and relationships in one way or another, so maybe it's not a bad thing couples have a new reality as they begin their journey in life together.
What does this mean for hotels, lodging and food-and-beverage businesses?
After all, hotels are not necessarily considered wedding venues even though they typically provide mostly lodging for wedding groups.
While some may see this as a harsh reality, the reality is - wedding ceremonies in their purest forms are meant to be intimate.
As couples begin to feel more comfortable in travel and planning a wedding, they are having to get creative to keep their ceremony and celebration as small as possible while still making it a memorable occasion for a lifetime.
Meanwhile, not only do they have COVID-19 to consider, they also may have a lower budget because incomes have been reduced for so many people. This provides an opportunity for your hotel business.
Couples are looking for intimacy and space for a small celebration. I personally see this as a refreshing reset for wedding ceremonies where they are scaled back to the most important elements and a more pure celebration of love.
Recognize the Potential.
Maybe you haven't considered your hotel or business as a wedding venue or promoted it as such before now, but there is potential here for you to capture some of the revenue other small businesses in the wedding industry have lost due to the Coronavirus.
Your meeting spaces that are sitting vacant – could they be converted into an intimate wedding space instead of canceled receptions or business meetings?
Your outdoor or
lobby spaces – could any of these be intimate areas for a small
wedding? Maybe you have other spaces within your hotel that would be suitable as well.
Your nearby local natural/scenic areas – are they nearby where you could incorporate them into your offerings?
Local photographers / wedding vendors – could you join together for a creative, intimate wedding ceremony package?
Refresh Your Special Packages.
Maybe it is time for you to reach out to couples looking for their perfect location in spite of COVID-19.
At the minimum, couples need a space for their ceremony, an officiant, and potentially a great photographer to capture the moment, and the obvious hotel reservation. Consider what you could possibly do with that starting point.
It is quite possible and feasible to offer simple ceremony/elopement packages.
You could also provide extra wedding elements for additional fees, such as a table/decorative stand for decorations and/or candles, a backdrop – it could be anything else they might would need for a basic wedding that you already have at your hotel or can easily acquire.
Whatever you can do to make it easy for the couple is a plus for your location - including recommendations for flowers, wedding cakes and catering in your area.
Couples are getting creative. They need a venue for their creative wedding ideas and planning. They are seeking new, available, affordable options.
Couples are opting
to get married just about any day of the week right now seeing how
COVID-19 has changed everything. This is a plus for your hotel.
I hope you will see this new and evolving wedding trend as an opportunity for you to either update or expand your current hotel services.
May your hospitality shine bright as you engage with couples anxiously waiting to say I DO!
- Rebekah J. Fishel, SecretsofAThrivingHotel.com
Photo by Rayyu Maldives
Wedding Venue Facts:
Selecting a venue is the #1 wedding vendor hired by couples.
Nearly 90% of wedding planning is done online.
The wedding industry in the United States alone generates over 60 billion dollars a year in wedding and ceremony related expenses. (73.6 bn projected for 2020)
Couples on average spend roughly $28,000 on their ceremony/reception (Pre-COVID).
sources: WeddingWire.com 2020 Newlywed Report and ibisworld.com