weddings of india

How to have a sustainable eco-friendly wedding

Environmental awareness is now part of mainstream consciousness.  With the hot melting summers and bitterly cold winters, we are all experiencing the effects of climate change with the extreme seasonal weather. A sustainable lifestyle is the call of the hour and as millennial couples tie the knot, they are starting to bring this awareness to their wedding plans as well. Sustainable eco-friendly weddings are trending now and an eco-friendly theme is becoming very popular. As earth-friendly options become freely available, it’s a great idea to embrace this theme and make it a part of your wedding’s identity. We’ve got some superb ideas on how to have a sustainable green wedding and here they are…

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If you’re passionate about the environment then choose a wedding venue that will cut down on your need for decoration and lighting. The easiest ways to achieve this is by choosing an outdoor garden venue, with a naturally beautiful landscape. A farmhouse, hotel lawns or even a vineyard are all viable options. Having a day wedding will also cut down on energy consumption as the sun will provide all the light you need and also ensure wonderful wedding pictures.

Choose a wedding venue that has an ambience of its own, thereby reducing the need for wedding decorations.

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Wedding Invitations

The obvious choice for an eco-friendly wedding would be to send out e-invites. However that may not always be possible, so we have some great ideas for your wedding invite. Set the tone for your environmentally conscious wedding by designing your wedding invitation, with sustainably made paper. You will make a big difference by not choosing virgin paper, so instead use hundred percent recycled papers. Another fabulous option is seed or plantable paper, which means that there are seeds incorporated into the paper pulp. So after the invite is read it can be soaked in water and the resulting pulp can be planted into a pot or garden. The plant that will grow and bloom will be a happy reminder of your wedding, long after it is over.

Plantable seed paper is a wonderful option for and eco-friendly wedding

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Discuss your plans to reduce your carbon footprint with the wedding planner, in advance. This will give them a guideline to suggest appropriate décor elements. Eco-friendly does not mean drab, so remember to do some research and give the décor planners some pointers about your expectations. Flowers are an important component of wedding décor so be sure to source seasonal flowers from the local markets. This will also be a much more budget friendly option, than flying hundreds of flowers from across the country. Brightly coloured fabrics can be used as drapes for a dreamy effect. Elements like brass lanterns, earthen pots, temple bells and such would make the décor look wonderful, while being ultimately re-useable. In addition, if you choose your wedding venue wisely, it will have its own ambience without the need for too many additional decor elements.

Re-useable decor elements like brass lanterns will look wonderful while reducing waste

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The food served at an Indian wedding is of paramount importance as it is a sign of the new couple’s hospitality and respect for their guests. An elaborate menu is the cornerstone of a successful wedding and with a few subtle touches you can ensure that it is in keeping with the theme. Locally obtained and sustainably sourced ingredients, could be the foundation for planning the wedding menu. The salad section could be entirely organic, which would please even the fussiest gourmand. The guests could be informed about the source of their feast, with cleverly placed placards on the tables. This would make for an interesting talking point, bringing attention to the wedding couple’s pro-earth ideology. The wedding cutlery should certainly avoid any and all plastic and Styrofoam. Plant based bio degradable crockery is a great option and so is reusable cutlery (like steel).

Create a menu centred on locally grown organic produce

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Capture the spirit of a green wedding, by planning your trousseau around heritage pieces from your mother and grandmother’s closet. Re-purpose old brocades and silks as they are or design an entirely new ensemble using these elements. This will also ensure a hint of nostalgia and pay homage to family legacy in your trousseau, making it that much more special. When Isha Ambani (the daughter of one of India’s richest men) got married she incorporated her mother’s wedding sari into her bridal lehenga design. For sentimental reasons and to reduce consumption heirloom clothes can add an original touch to your wedding look. If you must buy a completely new bridal outfit, be sure to incorporate hand woven fabrics and traditional hand embroideries. This will help promote the indigenous textile artisans of India, who need this kind of patronage for their livelihood.

IshaAmbani’s wedding lehenga was made partly from her mother’s wedding sari

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In an Indian wedding many gifts are exchanged, and we have some unique ideas for return gifts to the wedding guests. For an environmentally conscious wedding, you could also give your guests gift baskets of organic fruits/dry fruits or khadi silk pouches with exotic spices and herbal products. A beautifully designed eco-friendly, kitchen garden gift set is also a wonderful option for a return gift. Complete with a set of small pots, vegetable or flower plant seeds and an instruction manual, this is sure to create a sense of curiosity and interest. Every plant that grows from this set will leave a lasting impression of your wedding for days to come. For special guests and relatives, who need to be presented with a sari you could opt for a khadi silk option.

An Indian wedding is grand and elaborate as they speak volumes about the families involved, their standing in society and brands the newly married couple with a positive identity in the community. An attitude of responsible luxury with wedding plans will ensure the respect and regard of your friends and family, while also giving future generations a gift of a cleaner planet.

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