Every year more than 10 million weddings take place in India. They may be fat weddings, splurging crores of rupees or lean weddings done on shoe-string budgets. The wedding market is estimated to be USD 50 billion.
But, what is encouraging is that there are a growing number of weddings in the country, with a cause for the nature or better called eco-friendly weddings.
Recently, Selvamathi Venkatesh, the Special Deputy Collector in Kancheepuram, and native of Trichy, hit the headlines by making eco-friendly invitations for the wedding of her son. Instead of printing wedding cards, she sent the invites by getting them printed on handkerchiefs.
“Wedding cards are extremely expensive, and they are thrown into the dumpster a day after the wedding. I always used to feel bad when I saw fancy wedding cards, as they serve no purpose. Therefore, we designed the card on a cloth. After two to three washes, the print will fade away, and it will look like a regular handkerchief”, she was quoted saying in the media.
Instead of using disposable plates and glasses, Selvamathi decided to use banana leaves to serve food and steel tumblers for water. The return gifts were seed balls, which included vegetables, neem trees, and teak trees.
There is a growing awarenes among the big and the small about eco-friendly efforts. Mukesh Ambani also opted for big fat ‘eco-friendly’ wedding for son Akash. Bollywood actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone’s wedding reception in Bengaluru a year ago was also a ‘green’ event. All the tableware used at the reception was biodegradable. Actor Sonam Kapoor and businessman Anand Ahuja sent out e-invites for their wedding, and Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli and actor Anushka Sharma sent out a sapling with their wedding invite.
There was reports on Ruchi and Shravan Kumar, who got married in Bihar’s Darbhanga district and they out in an e-rickshaw to create awareness about using public transport and reducing the carbon footprint, instead of the usual horse ride.
People are now reducing the use of disposable cutlery and replacing them with steel ones, instead. The return gifts or favours for the guests are also changing in nature as they now comprise of plant saplings, seeds, steel straws, non-toxic toiletries, chemical-free makeup and organic clothing.