Inspiring! Big fat Indian marriage gets a facelift with eco-friendly wedding in Delhi

Indian marriages are usually a grand affair. But now, there is a paradigm shift. People are becoming more aware and sensitive about the environment threatened by wastefulness

Inspiring! Big fat Indian marriage gets a facelift with eco-friendly wedding in Delhi

Syed Wajid

Indian fat marriages are much talked about an affair where money-play and ostentation is a common sight. In urban India flaunting destination-weddings has become integral to social status where bigwigs and celebrities are invited and then they are discussed once the grand occasion is over. But now, there is a paradigm shift. People are gradually becoming more aware and sensitive about the environment threatened by nature-invasive forces. Some have taken the initiative to protect nature and act in a way that supports and sustains a healthy environment. Detritus is found littered everywhere after the wedding is over. Those who attend them stay sloshed- these are the usual scenes in Indian weddings. But Delhi, of late, has witnessed a wedding where none aforementioned was spotted.

Aditya Aggarwal and Madhuri Balodi got married. They were school friends and had a long-standing relationship that translated into the nuptials after a long wait for 14 years. They decided to organize their wedding in an eco-friendly way.

The groom did not come on a chariot or a mare, what traditional Indian weddings are all about, Here, he entered the marriage venue on his Yulu bike.

Most of the items for decor including buntings and the pandal were made either by recycled or eco-friendly stuff; the event stayed away from the use of plastic items.

The wedding procession not too large in size keeping in view the social-distance protocol marched in without overloaded emotion and commotion. The reception had coconut water to welcome the groom and his side riding a cycle all the way to the venue where Madhuri with hardly any make-up on was elegantly dressed in her trousseau.

Balodi’s friend Shweta brought the Varmala made of tulsi (basil) leaves for the wedding. Those who attended the event were given plants instead of sweets and the gifts which came wrapped in newspaper. They printed no wedding cards; just a message detailing the programme was sent on WhatsApp.

The expenses for the wedding were below rupees 2 lakh.

“Marriage is all about happiness and celebrations and happiness doesn't need money. In our society, most of the people go for expensive weddings, which is totally a waste of money.” Madhuri affirmed.

This wedding is a perfect example of the eco-friendly wedding. They had had this very idea of spending wherever necessary, cutting down on show-off and focusing on enjoyment more and above all not harming the environment. The wedding venue was the lush green lawn amidst the sylvan surroundings of the Sir Edwin Lutyens' Delhi accommodating as many as 100 guests, adorned with absolute vodka and wine bottles, (empty) and other dumped and discarded stuff.

“We decided that we would marry in this very hygienic format without litter and harm to nature. This was really amazing and also a new concept. My friends were quite supportive and found the idea unique. Madi (Madhuri) and I were a little nervous lest people should make fun of all this as many have a tendency to ridicule if it's not a stereotype. But at the end of the day, it went well and everyone appreciated the move.” Aditya shared his heart.

Why did you plan a sustainable wedding?

We (Adi and me)are true nature lovers, we believe in saving nature as far as we can; keeping in mind so we have chosen a sustainable wedding. We both are minimalist enthusiasts and believe in reusing things instead of buying them. We have seen weddings where people spend so much unnecessarily especially on Indian weddings where spending money is the only way of celebrations. Our basic idea of our wedding is to spend less and enjoy more without harming the environment.

How was it different from other weddings, give some examples?

In many ways: we had simple food, a bunch of school and college friends and close relatives. There was no professional mehndi artist- my friend did it instead.

We sent an e-invite, the barat rode in on cycles; there was no exchange of gifts. My bestie, Shweta gifted us tulsi varmala which later became the dry powder of our tea. We both spent rupees 5000 on our bridal dresses. Guests came walking or used a cycle available on rent and we distributed plant saplings at the end of the wedding.

How did you feel about it ?

It’s amazing !Our friends and cousins want to follow us for their D Day. We wanted to set the trend where weddings are easy to organise without much of stress. Our idea was to inspire people to rather think of giving importance to the people than to just things.

Who inspired you?

In fact, my mother, my lifeline and my sole inspiration was behind this. She always educated me on reusing the used things in a better way.

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