Could Investing in a Wedding Venue Be the Money-Maker You’ve Been Looking For? Property Development | Property Investment 22nd January 2020 | By Luke Egan I bet you can think of numerous sad-looking or abandoned stately homes that you would love to transform and redevelop, as well a barn crying out for some attention! However, would you transform it into one luxurious home, break it up into flats, or turn it into a commercial venture, like a hotel? Well, let me suggest a further option: convert the building into a wedding venue! [more] Why Invest in a Wedding Venue? It’s no secret, weddings aren’t cheap. According to hitched.co.uk’s National Wedding survey, in 2019 the average total cost of a wedding was £31,974. The average wedding venue cost accounted for £5,406 of this total, without any food or drink included. Using these figures, if a venue holds a wedding twice a week during the peak season of April to October, it could gross £270,300 simply from hiring out the space. Depending on the purchase price, this could provide a healthy yield, as well as a healthy long-term investment opportunity. Furthermore, as weddings are booked months or even years ahead of time, they provide trade transparency, helping you to predict future income and expected expenses. If you want to double up, you could purchase or hire a marquee, so weddings can be held outside on the grounds. These can then be run as a seasonal addition to any venture you choose to follow within the property. Bonus! What Type of Property Is Best? When it comes to finding wedding venues for sale, there are many factors to consider. However, the type of property, state of the property, and the price are key. Development Projects vs. Established Businesses Established wedding businesses are a simple investment. The business will often come attached to the sale of the property and will require minimal input – if currently being run successfully – whereas the structures themselves are usually well-maintained and require minimal investment beyond some modernisation. This means you can relax and reap the rewards of a regular income. Some of our favourites currently on the market include a beautiful Elizabethan three-storey country manor house set in 40 acres of land in Worcester for £2.75m, a grade II listed Georgian country house hotel and established wedding venue in Ceredigion for £925,000, and an equestrian facility with adjoining castle in Gloucestershire being marketed for £1.9m. However, to maximise profitability, you may choose to look for stately homes for sale in need of restoration or consider converting a barn into a wedding venue. Not only will this allow greater control over the layout and appearance, but it could provide a greater increase in value in the long-run. So, get off the beaten track and speak to those in-the-know and you may just stumble across a gem. Stately Homes vs. Barns When it comes to period properties, they all come with the possibility of grade listings and hefty restoration fees. Despite this, a wedding venue’s income can be a pretty penny, so many investors and developers feel it is worth the effort. Generally, barns will be cheaper to purchase than stately homes or castles and won’t require the same level of finish. A rustic barn wedding is all about the exposed woodwork, aged brick-work, and fairy-light filled rafters. However, this laid-back vibe will, of course, be reflected in the price that the betrothed couples can be charged. Stately homes typically have higher venue hire fees due to their high level of opulence and splendour they offer. However, this luxury and architectural significance will usually be at a higher expense than a barn. It is important to do your sums, cost everything out, and look at the competition near your chosen venues. Whatever type of property you choose, you want your wedding venue business model to be profitable. As Savills elaborates: ‘Know who your competitors are and what they offer to help differentiate your venue. Understanding your target market, local population size and local demographic profile will also help determine the offer.’ Desirable Wedding Venue Features: Capacity to sit a minimum of 100 guests comfortably. Space for a commercial kitchen and toilet facilities. An attractive setting or striking architecture, for photos. The ability to accommodate guests or nearby hotels. A permanent roof – grants of approval to legally hold ceremonies do not apply to marquees or open-air spaces. How Can Pure Commercial Finance Help? Whether you require development finance to transform a derelict farm into a dream ceremony space, or simply require some top-up finance in the form of a bridging loan, our experienced team of commercial finance brokers can help. Get in touch today to discuss your financial options and start your journey towards marital business bliss.