The Images You Need to Market Your Wedding Venue

Written by Emma Hla
… and how to use them!

Imagery is the most significant factor for couples when it comes to venue hunting – you have seconds during that scroll to make an impression, so if your hero shot isn’t cutting it or your own website hasn’t been updated in a couple of years, then you’re going to lose that lead. It’s that simple.

If you’re wondering about your imagery, consider these questions:

  • Are the images you’re using more than three years old?
  • Do you have images of your main ceremony and reception spaces (interiors and exteriors), including other areas such as your accommodation, grounds/surrounding countryside vistas?
  • Do you have imagery that shows the venue dry (without styling or couples)?
  • Are you showing ceremony and reception setups with and without couples?
  • How inclusive are your wedding photos – do they show a variety of couples and celebrations/cultures?
  • Is the styling you’re showing current, modern and relevant to your ideal couple? Just because your venue is ‘classic’ or ‘traditional’ doesn’t necessarily mean the images you’re using are timeless. Trends in photography and styling move on, so ensure you keep up.
  • Are you telling a story with your imagery?
  • Did you take the images yourself (and you’re not a professional photographer)?

How did you do?

Your Photo Requirements

‘Dry’ Shots

Dry shots are professional images of your venue without any editorial or real wedding styling – no flowers, no props, no couples, just your venue’s beautiful raw state. This could be key images of your exteriors, beautiful interiors such as lounges or bedrooms, and your grounds.

Images like this are great to add as they allow couples to see beautiful details of your venue, architecture or artefacts up close. It also allows them to see the blank spaces, which is especially important for couples who have a creative imagination and want to start painting their style onto the area immediately.


Editorials, or styled shoots, are a great way to attract your ideal couple, and I’ve written A LOT about styled shoots right here.

Real Weddings

There’s nothing quite like a real wedding photo – show me a confetti shot, a beautifully styled tablescape, a golden hour kiss or a sparkler exit, and I’m already feeling something for your venue. Getting the balance right here is important when using real wedding shots. You can show your real couples in images that prospective couples can picture themselves in – anywhere key photos/portraits are captured is perfect.

Inclusive Imagery

Are the images you’ve chosen to use representative of all your couples?

It’s easy to reach for the same wedding imagery repeatedly, and this bias can alienate a wide range of couples from your venue. People must see themselves in the wedding imagery on your website and listings.

When choosing marketing images, consider age, race, size, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and religion/belief. If you can include pictures that show a range of celebrations at your venue, then do.


Weddings don’t happen with the wave of a magic wand, although sometimes I’m sure you wish you had one! Actual blood, sweat and tears go into the production of these life events, and it’s important to share your skills, team and passion with couples. Sharing behind-the-scenes of set-ups, open days, team gatherings, etc., will connect you with couples on a deeper level.

Just ensure you have permission from couples to share any BTS of their wedding day (and only after the event!).

Photographing these moments, sometimes professionally, will also give you additional marketing tools and can be used across your websites, brochures, social media, or marketing partner websites/blogs. We love to publish a post-open-day walkthrough of your event!

New Additions

If you have new additions to your venue, such as brand new accommodation, a new ceremony or reception space, or you’ve just had a little spruce up of the grounds, then don’t wait for a wedding to maybe capture these areas – get them professionally shot, control the narrative and start marketing your venue!

Building relationships with local photographers is key here, and remember, the images don’t need to be styled or include a model! Dry shots of the space are just as valuable.

A great example of this is the ‘Home Tour’ series we’re doing with Tythe in Oxfordshire. Owner Emma is completing an extensive renovation on their Farmhouse to provide additional (and rather gorgeous) onsite accommodation. We’re covering the Reno from concept through progress, which will result in a final reveal! Their progress update featured raw images of the renovation, professionally shot by local photographer Binky Nixon.

If you’re not at the stage of photographing the space, then consider having professional CADs or illustrations created to show the rooms – these can be used on show rounds to help visualise the spaces as well as your third-party listings/website. We’ve seen characterful illustrations from Kin House showing their rooms before launch to life-like CADs from The River Barn.

The Team

I’m finishing on the team, but it’s right up there in terms of importance when considering your imagery. You might have the most beautiful, sought-after wedding venue, but the team really seals the deal for couples in the sales process.

Instead of waiting for the couple to meet you on a showround, get your team face front and centre on your website and social media – make the couples feel like you’re welcoming them into your family, albeit digitally.

Having up-to-date team photos is a super important exercise, so book this into the calendar yearly.

Marketing Seasons

Just as weddings have a peak season, venue hunting does, too.

Enquiries won’t come in a constant stream throughout the year. There are particular months which will see increases and other months where enquiries drop.

If you know the key seasons, then you’ll a) feel in control of your enquiry levels and b) be able to plan your marketing and image updates accordingly.

There are two peak seasons to be aware of:

  • December (Boxing Day) – February
  • July – September

With the above in mind, we suggest two significant gallery updates yearly – once before the festive break (November/December) and again just before you focus on your peak summer wedding season (May/June).

When you update for the winter peak, ensure you have sourced all images from your summer and early autumn weddings. Plan for your Christmas marketing changes in advance – ideally, this should be thought about in October and actioned in November/early December. Requesting multiple changes to your listings/websites, including a gallery refresh a few days before Christmas, isn’t ideal and may mean you won’t have key imagery in place.

Update your website and third-party listings with new imagery again just before you become too focused on your peak summer weddings – use the winter and spring imagery you’ve requested and received.

Crediting + Copyright

I needed to mention crediting and copyright to write an article about the importance of imagery to your marketing.


Whether it’s on your own website, social media or third-party listings, you must credit the photographer for their work and use of their imagery. As a platform, we can refuse images without the photographer’s credit.

When saving and organising the photographs you’ve received, the key information needed in the image file name is the photographer’s name.

For example rebecca-goddard-photography-01

If you decide to add the couple’s name or a description of the image, then, of course, that’s all fine – but the important part of the image file name is the credit, that’s it.

This is to ensure the credit isn’t lost – teams change, and inevitably, the knowledge of weddings, photos and ultimately, which photographer snapped which image will be lost.


The photographer holds the copyright for wedding images and not the couple. If a couple has kindly sent their wedding photographs to you for marketing use, you still need to seek out the approval of the photographer before you use them on your own website or third-party listings.

Social Media

Social media has become a powerful marketing tool for businesses, especially visually-led industries like weddings! But as consumers, we’re constantly sold to online and continually inundated with images, ads and clever visual campaigns.

Here are some things to consider when posting online to ensure you’re maximising the opportunity, getting through to your ideal couples, and supporting your industry peers at the same time.

image crediting Etiquette

As mentioned above, copyrights for images are always held by the photographer. So, if you want to share an image online, the right thing to do is contact the photographer directly and request permission to share it on your social platforms. 99% of the time, they will say yes, but you must always ask, ‘@‘ tag them in the image/post where possible and credit them in the caption too.

Images to share

Consider sharing various posts to keep your followers interested, entertained, inspired and engaged. Showcase different areas of your venue, share some real wedding inspiration, couple testimonials and behind-the-scenes footage. A beautiful blend of these (professionally photographed where possible for the grid!) will create an aesthetically pleasing feed whilst boosting your brand identity.

What images do well

Portrait images always work best. They take up more screen real estate, so they are much more impactful than a landscape image. That being said – don’t not post landscape or square images, but if you do have the choice – opt for a portrait.

Plan for seasonality and organise folders

There’s nothing like selecting and publishing current and relevant content to your followers – this is where the magic happens! You can get organised and gather your magical winter wedding images in one folder to drip-feed them through the festive holidays. Earmark images that would be perfect for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s/Father’s Day, Halloween, International Women’s Day, etc., and save some of those balmy summer wedding reception images to post when the weather is scorchio!

It takes a bit of time and effort to get these folders in place, but you’ll be so glad you did when they’re all ready for you during a busy wedding season, and it will be worth it when those Like notifications start rolling in.

Social Media Doesn’t Replace Your Website

It’s straightforward to make your scroll suddenly look fresh and beautiful, especially with a constant stream of new imagery that can easily be shared with a few clicks. But pay attention to your website for your feed – focus on the space you own and control first and foremost. If a couple finds you in Google via a search or a third-party listing, your part of the internet is current, inspirational and easy to navigate with clear call-to-actions.

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