Anjana & Prateek's amazing sustainable and green wedding journey
Anjana and Prateek met in the USA, during Halloween. She wore a weird mask and Prateek found it funny enough to start a conversation with her.
The first conversation started with Prateek asking Anjana, "So you don't eat cheese?", as she'd refused the pizza he had offered. She crushed his hopes and said no, but that started a long conversation about why she turned vegan and it led to lots of lifestyle changes along the way! They got engaged 3 years later and married in 4!
Sticking to the theme, they finally had a sustainable, low-waste wedding!
This wasn't just any regular wedding. It was a sustainable wedding, and a whole lot of planning was involved. Everything from the decor, guest invites, food to the clothes and venue, had to be planned carefully to ensure a wedding that had a very low impact on the planet.
The main wedding ceremony was done in traditional South Indian style that took place in Chennai and a second wedding reception was held in Kolkata. Anjana and her parents did most of the planning for the main wedding and reception in Chennai, whereas Prateek and his family planned the Kolkata reception. They had a lot of help from friends and family as well. The caterer, decorator, and people at the venue were on board with their theme and had their own great suggestions as well.
For the Mehndi ceremony, Anjana wore an upcycled dress made from her aunt's saree. She was really keen on not buying new clothes for the wedding but her family did not let her do so. Traditionally, a Bride is supposed to wear new and unused clothes and her family wanted to stick to that tradition.
For the wedding Invitation, they went with handmade seed cards made by a lovely self help group. Most of their invites were web-invites and the paper invites were given to family members and other older people who expected a physical wedding invite.
The main culprit when it comes to waste at any wedding is the catering section. At a typical wedding, the caterers use plastic water bottles, plastic cutlery, disposable plates, as well as plastic wrap / plastic boxes for the sweets that guests get to take home. However, for this couple's wedding, stainless steel cups, cutlery, and paper for the sweets were used. Also, for the reception which was a buffet, areca leaf plates (made from the areca palm) were used.
Anjana says that it wasn't hard to find vendors, but it took some work to ensure that everyone was on board with the low-waste wedding concept. This took a lot of discussion with each and every vendor and in the end everything went smoothly.
The environmental impact of this event was super important to the couple, and they had specially requested their guests to try and minimize their waste and not bring any gifts. All the wedding favors were sent to the couple's favorite charities!