Tips for Helping Increase Bookings in Off-Peak Wedding Season

The months of January, February and March are typically considered “off-peak season” in the wedding industry and tend to be slower months. Getting more bookings in these months require a different strategy than peak season as well as thoughtful planning. Let’s look at some strategies to consider to help increase your business in the off season.

5 Tips to Booking in the Off-season

1.   Offer Off-Season Rates: There is a market for off-season weddings, you may just need to work smarter to reach it. Find budget-conscious couples through online target marketing (Social Media ads) and offer discounts for your slower months. Create a list of keywords that couples may use to search online for and include the words in your ad strategy. Some keywords may include affordable weddings, wedding discounts, wedding deals, wedding offers, wedding venue discounts, off-season wedding deals, off-peak wedding season discounts, etc.

2.   Promote Early: As you know, it takes time to plan a wedding. It makes sense to, start advertising your off-peak season discounts at least a year in advance. This gives couples looking for affordable alternatives a chance to decide if having a wedding in the off season is right for them.  An affordable way to advertise is through your blog and a special section on your website.

3.   Target Last-Minute Weddings: Most couples plan their weddings, at the very least, 6-months in advance. However, there are still couples who plan a wedding in less time. This can work to your advantage in the off-peak season. You may not have to offer the deepest discount to win this business because these couples are motivated to tie the knot. Again, the best way to find these couples is through targeted ads. Keywords that may appeal to these couples are last-minute wedding deals, last-minute wedding offers, booking wedding venues last minute, wedding planning in a short time, etc.

4.   Partner with Vendors to Offer Exclusive      Deals: The broader your network with local wedding industry professionals and vendors, the better positioned you may be for the off-season months. You may not be a couple’s first stop in their wedding planning – think bridal shops and jewelers. Consider exchanging voucher coupons with these vendors to promote each other’s businesses. In addition, if you partner with other local wedding vendors, you may be able to come up with an attractive package to offer budget-conscious couples and couples who are planning their weddings in a short amount of time. Partner with wedding planners, photographers, floral shops, DJs/bands, caterers, and more.

5.   Highlight the Advantages of an Off-Season Wedding: Engaged couples have a variety of concerns about booking in the off-season. Concerns they likely wouldn’t have to face in the peak season, mainly weather related. By highlighting the advantages of an off-season wedding to the couple, they may decide the risk is worth it. Here are some points to highlight:

•    Saving money with discounts.

•    Creativity with the theme and photos. Winter-themed weddings are unique and memorable because most weddings take place in the summer months. Their photos will be stunning with the natural beauty of the season and choice of winter fashion for outdoor photos (beautiful coats and capes for the wedding party).

•    Winter-themed décor and food choices that wouldn’t be offered in the summer months. For example:

      a. crystal icicles, shimmery linens and silver and gold accents lend a magical aura

      b. warm desserts such as death-by-chocolate, mini rum cakes, warm cobbler and crumbles

      c. hearty comfort food with creamy soup, whipped potatoes and roasted vegetables

      d. seasonal drinks like hot chocolate, hot apple cider, coffee, cappuccino, hot buttered rum, spiced wine, and eggnog

•    Increased attendance. People are busy in the warmer months and are more likely to decline invitations for other commitments. In addition, out-of-town guests, can experience lower airfare in the off-season.

•    Highlight the ways you prepare your venue for colder months, including your assurance of a comfortable, warm atmosphere (like a fireplace), cleared parking lot and walkways of snow and ice, a large, accommodating coat room, hand-warming towels in the restrooms, a backup generator, and many other ways you take care special care in the off-season to provide the best service possible.

  We hope these tips will help you attract more clients to your venue during the off season who should also think about event insurance. 

  Markel* offers event liability insurance to hosts and honorees, providing coverage such as property damage to the venue or injury to a guest. Up to $2 million in event liability insurance can be purchased by your client from Markel any time at least 1 day before the event. Policies start as low as $75. 

  By offering Markel Event Insurance, it will not only help protect your clients, but it can also help protect you by potentially decreasing your own business liability risk for accidents due to negligence of the event host or honoree. Markel Event Insurance is an easy and affordable solution for your clients – a free quote takes only a few minutes online or on the phone – turning you into a one-stop-shop for your clients.

  This document is intended for general information purposes only. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. Markel does not assume any obligation to update any information herein, or remove any information that is no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.

* Coverage is underwritten by Markel American Insurance Company and policyholder services are provided by the underwriting manager, Markel Service, Incorporated, national producer license # 27585, in California d/b/a Markel Insurance Services, license # 0645481.  Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.  Insurance and coverage are subject to availability and qualifications and may not be available in all states.  

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