A heads up to savvy venues – be aware of Pantone’s colour of 2017, says Kelly Chandler
Wedding trends change constantly and the most successful and endlessly popular venues keep up to date with trends and fashions, and make smart choices as to where to adopt and incorporate them into their offer.
This article is about the trend for ‘Greenery’ (somewhat appropriate for Open Air Business readers’ locations don’t you think?). Pantone named ‘Greenery’ as their colour of 2017 shortly before the start of the year. You might say “so what?” – we leave the creative part of a wedding to the bride or her/our team of suppliers such as florists, cake designers and more. That’s most definitely true in many cases, but the smart money is on venues and their teams who work the latest trends subtly into their own offerings from the initial point of client contact and beyond.
While the latest colour trend (whether it’s ‘Greenery’ or not) may not appeal to all, potential couples are very style conscious and very aware of trends – studying Pinterest is a rite of passage for every newly engaged (or even pre-engaged) bride.
Pantone describe greenery as ‘a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade’, which is not to everyone’s taste. For some couples, greenery will only ever make an appearance within a bouquet, buttonhole or in a table centrepiece, and for others it may never feature at all. But there will be those who want to go the whole hog and follow this trend for 2017 and 2018 by making their wedding spaces foliage filled and lush. Considering that it’s sensible to use a venue’s backdrop as a natural scene setter, for those of you surrounded by fields, woods and green landscapes you really won’t need to do that much to go ‘green’.
So how can you further adopt greenery into your venue’s offering to show an understanding of trend-aware clients?
- Use your natural location to its best effect– if you put up temporary structures, make sure you site them to not only show their best side but to also show your landscape in its very best light. Don’t position them too close to buildings if you can, look at gaining height and vantage points and consider the visual perspective of the guest from the inside and the outside. “Letting the outdoors is” is a massive trend that goes beyond the greenery trend but is so vital. Work with your temporary structure suppliers to come up with options that allow for sides of marquees to come out, doors to be open or look at stretch tents and so on that really bring out the best of your views and allow guests to appreciate the natural greenery of your location. Don’t forget to look at clear roofs as an option to connect to the outdoors while keeping the warmth in; this is particularly relevant in the cooler months.
- Wedding florals and styling – look at the photos your website features and the colour palettes of the wedding specific florals and details these show – do you have any close ups of foliage you can update your website with or any weddings with lots of foliage or touches of green in the past that you can bring to the fore? I know I planned some stand out zesty lime green weddings some years ago which I see being commented upon favourably in 2017 again. Couples love to see images which inspire them – while they will invariably put their own spin on it, think what you can already show that ticks this trend box. Don’t over-do it, though – there is no need to go green entirely.
- Are you planning any upcoming promotional events? If so, can you style some of your areas to
showcase this trend? Can you design your invitations to incorporate this colour? This is especially relevant if you are an outdoorsy venue anyway, with beautiful grounds, outdoor spaces and features. Orangery-style, light-filled locations, garden rooms, gazebos and marquees are likely to see more demand for dates than they already have (and they are some of the most popular spaces on the market anyway).
- Showrounds – can you incorporate some greenery into your showround process? When you greet your couple, can you welcome them with lovely green leaves with their names written on as you offer them a glass of champagne? Can you have a stylish tree in a key location of your venue, holding testimonials written from past clients on little green/foliage inspired cards? Can you plan some greenery inspired edibles to give away? It’s the little touches that really stand out. Drinks featuring ‘botanicals’ are very on trend this year, and in particular up-market soft drinks. Can you offer your couples a quirky bottled soft drink with a soft green coloured straw popped inside to enjoy as they tour your spaces? Not a big cost investment but a nice welcoming touch that shows you’re up there in the style stakes.
- Add-ons – are there new little add-ons for the wedding day that you can offer/charge out to your couples who might be in love with this new trend? If you have a permanent marquee, how about over-sized foliage-filled chandeliers? How about large trees that can be used as wishing trees or guest books? How about stacked up
logs or tree stumps and trailing greenery to create a wow cake table alternative? There are potentially really good opportunities to supply products at additional cost to couples such as trees and large potted plants, and the good thing with this trend is that these items have a shelf life unlike fresh cut flowers so you can reuse and recycle throughout the season.
- Furnishings – I’d suggest a really close look at your furnishings such as chairs, tables and more. Greenery is likely to lead to more popularity in the wood-finish, rustic look furniture (cross-back chairs are huge this year) as well as anything vintage, recycled, paired-down and outdoorsy – do you have suppliers on your books who can supply and meet this demand? If you have an existing set of chairs which you don’t wish to change, you may be able to work with one of your suppliers to dress them with green slips of fabric or foliage trails. If you’re able to showcase a small permanent area with some of these items in your spaces so much the better as you’re bringing the possibilities to life. If that isn’t practical, can you photograph them and use them on your social media or at your open days and showcases? It’s vital to refresh and update your excellent supplier partners, and each new trend is a chance to ensure you are working with the very best teams who can adapt and modernise the products they are offering. Make sure your suppliers work with you to show off the latest trends in a way fitting of your spaces.
- Trend–aware–talk about the fact that you are trend-aware – even if you can’t physically make or incorporate all of these ideas into your offering, don’t be afraid to comment upon the greenery trend via industry blog posts, social media posts and more, and share your ideas and likes. Commenting that you’d really like to welcome such and such an idea into your venue might well just mean you attract that client to you who does just that! And if you’re lucky you’ll get some beautiful images you can use to attract more of what you like. Don’t be afraid to ask for images post wedding – most couples are happy to share and be flattered that you ask. As long as all suppliers, and especially the photographer, are credited fairly, everyone is usually happy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelly Chandler is a long-term preferred service provider for exclusive venues such as Syon Park, Highclere Castle, Spencer House and Stoke Park Club. Kelly’s consulting services to wedding venues draw on prior experience in international conference and event planning, over 13 years of business management, and working directly with discerning couples planning their weddings in diverse locations and forging successful relationships with all components of the wedding industry. A former director of trade body, the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, Kelly is a well-regarded innovator, mentor, trainer and industry spokesperson on and in the wedding business. www.kellychandlerconsulting.co.uk