Worcestershire CCC's first Wedding Showcase of 2015 has been hailed a major success with "really positive feedback" from would-be couples contemplating tying the knot at New Road.
The county have linked up with ten business partners to offer the opportunity for couples to have the stress taken out of their big day and have the chance to take advantage of exclusive deals.
And commercial director Jon Graham admits offering free room hire for weddings with 50 or more guests has "really struck a chord" with partners considering booking for The View or the Graeme Hick Pavilion.
Graham said: "The first Wedding Showcase was really good. Last year, when we used a third party, they were relatively successful – but once you control it yourself, you can add and get more out of it.
"We absolutely went at the right time. Lots of people proposed around Christmas time and are looking for venues, looking at those key areas that cause a lot of stress like hair make-up, car hire, jewellery, all that sort of thing.
"The one thing we did with the Showcase was make sure all of those businesses were on show and offering exclusive deals because they are part of what we are doing – and they can take the stress out of the big day.
"Usually people who come to our Wedding Showcases have already selected the wedding venue and it was great to see that over half of the people that turned up this time hadn't booked a venue.
"They were coming here with a fresh set of eyes to see what we've got to offer and, given the new development and the Graeme Hick pavilion, which does lend itself quite well to weddings, what a fantastic setting."
Graham added: "I've already said that if we can get people here and show them what we can do from a wedding perspective, then we will certainly close more deals than we lose.
"We had one definite booking from the Showcase. At the moment we've got 20-30 in the pipe-line with ongoing talks – not just from the Showcase – but what we've done over the winter period. It is really positive.
"With the summer floods, redevelopment, it's either been a swimming pool or a building site whereas now it's back to what it has always been which is the most picturesque ground in the world in our opinion – with facilities to match.
"It's not the most romantic notion, I guess, getting married at the cricket club but when you see the setting we've got, it's not just a cricket club, it is far more than that."
Worcestershire CCC will stage further Wedding Showcases in February and March.
Graham said: "We just want to say to people in the county that we are really serious about this, and we know we can offer a better product than most others because we control it all.
"It's our own in-house catering team, we've got a weddng team that will look after everyone down to the last degree, and the feedback has been unbelievably positive.
"One of the exhibitors, who has been doing wedding fayres for many years, has said what we did on Sunday was the best they have ever seen."
Graham admitted: "The fact we are not charging room hire has really struck a chord because we are grateful for people considering us.
"I think it is probably a little bit too much to ask if we say 'thanks for considering us and before we do anything, we want to take some money off you.'
"We are looking forward to the next Showcase because the first one was absolutely superb."