The Big Fat Indian Wedding is slowly gearing up for a sustainable makeover. Weddings have always been a much-talked affair in our country. Why it shouldn’t be? After all, the rich and influential have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to flaunt their opulence, social standing, and family power. In urban India, flaunting destination weddings on social media has become integral to weddings where ostentation and grandeur are synonymous with wedding scenes.
The good news, there’s a noticeable paradigm shift in the mindset of Millennials. Young people are gradually becoming more aware and sensitive about the environment and climate change threatened by nature-invasive forces, which has now started reflecting in their weddings.
If you would have asked any millennial to opt for an eco-friendly wedding, the answer would be, “It’s so cumbersome. So complicated to plan one.” Not anymore! Eco-friendly weddings are getting popular in India for a while, and planning one has recently become more effortless and affordable. The growing awareness of sustainability in weddings enables us to go green in decor, invitations, and return gifts.
“I think the pandemic showed that we could do weddings differently,” said Bryan Smith, 33, a co-creator of Sustainably Wed, a documentary series about sustainability in the wedding industry. “We can change this industry and still have meaningful celebrations that may not look like they did a decade ago, but they can still be impactful and special.”
According to Kat Wray, the custodian of Less Stuff, More Meaning, the four most significant environmental impacts of a wedding are air travel, number of guests, meat, and imported flowers. A straightforward solution would be to have a small, local wedding with a vegetarian menu — unless you have a large family or friends across the globe or need to plan for certain cultural traditions that require meat options.
Here are ten ways to go sustainable this wedding season:
1.Choose a venue that innovates and implements sustainable practices, such as using renewable energy sources, green harvesting, or minimizing waste. Gwenda Jeffs, the owner of Green Union, an ethical wedding blog based in Britain, said to start by deciding on the venue. “If you’ve chosen a sustainable venue that does all the necessary with energy, water, recycling, renewables, they may even have recommended suppliers,” she said, including caterers, florists, photographers, and stylists. “It’s almost a one-stop shop.”
2. Choose eco-friendly invitations from recycled or sustainably sourced paper or digital invitations to save time, money and trees. You can reduce your budget by not spending money on flashy invitation cards.
3. Find and hire local vendors. Use locally sourced flowers and decorations for the wedding venue to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation. It will significantly reduce the environmental burden of long-distance transport, shipping, and storage.
4. Serve organic and locally sourced food at the wedding reception to support local farmers and reduce the environmental impact of long-distance transportation. Donate leftover food and flowers to local shelters or organizations that can use them. Chelsea Kanstrup, 33, a co-creator of Sustainably Wed, said. “You can go very quickly from food waste, which can be pretty negative, to donating meals to people who need them in your community.”
5. Serve organic and locally sourced food at the wedding reception to support local farmers and reduce the environmental impact of long-distance transportation. Donate leftover food and flowers to local shelters or organizations that can use them. Chelsea Kanstrup, 33, a co-creator of Sustainably Wed, said. “You can go very quickly from food waste, which can be pretty negative, to donating meals to people who need them in your community.”
6. The secret to going eco-friendly is to use natural decor elements effortlessly to make for a sustainable wedding and maintain the affair’s grandeur. Start by choosing a natural or realistic backdrop like a Waterfall, Sea beach, or Fort gate, allowing for an eco-conscious wedding. Use the trees and branches as a beautiful base to create magic with lamps and lights.
7. Reuse and recycle flower arrangements, flowing fabrics, tableware, napkins, and tablecloths instead of disposable products that generate waste. Use eco-friendly and biodegradable confetti from dried flower petals, leaves, or herbs.
8. Choose outfits made from sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp, or linen, or opt for vintage or second-hand companies.
9. Rent the costumes or use the family heritage Bridal wear. Who wears those heavy, expensive, and flashy wedding dresses after the wedding is over? Where to store those outfits forever in the cupboards? Instead of buying costly bridal wear for so many events and themes, rent the required dresses for the event.
10. Fly less. opt for eco-friendly transportation options to transport the guests. such as electric vehicles, bicycles, or public transport for the wedding party and guests.
11. Consider donating to an environmental or social cause instead of traditional wedding favours, or give sustainable gifts such as reusable water bottles, handmade jute baskets, Naga tribe jewellery, terracotta decor items, potted plants, homemade spices & cloth bags, etc. Endless options are available today and get the gift boxes at your doorstep.
Weddings are beautiful reflections of excitement, celebrations, and a fine display of embedded values. It is a source of joyful activism, a delicate balance of cultural expectations, and consumer power to plan a love-filled event. Ultimately, the aim should be to minimize show-off on your wedding day with thoughtful planning and consideration. We only have to make small behavioral changes that will create an impact in the long run.
Did you attend any weddings which match the above parameters? Add some more eco-friendly ideas in the comments below. Enjoy the wedding season.
Love from Soul