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Things you need to know and consider before booking a dry hire venue for your wedding.

When you start looking at wedding venues you'll soon start to realise that there are two main types of venue, package and dry hire. In this blog post I'm going to run you through what a dry hire venue is, what you need to consider before booking one and things you need to know before hand.

What is a dry hire venue?

A dry hire venue is a blank canvas venue that gives you more control, freedom and flexibility for your wedding. Dry hire venues are usually a shell venue where you will get use of the space for a set amount of time and that's all. In some cases you may get use of the venue tables and chairs but in others you will get nothing , or just a plot of land! So when considering a dry hire venue there is a lot that you need to consider before putting down a deposit.

What do you need to consider before deciding on a dry hire venue?

When considering dry hire there is a lot to think about, if you are working with a planner we will of course talk you through all of this before hand, but if you are planning your wedding yourself make sure you consider the following to in sure that a dry hire venue is the right fit for you and your budget.

  • Suppliers

With a dry hire venue you wont get any suppliers included like you would with a package venue such as a caterers. You will need to hire all suppliers required for your wedding, from furniture, food, bar and décor etc. If you are looking at a marquee or tipi wedding dont forget you will also need to hire the tent as well as the land!

  • Staffing

Along with suppliers you also need to make sure that there is staff! This is mainly for the catering and bar, but in some cases caterers have a bar service where they will provide bar staff and stock for you which is super helpful and ticks another item off of your list.

  • Toilets

If you are having a marquee or tipi wedding you will need to consider having toilets! The land you hire will be just that, so you need to make sure you have dedicated toilets for your guests and suppliers. I would ideally avoid portaloos as your guests are going to be dressed up and dont want to ruin their outfits! You can get some great luxury loos now that are just like toilets you would find in a venue but portable! Its an additional expense that you wouldn't need at a package venue but one you 100% need to book!

  • Parking

If you are having a dry hire venue that is already a physical space and not a patch of land parking may not be such as issue. But if you are having a marquee/tipi wedding you will certainly need to think about where your guests will park/taxis will drop off pick up. If you are choosing a specific marquee venue parking may already be allocated but if just hiring a patch of land it is something you should definitely check with the land owner and see what is usually done for weddings.

  • Set up and Take Down

Depending on what you will need to be set up/taken down your individual suppliers should be able to do this for you, but smaller things like making sure stationery is put out, place names are correct, décor is correct and everything is running smoothly isnt going to be done by any of your suppliers, and certainly isn't something you should be doing on the morning of your wedding! You can of course allocate a bridal party member but again they should be enjoying themselves and getting ready with you. Consider an on the day coordinator for this! Take a look at my weddings page for all of my services that can be used for dry hire venues

  • Power and Lighting

At a dry hire venue such a marquee remember there is no lighting or power already on site. For this you would need to make sure you hire a generator and lighting company or speak to your marquee provider to see if this is something they can help with. You dont want to be eating in the dark!

  • Rubbish

Most dry hire venues insist you take all of your rubbish with you at the end of the night. This is something you would need to arrange and also check with the caterers and bar and see if they will be taking their rubbish with them or leaving it on site to go with the rest. You can get rubbish removal services to clear this for you but dont go leaving it on site as you may be left with a big bill!

Important things to know and keep in mind when deciding on dry hire.

There a few very important things you need to remember when planning your dry hire wedding and visiting venues. Below are some the very important things you need to know and think about asking when planning your dry hire venue wedding.

  • On site team

Remember there is no on site team at a dry hire wedding venue, you will be the main point of contact and suppliers will be wanting to talk to you and confirm things with you through out the day. If budget allows hire a on the day coordinator who can do all of this for you, will know your wedding day inside and out and can help with set up/take down and supplier coordination etc.

  • What's included?

Always make sure when you attend dry hire venue viewings that you find out exactly what is included! In some cases dry hire venues can include tables and chairs, so its best to know this from the get go instead of spending lots of money on furniture to find out it was included all along. Also find out whats NOT included to make sure you know exactly what to expect and that there are no nasty surprises on wedding day.

  • Expense

The freedom and flexibility of a dry hire venue may sound appealing and be exactly what you are looking for but please bare in mind that dry hire venues are not always cheaper, with the additional items you need to hire such as power and toilets the costs can definitely add up.

  • Restrictions

Although dry hire venues give you more flexibility there are still some restrictions you need to think about. When speaking with your venue double check if there are restrictions on timing, what can and cant be on site, parking, set up day prior/clean up day after etc. Its best to find out everything first so you know what you can and cant do and confirm if this is really the venue for you.

  • Never Assume!

With a dry hire please never assume something is included or not included, as each one is so different its best to check absolutely everything and make sure that you know exactly what will and wont be available when you turn up on your wedding day.

If you are considering a dry hire wedding, take a look at my wedding services page where I offer a range of services including on the day management that can all be tailored to your dry hire wedding.


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