2020 has been a very tough year for the events and ‘Wedding’ industry, just as tough for brides and weddings booked, or rebooked numerous times. I think for both venues and brides alike moving forward Exclusive Use Weddings are the future, and here is an outline why.
So Question number one is; What are Exclusive Use Weddings.
Simply put – Exclusive use is the hire of an entire venue, lock stock and barrel, using it’s facilities and staff for the entire duration of your wedding. It’s primarily suited to creating privacy for you and your guests throughout your entire wedding day and night, plus morning after.
Why is it the future ?
So once wedding numbers are allowed to increase, or even if you just want to have an intimate affair, exclusive use weddings create a bubble for your big day. And can the primary way to keep costs under control.
So, the venue doesn’t need to be as big as your Wedding party, just big enough to host your event.
Example; Golden Griff Hotel, 8 Bedrooms, Old Hall for up to 30 people, 2 bars and a restaurant.
The 8 bedrooms mean you could host as a minimum of 16 adult guests, which comfortably caters for;
Bride & Groom (2)
Both sets of parents (4)
Best man +1 (2)
Maid of Honour +1 (2)
Bridesmaid +1 (2)
Both sets of Grandparents (4)
I appreciate that not every family is a straight forward as that, but, this is a good example of how to plan for the nearest and dearest for your big day. Obviously, children are not factored in either, but depending on the hotel, this will always be possible.
Smaller venues will be open to idea the of exclusive use, and I would suggest, no harm in asking, or negotiating. Depending on the size of the party, a wedding venue with up to 41 bedrooms might and should be willing to consider it.
Obviously this does restrict the number of people attending your big day, but it also makes the event itself feel more exclusive too. But consider the bigger the number of people attending, the more expensive the venue will become.
Off setting the “room” cost for guests who attend might shave off a little from your final balance if the venue can invoice it this way.
E.g Guests pay £100 to stay over per room, this takes your price per person down for extended family or friends etc
All Inclusive Wedding Package
So you have secured a possible Exclusive Use Wedding venue, now its times to discuss the package.
Using the previous example of a hotel with 8 bedrooms, I would suggest a package from £199 per person would cover the following;
Accommodation Night before for Bride
Civil Ceremony Room Hire
“Arrival” Drink & Canopes, for after ceremony (during photographs)
Wedding Breakfast Full Day Room Hire
4 Course Meal – Starter, Mains, Dessert & Coffee with Petit fours
2 Glasses of Wine during the meal
1 Glass of Sparkling Wine for the Toast
Overnight Accommodation with Breakfast
I am quietly confident with the right venue and the right price, you could squeeze even more out of the package. Some venues will already have decorations in places, or unique food offerings at a premium. But for an extra inch in the price, they might go the extra mile for your exclusive use weddings.
With no other customers to cater for, they can afford to be more open minded with both the price and offering.
Tip for the venues – Saying the old fashioned “sold out” for rooms and restaurant on the day of the event sounds better than saying closed for a private/exclusive event. And all of those times you are sold out, drive direct bookings instead.
Exclusive Use Prices
The example above for a smaller wedding venue, comes in around £3k total, for exclusive use, excluding any premiums. Venues and packages will vary from this entry level option up to around £15k total for a 30 to 40 bedroom venue. But again do not be afraid to negotiate, if a venue has flexibility for secondary dates. Like Sundays or Bank Holidays, even the odd Thursday and Friday play hardball.
Having seen the average wedding cost rise to around £29k in 2019, this figure will inevitability drop in 2021. And buying power will help this, so having the ability to go exclusive will be paramount to bolster your wedding diary for the coming years.
All in all lets get the wedding booking we want, but if you can secure a venue with exclusive use. Go for it…
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