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How to plan a dry-hire wedding.

If you’re hoping to plan a dry-hire wedding, then today’s blog will be the perfect read for you!

As a specialist dry-hire UK wedding planner, the vast majority of weddings I plan take place in dry-hire venues or spaces, from beautiful rustic barns and luxury country homes through to marquee wedding and tipi wedding venues, the options available in the UK are vast!

What is a dry-hire wedding?

In a nutshell, a dry-hire wedding means you’ll be hiring a blank shell of a wedding venue or outdoor space only (for a marquee wedding or tipi wedding) and every other aspect of planning your wedding will be your responsibility.  From sourcing your wedding suppliers and hire equipment (quite often very unexciting items such as marquees or tipi’s, generators and loos!) through to choosing the tiniest of details such as the crockery and cutlery you’ll have on your tables, you will be the project manager in charge of bringing your dream wedding to life. Planning a dry-hire wedding isn’t for the faint-hearted and you need to be prepared that there is a great deal of wedding planning work involved.

How much does a dry-hire wedding cost?

Lots of couples planning a dry-hire wedding assume that this will be a cheaper option than booking a wedding at a traditional wedding venue or a standard wedding package – it isn’t! As I mentioned above, not only will you have to pay for the actual dry-hire wedding venue, you’ll also need to hire in every single element, including your wedding suppliers to make your wedding work on a practical level.

Having said that, not being tied into traditional wedding packages means you have the flexibility to select the local wedding suppliers you would like to work with and this gives a great opportunity to negotiate and refine your wedding requirements. As most wedding suppliers are happy to tailor their services to your specific requirements, you’ll end up with a beautifully bespoke, tailored option just for you. Of course, this also gives you the opportunity to carefully manage costs as well.

What about the wedding drinks?

Well, not exactly free BUT, the majority of dry-hire wedding venues don’t charge corkage so there’s a great opportunity to save some cash in your wedding budget here. Popping across the channel to the wine warehouses in France could save a fortune and similarly, places like Majestic wine in the region offer some great deals on wedding wine.

What is included at a dry-hire wedding venue?

When discussing options with your chosen dry-hire wedding venue, it’s really important that you have a clear understanding of what is being contractually offered. At the very least, you’ll need to understand when you’ll have access to the venue to set up (there’s a whole lot of work involved in setting up for a dry-hire wedding!) and when you need to have the site clean and clear as well.

Most dry-hire wedding venues, particularly those that host marquee or tipi weddings, operate a ‘leave no trace’ policy which means you will take responsibility for ensuring the dry-hire venue is returned in the same condition in which you received it and that all rubbish and personal effects are removed.

Also, ensure you have a clear understanding of which parts of the dry-hire venue you have access too, many of these spaces, are private homes so it’s likely that there will be areas of the site which are excluded.

Will the wedding venue issue a wedding contract?

Planning a dry-hire wedding incurs far more risk than choosing a standard wedding package with a traditional wedding venue. As you are hiring all of your wedding suppliers individually, the responsibility for ensuring they deliver the goods or wedding services lays firmly with you as the client or couple getting married. So, do ensure that you have contracts in place with both the dry-hire wedding venue and every single one of your wedding suppliers so you know exactly what they are agreeing to provide.

How do you find your wedding suppliers?

It’s important that you ensure that each of your wedding suppliers is a reputable business (you can read more about choosing your wedding suppliers here) and that each can demonstrate they have the correct insurances and certification in place. It’s worth taking a look at a directory like Rock My Wedding to take a look at their recommended suppliers.

As a multi-award-winning UK wedding planner I have an incredible network of tried, tested and trusted  wedding suppliers who are on hand to help bring your dry-hire wedding to life. If you’re hoping to fly solo and plan your dry-hire wedding without a professional event planner, communication with your wedding suppliers is key. They’d much rather you ask appropriate questions at the earliest stage to ensure there are no hidden surprises at a later date.

Planning a dry-hire wedding

Now for the exciting part – let your imagination run wild! Choosing a dry-hire wedding venue offers you the opportunity to design the wedding of your dreams, there’s no nasty ‘one size fits all’ packages here! Get on Pinterest and social media for wedding ideas and inspiration and start to design the most beautiful, unique, authentic wedding. Of course, if you need some help, check out our wedding styling service.

Hire a wedding event planner for your dry-hire wedding

As a specialist dry-hire UK wedding planner, I’d love to help you plan and design an incredible wedding! If you’re getting married in the UK, why not get in touch to find out how I can help you plan and design the wedding from your wildest dreams?

You can reach me on 0800 772 0765 or [email protected] or you can book a complimentary, no-obligation wedding consultation here.

Based in London and Norwich, I am a multi-award-winning wedding planner who works with amazing couples across the globe to plan and design amazing weddings across the UK.



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