June 25, 2024

Wedding Bookings Update: What Venue Managers Need to Know

Almost exactly a year ago, I sent an email with a subject line that said “you’re not imagining things” about the slow state of wedding bookings at that time. That message resonated with so many venue managers.

My colleagues and I have had hundreds more conversations with venues this year, so I thought I would send you an update.

What we’re hearing from venues:

Things are still slower than they were in 2021 and 2022.
This is to be expected. I honestly don’t ever think we’ll see numbers that we did in that Boomerang Season again. We all have to stop measuring now against then. It’s only serving to bum everyone out, and it’s just not realistic.

Things are not as slow as they were in 2023.
That seems to be the bright spot. Most venues are finding it a bit easier to fill up their calendar in 2024.

Staffing is an issue.
Finding and keeping quality staff is a huge issue across the country. I see this as being a big challenge moving forward. If you have good people, do all you can to keep them.

It’s harder than ever to break through the noise on social media.
Which is super frustrating, given how much time and effort social media can require. This one makes smoke come out of people’s ears.

Couples are avoiding phone calls more than ever.
This makes it hard to follow up, but, for venues willing to meet couples where they are, the opportunity is there.

Whew! Ok, that’s a lot.

The Good News:

There seems to be broad agreement that 2025 could bring us more normalized booking levels. With the U.S. election in our rearview mirror (and all the uncertainty that brings), several aspects of the economy will continue to improve, which encourages the booking landscape.


  1. Know you’re not alone. If you’ve been feeling a bit frustrated, rest assured it’s not just you!
  2. Review this module of the Venue Business Boot Camp for easy things you can do to break through the noise on social media.
  3. Instead of continuing to try to get couples on the phone, use text and Loom to rise above the competition.
  4. Don’t stop marketing. Yes, I am aware of how self-serving that sounds, but also, it’s true. Taking your venue out of the marketing conversation is only going to decrease your leads and bookings.
  5. Concentrate on selling to your superpowers. That is the one thing you can do that will always help you stay afloat.

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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.