How to Capture Your Share of the Lucrative Wedding Market

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Presentation I gave to the Hospitality Expo in the RDS, Dublin on 9th March 2010 to Irish Hotel and Restaurant Owners.
By Ciara Crossan from WeddingDates.ie

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How to Capture Your Share of the Lucrative Wedding Market

  1. 1. Capture Your Share of the Lucrative Wedding Market<br />Ciara Crossan<br />
  2. 2. Some Stats…<br />24,000 weddings in Ireland each year<br />Weddings cost on average €30,000 <br />Wedding receptions cost €12,000 on average<br />The wedding Reception market is estimated to be worth €290 million to the Irish economy<br />
  3. 3. Wedding reception is the last item to fall victim to budget cuts<br /> 69% of respondents report they have cut their wedding budget due to recession concerns or issues. <br /> The wedding reception is the last item to fall victim to budget cuts, with only 7% trimming menu or bar options, and just 1% changing from the traditional plated meal to buffet service.  <br />
  4. 4. RESPONSES TO THE QUESTION “IF YOU HAVE REDUCED YOUR WEDDING BUDGET, IN WHAT WAY ARE YOU MAKING<br />SAVINGS?” NOVEMBER 2008<br />
  5. 5. Weddings offer fantastic opportunity in current climate<br />1/3 of hotels revenue is from weddings. This trend has increased by 10% since 2003.<br />“Once in a Lifetime Day” for first time couples, suggesting hotel wedding reception market will be less badly affected by current recession than other areas of consumer spending.<br />Source: Mintel: Hotel Weddings – Ireland – March 2009<br />
  6. 6. Trend 1: More Informal<br />Ceremonies could be ‘cheap and cheerful’, taking an easyjet approach to weddings with none of the extras associated with wedding services (ie music, decorations, etc). <br />Offer downgraded options such as buffets, BBQs, more relaxed setting, with focus on fun as oppossed to formality.<br />Case study: Silversprings Hotel in Cork, €5,000 wedding for 100 guests<br />
  7. 7. Trend 2: Staying Connected<br />People are now sharing their lives online, this naturally means they are sharing their wedding plans online too<br />Facebook has over 1 million registered users in Ireland<br />Venues need to “engage” with customers online & using social media<br />
  8. 8. Trend 3: Green Weddings<br />Eco-friendly weddings call for “green” venues<br />Eco Boom generation couples (ie born 1982 -1995) come of age during a time of heightened awareness of issues, eg. global warming<br />Case Study: Brooklodge & Wells Spa in Co. Wicklow:<br />offers organic, locally produced food for wedding feasts<br />“All our food is organic, and we have organic and conventional wines so the couples have achoice. The hotel’s organic principles are big factors for couples”.<br />
  9. 9. Innovation is key<br />Bridal Bootcamp – eg Muckross Park<br />Custom Cocktails – create wedding cocktail that reflects the couple<br />Personal Entertainment – short film montage of the couple from childhood to engagement<br />Customize the Wedding, heritage based menu, celebrity chef, breakfast reception<br />
  10. 10. Wedding Tourists<br />Change in marriage laws opens up new marketing opportunities and encourages people from abroad to marry in Ireland.<br /> Create packages for international visitors or for irish ex-pats who want to return home to get married.<br />Market internationally for your wedding business.<br />
  11. 11. Different Type of Wedding<br />Intimate weddings are very fashionable. Instead of sacrificing quality, people are having fewer guests. <br />Highly personal – they are putting their own stamp on the day.<br /> Especially important for second-time-around weddings<br />
  12. 12. How to reach new customers<br />
  13. 13. An online presence is essential as most couples have easy/cheap access to the internet and tend to research online before considering visiting hotels.<br />Word of Mouth still the prevailing trend for weddings, however more of this is happening online now on Social Networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.<br />
  14. 14. A future for weddings?<br />The economic downturn will force hotels to be more creative in order to attract customers.<br />When faced with the cancellation of a wedding day celebration, the Best Western Brighton Hotel in Brighton had a novel way of turning things around.<br />Hotel bosses placed the entire ceremony on eBay when acouple cancelled their wedding.<br />
  15. 15. Summary<br />Marriage rates are decreasing in UK but continue to grow in RoI.<br />Winter weddings becoming an increasingly popular choice.<br />Couples are using the internet more to get their information. <br />Men and women are waiting longer to get married, however, the market is also benefiting from a rise in second marriages.<br />The move to have a more thoughtful and eco-aware wedding is gaining momentum. <br />
  16. 16. 2010 Survey<br />Over 200 respondents<br />Surveyed at Wedding Fairs in Jan/Feb 2010<br />
  17. 17. Winter Weddings on the Up<br />
  18. 18. Couples are Date Driven<br />
  19. 19. Registered Civil Venues on the rise<br />
  20. 20. What we do<br />We help generate more WEDDING LEADS for venues <br />Ranking #1 on google for “wedding venues”<br />#1 wedding blog in Ireland, with 2,000 readers per week<br />Active on Social Media sites, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter<br />
  21. 21.
  22. 22. Thank You!<br />ciara@weddingdates.ie<br />021- 4928993<br />www.facebook.com/WeddingDates<br />www.twitter.com/WeddingDates<br />www.youtube.com/WeddingDates<br />

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