As much as I would love to live in the land of denial, sometimes it rains. Wedding planning 101 teaches: have a back up plan. Having an alternate ceremony location is not a back up plan. It's a big bold note at the top, yes. But that's it. Basically, your back up plan needs to be an exact duplicate of your fair weather plans, only with all the alternatives laid into place. There's more to it than where you'll ceremony will be if it's too hot & humid or cold and windy outside. A great back up plan is plans for a the wedding you would have loved to have inside. Not a compromise. Just a short list to get you thinking...
} Are you still able to have your formal photos in the same locations?
} Are the new locations going to cross paths with guests before the ceremony?
} Are you going to run into another wedding party?
} Are your guests going to get mixed up with another bride's guests?
} Is it going to take longer to transport all your guests, meaning that some elements will start later, and you'll need to extend end times?
} If it's too windy, will your amazing, totally unique, omg-I-can't-wait-to-see-it escort card display still work? And where will it go if it's inside?
} Do you have umbrellas ready to go? How will they be displayed and who's going to be responsible for them?
} Are the perfect apple green sheer overlays the same color inside the ballroom?
} Who will update all your vendors on all the changes?
} How will your guests know where to go to?
} How late can you order the heaters, and where do you want them placed?
} Does the rain plan cost more money? ick.
Back up plans are a puzzle - make sure yours has all the pieces in the box and they all fit together. Start with the flat edges, and work your way into the details! Gang, don't think for a minute this is a list of all the questions that need answered. Remember, its all about making sure there are no loop holes. That's what makes your wedding day smooth and seamless so that you have nothin' but love and fun celebrating the day away. If you invest the time into planning for ill weather, you can rest easy that you're having a fantastic wedding no matter what.
Oh, and do this way way way before wedding day. Better yet, call your planner and let her/him figure it all out, and don't think about it again.