Weddings Set In A Beautiful Landscape
Tom Pridmore explains why the Ribble Valley has become such a popular wedding destination
In recent years, the Ribble Valley has become one of the most desirable places in the north of England to get married, so much so it was featured in a real-life documentary TV series called Wedding Valley.
The area is a true wedding heaven, with a variety of amazing venues, all set in beautiful landscapes, with a unique range of supporting suppliers and local accommodation.
Identifying the tourism potential of weddings seven years ago, Ribble Valley Borough Council invited representatives from all the licensed wedding venues to a meeting to discuss how wedding tourism might be developed. At that meeting, Ribble Valley Wedding Heaven, was born. It was a new, innovate partnership and a new brand, based on the perfect place to get married.
Since that inaugural meeting, venues have worked collaboratively to coordinate marketing to promote the Ribble Valley as the perfect wedding destination.
Tourism Officer Tom Pridmore believes the partnership is the only one of its kind in the country, where venues work together in this way.
Tom explains: “The way the group has worked together is admirable but from what I have experienced, is typical of the way Ribble Valley businesses co-operate in the promotion of tourism. We are lucky to have so many unique venues and so many creative and flexible businesses willing to make the dreams come true for couples getting married.”
The success of the group may be attributed to a number of factors. Firstly, the strong brand identity of Ribble Valley, a place with great landscapes and a reputation for quality. Secondly, we have a local authority committed to partnership working. Also, the group has recognised that, by working together, any wedding in Ribble Valley may potentially benefit any partner, whether that be through dining experiences or overspill accommodation.
In addition to its promotional activities, including website, brochures, media visits and social media, the group meets regularly with Lancashire County Council’s registration officers, to encourage continual improvement into the way in which weddings are administered, along with changes to the way outdoor weddings are developed.
The group manages the Ribble Valley Wedding Heaven website and produce free wedding guides, offering a one-stop-shop for Ribble Valley venues.
Tom adds: “Weddings are a powerful tool in stimulating tourism, as they not only provide a significant number of first-time visitors to stay in the area, but evidence also suggests that having discovered the Ribble Valley, many wedding guests are returning for independent holidays.”
There are between 2,000 and 3,000 weddings in the Ribble Valley each year with each and every one being unique thanks to the hard work of Ribble Valley businesses. And, all the research suggests that this buoyant market will continue, with more couples seeking the rural and unique wedding experiences for which Ribble Valley has become renowned.