STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO HAVING A GREEN WEDDING IN INDIA IN 2019
When you’re talking about green weddings in India, you just cannot ignore the Auli wedding that took place in June that left behind 24,000 kgs of waste, most of which was plastic. It was an utter disaster and made the news for all the wrong reasons. Now, with the Greta Thunberg effect taking over the world, climate crisis has entered our daily conversations and it has become an important topic among the masses. So now more than ever it is essential to have a green wedding and reduce waste and the environmental impact of weddings.
So, here’s everything you need to know about having a green wedding in India:
Get the guest list right
We know that sustainable and big fat Indian weddings don’t go hand in hand at all. So, the first course of action will be to create a guest list. If you don’t remember the last time you met them, make sure they don’t make it on to the guest list. This’ll really be helpful in having an intimate wedding and will also let you have a ceremony with people who mean something to you.
If you want to have a green wedding in India, the best place to start is from scratch. The very nature of our weddings is geared towards waste, so you have to wipe the slate clean and think sustainable. It can be a bit difficult but it’s also a lot more cost-friendly, intimate and beautiful in a rustic way.
When you think about wedding planning, the first course of action is choosing the wedding venue. For a green wedding, do not opt for upscale hotels, halls etc. Instead opt for somewhere outside like on a lawn, a farm, the beach etc. where the sun can provide the lighting and it reduces your carbon footprint.
Caterers & Decorators:
Ask your caterers to prepare food only through locally sourced ingredients. This is not only more sustainable, it’s also fresher, tastier and pocket-friendly. In addition, insist that your caterer uses no single-use plastics at the wedding and tie up with an NGO to donate the extra food. There’s always tons left at a wedding, and knowing you helped feed so many on your big day is a pretty special feeling. There are many NGOs that come to collect and distribute the food at zero cost, so all you have to do is make a call! Similarly, go for locally sourced flowers and plants for your decoration. Skip all the paper and plastic. Remember party poppers also fall into the non-sustainable category!
Sorry people! Want to go green? Gotta ditch that Sabyasachi and Kanjivaram! Opt for designers such as Anita Dongre for sustainable bridalwear. Her collections are synonymous to sustainable fashion and the designs are truly amazing! For jewellery, opt for pieces you can rent or go for your ancestral jewellery. For makeup, opt for organic and cruelty-free products and brands like Ruby organics, Biotique, Lotus Herbals etc.
For a green wedding, online wedding invitations are the best choice. They literally cost nothing when compared to printed wedding cards. They are also very easy to distribute and it’s really easy and quick for the guests to RSVP. Also, there are so many interesting options to choose from like animated cards, photo cards etc. In addition, you can also create a wedding website that has all the information about the wedding.
A zero-waste green wedding is just not possible without a gift registry. So, create a wedding gift registry and let your guests know exactly what you’d like. This way none of the gifts go to waste and your guests get to be a small part of your new life. If you’re a person who has a sustainable lifestyle, you can create a gift registry with only sustainable products. Wedding Wishlist, let’s you add products from any external website. So add sustainable products you love and you can truly make a difference! Alternatively, if you have everything you need already, add a charity you support and let your guests contribute towards that cause.
On the Wedding Day:
Rituals are very important to Indian weddings. So make sure whatever you use is locally sourced and get the flowers that are in-season. Make sure there are no plastic water bottles. Instead, you can serve water in small glass bottles and guests can just refill and also carry it home as a part of the wedding favours. Otherwise, you can keep steel tumblers, kullads and matkas at the venue. The food can be served in banana leaves and other non-plastic alternatives. Buffet is just the opposite of sustainable. So, skip buffet-style meals and opt for servers.
Since your whole wedding was sustainable let your wedding favours also reflect that. Gift your guests saplings or homemade cupcakes or the sorts in glass jars or containers so that the guests can reuse them. Opt for recycled paper bags. The point to keep in mind is, if your guests are going to throw away something and it’s going to be on earth for the next decade, they’re not going to be a part of your wedding return gifts.
What to do with the waste?
Well, after a sustainable wedding most of your waste is going to be flowers, banana leaves etc. This you can easily feed to a cow/animal shelter. The excess food can be donated to an ashram/ underprivileged people.