Planning an outdoor wedding ceremony often takes more time and decision-making than you would expect. But if you have your heart set on the great outdoors, the most obvious factor is the weather. When you choose your venue for the ceremony, you must have a Plan B!
If there isn't a suitable building to use nearby, then spending the money to rent a small tent, which is set up within walking distance of the original ceremony site, may be your smartest investment. On a day when the weather is unpredictable,sunshine, raindrops, and more sunshine, it is imperative that a designated person, other than the bride and groom--have the authority to make the decision as to where the ceremony will take place. From my experience with garden weddings, a minimum of one hour is needed to make the switch. Chairs will need to be moved, flowers will need to be re-arranged, and the musicians must have time to move their equipment and to do a proper sound check so your alternate site will be just as lovely as the original.
When performing for an outdoor wedding ceremony, I put up a small, attractive enclosure that covers all of my equipment. Even the most beautiful, sunny day, can have a detrimental effect on electronic equipment. If your musicians come unprepared for an inclement day, they may refuse to perform for your wedding in fear that their equipment will be damaged. Therefore, ask your musicians what their Plan B is!
Some of the most beautiful wedding ceremonies I have sung for have been outdoors. There is nothing more beautiful than being one with your spouse and one with nature. Just remember that an outdoor ceremony is going to add more stress to your day, so ask all the necessary questions in advance to all vendors that you hire for your ceremony. Have faith in your choice of a weather decision-maker, and enjoy the day!