What to look for in a Dry Hire Wedding Venue and How to Plan your Wedding in One

I like to think of myself as a bit of an expert when it comes to dry hire weddings, but nobody knows more about dry hire weddings than the owner of a dry hire venue. Today, Laura from Brook Farm Cuffley is telling us how to ensure your outdoor wedding goes without a hitch. If you’re still unsure what dry hire is, it usually means that you book a venue, without the catering, furniture, entertainment, or any installation. Essentially, you hire a venue and nothing else, sometimes referred to as blank-canvas.

Brook Farm Cuffley is the ideal location for a marquee wedding. Celebrating weddings since 2011, they pride themselves in being totally flexiable, working with couples who want to put their own stamp on their wedding and make it their own. Laura’s family has been farming the land since the early 1940’s. When they began the project to restore the lake to its original glory, as soon as it was accessible they knew that it was too beautiful to keep just for themselves.

Planning your own dry hire wedding can be daunting to say the least. Brook Farm Cuffley started out as a venue that offered a complete dry hire so we were literally just hiring out the land. We’ve evolved so now we offer a hire with just the very basic infrastructure leaving our couples to add the fun and personal bits. We’ve learnt an awful lot along the way so let us share a few top tips for how you can tackle your dry hire wedding.

Let’s start by working out what you need.

· Is there power?
· Is there running water on site for catering and the bar?
· Are there bathroom facilities?
· Is there lighting?

These are your main basic requirements and if your venue is a total dry hire it is likely the answer to all of the above is no. Do not fear. There are suppliers out there ready to step in and provide all of this. Good suppliers will also have a fair bit of knowledge about when they need to be there in relation to other suppliers, for e.g if power is going to be provided via a generator, it is highly likely that your tipi/marquee company will want it there when they are building so that they can test the lights. Some suppliers may have their own small gen on board to do this but a lot of them won’t. What we’re saying here is you need to talk to your suppliers and let them know that it is a dry hire and ask them what they need in place so that they can carry out their job.

After that, it is all about the suppliers that provide the fun bits; the bits you imagined organising when you first had the idea of a dry hire wedding. What type of marquee/tipi you would like, the décor, the type of food, the entertainment.

The biggest bit of advice we can give you is how to choose your suppliers. These are the people who will determine the success of your day. This is where it is great to get a bit of guidance from someone in the know. If you’re able to source a wedding planner like Perfectly Planned 4 You it will pay dividends. These guys know the industry and will have a list of reliable contacts. If you are sourcing the suppliers yourself, then just make sure you do your research. We talked about the importance of this in our ‘Are Unique Weddings a Good Thing’ post, you can read it here which gives the lowdown on how you select them. We all know it is easy enough to get on Google to find your suppliers but our post talks about how you choose them. You’ve got to get past their glossy website and Instagram feed and do some proper research and believe us, it is crucial.

If you can get someone to help you with some of the more boring but essential bits that are needed to cover your basic requirements, it will take a whole lot of stress away from you and leave you to concentrate on the fun.

Thank you Laura for your incredible insight in to dry hire weddings. If you’re searching for an outdoor wedding venue that is a short journey outside of London, then checkout Brook Farm Cuffley, Laura and her team will be more than happy to help.

HI, I'm Cherelle

Welcome to the Perfectly Planned 4 You blog, home to my best wedding tips and inspiration.



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