I think I need a little advice today. My Fiancé and I are paying for our own wedding so we are pinching every penny in order to afford a great party for our 200+ friends and family. Our venue has a finished barn and a large, beautifully landscaped, outdoor space where we plan to hold our ceremony and cocktail hour (with lawn games). As a backup plan, in case of rain, we have two options.
We can rent a beautiful white tent with windows in the sides, but we will be spending a few hundred non-refundable dollars to have the tent on call for that day and will pay even more if we have to use it. If it rained, cocktail hour would be moved to the barn and we would miss out on our lawn games as well. It would be wet and muddy, but the tent would be beautiful.
The second option (as suggested by our caterer) is to just skip the tent and move the ceremony inside the barn if it rains. Everyone would be seated at their tables and we would put up a little draping as a ceremony backdrop. The drawback for this is that 70 people will be seated in the balcony area of the barn and it will be hard for them to see from their seats (I assume they would come downstairs and stand or we would put extra chairs out on the dance floor). This second option is much cheaper but much less elegant to me.
The tent was my original preference, since it was beautiful and elegant, but saving the money from the tent and going with the second option would allow us to make things a little nicer in other ways for our guests. I thought some of you might want to weigh in with your thoughts. Which option would you choose and if you are having an outdoor ceremony, what is your rain plan?