Planning a green wedding is the same as planning a traditional one. It will be exciting, stressful, fun, tiring, time consuming, and completely worth it. Planning a wedding is a big deal even if you are having a small, simple wedding. Don't worry too much or take all the stress to heart. All that planning will culminate in a beautiful day filled with love and hope for the future -- your future together as a married couple and the future of the planet.

Whether you are planning an extravagant eco-affair or a simple ceremony followed by a small green gathering, you have to decide on a lot of basics. It's best to start planning early and plan together. It is also good to let your family be involved, but remember that you are the ones in control. Sit down, start brainstorming, and make a list or two or several.

Here are some basic things you'll want to consider:

  • When do you want to get married? This should be one of the first things you decide. Also consider what time of day you want to have your ceremony.

  • Do you need a wedding planner? One who specializes in green weddings may be helpful, but is it necessary or in your budget?

  • Who will officiate your wedding? Do you have a minister? Will you consider a justice of the peace or another nondenominational officiant?

  • What is your budget? This may be the single most important aspect of your planning because it will decide every other area of your wedding.

  • How many people do you want to have, and whom will you invite?

  • Who will be in your wedding party? Bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, flower girl, ring bearer -- remember, they aren't necessary, but many people have at least a maid of honor and a best man.

  • What kind of ceremony do you wish to have? Traditional? Custom? Religious? Would you like to write your own vows? Would you like to have special readings of romantic passages from literature or scripture during the ceremony?

  • Would you like to have an indoor or outdoor ceremony? What about the reception?

  • Do you wish to incorporate a separate theme into your green wedding? Recycled retro, nature's beauty, autumn splendor -- any idea and theme can be combined and used creatively with a green slant. You can also think about a cultural theme such as pashmina inspired Indian theme or a cossack inspired Russian theme!

  • Will you have pre- or postwedding parties such as a bridal shower, bachelor or bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, or after-wedding brunch?

These are just some of the basics you'll want to consider in the early planning stages. Especially consider how you can do it all in a way that is the most beneficial and least harmful to the environment.