Should I Open A Wedding Venue?

Header Image of wedding ceremony at Warrenwood Manor

Do you dream of opening a wedding venue? Yes, that’s awesome! Do you have a vision for what your property and life will be like as a venue owner? Yes, that’s amazing! Do you want to be a successful venue? Yes, that’s outstanding! Based on these yeses, you could dive right into starting your venue. But that would be nieve and, dare I say, reckless. It is worth digging deeper to ensure wedding venue ownership is for you. So, let’s take off those rose-colored glasses to ask ourselves some tough questions now.  

Ask yourself these 14 questions before opening a wedding venue.

#1 – Why do you want to open a wedding venue?  

When the going gets tough, and it will, your WHY will need to outweigh the challenges you are facing. Your WHY should be rooted in passions and purpose instead of profits alone.

#2 – What parts of venue ownership excite you the most and least?

It is best to be genuinely passionate about the tasks and role a venue actually plays in an event. You can’t just focus on the parts of the job you know you will enjoy while ignoring duties that aren’t a good fit for you. 

#3 – What do you hope to achieve by opening a wedding venue? 

Consider your goals in the context of your business, your life, and your community. Then, determine if opening a wedding venue will accomplish those goals.

#4 – Are you able & willing to make a long-term commitment?

Weddings book months and sometimes years in advance. That means venue growth takes time, and changes can take years to implement fully. Additionally, it may take several years to recoup your initial investment since there are significant upfront expenses.

#5 – Do you have wedding industry experience?

There is so much to learn within the wedding industry. If you don’t have experience in the industry, consider getting involved with the top wedding professionals in your area to learn the ins and outs of events. You could shadow, volunteer, or work for them. It is challenging to design a functional venue without first understanding vendor and client needs and industry norms.

#6 – Are you able and willing to give up nights and weekends to work at your wedding venue?

To some degree, you can set boundaries to protect your work-life balance. But, your clients will want to schedule events, tours, and meetings based on their availability after work & on the weekend. Consider your family and the impact your new business will have on them.  

#7 – Do you handle stressful and highly emotional situations well? 

Weddings bring out the best and worst in people. Clients can act irregularly or irrational when full of emotions, stressed, tired, or intoxicated. They have very high expectations and feel the pressure for their event to be flawless. You will need to control how those feelings impact you and your work.

#8 – Are you an organized and detail-oriented person?

You and your team will need to manage client correspondence, event details, payment plans, event scheduling, property maintenance, marketing content, and business finances. That’s a lot! 

#9 – Do you have the marketing and sales skills to sell your wedding venue offers?

Don’t believe the old saying, “If you build it. They will come.” That’s not how it works. You have to build it, then market and sell the heck out of it.

#10 – Are you physically able to do the labor or able to delegate those tasks?

Cleaning, event setup, property maintenance, supply management, grounds work, and trash removal are just a few manual tasks at a venue. If you plan to delegate those tasks, consider the cost and availability of workers in your area. 

#11 – Can you handle other people using (and sometimes abusing) your space?

Property damages are inevitable. Accidents happen. Guests & vendors focus on what they need/want to do, and sometimes they don’t understand or even consider the impact on your property. They don’t read your contract and don’t know the rules. 

#12 – Do you have a servant’s heart and the customer service skills to serve clients well?

It takes a gentle, patient hand to communicate, educate and guide couples through booking, planning, and event production. Excellent venues help prevent issues, anticipate needs, and solve problems. It is also helpful to be even-natured with a touch of grace and toughness to handle contract violations and complaints. 

#13 – Can you withstand irregular income and unpredictable expenses?

Your income may vary throughout the year depending on the seasonal limits of your wedding season and the payment plans you offer. Your costs may vary due to property damages, economic conditions, acts of nature, or aging equipment/facilities. If you’re looking for quick and easy money, a venue isn’t your best bet.

#14 – Are you willing and able to jump through all the hoops to legally and safely host events?

Many state & local regulations apply to venues. Venues must adhere to building codes, acquire business licenses, follow all ordinances, pass inspections and pay taxes. Your business can be fined or closed for ignoring these requirements. 

Running a wedding venue isn’t all lace and flowers. It’s expensive, risky, and hard work. For the right person, it’s also full of so much joy. Consider each of these questions in depth through an honest and practical lens. You can take comfort in an informed decision about whether venue ownership is right for you before spending your time and money. Confidently go into venue ownership with your eyes open to the realities behind your dream. 

Ready to take the first step toward owning a wedding venue? Click >>HERE<< to snag some helpful guides and tools from our online store. I recommend starting with our Business Plan Guide. You won’t regret any investment that helps create a solid foundation for your business.

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