In Nebraska, there could be rain about any time of the year. (And if there's not a possibility of rain, there's a possibility of snow.) In 2017 I had rainy day weddings in April, May, September, and October (And a snowy one in March). So plan your dream outdoor wedding, but be sure to think ahead and have a backup plan!
As you tour venues that offer options for an outdoor ceremony, ask them if they also have a backup option for weather related issues. And then ask yourself if you'd be okay using that option. If you're not, what can you do? Is there a different space you can rent? Can you bring in a tent? And if the venue doesn't have a backup option, is it worth taking the risk?
Let your vendors know early that you're planning an outdoor ceremony. Then let them know what your plan B is. Keep them informed if they need to show up at a different location if the weather is bad.
If you would be okay with a few sprinkles, make sure your vendors are as well. Your photographer would need to have weatherproof equipment that would still capture great images in the rain. You also need to make sure you're not liable for their equipment if the water would ruin it. Your videographer would be the same way. Your DJ or musicians may also not be able to perform in the rain. Most contracts have a clause that note if the couple is responsible for providing a dry location for their performance. Ask your florist if water could damage or brown flowers. Most of the time a little sprinkle wouldn't hurt them, but a downpour could damage delicate blooms.
Also consider different constraints that your rain plan may create. Do you have the same amount of space for your DJ or band to set up? If you have to move inside can you set up a floral arch or will that only work outside?
Find out what time you need to make the rain call with all your vendors in advance. The venue may need to know at a certain time to make sure that the alternative location is set up. Your rental company needs to know so they can correctly set up the chairs. Your florist or decorator need to know in order to have enough time to place the flowers. If you wait to make the call until all your chairs are already set up and the rental company is gone, you may have to have friends and family make the move. The last thing you want to do is make the call too late and not have options for a dry ceremony.
Be prepared with some locations indoors for pictures if the weather is horrible. If you're okay taking pictures in a light rain, let your photographer know in advance so they can come prepared with the proper gear. Order some big, clear umbrellas or some fun ones in your wedding colors so that you and your bridal party can match while staying dry. Consider having your bridal party and the bride bring different shoes. Bring a clear tarp or a pillowcase (stuffing your train in a pillowcase to walk around saves it from being stepped on) to put under the train of your dress so it's not ruined if you walk in the mud and grass.
Will it ruin your day?
Having a rain plan will make your wedding day go so much smoother if you need to use it. Decide if having to use your rain plan will ruin your wedding day before you book an outdoor ceremony. Are you okay with the probability of a gorgeous outdoor ceremony while still having the possibility of getting rained out? Or would you rather plan at an indoor location that you like? You have to decide if you're laid back enough to handle a last minute change on your wedding day.
Start watching the forecast early and start talking to your vendors about a week before your wedding. If you have a planner, they'll help you consider your options and contact your vendors. They'll also help keep the process smooth on your wedding day.
Just remember--whatever the weather, you're getting married! (And they say rain is good luck on your wedding day!)