July 9, 2024

Transforming Unfilled Dates in 2024: The Pop Up Weddings Solution

I’ve been having lots of fun conversations with venues lately. One common challenge I’m hearing is this: 

“I have a smattering of dates to fill in 2024…and no idea how to fill them.”

One venue mentioned they’ve been doing Pop Up Weddings

I’ll be honest and say I hadn’t heard much about these (am I woefully late to this party?), so we did some research. (Thank you to my friend and colleague Anne Brostrom for help with this great idea.)

A Pop Up Wedding is one where the venue (or, sometimes, a planning company) puts together the ceremony location, the flowers, the theme, the rentals, ALL THE STUFF, and the couple and their 10–40ish friends just show up. There is no planning involved on their part at all. Everything is done for them—and done quickly, the whole event is finished in 2–3 hours.

The venue opens up 2–3 of those unfilled spots on their calendar and lets people book very close in time to the actual date.

It’s a win all the way around: the venue gets to fill some of those open slots, and it’s a gonga deal for the couple. A beautiful wedding with no planning stress at a much reduced cost.

That’s the general gist. This might work really well for all-inclusive venues or those who have strong relationships with a core group of vendors who work on the site all the time.

You’d need to be smart about how you “template-ize” your offerings, and you’d absolutely need to promote this on your Here Comes The Guide listing and on your own social media, but both of those things are do-able.

Now, before you @ me, I realize this is not a good fit for every venue.

But it might get your creative juices flowing for ways to use your superpowers and your network to fill some dates in a new and different way. I think, sometimes, we get so enmeshed in thinking of things in one set way that we miss what might be useful—and fun—new opportunities.

Here’s another idea: What about a Pop Up Dinner for 4–5 couples who you want to tour your venue? What if you put together a lovely night and invited those couples for free food and drink and really showed off your location to them? A Date Night for them. What couple could resist?


Think about this:

  • Is a Pop Up Wedding a possibility for your venue? If not, what is one portion of this idea that you might be able to riff off of to come up with another creative use?

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Meredith Monday Schwartz started at Here Comes The Guide in 1997 (we didn’t even have a website back then—there might also have been dinosaurs running around!) and was a wedding venue specialist for 10 years before taking over as Chief Bossypants in 2007. In the years since she joined HCTG, she’s learned a lot about wedding couples, wedding venues, and running a company profitably and well. To hire Meredith to consult on best practices in your wedding venue business, email meredith@herecomestheguide.com.