BROCHURE, WEBSITE and marketing strategy FOR a leading Cheshire wedding venue
Abbeywood is a 45-acre estate nestling in the Delamere countryside, right in the heart of Cheshire and home to the Rowlinson Family since 1987. The venue provides a highly versatile space for weddings both indoors and out. Their gardens offer a simply stunning backdrop with wonderful areas to entertain or relax in.
We were recommended to Abbeywood by our Cheshire-based client Benjamin Lauren. They asked us initially for a marketing strategy, but quickly realised that for this strategy to be a success, they would require a revamp of their existing collateral, including a new brochure and a new website.
Starting with the brochure, we were initially briefed to create a 32-page traditional brochure that would primarily be used digitally with a few printed copies available for giving out to prospective wedding couples. However, once we saw the amount of gorgeous imagery that they had available from wedding photographers such as James Tracey, Shane Webber, Icon Studio and Pixies in the Cellar, we knew that we had an opportunity to do so much more.
With this in mind, we came up with a wedding album concept that allowed us to use full-page photography alongside clean, crisp copy pages with inset images. Instead of a traditional brochure, we would deliver a hardback 52-page book that would really give the wow factor to the couples looking for a boutique wedding venue in Cheshire.
We were supplied with their initial 16-page brochure to rewrite and expand on the content, giving it a friendlier, more aspirational tone. This would help couples who visit the estate to get a clearer idea of what they can expect from their wedding day.
As part of this project, we commissioned a series of watercolours from local artist James Cadby to act as full-page section breaks in the brochure. The finished paintings were scanned digitally and the originals were supplied to the client for them to hang on the walls in the main house. To finish off the brochure, the client supplied us with outline plan sketches of the estate, gardens and a road map for our artist to apply a watercolour finish. This gave the brochure a personal touch and a consistent feel.
We then set our sights on creating a new website, which would act as a showcase for Abbeywood to really show off the estate and gardens. The interface was designed with their wedding photography in mind. We wanted the imagery to be front and centre on the new website to draw the user’s attention. We created bold, striking headers that scaled full-screen on whatever device the site was viewed on. This is especially important as our research showed that 70% of all the previous site’s traffic was viewed on smartphones.
The site was built on WordPress with SEO and speed in mind. The platform allowed us to optimise the site’s SEO with Yoast and give performance boosts through tools such as Autoptimize and Smush. For an extra boost, we hosted the site on a NGINX server for improved reliability and security. The advantage of NGINX over APACHE is that it handles concurrent requests a lot better than Apache. This makes it more stable and a lot faster when multiple people are viewing the site at once. We also used Cloudflare—the largest, fastest, and most reliable managed DNS service worldwide—to dramatically improve the website’s performance through their global CDN and web optimisation features. Finally, we installed an SSL certificate for added domain security, which will also help to increase the SEO performance of the site.
The content was re-written by our SEO copywriters so that it was optimised for Google. The idea was that instead of driving people just to the homepage, the user would land on specific pages based on their search criteria. For example, searching for ‘Wedding venue in Cheshire’ would take you directly to the Weddings section of the website.
We also introduced a gallery page to showcase photography and video of wedding ceremonies and the gardens, as well as images of the dishes available from the venue’s on-site café and restaurant.
Other features included integration with the venue’s social media channels and Trip Advisor listing, enquiry forms for the weddings, accommodation and restaurant, and the ability to write and share articles, guides, workshops, and upcoming events. We are working closely with Abbeywood to help to create content for their blog, as well as advising on their social media marketing and PPC strategy.