How to Start a Wedding Venue

Written by Dave Lavinsky

start a business hosting weddings and wedding receptions
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Do you have a passion for weddings and events? Are you an experienced caterer, event planner, or florist? If so, starting a wedding venue could be the perfect business opportunity for you.

In this article, we’ll outline the steps you need to take to get your business off the ground.

Importantly, a critical step in starting a wedding venue is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Wedding Venue Business Plan Template here.

Steps to Opening Your Own Wedding Venue

1. Determine if there is a market for your services.

One of the most important things you need to do when starting any business is to determine if there is a market for your services. This involves conducting market research to see if there is a need for your product or service and whether people are willing to pay for it.

2. Write a wedding venue business plan.

Another important step in starting any business is writing a business plan. A wedding venue business plan will outline your business goals, strategies, and how you plan to achieve them. It will also include information about your target market, competition, and financial projections.

To enhance your planning process, incorporating insights from a sample wedding venue business plan can be beneficial. This can provide you with a clearer perspective on industry standards and effective strategies, helping to solidify your own business approach.

3. Secure financing.

In order to start a wedding venue, you’ll likely need some financing. There are a number of ways to secure, including borrowing from family and friends, getting a small business loan from the bank, or starting your business as a sole proprietorship and incorporating later.

4. Find a location.

An integral step in starting a wedding venue is to find the right location. For this type of business, you will likely need to be zoned for commercial use. You’ll also want to find a space that’s big enough to accommodate your wedding guests while making sure it’s not too large so your wedding receptions are not overly expensive.

5. Establish your business. 

Before you can start your wedding venue, you’ll need to establish it by filing any necessary paperwork with the government. You will also need to obtain any required licenses and permits before opening for business.

6. Market your product or service.

It’s important for wedding venues to promote their services in order to compete in the marketplace and attract new customers. Wedding venues may market through local print media, radio/TV ads, social media, flyers, telemarketing campaigns, etc.

How Big is the Wedding Venue Industry?

The wedding industry is a large and extremely lucrative market, taking up a significant part of the economy. The wedding services industry generates a whopping $56.7 billion a year. It’s an ever-growing market as the wedding culture continues to grow in popularity.

What are the Key Segments of the Wedding Venue Industry?

Wedding venues can be broken down into a few key segments:

Outdoor Wedding Venues: These are wedding venues that are located in outdoor settings such as country clubs, nature preserves, national parks, farms, historical sites, or even at home. Owners often emphasize the outdoor beauty and romance of these venues. Venues in this category include vineyards, campgrounds, horse properties, homes with swimming pools and gardens, to name a few.

Indoor Wedding Venues: These are wedding venues that offer the natural beauty of an outdoor wedding inside a climate-controlled environment. Owners often emphasize the affordability and convenience of these venues, particularly in the winter months where there is little to no nice weather for outdoor weddings. Wedding venues in this category include banquet halls, hotels with ballrooms, grand estates, restaurants with multi-use rooms, and country clubs.

Budget Wedding Venues: These are wedding venues that provide couples with an affordable celebration of their love on any budget imaginable. Owners often emphasize the value for money these venues provide through lower rental rates on food & beverage. Wedding venues in this category include churches, schools, community centers, historic homes not open to the public, and banquet halls with lower rental rates.

Pop Wedding Venues: These are wedding venues that typically require a high budget but provide an abundance of amenities like entertainment, food & beverage, and decorations in return. Venue owners often emphasize the level of customer service and expertise provided by these venues along with their ability to ensure guests have a fun time at the event. Wedding venues in this category include country clubs, resorts, hotels with ballrooms, wineries, breweries, and distilleries, and destination wedding locations.

Wedding Rentals: These are wedding venues whose sole purpose is to provide the couple with items they need for their special day. Owners often emphasize how much time and money these venues can save couples by providing them with everything necessary for their event rather than having them go out and purchase all of these items independently. Wedding venues in this category include caterers, florists, photographers, bakeries, disc jockeys, videographers, and photo booths.

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What External Factors Affect the Wedding Services Industry?

The wedding services industry is a competitive market that can be greatly affected by external factors. Some of these factors include the economy, availability of venues, weather, and social changes.


The economy is a major factor that can affect the wedding venue industry. When the economy is strong, people are more likely to spend money on weddings. This means that wedding venues can charge more for their services, and they may be able to book more weddings. However, when the economy is weak, people are less likely to spend money on weddings. This can lead to a decline in the business of wedding venues.


The availability of venues is also a major factor that can affect the wedding venue industry. When there are a lot of venues available, it can be difficult to book them for weddings. Wedding couples have to wait longer to find an available venue, and they may even have to look outside of their area. However, when there are fewer venues available, it is easier for wedding couples to find a place that they like without having to go too far from home.


The weather can affect the wedding venue industry because it affects what people wear at weddings. When the weather is warm or hot, people are more likely to wear lighter clothing choices such as shorts and sandals. This means that outdoor venues are more popular since indoor ones require guests to wear formal attire. On the other hand, when the weather is cold or rainy, wedding guests are more likely to dress in heavy clothing items such as jeans and boots. Wedding venues, like ballrooms, can be more popular since outdoor venues require guests to dress up in lighter clothing items such as sundresses and sandals.

Social changes

Social changes can also affect the wedding venue industry. For example, when more couples are choosing to have destination weddings, this can affect the demand for wedding venues in local areas. Wedding couples may choose to have a destination wedding since it is more economical and convenient. Wedding venues, such as those near airports or on cruise ships, can be booked up easier than those in local areas.

Who are the Key Competitors in the Wedding Venue Industry?

When starting any business, it’s important to be aware of your competitors and what they’re doing. Some of the biggest key competitors in the wedding industry include other wedding venues, caterers, florists, planners/coordinators, DJs/videographers, and photographers.

Depending on the services provided through your wedding venue, you may or may not have to compete for customers. For example, if your wedding venue doesn’t provide food, then you won’t have any competition from caterers. However, if your wedding venue does include catering services, then these could be your key competitors in this industry.

What are the Key Customer Segments in the Wedding Venue Market?

When starting any business, it’s important to identify your key customer segments. Some of the main ones in this industry include engaged couples, event planners, and families of the bride and groom.

Engaged Couples: Many people choose to have their weddings at wedding venues because they want everything to be provided for them rather than having to do it themselves. Engaged couples are the main customers at wedding venues since they want everything to go smoothly on their special day without any problems.

Event Planners: Event planners are people who make sure that everything runs smoothly during an event, such as a wedding. For example, if something goes wrong during the wedding, then the planner is usually the first person who comes up with a solution. Event planners can be major customers at wedding venues since they typically manage the entire event and therefore choose where it is held.

Families of the Bride and Groom: The families of the bride and groom are typically responsible for organizing their wedding day as well as paying for most of its expenses. They are usually the ones handing out invitations, making table arrangements, and hiring photographers.

What are the Typical Startup Costs for a New Wedding Venue?

The typical startup costs depend on the type of venue you’re considering and the services you provide. For example, if you want to start a wedding venue that provides catering services, then the startup costs will vary depending on what foods and beverages it includes as well as how much of each is served.

On the other hand, if you choose not to offer some types of services at your wedding venue, then this could lower its startup costs. For example, if you’re only leasing a building for holding wedding events and don’t offer any catering services, then you will have lower startup costs than someone who is providing both.

Wedding venues can range from simple event space to a lavish, expensive hotel or restaurant with a full selection of wedding services.

The costs associated with starting a new wedding business vary widely depending on how you intend to run your business. Wedding venues require the most startup money while wedding planners have the lowest barriers to entry.

No matter what type of wedding venue you choose to start, you will have the following startup costs in common:

  • Rent for the first few months of business
  • License fees
  • Signage and exterior decoration
  • Insurance costs
  • Utility deposits and other possible relocation expenses
  • Payroll costs if you are hiring additional help
If you’d like to quickly and easily complete your business plan, download Growthink’s Ultimate Wedding Venue Business Plan Template and complete your business plan and financial model in hours.

Is a Wedding Venue Business Profitable?

Wedding venues can be profitable. However, it depends on the nature of the business as well as its location, price points, and other factors that affect it’s market area.

The best way to determine whether or not your wedding venue business is profitable is by using an initial breakeven analysis. This will help you calculate how much revenue you need in order to cover all your costs and still make a profit. It will also show you how much demand there is for the type of wedding venue you’re operating by demonstrating the minimum revenue necessary for you to remain in business.

What are the Keys to Launching a New Wedding Venue Business?

There are a number of keys to launching a successful wedding venue.

One of the most important is to have a clear business plan in place. This will help you to outline your goals and objectives, as well as how you plan on achieving them. It’s also important to have a good understanding of the costs associated with starting and running your business. This will help you to make informed decisions about how much money you need to get started, and what your break-even point is.

In order to attract wedding professionals and future customers, it’s important to start marketing your venue early on. Wedding professionals can help promote your venue to their clients, and word-of-mouth is one of the best forms of advertising. Building a good relationship with local wedding professionals will help your business grow in the long run. The internet is another great way to market your venue, especially if you are targeting a local audience. Sites like Yelp or Wedding Wire can help customers find your business quickly and easily.

It’s also important for new wedding venues to invest in good photography equipment. Professional photos give potential customers an idea of what it would be like to hold their wedding at your location, which will entice them into contacting you about pricing options. Good quality photos shouldn’t be expensive, so spend some time doing research into lighting and camera equipment before investing in anything too major.

Finally, it’s important to work and be committed in order to make your new business a success. Wedding planning season is typically during the spring and summer months, which means that you’ll be busy throughout these months running your venue yourself. Consider hiring your first member of staff during the winter months allowing for enough training time to lighten your load during the busy season.


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How to Start a Wedding Venue FAQs

If you're looking for other services to include in your wedding venue, there are quite a few. You can offer wedding planning services, event planning services, catering, and floristry services. But you could also offer lodging and transportation packages for guests who come from out of town.

If you have the land, think about offering outdoor wedding spaces as well. If your wedding venue business is unique enough you could even offer destination weddings or elopements to couples that don't want their friends and family around for the big day.

The legal aspects of opening a wedding venue can be quite extensive. In order to open a wedding venue, one must first apply for the appropriate licenses from state and local government agencies. In many jurisdictions, some or all of these licenses are the exclusive province of the municipality in which the business is located.

Some requirements that a business person may have to meet include compliance with local zoning laws, noise regulations, parking regulations, zoning regulations, fire regulations, odor regulations, fire safety regulations, and securing any necessary event permits from the police department.

There are many types of wedding venues that you can open. Weddings take place all over the world, so think about what kind of weddings are going on in your area. Most places have churches and other historic buildings that could be used as a venue on their own or with some minor renovations.

You might also consider opening a barn wedding venue, a garden venue, a gazebo, or an outdoor wedding venue. There are so many different types of venues you can choose from that it's unlikely you'd have too much trouble finding the perfect wedding venue and location for your business.

There are many ways to market your wedding venue. You could use online marketing like blogs and social media to get the word out. You could also print up flyers and business cards that you can hand out at local grocery stores, malls, and other popular gathering places.

You may even consider hiring a public relations firm with experience in wedding planning marketing to give your business the boost it needs to succeed with immediate coverage in major news outlets.

Another way to market your business is to make sure you have a high-quality, easy-to-use website. Wedding venues often list their information on wedding planning websites and directories as a way to attract new customers.

The cost of opening a wedding venue can vary depending on your location. The cost of the facility itself may be included in one overall cost, but there are also many other things to take into consideration like commercial property insurance, legal fees, and marketing costs.

Some business owners feel that it costs between $100,000 to $500,000 to open a wedding venue depending on location and size. It's important to plan out your wedding venue business carefully so that you don't find yourself with no customers during the first few months after opening.

There are many tips to successfully start up your own wedding venue. First, make sure your location is ready to accommodate weddings. Hire professionals to help you design, build, and decorate the venue to meet all your needs.

When working with a budget, be sure to research and purchase the least expensive disposable, yet still high-quality items so you can cut costs without cutting quality or appearance.

Make sure that all of the local government agencies are aware of your wedding venue business so there are no problems during the process of opening.

You can download our wedding venue business plan PDF template here. This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.


Additional Resources for Wedding Venue Owners

Wedding Mavericks


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