How to plan a sustainable eco-friendly Indian wedding
Plan an eco-friendly wedding with just as much elegance and style, while keeping the wasteful ways at a bare minimum! So, soon-to-get married couples, go plan your ‘not-so-big-fat Indian wedding’ by replacing some common elements with sustainability and dedicating token gratitude towards nature. Scroll down for our step-by-step guide.
Indian weddings are special occasions, and you as a couple put everything into it to make it pitch-perfect but it can also be one of the most wasteful—chunked paper or plastic goods dumped in the garbage, leftover food is thrown away, and the carbon footprint of guests traveling there. it’s no secret that weddings generate a huge amount of waste. With the compulsion to have the absolute picturesque day brings the impulsive buying to make your wedding more magnificent.
Even though we might be doing this unconsciously, somewhere down the line we fail to see the long-lasting effect this would have on Mother Nature and its bounties that we have all taken for granted. All of our wedding waste is contributing to landfills and generating higher carbon emissions. If you care about our planet or practice a sustainable lifestyle, then here are just a few things you can do to cut down on waste during your wedding and plan the most significant day of your life with these small eco-friendly changes that can make a major impact.
1. Prefer Eco-Friendly Invitations
The whole idea of getting decorative paper invites printed is futile. We cut all those trees and make paper to send the invites which are later thrown away with carelessness; the problem is that we fancy this wastage with pride. But we definitely can replace it with online wedding invites, where you will still be able to invite your family and friends! Also, you can ask your other guests to attend your wedding digitally by going live.
2.Get the guest list right
We know that big fat Indian and eco-friendly weddings don’t go hand in hand at all. As traditional Indian weddings are generally large events, you may find yourself inviting people that you don’t even know particularly well, which might be quite tasting. So, the first move is to create a guest list. If you have spoken to them in three years and they’re not related to you, make sure they don’t make it on to the guest list. That’ll really be helpful in having an intimate wedding and will also let you have a ceremony with people who mean something to you.
3.Prefer an Eco-Friendly Venue
An outdoor wedding space will be a fantastic idea, like on a farm, beach, woodland, garden, or your backyard, where the sun can provide all of your lighting and trees making it up for the ambiance it needs. This way, you can cut down on the consumption of manmade energy, like lesser usage of electricity.
While destination weddings can be a major dig, you can leverage it with the available amenities of the location; for example, sourcing the flowers, food, and other arrangements with minimal decorations from the local market. Avoid multiple locations to dial back the fuel emissions of transportation from one place to the next. When finalizing the venue, look for options with solar panels, energy-efficient layouts, and a robust recycling system if possible.
4.Opt Sustainable wedding decor
We all talk about eco-friendliness for the sake of fads. It’s hard to implement unpopular opinions unless they turn into trends, isn’t it? We are taught and told about the 4 R’s -Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Refuse. Firstly, we better refuse to use ornate drapes, excessive lights, and furniture. Then, we can also look for reusable decor such as papercraft, Wooden Sign Board, and Rustic Chalk Board, instead of printed signboards.
One enthusiastic about art can also go for old and used car parts, scrap metal, and wood from the junkyard and get local artists to create innovative installations done for a creative set up. Also, several five-star properties now offer sustainable wedding packages too. Some Hotels chain, for instance, uses reusable decor.
you can display vintage license plates from cities or states with special meaning to them in slices of fallen wood for table markers. Or place a horseshoe or something that represents good luck at each setting.
5. Green Buffet
Food and beverages contribute to the majority of the waste generated during weddings; such a behavior has been normalized. How about we stay ahead of the curve by hiring a waste-conscious caterer. Other options can be contacting certain organizations such as Feeding India, Adgreen, who collect the leftovers from weddings and redirect them to the needy.
Opt for reusable (also, recyclable) cutlery and crockeries, like steel, glass, and porcelain. It would give a nice traditional touch if you have the food served on banana leaf mats that can later be donated for composting, or later get used as fodder for cattle.
If it is a destination wedding, you can arrange local cuisine and traditional dishes at your buffet. Otherwise, look for the caterers who source organic ingredients from the local market, produced ethically, or from fair-trade; if possible, a vegan menu works awesome too.
6. Mindful wedding favors
Add a touch of authenticity to your wedding favors. Search for something specific to the locality of the venue, or something that carries uniqueness, meaning, or usefulness. It can be locally sourced but Premium Coffee, Organic Honey or Spices Eco-Friendly Gift Box, or Crafts Home Decor that are made by the traditional artists. Look for things that can double up as house decor too, for example, Agni Solar Lantern, Indoor Plant with Self Watering Pot, Hand Made Wooden Tabletop Jar. Going for edible favors is a sweet way to show gratitude; inquire about homemade treats from local businesses, like muffins, cookies, chocolates, etc. You might also bump into fair-trade tea or coffee blends, Handmade Bath Soap and Organic Bath Salt, and Recycled Bottle Platter, which in a way is incredible as well as beneficial for the environment. One can choose beautiful garments or cloth from stores that sell clothing made from organic materials and dye; or some local traditional artisans who make special crafts and embroidery on clothes, handcrafted Wool Shawls, Organic Cotton Bedsheet.
7. Sustainable Wedding Dress
We all spend hours and bucks heavily on wedding clothes, accessories, makeup to make it all near perfect for that one special moment. But does the whole materialistic layer matter when you look into the eyes of your lover, taking the vows? Rather than investing in a million-dollar wedding dress, walk the aisle in your mother’s or father’s wedding dress/ suit. You can surely adjust the size or re-make out if it.
8.Propose with Estate Jewellery
An heirloom that will anyway make your new journey a million times special! Obviously, tailor-made jewelry sets are a fine idea, but flaunting your family jewels is a thing. Also, break the wheel that the bride must always wear something new. And you can try some organic and natural products for make-up though.
9. Avoid single-use item
Sitting arrangements include chairs and tables which can be easy to arrange in metal and wood. Make sure you serve drinks in glasses of steel, ceramic, or glass; and keep Signoraware Radiant Glass Water Jug or bottles of water on tables which will be cut down on plastic glasses and bottles. One thing you must take care to not let your purpose get defeated is to pack the favors in paper or cloth bags and minimize or eradicate the use of plastic. Collect the plastic covers, boxes, and polythene that come out of the gifts and other wrapping materials for food storage and dispose of them properly or give away for recycling. Also, remember to empty and sort the waste from the dustbins at the end of the wedding. It would look classy and standard if you do away with the plastic décor.
10.Mindful with Floral decoration
Search for sustainable florists they mostly work with small local farms or grow flowers themselves, reducing the need to transport blooms long distances, while Some florists will even compost your greens after the wedding, so be sure to ask about the options to make appropriate arrangements.
11. Reduce electricity waste
Light the Lanterns on Your Patio or Porch, Lanterns set the mood for a romantic evening—and cut down on electricity—by lighting your reception tables with candles.
12. Opt for digital Photograph
We all enjoy holding our hands and poses for Polaroid pictures and albums; we look at them as making memories but we often forget that we waste paper and use plastic in the ‘n’ number of albums we get printed. Let’s just make it more significant and sustainable.
Supposedly, if you have set up a nice photo booth, hire a photographer who shall take Polaroid pictures of each set of guests and give them the memory of the wedding on the spot itself.
Celebration and partying go wild when all your people come together. This time around, get in touch with a company that will take care of the waste for you! Give out the direction to a company who will not only ensure to pick up the wasteful giveaways usually found after a wedding, but also take these wasteful dumps to a recycling factory for being repurposed!
It is understandable that bursting crackers is a public way of celebration of events. But isn’t it childish? We have come across a multitude of ‘Baraat’ processions which result in remains of firecrackers and also, beer bottles lying aimlessly on the roads, which is very irresponsible of us as adults. Switch to leaves for showering because why not! Remember when you used to walk beneath the trees and the leaves would fall and it would feel all so romantic.
14.Rent Reusable Items
It is all for one occasion, of course, you want it to go incredible. But why waste money when you can rent things and still keep the integrity of the occasion intact. Rent things that are non-disposable, reusable; like—the location and the stay, linens, plates, utensils, decorations. You can also rent your wedding dress or suit. Laundering and washing services are usually included in the rental price, making this route a win-win; you can include renting the carpooled transport for the guests and reduce carbon footprints.
15.Eco-conscious gift wrapper
Bring sustainability into the gift wrapper.“Single-use anything is not good for the environment, a particular packing of a wonderful token of love is about blessings and new beginnings produces an enormous amount of waste.