Most people reading this have probably heard the phrase dry or wet hire and thought what the hell does that mean. Well in relation to a wedding venue it might not be quite what you think.

wedding cake dry hire

Is dry hire no alcohol?

Short answer yes, long answer no. It doesn’t mean no alcohol is allowed but more none is provided. But it’s not just about alcohol it’s everything on site.

If a venue is described as dry hire it means you are hiring only the venue. No tables, no bar, no assistance just the buildings, or land in the case of a marquee venue.

It is important to note some dry hire venues may still charge a corkage fee!

There are a lot of things to consider with dry hire. There are so many items you don’t think of when planning. Cake knives and tablecloths are easily forgotten!

wedding caterer dessert wet dry hire

What is wet hire then?

Wet hire is the other end of the scale to dry hire. But there can be different levels so wedding venues rarely use the term wet hire.

A true wet hire venue provides all the services including everything from your flowers to your photographer and cake. You have just the one contract for your wedding covering everything. You make a few small decisions re colours/food and then just worry about turning up on the day!

But there are lots of levels in the middle. You may get no choice on some suppliers, but contract your own for the others. Some venues will only allow you to use preferred suppliers but you have to book them yourself.

 All venues should give information of what services are included within their packages. They should also advise upfront if there are restrictions on the suppliers you can use for other services.

wedding waiter catering service wet hire

 Why is it important to know

When looking at venues it’s vital you know if they are wet or dry hire. You need to understand if you have choices over suppliers, and if so which ones. You need to know if there are any charges for choosing your own suppliers. Most importantly you need to understand what you are receiving for the hire charge.

Dry hire venues can prospectively be a lot more work unless you hire a wedding planner and dresser. So what could seem like a cost effective option can soon add up and be more expensive than a wet hire venue.

dry hire wedding venue

Does dry hire mean a DIY wedding?

A dry hire venue doesn’t necessarily mean you have to organise everything but if you want to you can.

If you love a dry hire venue and don’t want to do all the leg work then a planner and a venue dresser will be top of your list. The planner can find and organise the suppliers you need to make your day complete. The venue dresser can organise all the decor and styling elements excluding the flowers.

wet dry wedding venue hire

Which is best?

Which is the best option for a couple will entirely depend on them. But generally if you want everything organised for you and are not overly fussy on supplier choices then wet hire would be the obvious choice. In turn if you want to have the ability to choose every element of your day you are better looking for a dry hire venue without restrictions.

wet dry wedding venue hire caterers

 Which is the most expensive?

Again there is no simple answer. As mentioned above dry hire can work out cheaper if you do a lot of the work yourself choosing suppliers, looking for the best deals etc. You need to look out for potentially hidden charges like corkage that cause the costs to escalate.

Wet hire packages are generally more expensive per person but the convenience, lower stress and excellent organisation these packages offer is worth the investment. But if you are willing to organise your wedding at short notice you can get a bargain. Wet hire venues often offer short notice dates at considerable savings which can make a previously out of budget venue obtainable.

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