Newly Engaged? Kick Off Your Green Wedding Planning!

5 Things You Should Do First

1. Share
bride_groom_kiss_outdoorsYou’re engaged! Congratulations!

Share the news with the most important people in your lives, right away, in the most personal form of communication that the circumstances allow. For great ideas on telling your loved ones, read more from the Green Bride Guide’s Experts blog or check out mywedding’s Etiquette and Planning Guide.

2. Talk
Schedule some time with your parents, and/or anyone else who might be involved in the planning, budgeting or decision-making for your wedding. You don’t have to hammer out too many specifics, but this is your time to get a sense for who wants to be involved in your wedding planning. These important conversations will help you determine what kind of wedding you can have, especially if budget and family contributions to the budget are a consideration.

This is also an especially important time to share your green values with your family members, so they understand early on that reducing the wedding’s impact will be a part of your decision-making. It might also help to show them some photos and ideas from Real Green Weddings , so they can see that an eco-friendly wedding is just as elegant, stylish and lovely as a conventional one.

Once people understand how important it is to you, they will be more likely to support your choices and lend their own creative ideas to lower your wedding’s impact. Starting the conversation early is key! That said, there may be a few family members who will not feel comfortable no matter what you do. For these people, you can smile, thank them for their input, and keep moving forward with your green decisions.

3. Decide
urban-wedding-fence-graffiti-bride-groomChoose the season for your wedding. It’s not necessary at this point to pick the actual date, but when you select the time of year, it will inform so many of your other choices, especially when you are planning an eco-friendly celebration.

Seasonal food and flowers make a huge difference in lowering the impact, and are a simple and typically cost-saving green choice! Love peonies? Late spring is your season! Want to serve your  guests a hearty butternut squash soup and carry a sunflower bouquet? You’re a fall bride!

P.S. Picking the season for your wedding also lets you off the hook when everyone starts asking, “When’s the wedding?” You can respond with the time of year you’ve chosen, and then inquiring minds will be satisfied and feel like they are being kept in the loop, even if you have yet to identify the exact day.

4. Dream
Once you’ve identified the time of year, this will help you start forming a vision of the style, theme and colors for your wedding. Do you want to go with traditional colors associated with your wedding season, such as pastels for a spring wedding, or the reds, yellows, and oranges typically seen in a fall wedding? Perhaps you want to do something more unique? Will you have a theme for your wedding?

Themes don’t have to tacky; instead, think of them as a binding thread that ties all the elements of your planning together, such as a wine-themed wedding, a nature-inspired celebration, or a trendy vintage-chic even. If you don’t want a theme, at least consider the feel of your wedding: will it be a fun, funky and casual event, a more formal and elegant affair, or something in the middle?

This is the time to think, dream and get inspired. Creating a vision before you start the real decision making will make things much easier down the road.

5. Enjoy
bouquet-pink-bed-couple-kissing-offbeat

Take some time to enjoy the novelty of being engaged. Yes, there’s planning to get done, but unless you have some pressing reason to have a short engagement, chances are you’ve got the time to soak in the idea of marrying the love of your life.

As you move into the planning and decision-making, be sure to plan time for just the two of you–no wedding talk allowed. That might seem crazy right now when you’re excited at all the prospects of planning the perfect celebration, but when the responsibilities of wedding planning have taken over, you’ll be glad you did. This time together will help you remember during those stressful moments why you are doing all this in the first place!

Bride and Groom: Ellie Grover Photography
Graffiti couple: JP Wedding Photography
Sunflower bouquet: Orchard Cove Photography
Engaged couple: Luce Bella
Pink flowers by: Blueberry Photography

about the author
Kate Green Bride Guide's CEO, Kate L. Harrison, has a JD in Environmental Law and a Master's from Yale in Environmental Policy. She planned her own green wedding in 2007 and wrote the best selling green wedding book The Green Bride Guide: How to Plan an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget(Sourcebooks, 2008). In 2009, she founded www.greenbrideguide.com to help couples use their weddings to promote social and environmental change and support the local green economy.

See more posts by Kate