What does a dry hire venue really mean?

So you’ve found an incredible dry hire venue and you’re already getting excited about bringing your amazing day to life, but what does dry hire really mean? What’s included, what’s not included and what else do you need to budget for?

I’m Jen, and I run the wedding barns at our family farm in North Yorkshire. It’s me who will show you around on your tour of the barns, and I’ll be on hand to help with every question you have along your wedding planning journey, from how long the tables are to picking the cars up the morning after your wedding.

A dry hire venue offers a lot of flexibility and options to be really creative in making your wedding your own but its also important to understand what it means for your wedding budget. Always ask a venue what is included in the venue hire fee – it will differ from venue to venue but typically a dry hire venue will provide the space and then you’ll need to source your own suppliers such as a caterer, where as an inclusive venue will have their own in house suppliers you will have to use.

At Lodge Farm our venue hire fee includes:

  • Use of the ceremony and reception barns, the courtyard and car park
  • Access from 1pm the day before the wedding until 11am the day after – setting up with friends and family extends the celebrations and gets everyone involved!
  • Tables and chairs for the ceremony and reception
  • Lighting – our fairy lights in the ceremony barn, our fairy light wall behind the dancefloor and our feature lighting in the reception barn
  • Heating and cooling – our system keeps the temperature right in the barns whether its 40 degrees or -4 outside!
  • Toilets – our beautiful ladies and gents as well as disabled and baby change facilities, as well as the toiletries in them
  • Cleaning – we’ll clean the barns because you don’t want to have to get the hoover out the morning after your wedding!
  • Waste disposal – we’ve on site bins, recycling and composting for you to use so you don’t have to lug everything home again
  • Staff – there will be someone on site in the background making sure everything runs smoothly – from showing your band where to set up to greeting the registrar.

Always check with a dry hire venue if they have an additional charges – for having the registrar there, using any feature lighting or perhaps having longer access. We don’t!

So – what else will you need to factor into the budget?

  • Catering – this will be entirely dependent on how many people you invite to the wedding and what you want to eat! According to Hitched’s 2022 UK Wedding Report the average cost of catering at a wedding was £65 per head.
  • Drinks – at Lodge Farm you have to use our in house bar – when you come for a tour we’ll send you our bar brochure so you can get an idea of drinks and package prices.
  • Photographer/videographer
  • Flowers & decorations
  • Cake
  • Band or DJ
  • Stationery
  • Wedding dress and the grooms suit
  • Wedding rings
  • Registrar fees
  • Favours & gifts

The venue will almost certainly be the most expensive part of your day – around a third of your budget. Depending on your guest numbers catering could be another third and then the remaining parts make up the final third. These are very rough estimates so we’d suggest focusing your spend on whats most important to you – want to be able to relive every moment? Prioritise a videographer. Can’t wait to get the party started? Go big on the band!

If the flexibility and creativity sounds like how you want your wedding then I’d love to show you around Lodge Farms – you can book a tour using my online diary here.

Hope to meet you soon!