i've been thinking about this and i wanted to give everyone who may or may not be having a wedding a little advice since i learned the hard way:
friends, if you decide you're going to have an outdoor ceremony, make sure you've got a backup plan in case it rains. no, really... make a rain plan even if you're getting married in arizona in the middle of july. if you don't plan for it, it'll happen.
i was so sure it wouldn't rain i refused to let ANYONE even speak of it... and guess what happened? of course, there was 90% chance of rain on our wedding day so we ended up moving the whole thing indoors. all of us walked down the staircase inside the house and stood in front of the front door. we had enough seats for maybe 60 guests, then everyone else had to stand where ever there was room. my dad, in his infinite wisdom, opened the bar before the ceremony, so that the people standing in back wouldn't be miserable.
all in all, i was really pleased with the intimacy of the service. my maids stood directly beside me and my parents were right behind me... i loved it. but let's be honest, considering that our wedding coordinator had to come up with three possible rehearsal plans and was worried sick the whole week leading up to the wedding, i'd say make a real rain plan when you book your outdoor site. you might not be worried about it, but believe me...someone is.
photo from malisonian on flickr