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  • Writer's pictureWhole Lotta Love Weddings

Pros and cons of a dry-hire wedding venue

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Wood-clad interior of a dry hire Surrey wedding venue.  Large cast iron chandeliers hang from the beams, and a huge floor to ceiling glass wall looking over a green countryside.

Image of Botley Hill Barn, London

Choosing a dry-hire venue can be more complicated than choosing a venue that provides all-inclusive services. Here are some reasons why:

1. More Wedding Coordination Required

With a dry-hire venue, you are responsible for coordinating all the vendors and services that you need for your wedding day, including catering, decor, and entertainment. This requires more planning and coordination on your part, as you will need to find and hire multiple vendors and ensure that they all work together seamlessly.

2. Additional Fees at Dry-hire Wedding Venues

While the rental fee for a dry hire venue may seem lower at first glance, you need to factor in the additional costs of renting everything you need for your wedding day, from tables and chairs to lighting and sound equipment. These additional fees can add up quickly, and you may end up spending more than you would have with an all-inclusive venue.

3. Time-Consuming Setup and Cleanup of Dry-Hire Wedding Venues

With a dry-hire venue, you are responsible for setting up and cleaning up the space before and after your wedding day. This can be time-consuming and require additional coordination with your vendors to ensure that everything is set up properly.

4. More Decisions to Make for Dry-hire Wedding Venues

With a dry-hire venue, you have more decisions to make when it comes to selecting vendors and decor items. This can be overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with the wedding planning process or do not have a clear vision of what you want for your wedding day. Despite these challenges, many couples choose dry-hire venues because they offer more flexibility and allow them to create a unique and personalized wedding experience. If you decide to go with a dry hire venue, be sure to plan ahead, communicate effectively with your vendors, and give yourself plenty of time to set up and clean up on your wedding day.

Here is a list of potential wedding suppliers you may need to consider for your dry-hire wedding:

  1. Caterer

  2. Bartender/Alcohol supplier

  3. Rental company for tables, chairs, linens, and other decor items

  4. Lighting and sound equipment rental company

  5. Florist for wedding bouquets, centerpieces, and other floral arrangements

  6. Photographer/videographer to capture the wedding day

  7. Entertainment such as a band, DJ, or other performers

  8. A wedding planner or coordinator

  9. Officiant to conduct the ceremony

  10. Cake baker for the wedding cake and/or other desserts

  11. Hair and makeup artist for the bride and bridal party

  12. Transportation for the wedding party and guests

  13. Accommodation for the wedding party and guests

  14. Security to ensure the safety of the guests and the venue

It's important to note that the specific suppliers you need may vary depending on the type of wedding you are planning and the size of your guest list. It's also a good idea to check with your dry-hire venue to see if they have any preferred vendors or recommendations for suppliers that have worked well with their venue in the past. This can save you time and potentially get you better pricing or packages.

Having said that, if you don't want a repeated look (after all, choosing a dry-hire venue is all about making it your own, right?), look for suppliers that can deliver your vision. Hiring the right wedding planner/stylist can ensure no mistakes are made and the right suppliers are hired to make your wedding truly yours.

In conclusion

If you have a clear vision of your wedding style and the dry-hire venue appeals to you for this exact reason, factor in the extra work this will entail to achieve it. With the right wedding planner on board, you will seriously reduce the time, save money and get the right suppliers on board to realize your vision.

Dry hire is more complicated, yes, but can be very rewarding indeed.


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