Combine a growing awareness of the need to rein in wastage and some celebrity influence, and what you get are couples opting for eco-friendly measures at their weddings.
Recently, popular television actor Rubina Dilaik married fellow actor Abhinav Shukla, and their wedding card was an organic one, made of MDF and recyclable paper, making it totally biodegradable. Rubina says, “We’re responsible towards our environment. We wanted to do something that’s eco-friendly, because lavishness isn’t necessarily defined by mindless use of things that may be eye-catching but serve no purpose. We wanted to gift friends a token of appreciation and we wanted to thank our friends and families by giving them a life, and that life is in the form of a plant or sapling.” She adds, “We just wanted to maybe create awareness that it’s so important to have greenery and life around us, and how we can nurture that life. We named it ‘let the love grow’. So, we’re sharing a piece of our contentment, happiness, joy with all our loved ones through this sapling that we’ve sent with our invitations.”
Also, when actor Sonam Kapoor married Anand Ahuja, they opted for an e-invite, making a green choice. And not so long ago, after model-actor Milind Soman married his girlfriend Ankita, the newlywed couple planted a sapling for every guest who attended the wedding. We’ve also seen Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma and cricketer Virat Kohli gifting a sapling with their wedding invite to the guests.
These examples have made young couples look at a wedding in a different way. Nilma Dileepan, an eco-conscious wedding and event planner from Bengaluru, says, “There have been a few weddings in the past, where we’ve used eco-friendly elements, but the celebrities have definitely helped in spreading the message of reducing consumption and waste.” She reveals, “Mostly, couples in the 26-34 years age group come to me with such requests. Then we decide on elements such as invites from recyclable paper, chalkboards as props to be reused later, coconut shells as planters on the tables, jute fabric as backdrop at the bar with paper origami — these are just a few examples.”
Eco-friendly items don’t inflate the wedding budget; quite the opposite, in fact. Your cost decreases by 40% or anything between Rs 40 and 400 per card or gift, reveals Shweta Acharya, a wedding planner. Acharya, who feels that greener weddings are a small yet great initiative, says, “Bollywood is a great trendsetter and it prompts brides and bridegrooms to embrace change — if celebrities do it, it automatically becomes a thing.”
Wedding planner Kaveri Vij shares that tech-driven invites are now preferred over physical invites by millennial couples. She says, “The quantity of physical invites is going down, and a major chunk of those are for the family, to keep the tradition going; otherwise, couples are opting for e-cards, which are cost effective, too.” Vij’s partner Akshay Chopra says, “We’ve also recently used beeswax (non-toxic) candles for weddings instead of normal (paraffin) wax.”
Sanya Sharma, a corporate professional who’ll marry by the end of the year, says, “If you can’t compromise on other things, the best thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to have a function in daylight, thus saving electricity — that’s what I’m aiming for at my wedding.”