What’s this initiative?
As a way of assisting Australian farmers looking to diversify their property operations and expand their revenue streams, we’re offering any working farm owners the opportunity to list their property on Wedshed for free for a year if they would like to explore weddings as an alternate income source.
We’ve previously extended this opportunity to drought-affected farms back in 2018 (as featured on Channel Nine’s The Today Show). And we recognise that we’re in – and approaching – a period of change, uncertainty, transition due to the climate crisis. We’ve spoken to many of our venues that also operate primarily as working farms about why they have chosen to offer their property for weddings and the recurring theme has been that weddings provide an income future-proofing measure, as well as a new business opportunity for a future generation.
Wedshed is a platform that brings together unique wedding venues from across Australia and New Zealand. We use the term ‘venue’ loosely – our partnered spaces range from woolsheds and warehouses to wildflower farms and whisky distilleries. We’ve even got some ex-gaols, old schools and a cave in our portfolio. Basically, any space that allows couples the flexibility to create a day that reflects what they’re all about.
Wedshed has been described as the ‘Airbnb for weddings’, which is a simple way of explaining it, however we don’t take a cut from any bookings: all revenue made goes directly to the venue owner. We simply charge an annual subscription to our venue partners (however, we’ll be waiving this for a year, commitment-free, if you’re a farm that’s looking to new to the wedding space and looking to diversify).
And why should property-owners consider taking up the offer?
Because there’s a market of couples looking for authentic, unique, Australian and New Zealand properties that they can create their dream day at while building a real relationship with the owner.
Weddings have changed a lot in the last decade. Increasingly, couples are choosing to steer clear of traditional function centres that have strict timings, limited personality and cookie-cutter packages. No thanks.
Instead, more loved-up folk are opting to say those vows at beautiful spaces operated by real people with pride in their property. And these are the kind of couples we attract on Wedshed (approx 50,000 like-minded individuals every month).
Many properties have working farm sheds that are only used for a number of weeks per year or are currently storing farming equipment that may be able to be moved. These undercapitalised spaces have oodles of potential as a wedding venue, due their unique character and charm. We’re currently already working with several farms that are making the most of an outbuilding that they hadn’t previously considered as a ‘venue’.
We recognise that weddings won’t be the answer for every family considering diversifying their operations in the future due to resources, council zoning and existing farm activity. But it might be an avenue that can provide some financial support during tougher seasons and a lucrative back-up revenue stream for the future.
In fact, some of our venues have seen weddings overtake the traditional primary purpose of the property (e.g. cattle or sheep farming, wine-making, accommodation). So it can be an option worth exploring that may help keep a farm in a family for future generations.
Righto. I’m interested. But how would I even get started?
We’ll give you some guidance on setting up. We’ve got tips, templates and tried-and-tested advice to give you a helping hand (we turned a farm into a thriving wedding venue before we launched Wedshed, so we understand what’s involved first-hand).
As a first step, fill out this expression-of-interest form referencing the ‘Wedshed Diversification Initiative’ with as much detail as you can provide. One of our team will then be in touch.
I’m a couple. And I want to help Australian and NZ farmers by considering their property for my wedding. How do I find them on Wedshed?
Great stuff and congrats on your engagement. Not only will you be enjoying one of the great days of your lives together but you’ll also be helping some hard-working families in the process.
You can find hundreds of farms and private properties via our directory – simply use the search parameters to look for the type of venue you’re interested in (and narrow down by region and other features).
Terms and conditions for properties considering our diversification initiative here.