My top six tips for planning a ‘dry hire’ wedding

Tuesday, 1st October 2019

Before I start, what do I mean by a ‘dry hire’ wedding? The term stems from the world of events, where you can hire a completely ‘empty shell’, unlike a more traditional venue where you pick your wedding packages and pay a set price.

Having a ‘blank canvas’ for your big day means you can choose the location more freely, your structure (barn, marquee, tipi, castle, ruin), your caterer and everything else that it entails!

So here are my top six tips to help you get started when you are thinking about having a ‘dry hire, blank canvas’ style wedding.

1) Decide exactly what kind of day you want

Have an open and honest conversation with your other half about what you both want at the wedding and how you both visualise your day playing out. Are you looking for rustic and romantic? Maybe a barn style venue or tipi would be most appropriate. Are you looking for a mystical fairy tale location? You may want to consider a castle or ruin? A more glamorous, opulent style is what you want to achieve? A high-end marquee maybe just what you are looking for.

2) Create a budget spreadsheet

You need to decide what your budget is and create a record of your expenditure. Getting married in a dry hire venue doesn’t necessarily mean more expense… but it also doesn’t mean it will be the cheapest option either! You can get creative about the location if you want a marquee for example. Family or friends may have land that would be the perfect location. It’s important to work out your budget before you choose a venue.

3) Make a list

Dry hire venues have less restrictions and will be a lot more flexible in allowing you to style the venue exactly how you want. However, you may need to hire in extras. For example, if you are getting married in a remote location or in a tipi, you may need to hire in elements such as toilets, lighting and furniture.

4) Embrace it!

A dry hire wedding venue is so much fun! You can get as creative and quirky as you like, be as different as you like and make it as personalised as you like! Enjoy the planning process, gathering your ideas and exploring all the possibilities that could make your day one of a kind!

5) Give yourselves plenty of time

Ensure you give yourselves plenty of time. A non-traditional wedding can take more time to plan and involve more suppliers and logistics. You will need to be super organised. If you are in any doubt, but still want this style of wedding, get some expert help and hire a wedding planner! You’ll be surprised just how much a planner can save you in terms of time, stress and effort, offering impartial advice and guidance as well as recommending trusted suppliers.

6) Get a team of people on board to help

Make sure you give yourselves plenty of time for the set up and break down of your wedding. It’s a good idea to have a team of friends and family on hand that will help you in the lead up days before the wedding and make sure you have someone to greet suppliers on the actual day. If you’re the bride, you will want to be getting ready and relaxing with your bridesmaids, not worrying about the set-up of your venue.

I hope those help and give you some food for thought. Do check out my wedding planning options to see how I could help you on your journey, release some of your time and reduce your stress as you head for one of the biggest days of your lives!  

Sarah X

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